Foreign nationals choosing to enter the United States often arrive for a variety of reasons—some are pursuing permanent residence, and some are only entering temporarily for work or visitation. Those who do not immediately begin the path to lawful permanent residence (such as through family-based adjustment of status) often enter via non-immigrant visas that are for temporary stays.
Types Of Non-Immigrant Visas
A number of these non-immigrant visas exist, and a few can provide a gateway to more permanent residence—if certain conditions are met.
P visas in general are intended for exceptional athletes and entertainers who have a job offer from a US employer, and P-1 visas are the most common type. If an athlete (or athletic team) or entertainment companies (like a circus) have been internationally recognized as outstanding for a continuous period of time, they may qualify for a P-1A visa.
Performers who wish to qualify for a P-1B must have worked with the group for at least one year, though up to 25% of the performers may be excused from this requirement. For athletes and teams, they must be internationally ranked, demonstrate significant contact with US sports, and may need to offer proof of their international acclaim from bodies like sports leagues.
The P-2 visa is intended for artists or entertainers who are participating in a reciprocal exchange program between the US and another country. A labor union must sign off on the conditions in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the visa. The US individual who is being exchanged to work in another country must have employment standards equivalent to the US.
P-3 visas are similar to P-2 visas with the exception that instead of an exchange program, applicants are entering the US in order to share a culturally unique program. P-3 visa holders may represent, teach, or coach such a program that further develops or educates on an art form. Support personnel may also receive P-3 visas to assist in this project.
P-4 visas are given to the spouses and unmarried children (under 21) of P visa holders. However, P-4 visa holders are not permitted to seek employment in the US.
U visas are set aside for victims of crime (and their families) who have received significant physical or mental harm as a result of the incident.
Reach Out To The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge, PLLC
Understanding which visa you qualify for can be a challenge. That is why it is important to work with a competent immigration attorney who can guide you through the process of compiling a comprehensive and effective petition. At the Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge, PLLC, we will aid you in your process and answer all your questions along the way. Get in touch with The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge to begin your visa application process by calling 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.