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U.S. Non-immigrant Visa Overview

U.S. Non-immigrant Visa Overview
※Kaizen can provide the visa services outlined below

Visa Category



L-1 Visa

(Intracompany Transferee)

An L-1 visa is required if you are the employee of an international company which is temporarily transferring you to a parent branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same company in the United States. The international company may be either a U.S. or foreign organization. To qualify for an L-1 visa, you must be at the managerial or executive level, or have specialized knowledge and be destined to a position within the U.S. company at either of these levels, although not necessarily in the same position as held previously. In addition, you must have been employed outside the United States with the international company continuously for one year within the three years preceding your application for admission into the United States. 

In the case the U.S. entity is a newly established business, the initial L-1 validity period will be 1 year. If the U.S. entity has already commenced business for more than 1 year at the time of filing, the initial validity period will be 3 years. An L-1 extension of stay may be authorized in increments of up to two years. The total period of stay may reach seven years for L-1A managers and executives, and five years for L-1B specialized knowledge personnel. Transferee can apply for permanent residency before USCIS after the first year of assignment. Spouse and unmarried children under the age 21 can apply for L-2 visa and employment authorization.

E-2 Visa

(Treaty Investor)

Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. Taiwan maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. To qualify for E-2 visas applicants must be coming to the United States either to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested a substantial amount of capital. Holders of E visas must intend to depart the United States upon the termination of their E status. 

Upon approval, the initial validity period of E-2 visa is 5 years. Visa holders will be granted a duration of stay of 2 years when they enter the U.S. Before the expiration of stay, visa holder can apply for an extension of stay for 2 years with the USCIS. If the E-2 visa is still valid at the time, visa holder can exit and re-enter the U.S. and will be granted another 2 years of stay. Spouse and unmarried children under the age 21 can apply for E-2 dependent visa and employment authorization. 

H-1B Visa

(Specialty Occupations)

An H-1B visa is required if you are coming to the United States to perform services in a pre-arranged professional job. To qualify, you must hold a bachelorís or higher degree (or an equivalent degree) in the specific specialty for which you seek employment. USCIS will determine whether your employment constitutes a specialty occupation and whether you are qualified to perform the services. Your employer is required to file a labour condition application with the Department of Labour concerning the terms and conditions of its contract of employment with you.

Currently, the annual statutory cap for H-1B visas is 65,000, with 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduate with a masterís degree or doctorate. The H-1B selection operates under a lottery system. The lottery registration opens in the beginning of March and closes in the end of March every year. H-1B visa holder can apply for H-4 visas for their spouse and unmarried children under the age 21. At the moment, H-4 visa holders cannot engage in employment in the U.S.

O-1 Visa

(Alien of Extraordinary Abilities)

Type O visas are issued to people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics, or extraordinary achievement in motion picture and television production, and their essential support personnel.

The validity period of O-1 visa is 3 years initially and one year for subsequent extensions. There are no statutory limitations on the number of extensions. O-1 visa holder can apply O-3 visa for spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. O-3 visa holders cannot engage in employment in the U.S.

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