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Temporary Workers

Temporary Workers

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Published by Adeniyi Alese
Temporary Worker Visa
Temporary Worker Visa

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CW-1: CNMI-Only Transitional Worker

The CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW) visa classification allows employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to apply for temporary permission to employ foreign (nonimmigrant) workers who are otherwise ineligible to work under other nonimmigrant worker categories. The CW classification provides a method for transition from the former CNMI foreign worker permit system to the U.S. immigration system. The CW nonimmigrant classification is commonly referred to as:
 

CW-1: A CNMI-Only transitional worker CW-2: Dependent of a CNMI-Only transitional worker

General Eligibility Requirements
Employers To qualify for workers with CW visa status, employers must:
     

Be engaged in legitimate business** Consider all available U.S. workers for the position Offer terms and conditions of employment consistent with the nature of the employer’s business in the CNMI File the necessary forms to hire transitional workers Comply with all federal and CNMI requirements relating to employment: examples include nondiscrimination, occupational safety, and minimum wage requirements Pay reasonable transportation costs of the individual to the individual’s last place of foreign residence if the individual is involuntarily dismissed from employment for any reason before the end of the period of authorized admission

**A legitimate business is defined as a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit, or is a governmental, charitable, or other validly recognized nonprofit entity. The business must meet the legal requirements for doing business in the CNMI. A business will not be considered legitimate if it engages directly or indirectly in prostitution, human trafficking, or any other activity that is illegal under Federal or CNMI law. Workers A foreign worker may be classified a CW-1 nonimmigrant during the transition period if he or she:

     

Is ineligible for any other employment-based nonimmigrant status under U.S. immigration law Will enter or stay in the CNMI to work in an occupational category designated as needing alien workers to supplement the resident workforce Is the beneficiary of a petition filed by a legitimate employer who is doing business in the CNMI Is not present in the United States, other than the CNMI Is lawfully present in the CNMI if present in the CNMI Is otherwise admissible to the United States or is granted any necessary waiver of a ground of inadmissibility

Application Process: CW-1 and CW-2 Status
Employers If you Are petitioning for one or more workers who are lawfully present in the CNMI with a federal nonimmigrant status (e.g., F-1 or H-1B) Are petitioning for one or more workers who are lawfully present in the CNMI with a CNMI permit OR have parole authority granted by USCIS or CBP Are petitioning for one or more workers who are requesting consular processing abroad Then you must Submit a Form I-129CW with the $325 application fee Submit a Form I-129CW with the $325 application fee And You must submit a mandatory “CNMI education funding fee” of $150 fee per beneficiary.

You must submit a mandatory “CNMI education funding fee” of $150 fee per beneficiary. Either you or the worker must also submit an $85 biometrics fee if you are requesting a Grant of Status in the CNMI. You must submit a mandatory “CNMI education funding fee” of $150 fee per beneficiary. Do not submit a biometrics fee. A biometrics fee may be required by the Department of State when the worker applies for his or her visa abroad.

Submit a Form I-129CW with the $325 application fee

Are requesting an extension of CW status for a nonimmigrant worker

Submit a Form I-129CW with the $325

You must submit a mandatory “CNMI education funding fee” of $150 fee per worker.

If you

Then you must application fee

And

Workers Foreign worker who has been living and working lawfully in the CNMI

To obtain CW status your employer must submit all of the following documentation:
  

A Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker with the application fee A mandatory $150 education fee Supporting evidence certifying that the information provided about you, your employer and the job position is accurate and meets eligibility criteria

If you are lawfully present in the CNMI with a CNMI permit or parole authorized by USCIS or CBP, the employer must also include the biometrics fee with the petition if you are requesting a grant of CW-1 status in the CNMI rather than overseas.

In most situations where a direct grant of status in the CNMI is requested, after the employer files the Form I-129CW, USCIS will contact your employer advising that you must go to the USCIS Application Support Center in TSL Plaza in Saipan to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. This will enable DHS to conduct the required security checks. If your Form I-129CW is approved, USCIS will mail an approval notice to your employer who should give you a copy of the document. The approval notice will indicate whether you have been granted CW-1 status in the CNMI (as evidenced by an attached Arrival-Departure Record Form I-94) or whether you may proceed to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad to seek visa processing of your CW-1 visa.

Foreign national worker living abroad and seeking employment in the CNMI

Your employer must submit all of the following documentation:
  

A Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker with the application fee A mandatory $150 education fee Supporting evidence certifying that the information provided about you, your employer and the job position is accurate and meets eligibility criteria.

If the petition is approved, USCIS will mail an approval notice to your employer showing that the petition for CW-1 classification has been approved. Your employer will need to send you the original approval notice at your address abroad.

You obtain CW-1 status. either by admission to the CNMI with a CW-1 visa or after receiving an approval notice with attached I-94 You are requesting consular processing of your CW-1 status at a U. The U. This means your dependents may need to file the I-539 before the I-129CW is granted in order to retain eligibility for CW-2 status. The U. Department of State has separate application and fee requirements for visa applications.S. Consulate or Embassy nearest you. Your dependents (spouse and children under the age of 18) are abroad They may also apply for CW-2 visas at the same time.S. either by admission to the CNMI with a CW-1 visa or after receiving an approval notice with attached I-94 And Your dependents (spouse and children under the age of 18) are lawfully present in the CNMI Then They may file:     An Application to Change or Extend Status. once the CW1 petition is submitted by the employer. Department of State has separate application and fee requirements for visa applications. . Consulate or Embassy abroad Your dependents (spouse and children under the age of 18) are abroad They may apply for a CW-2 visa.S. USCIS will send your beneficiaries an approval notice with an I-94 as evidence of the approved Form I539. CW-2 status does not authorize employment. Form I-539 The filing fee The biometric services fee Documentation of your admission to the CNMI in the CW-1 classification If the Form I-539 is approved. Beneficiaries with Dependents Dependents in the CNMI seeking a grant of CW-2 status may file a Form I-539 concurrently with the employer’s I-129CW petition for the CW-1 principal. they MUST be lawfully present in the CNMI at the time of filing their I-539s in order to be eligible for a grant of CW-2 status in the CNMI.S. While dependents may wait until the CW-1 petition is granted. After you receive the approval notice you will need to make an appointment for a nonimmigrant visa interview at the U. If You obtain CW-1 status.

Although someone has an approved I-129CW petition that confers the CW status. The Form I-94 alone will not be valid to re-enter the CNMI.. Travel Once you obtain the approval of your CW petition. however we do not issue visas. you may leave the CNMI but must have the appropriate visa to re-enter the CNMI. Any petition filed for that worker after the 30-day period will require an approved petition and a CW visa issued at a consulate outside the CNMI before the foreign worker can return and start new employment in the CNMI.Length of Stay CW status is valid for one year. embassy or consulate abroad before returning to the CNMI in order to apply for readmission.S. When your CW petition is approved. when the violation is solely caused by termination from employment. the worker will not be considered to have violated his or her status if:   the worker obtains new employment within 30 days from the date of termination and an employer files a petition on his or her behalf If new employment is found. Form I-94. as evidence that you have been granted CW status. The foreign worker may only begin work with the new employer after that employer files the petition. You will need to obtain a CW visa at a U. Visa Before traveling to the U.S. the foreign worker must leave the CNMI and that worker will be considered to be out of status effective on the date of termination of CW-1 employment. Termination of Employment A foreign worker with CW nonimmigrant status will lose that status if he or she violates any of the terms or conditions that are associated with that CW status. However. the new employer must file a petition for the foreign worker before the end of this 30-day period in order for him or her to remain lawfully present in the CNMI. CW Visa Status USCIS grants CW status for foreign nationals who are already in CNMI. a citizen of a foreign country must generally obtain a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for . You must re-register for CW status or obtain another INA nonimmigrant or immigrant classification to lawfully stay in the CNMI. you will be given an Arrival-Departure Record. if they travel outside of the CNMI they will require a visa to apply for readmission to the CNMI and retain their CW status. If a new petition is not filed within 30 days. CW Status vs.

the person may then apply to a DHS immigration officer at a U.permanent residence. Department of State's Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The U.travel.S. the qualifying employer may file Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf.S. he or she may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-1 classification. port of entry for admission as an E-1 nonimmigrant. If the desired employee is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status. (For dependent family members. General Qualifications of a Treaty Trader To qualify for E-1 classification. For more information on traveling outside of the CNMI. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. see “Family of E-1 Treaty Traders and Employees” below. E-1 Treaty Traders The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. Department of State website for further information about applying for an E-1 nonimmigrant visa abroad. Department of State has separate application and fee requirements for visa applications. Interested parties should refer to the U.S. please visit the Department of State website at www. NOTE: As a CW status holder you cannot travel in any other part of the United States. Who May File for Change of Status to E-1 Classification If the treaty trader is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status. the treaty trader must: .state. Upon issuance of a visa. How to Obtain E-1 Classification if Outside the United States A request for E-1 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if the person being filed for is physically outside the United States. except for nationals of the Philippines who may travel between the Philippines and the CNMI through the Guam airport.S.gov. The type of visa you will need is based on the purpose of your travel.) See U.

. While monetary value of transactions is an important factor in considering substantiality. See 8 CFR 214. See 8 CFR 214. have special qualifications.2(e)(11). Substantial trade generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items. General Qualifications of the Employee of a Treaty Trader To qualify for E-1 classification.2(e)(9) for additional examples and discussion. See 8 CFR 214. the employee of a treaty trader must:    Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country) Meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character. Trade is the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country. involving numerous transactions over time. Items of trade include but are not limited to:         Goods Services International banking Insurance Transportation Tourism Technology and its transfer Some news-gathering activities.2(e)(10) for further details. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction. and the trader’s treaty country. Principal trade between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U. or if employed in a lesser capacity. greater weight is given to more numerous exchanges of greater value.   Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation Carry on substantial trade Carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.S.

however. it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country.2(e)(17) for a more complete definition. if they were to seek admission to this country. must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated. An E-1 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic twoyear period of readmission when returning to the United States. Duties which are of an executive or supervisory character are those which primarily provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the organization’s overall operation. classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty traders.If the principal alien employer is not an individual. at a later date. but are not limited to:     The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills The salary that the special qualifications can command Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States Knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not. however. Period of Stay Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. There are several qualities or circumstances which could. If the owners are not in the United States. Special qualifications are skills which make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business. These owners must be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader status. Terms and Conditions of E-1 Status A treaty trader or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted. It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation. See 8 CFR 214. All E-1 nonimmigrants. An E-1 employee. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. depending on the facts. by itself. See 8 CFR 214. and therefore no longer qualifying. These include. may . meet this requirement. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted.2(e)(18) for a more complete definition. or a major component of it. See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(3)(ii). meet this requirement. Note that in some cases a skill that is essential at one point in time may become commonplace. they must be.

See 8 CFR 214.also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:    Relationship between the organizations is established Subsidiary employment requires executive. the E-1 treaty trader or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of admission when returning to the . A strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage at the intended place of employment may affect a Canadian or Mexican treaty trader or employee’s ability to obtain E-1 status. A treaty trader or organization may seek advice from USCIS. however. and may simultaneously request an extension of stay for the treaty trader or affected employee. a merger. See 8 CFR 214. the treaty trader or organization must file Form I-129 with fee and a complete description of the change. to determine whether a change is considered substantive. If the family members are already in the United States and seeking change of status to or extension of stay in an E-1 dependent classification. or essential skills Terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed. The petition must include evidence to show that the treaty trader or affected employee continues to qualify for E-1 classification.2(e)(22) for details. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty trader or employee. but not limited to. supervisory. there is no specific restriction as to where the E-1 spouse may work. if approved. See 8 CFR 214. As discussed above. USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of E-1 status. such as. The treaty trader or enterprise must notify USCIS by filing a new Form I129 with fee. or major event which affects the treaty trader or employee’s previously approved relationship with the organization. they may apply by filing a single Form I-539 with fee. Spouses of E-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 with fee. If approved. These family members may seek E-1 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and. A “substantive change” is defined as a fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics. Family of E-1 Treaty Traders and Employees Treaty traders and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.2(e)(8)(ii) for details. acquisition. To request advice. generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. It is not required to file a new Form I-129 to notify USCIS about non-substantive changes.2(e)(8) for more information on terms and conditions of E-1 treaty trader status.

S. and apply for an extension of stay before their own validity expires.S. Upon issuance of a visa. If the desired employee is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. Interested parties should refer to the U. the treaty investor must:  Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation . business. E-2 Treaty Investors The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.United States. the qualifying employer may file Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf. family members must carefully note the period of stay they have been granted in E-1 status. he or she may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-2 classification. (For dependent family members. see “Family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees” below. To remain lawfully in the United States. General Qualifications of a Treaty Investor To qualify for E-2 classification. Department of State website for further information about applying for an E-2 nonimmigrant visa abroad. port of entry for admission as an E-2 nonimmigrant. the new readmission period will not apply to the family members. the person may then apply to a DHS immigration officer at a U.S. Unless the family members are accompanying the E-1 treaty trader or employee at the time the latter seeks admission to the United States.) See U. Department of State's Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. Who May File for Change of Status to E-2 Classification If the treaty investor is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status.S. How to Obtain E-2 Classification if Outside the United States A request for E-2 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if the person being filed for is physically outside the United States.

See 8 CFR 214. proportionately. or be actively in the process of investing. at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit.2(e)(15). This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device. A substantial amount of capital is:    Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. the higher. The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained. a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. An investment is the treaty investor’s placing of capital. the employee of a treaty investor must:  Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country) . Marginal Enterprises The investment enterprise may not be marginal. from criminal activity. A bona fide enterprise refers to a real. In such cases. directly or indirectly. General Qualifications of the Employee of a Treaty Investor To qualify for E-2 classification. active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. The lower the cost of the enterprise. a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. See 8 CFR 214. the investment must be to be considered substantial.  Have invested. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.2(e)(12) for more information. however. including funds and/or other assets. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. Depending on the facts. the enterprise should have the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.

Duties which are of an executive or supervisory character are those which primarily provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the organization’s overall operation. Special qualifications are skills which make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business. by itself. See 8 CFR 214. These owners must be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty investor status. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. All E-2 nonimmigrants. See 8 CFR 214. however.2(e)(3)(ii). at a later date. but are not limited to:     The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills The salary that the special qualifications can command Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States. . Period of Stay Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. meet this requirement. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. These include. If the principal alien employer is not an individual. An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic twoyear period of readmission when returning to the United States. they must be. If the owners are not in the United States. have special qualifications. It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation.  Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character. or a major component of it. There are several qualities or circumstances which could. See 8 CFR 214. meet this requirement. or if employed in a lesser capacity. must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated. if they were to seek admission to this country. and therefore no longer qualifying. classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty investors. Knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not.2(e)(18) for a more complete definition. Note that in some cases a skill that is essential at one point in time may become commonplace. depending on the facts. it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country.2(e)(17) for a more complete definition.

The treaty investor or enterprise must notify USCIS by filing a new Form I-129 with fee. however. A treaty investor or organization may seek advice from USCIS. See 8 CFR 214.Terms and Conditions of E-2 Status A treaty investor or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted. Spouses . A strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage at the intended place of employment may affect a Canadian or Mexican treaty investor or employee’s ability to obtain E-2 status. If the family members are already in the United States and are seeking change of status to or extension of stay in an E-2 dependent classification. See 8 CFR 214. acquisition. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee.2(e)(22) for details.2(e)(8)(ii) for details. USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of E-2 status. These family members may seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and. to determine whether a change is considered substantive. however. or major event which affects the treaty investor or employee’s previously approved relationship with the organization. such as. the treaty investor or organization must file Form I-129 with fee and a complete description of the change. and may simultaneously request an extension of stay for the treaty investor or affected employee. supervisory. To request advice. An E-2 employee. a merger. may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:    Relationship between the organizations is established Subsidiary employment requires executive. or essential skills Terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed. they may apply by filing a single Form I-539 with fee. See 8 CFR 214. A “substantive change” is defined as a fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics. The Form I-129 must include evidence to show that the treaty investor or affected employee continues to qualify for E-2 classification. but not limited to. Family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. if approved. It is not required to file a new Form I-129 to notify USCIS about non-substantive changes.2(e)(8) for more information on terms and conditions of E-2 treaty investor status. generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.

there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work. 2014. Obtaining E-2 CNMI Investor Status (E2C) Initial Application You must file your initial Form I-129 petition and Supplement E with USCIS before January 18. USCIS will reject initial petitions filed after that date. and apply for an extension of stay before their own validity expires. For more information please visit the grant of status webpage. To remain lawfully in the United States. If approved. If you have a spouse or minor children accompanying or following to join you in the CNMI.S. An E-2 CNMI Investor status is extendable in 2 year increments ending on December 31. they will have the same validity period as you. 2013. you must file a new Form I-129 and Supplement E with the required evidence and fee. Length of Stay Your E-2 CNMI investor status is valid in the CNMI initially for two years. Individuals in the CNMI seeking an initial Grant of Status in the CNMI There is additional guidance you must follow if you are requesting an initial grant of nonimmigrant status in the CNMI. the new readmission period will not apply to the family members. immigration laws. As discussed above. family members must carefully note the period of stay they have been granted in E-2 status. . long-term investors to remain lawfully present in the CNMI through December 2014 while they resolve their immigration status. Unless the family members are accompanying the E-2 treaty investor or employee at the time the latter seeks readmission to the United States.of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 with fee. This classification is intended to help as the CNMI transitions from the CNMI permit system to U. the E-2 treaty investor or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. E-2 Visa: CNMI-Only Investor The CNMI-Only Investor (E-2) visa classification allows foreign. Extending Your Stay To apply for an extension of stay.

S.000 in an aggregate approved investment in excess of $2 million or at least $250. you must:     Have been admitted to the CNMI with a long-term investor visa under CNMI immigration law before November 28. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) CNMI Investor Statuses that Qualify for E2C Status You qualify for E-2 CNMI Investor status if you held one of the following long-term CNMI investor statuses under CNMI Immigration law:   A long-term business investor who was issued a long-term business certificate by the CNMI based upon an investment of at least $50.000 in a single approved investment A retiree investor over the age of 55 years who was issued a foreign retiree investment certificate based upon a qualifying investment in an approved residence in the CNMI (but not including the 2-year non-renewable retiree investor program limited to Japanese nationals)  CNMI Investor Statuses that Do Not Qualify for E-2 Status You are not eligible for an E2C visa if you held one of the following CNMI investor statuses under CNMI Immigration law:    The sub-category of the retiree investor specifically limited to Japanese retirees Short-term business entry permits Regular-term business entry permits Evidence Requirements All documentation previously submitted in each investor application to the CNMI government should be submitted as part of each E-2 CNMI Investor petition to USCIS. 2009 Have continuously maintained residence in the CNMI under long-term investor status Currently maintain the investment(s) that formed the basis for the CNMI long-term investor status Otherwise be allowed to enter the United States under the U.General Qualifications for an E-2 CNMI Investor To qualify for E-2 CNMI Investor status. .000 A foreign investor with a foreign investment certificate issued by the CNMI based upon an investment of at least $100.

any loan or mortgage. stock purchase transaction records. loan or other borrowing agreements. promissory note.. partnership agreements. or a Foreign Retiree Investment Certificate  Individuals with a CNMI-issued foreign investor entry permit or long-term business entry permit An applicant with a CNMI-issued foreign investor entry permit or long-term business entry permit must submit evidence to show that he or she has maintained his or her investment with the E-2 CNMI Investor petition. such as bank statements. financial statements. This evidence includes all of the following. or retiree foreign investor status An unexpired Long-Term Business Certificate. entry certificate or foreign investor visa) reflecting lawful admission to the CNMI in long-term business investor. by-laws. 2009. evidence of monies transferred or committed to be transferred to the new or existing enterprise in exchange for shares of stock. consisting of:   A valid unexpired foreign passport A properly endorsed CNMI admission document (e.g. as applicable:   An approval letter issued by the CNMI government Evidence that capital has been invested. business gross tax receipts. corporate minutes and annual reports. receipts or contracts for assets purchased. land leases.All Individuals All individuals must provide the following evidence of admission to the CNMI in long term investor status prior to November 28. joint venture agreements. foreign investor. recent tax returns of any kind. such as evidence of assets purchased or property transferred from abroad for use in the enterprise. entry permit. affidavits. declarations or certifications of paid-in capital Current business licenses Foreign business registration records. or other agreements supporting the application Evidence that the applicant has invested at least the minimum amount required. security agreement or other evidence of borrowing secured by assets of the applicant A comprehensive business plan for new enterprises Articles of incorporation. Foreign Investment Certificate. evidence of other sources of capital A listing of all resident and nonresident employees A listing of all holders of business certificates for the business establishment A listing of all corporations in which the applicant has a controlling interest         .

You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. or its equivalent. Supporting Documents Your Form I-129 must include the following documents: . you must demonstrate that you:     Are a national of Australia Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation Applying for an E-3 Visa from Within the United States The Form I-129. which could include receipts or invoices of the costs of construction. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields and at least the attainment of a bachelor's degree. such as a lease agreement Proof of the value of that property. or an appraisal of improvements E-3 Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. the amount paid for a preexisting structure. Copies of annual reports of investment activities in the CNMI showing that the certificate holder of a foreign investment is under continuing compliance with the standards required. Eligibility Criteria To qualify for an E-3 visa. Each report must be accompanied by an annual financial audit report performed by an independent certified public accountant Individuals with a CNMI-issued retiree investor permit CNMI retiree investors should submit the following with their applications for E-2 CNMI Investor status:    Proof that the foreign applicant has an interest in property in the CNMI. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is used to apply for a change of status to obtain E-3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification. as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. such as an appraisal Proof of any improvements to the property.

S. A Labor Condition Application (LCA) which cannot be the same application used in a previous H-1B application. how-to-apply procedures. A Form I-797 approval notice is not a U. no maximum number of extensions.state. Change of Employment Your new employer must file a new Labor Condition Application and a new E-3 visa application. visa. we will forward a Form I-797. Notice of Action/Approval to the employer. Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay 2 years Extension of Stay Up to 2 years per extension. as the visa must be obtained at a U.S. and U. embassy or consulate abroad. Your spouse is entitled to work authorization. embassy or consulate. visa at a U. Embassy or Consulate If your petition Form I-129 is approved.S. Family of E-3 Visa Holders Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification. the applicant should use the standard ETA-9035 and ask that it be annotated as an E-3 LCA Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage If required. who in turn will forward it to you. Travel. Please visit the Department of State.S. embassy web contact information to learn more. you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation    Applying for a Visa With a U. Note: Form I-129 is used to apply for an extension of stay or change of employment. Until the Department of Labor develops a new LCA for an E-3. To . After Form I-129 is approved by USCIS. with some exceptions. before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation.S. The gap between the jobs must be 10 days or less. but not your children.gov Temporary Workers webpage for visa information. the next step is to apply for a U.S. generally in your country of residence abroad.

Petition for a Nonimmigrant  The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so Worker. or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability. See the links to the Department of Labor’s complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification and degree USCIS forms to the right. The prospective to qualify as a specialty occupation: employer must file an approved Form ETA-9035. your spouse would file a Form I-765. H-1B Specialty Occupations. bachelor’s or . see the “Work Authorization” link to the right. DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers. Application for Employment Authorization.* For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:  Have completed a U.  Bachelor’s or higher degree or its Labor Condition equivalent is normally the minimum Application (LCA). knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree. Eligibility Criteria Visa Category General Requirements Labor Condition Application Required? H-1B Specialty Occupations The job must meet one of the following criteria Yes. services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project. For more information on the application procedures.apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant. and Fashion Models This visa category applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation.S.  The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position For more information see the “Information for  The nature of the specific duties is so Employers & Employees” specialized and complex that the link to the left. with entry requirement for the position the Form I-129.

or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree. Department of Defense A bachelor’s or higher degree. or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment Have education.S.S. to qualify as a DOD cooperative research and development project:  The cooperative research and development project or a coproduction project is provided for under a government-to-government agreement administered by the U.S. or its equivalent is required to perform duties.higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university  Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U. training. registration. and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university Hold a foreign degree that is the  .**   H-1B2 DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker The job must meet both of the following criteria No.  To be eligible for this visa category you must meet one of the following criteria:  Have completed a U. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation Hold an unrestricted state license.

For further information regarding LCA requirements and DOL's inert process. or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree. *For more information.2(h)(4)(iii)(C). bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation  Hold an unrestricted State license. See the instructions to the Form I-129 for additional filing requirements. Please see our I-129 Direct Filing Chart page. The prospective employer must file an approved LCA with the Form I-129. with the correct USCIS Service Center. **For more information see 8 CFR §214. Step 3: Prospective Workers Outside the United States Apply for Visa and/or Admission. The employer must apply for and receive DOL certification of an LCA. training. The employer should file Form I-129. Step 2: Employer Submits Completed Form I-129 to USCIS. To be eligible for this visa category you must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.  H-1B3 Fashion Model The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence. and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.** Yes. see 8 CFR §214. Department of Labor" link to the right. . Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. see the "Foreign Labor Certification.S.2(h)(4)(iii)(A). registration. or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment Have education. Application Process Step 1: (only required for specialty occupation and fashion model petitions): Employer Submits LCA to DOL for certification. See the links to the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification and USCIS forms to the right. The DOL-certified LCA must be submitted with the Form I-129 (only for specialty occupation and fashion models).equivalent to a U.

see our Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 H-1B Cap Season Web page. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for admission to the United States in H-1B classification. Labor Condition Application (LCA) Prospective specialty occupation and distinguished fashion model employers must obtain a certification of an LCA from the DOL.S. if greater. Your employer is not responsible for the costs of your return transportation if you voluntarily resign your position. At the time of the labor condition application there is no strike or lockout at the employer place of business. but generally cannot go beyond a total of six years.  Period of Stay As an H-1B nonimmigrant. Notice of the filing of the labor condition application with the DOL has been given to the union bargaining representative or has been posted at the place of business.Once the Form I-129 petition has been approved. the prospective H-1B worker who is outside the United States may apply with the U. the prospective H-1B worker must then apply to U. bars on sponsoring nonimmigrant or immigrant petitions. embassy or consulate abroad for an H-1B visa (if a visa is required).000 visas each fiscal year. Department of State (DOS) at a U. or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.S. the prevailing wage for your position in the geographic area in which you will be working. . Additionally. and other sanctions to the employer. Your employer will be liable for the reasonable costs of your return transportation if your employer terminates you before the end of your period of authorized stay. though some exceptions do apply under sections 104(c) and 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21). The first 20. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Your time period may be extended. H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization. You must contact the Service Center that approved your petition in writing if you believe that your employer has not complied with this requirement. H-1B Cap The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit "cap" of 65. The application requires the employer to attest that it will comply with the following labor requirements:  The employer will pay the beneficiary a wage which is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or. Regardless of whether a visa is required. you may be admitted for a period of up to three years. The employer will provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other similarly employed workers.000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U. For further information about the numerical cap. This application includes certain attestations.S.S. a violation of which can result in fines.

The H-1C nonimmigrant category was introduced in 1999 specifically to address the shortage of nurses in the United States. 2009.” Eligibility Criteria To qualify for an H-1C visa you must:  Have a full and unrestricted nursing license in the country where your nursing education was obtained. or have received a nursing education and license in the United States Be authorized by the appropriate U. Family members in the H-4 nonimmigrant classification may not engage in employment in the United States. Among the qualifications. The H-1C nonimmigrant temporary worker classification is for foreign nurses coming to the United States temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL).Family of H-1B Visa Holders Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in the H-4 nonimmigrant classification. H-1C Registered Nurse Working in a Health Professional Shortage Area as Determined by the Department of Labor This classification expired as of December 20. State Board of Nursing to practice within the state Have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Prior to filing a petition with USCIS for an H-1C visa. or have a full and unrestricted license to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work. or have a full and unrestricted Registered Nurse’s license in any state and have received temporary authorization to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work.S. please see the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) link to the right Have been fully qualified and eligible under the state laws of the state of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the United States    . hospitals are required to be located in a “health professional shortage area. For more information. DOL must provide an attestation to petitioning hospitals certifying that they meet the qualifications as required by regulation. Applying for an H-1C nonimmigrant visa is a multi-step process that involves coordination from DOL and USCIS.

territory or possession. must be filed by a U. To qualify. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. from the Department of Labor. employer hospital that has received a notice of acceptance of the attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses.    . and received temporary authorization to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of intended employment Evidence that you have obtained a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where you obtained nursing education or have received nursing education in the U.S. Supporting Documents The Form I-129 must include the following documents:    Current copy of the Department of Labor’s acceptance of the filing of an attestation on Form ETA-9081.S. For more information. see the “Employment and Training Administration. or have obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of intended employment or have obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license in any state or territory of the U. Department of Labor” link to the right. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Evidence that you are fully qualified and eligible under the laws (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements which authorize you to be employed) governing the place of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the U.S. employer must:       Be a “subpart D” hospital under the Social Security Act Be located in a “Health Professional Shortage Area” Have at least 190 acute care beds Have a Medicare population of no less than 35% Have a Medicaid population of no less than 28% Be certified by the Department of Labor Application Process The Form I-129. under the H-1C Program.S. and you are or will be practicing at a facility which provides health care services Evidence that you have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).S. Attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses Statement from the facility describing any limitation which the laws of the state or jurisdiction of intended employment place on your services Evidence that you are or will be authorized by a State Board of Nursing to engage in registered nurse practice in a state or U.The employer must meet edibility criteria in order to file a Form I-129.S. the U.

S.S Form DS-157. Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application. and with a validity date at least 6 months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S. Change of Employer H-1C nonimmigrant classification is limited to employment with the specific hospital that filed the petition. Notice of Action.Applying for a Visa at a U. You cannot begin working for new employer until your Form I-129 is approved. However. who in turn will forward it to you. Before applying for your visa. Nonimmigrant Visa Application. A change of employer requires your new employer to file a new Form I-129. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Family of H-1C Visa Holders . completed and signed (see the “Form DS-156. An extension of stay to complete the 3 year period of admission may be granted. A Form I-797 approval notice may be used to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U. please check with the U. Nonimmigrant Visa Application” link to the right) Passport valid for travel to the U. Embassy or Consulate If your Form I-129 is approved.S.S. regardless of nationality and regardless of where they apply (see the “Form DS-157. Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application” link to the right) One 2”x2” photograph  Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Up to 3 years Extension of Stay Total stay is limited to 3 years. which is required for all male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45. embassy or consulate where you will apply for their specific application requirements. an extension of stay may not be granted to extend the period of admission beyond the initial 3 year period of time. The following is required on the appointment date:      Valid passport and evidence of all previously issued visas Original of Form I-797 Form DS-156. we will send an approval notice on a Form I-797. embassy or consulate. to your employer.

(A limited exception to this requirement exists in certain “emergent circumstances. H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers The H-2A program allows U.S. submit with the H-2A petition.S.” See e. A U.or an association of U. workers. Show that the employment of H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. on a prospective worker’s behalf. The cap for states with populations in excess of 9 million is 50 per fiscal year.g. Department of Labor.S. Also. Generally.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. employer.. agent as described in the regulations. there are numerical limitations for each state based on the state’s population. Demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. willing. qualified.2(h)(5)(x) for specific details. agricultural producers named as a joint employer must file Form I-129. Topics Who May Qualify for H-2A Classification? H-2A Program Process H-2 Eligible Countries List Period of Stay Family of H-2A Workers Employment-Related Notifications to USCIS Fee-Related Notifications to USCIS Who May Qualify for H-2A Classification? To qualify for H-2A nonimmigrant classification. a single valid temporary labor certification from the U. employers or U. and available to do the temporary work. 8 CFR 214. Your dependents may not work in the United States under the H-4 classification. The cap for states with populations of 9 million or less is 25 per fiscal year. H-4 is the nonimmigrant classification for dependents of H principal aliens.S.) .S.Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to H-4 classification.a U.S. H-1C Visa Cap Only 500 H-1C visas will be issued each fiscal year. the petitioner must:     Offer a job that is of a temporary or seasonal nature. workers who are able.

Step 2: Petitioner submits Form I-129 to USCIS. Department of Labor (DOL). Department of State (DOS) at a U. Designation of eligible countries is valid for one year from publication.) Step 3: Prospective workers outside the United States apply for visa and/or admission.S. if a worker does not require a visa. (See the instructions to Form I129 for additional filing requirements. The Department of Homeland Security publishes the list of H-2A and H-2B eligible countries annually in a Federal Register notice. the employer should file Form I-129 with USCIS. port of entry.S. the original temporary labor certification must be submitted as initial evidence with Form I-129. After receiving a temporary labor certification for H-2A employment from DOL. or Directly seek admission to the United States in H-2A classification with CBP at a U. For further information regarding the temporary labor certification requirements and process. then seek admission to the United States with U. Prior to requesting H-2A classification from USCIS. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a U.S. with the concurrence of the Secretary of State.S. nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A program: Argentina Australia Barbados Belize Brazil Bulgaria Estonia Ethiopia Fiji Grenada Kiribati Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Peru Philippines Poland Romania Samoa Serbia Tonga Turkey Tuvalu Ukraine United Kingdom Uruguay Guatemala Mexico Haiti Moldova .   H-2A Eligible Countries List Except as noted below. Embassy or Consulate abroad. see the Foreign Labor Certification. as eligible to participate in the H-2A program.S.H-2A Program Process  Step 1: Petitioner submits temporary labor certification application to the U. the petitioner must apply for and receive a temporary labor certification for H-2A workers with DOL. With limited exceptions.S. Effective Jan. Department of Labor page. After USCIS approves Form I-129. prospective H-2A workers who are outside the United States must: Apply for an H-2A visa with the U. port of entry. 18. 2013. H-2A petitions may only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated.

Return to top Period of Stay Generally.2(h)(2)(iii) and 8 CFR 214. Filing one petition for workers from eligible countries and a separate petition for workers from non-eligible countries may help decrease delays.) Note: If you request H-2A workers from both eligible and non-eligible countries. Exception: Certain periods of time spent outside of the United States may “interrupt” an H-2A worker’s authorized stay and not count toward the 3 -year limit.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(1)(ii) for additional evidentiary requirements. The maximum period of stay in H-2A classification is 3 years. H-2A classification may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year each. (See 8 CFR 214. A new. A person who has held H-2A nonimmigrant status for a total of 3 years must depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of 3 months before seeking readmission as an H-2A nonimmigrant.S. interest for him or her to be the beneficiary of such a petition. Additionally.Canada Chile Honduras Hungary Montenegro Nauru Slovakia Slovenia Vanuatu 0 0 0 Costa Rica Iceland Croatia Ireland The Solomon Netherlands Islands Nicaragua New Zealand Norway South Africa Dominican Israel Republic Ecuador El Salvador Jamaica Japan South Korea 0 Spain 0 0 Papua New Switzerland Guinea A national from a country not on the list may only be the beneficiary of an approved H2A petition if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the U. USCIS suggests that you file two separate petitions. See Calculating Interrupted Stay for H-2 Classifications for additional information. USCIS may grant H-2A classification for up to the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification. previous time spent in other H or L classifications counts toward total H-2A time. Family of H-2A Workers . valid temporary labor certification covering the requested time must accompany each extension request.

including: o o o o Name Address Phone number Employer identification number (EIN) Name Address Phone number Full Name 5.    Abscondment: The H-2A worker leaves without notice and fails to report for work for 5 consecutive workdays without the consent of the employer. The USCIS receipt number of the approved H-2A petition. if applicable. Family members are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status. The reason for the notification (for example. 4. The petitioner’s information. explain that the worker was either a “no show.An H-2A worker’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in H-4 nonimmigrant classification. Petitioners must include the following information on the employment-related notification: 1.” “termination. 2.” or “early completion”). The H-2A worker’s information: o . or The start date established by the employer. The reason for untimely notification and evidence for good cause. Employment-Related Notifications to USCIS Petitioners of H-2A workers must notify USCIS within 2 workdays if any of the following occur:  No show: The H-2A worker fails to report to work within 5 work days of the latter of: The employment start date on the H-2A petition. Termination: The H-2A worker is terminated prior to the completion of the H2A labor or services for which he or she was hired. The employer’s information (if different from that of the petitioner): o o o 6.” “absconder. or Early Completion: The H-2A worker finishes the labor or services for which he or she was hired more than 30 days earlier than the date specified in the H-2A petition. 3.

email notification is strongly recommended to ensure timely notification. agent. California Service Center By email: CSC-X. this generally means the period of time on any particular day when an employee begins and ends his or her “principal activities. facilitator. if available:   Social Security Number Visa Number Failure to Notify USCIS: A petitioner who fails to comply with these employment notification requirements. or similar employment service is prohibited from collecting a job placement fee or other compensation (either direct or indirect) at any time from an H-2A worker as a condition of employment. submit the following for each H-2A worker. Note: USCIS defers to DOL’s definition of “workday. to assist USCIS with identification of the H-2A worker.” According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).o o o Date of birth Place of birth Last known physical address and phone number Additionally. . recruiter. Box 30050 Laguna Niguel. may be required to pay $10 in liquidated damages for each instance of noncompliance.gov By mail: California Service Center Attn: Div X/BCU ACD P.H-2AAbs@dhs. CA 92607–3004 Return to top Fee-Related Notifications to USCIS A petitioner. Although not required. or fails to demonstrate good cause for untimely notification.O.” How do I notify USCIS? Notification should be made via email or mail to the California Service Center at the following addresses.

Petitioners must include the following information in their fee-related notification: 1. facilitator. the FLSA. however. The petitioner’s information: o o o Name Address Phone number Name Address Phone number 4. but is not limited to. How do I notify USCIS? . or placement service to which the beneficiaries paid (or agreed to pay) the prohibited fee: o o Name Address Fees not prohibited are:   The lesser of the fair market value or actual costs of transportation and Any government-mandated passport. where a petitioner knew or should have known at the time of filing of its H-2A petition that the prospective worker had paid (or agreed to pay) such recruitment-related fees to any such persons or entities. and DOL interpretations of the FLSA and other relevant labor laws. This narrow exception does not apply. The employer’s information (if different from that of the petitioner): o o o 5. facilitator. The reason for the notification. Petitioners must notify USCIS of an H-2A worker’s payment or agreement to pay prohibited fees to a recruiter. facilitator or similar employment service within 2 workdays of gaining knowledge of such payment or agreement. DOL regulations. case law. or inspection fees to the extent that the payment of such costs and fees by the alien H-2A worker is not prohibited by statute or other laws. The USCIS receipt number of the approved H-2A petition. or similar employment service only after they filed their H-2A petition. Information about the recruiter. 3. This includes.Petitioners are provided with the opportunity to avoid denial or revocation (on notice) of their H-2A petition if they notify USCIS that they obtained information concerning the beneficiary’s payment (or agreement to pay) a prohibited fee or compensation to any agent. visa. recruiter. 2.

agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. A U.S. on a prospective worker’s behalf. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. employer. .Notification should be made to the California Service Center via email or mail at the following addresses.S.H2AFee@dhs. qualified. (OMB Control Number 1615-0107) California Service Center By email: CSC. and available to do the temporary work.S.S. Box 10695 Laguna Niguel. The employment of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U. or U.O. agent as described in the regulations. the petitioner must establish that:   There are not enough U.S. workers who are able. must file Form I-129. email notification is strongly recommended to ensure timely notification. workers.S. Topics: Who May Qualify for H-2B Classification? H-2B Cap H-2B Program Process H-2 Eligible Countries List Period of Stay Family of H-2B Workers Employment-Related Notifications to USCIS Fee-Related Notifications to USCIS Who May Qualify for H-2B Classification? To qualify for H-2B nonimmigrant classification. willing. Although not required.gov By mail: California Service Center Attn: H-2A Fee P. CA 92607–1095 H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers The H-2B program allows U. employers or U.

and Occasionally or intermittently needs temporary workers to perform services or labor for short periods. or  intermittent need – A petitioner claiming an intermittent need must show that it: Has not employed permanent or full-time workers to perform the services or labor. or  peakload need – A petitioner claiming a peakload need must show that it: Regularly employs permanent workers to perform the services or labor at the place of employment. The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a(n): one-time occurrence – A petitioner claiming a one-time occurrence must show that it has: Not employed workers to perform the service or labor in the past. and The temporary additions to staff will not become part of the employer's regular operation. or Considered a vacation period for the employer's permanent employees. Note: Employment is not seasonal if the period during which the service or labor is needed is: Unpredictable. Subject to change. Its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary. . and Of a recurring nature. or seasonal need – A petitioner claiming a seasonal need must show that the service or labor for which it seeks workers is: Traditionally tied to a season of the year by an event or pattern. and will not need workers to perform the services or labor in the future. Needs to temporarily supplement its permanent staff at the place of employment due to a seasonal or short-term demand. or An employment situation that is otherwise permanent. regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary. but a temporary event of short duration has created the need for a temporary worker.

(See the instructions to Form I-129 for additional filing requirements. or. Department of Labor’s temporary labor certification application filing requirement may skip step 1 in the H-2B process. or Directly seek admission to the United States in H-2B classification with CBP at a U.S. the employer should file Form I-129 with USCIS. USCIS may only accept petitions for H-2B workers who are exempt from the H-2B cap. Department of State (DOS) at a U. After USCIS approved Form I-129. Once the H-2B cap is reached. Embassy or Consulate abroad. After receiving a temporary labor certification for H-2B employment from either DOL or Guam DOL (if applicable). in the case where the workers will be employed on Guam.H-2B petitioners must also provide a single valid temporary labor certification from the U.* For further information regarding the temporary labor certification application requirements and process. Department of Labor" and “Foreign Labor Certification.S.S.” on the total number of individuals who may receive H-2B nonimmigrant classification during a fiscal year.S. from the Guam Department of Labor (Guam DOL). Step 2: Petitioner submits Form I-129 to USCIS. the employer must apply for and receive a temporary labor certification for H-2B workers with the U.S. Before requesting H-2B classification from USCIS. Return to top .S. port of entry. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a U. For additional information on the current H-2B cap.S. Department of Labor (or Guam DOL if the employment will be in Guam). or “cap. then seek admission to the United States with U. and on workers who are exempt from it. With limited exceptions. the original temporary labor certification must be submitted with Form I-129. Department of Labor (DOL). see the “Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants” page. Return to top H-2B Cap There is a statutory numerical limit. prospective H-2B workers who are outside the United States must: Apply for an H-2B visa with the U.S.) Step 3: Prospective workers outside the United States apply for visa and/or admission. port of entry. Guam Department of Labor” pages. see the "Foreign Labor Certification.   * Note: Employers requesting employment in a position that is exempt from the U. H-2B Program Process  Step 1: Petitioner submits temporary labor certification application to DOL.

) Note: If you request H-2B workers from both eligible and non-eligible countries.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(2) for additional evidentiary requirements. 2013.2(h)(2)(iii) and 8 CFR 214. USCIS suggests that you file two separate petitions. .S. as eligible to participate in the H-2B program. nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2B program: Argentina Australia Barbados Belize Brazil Bulgaria Canada Chile Estonia Ethiopia Fiji Grenada Kiribati Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Peru Philippines Poland Romania Samoa Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Tonga Turkey Tuvalu Ukraine United Kingdom Uruguay Vanuatu 0 0 0 Guatemala Mexico Haiti Honduras Hungary Moldova Montenegro Nauru Costa Rica Iceland Croatia Ireland The Solomon Netherlands Islands Nicaragua New Zealand Norway South Africa Dominican Israel Republic Ecuador El Salvador Jamaica Japan South Korea 0 Spain 0 0 Papua New Switzerland Guinea A national from a country not on the list may only be the beneficiary of an approved H2B petition if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the U. interest for him or her to be the beneficiary of such a petition. H-2B petitions may only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated. Filing one petition for workers from eligible countries and a separate petition for workers from non-eligible countries may help decrease delays. (See 8 CFR 214. 18. with the concurrence of the Secretary of State. Effective Jan. The Department of Homeland Security publishes the list of H-2A and H-2B eligible countries annually in a Federal Register notice.H-2B Eligible Countries List Except as noted below. Designation of eligible countries is valid for one year from publication.

   Abscondment: The H-2B worker leaves without notice and fails to report for work for a period of 5 consecutive workdays without the consent of the employer. or Early Completion: The H-2B worker finishes the labor or services for which he or she was hired more than 30 days earlier than the date specified in the H-2B petition. The maximum period of stay in H-2B classification is 3 years. Family members are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status. A person who has held H-2B nonimmigrant status for a total of 3 years must depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of 3 months before seeking readmission as an H-2B nonimmigrant. USCIS may grant H-2B classification for up to the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification. Employment-Related Notifications to USCIS Petitioners of H-2B workers must notify USCIS within 2 workdays if any of the following occur:  No show: The H-2B worker fails to report to work within 5 work days of the latter of: The employment start date on the H-2B petition.Period of Stay Generally. H-2B classification may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year each. Return to top Family of H-2B Workers Any H-2B worker's spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in H-4 nonimmigrant classification. valid temporary labor certification covering the requested time must accompany each extension request. A new. Additionally. or The start date established by the employer. See "Calculating Interrupted Stay for H-2 Classifications" for additional information. Exception: Certain periods of time spent outside of the United States may "interrupt" an H-2B worker's authorized stay and not count toward the 3-year limit. Petitioners must include the following information in the employment-related notification: . previous time spent in other H or L classifications counts toward total H-2B time. Termination: The H-2B worker is terminated prior to the completion of the H2B labor or services for which he or she was hired.

if applicable.” According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The H-2B worker’s information: o o o o Additionally. The USCIS receipt number of the approved H-2B petition. and Visa Number Note: USCIS defers to DOL’s definition of “workday. explain that the worker was either a “no show. including: o o o o Name Address Phone number Employer identification number (EIN) Name Address Phone number Full Name Date of birth Place of birth Last known physical address and phone number 5. 4.” “termination. California Service Center . this generally means the period of time on any particular day when an employee begins and ends his or her “principal activities. 2. Although not required.” “absconder. if available:   Social Security Number. The reason for untimely notification and evidence for good cause. to assist USCIS with identification of the H-2B worker.1.” or “early completion"). The petitioner’s information. The employer’s information (if different from that of the petitioner): o o o 6.” Return to top How do I notify USCIS? Notification should be made via email or mail to the USCIS Service Center that approved the I-129 petition. email notification is strongly recommended to ensure timely notification. The reason for the notification (for example. 3. submit the following for each H-2B worker.

recruiter.O. The reason for the notification.By email: CSC-X. agent. facilitator. Petitioners may avoid denial or revocation of their H-2B petitions if they notify USCIS that they obtained information concerning the beneficiary’s payment (or agreement to pay) a prohibited fee or compensation to any agent. VT 05479 Fee-Related Notifications to USCIS A petitioner. or similar employment service within 2 workdays of gaining knowledge of such payment or agreement. however. or similar employment service is prohibited from collecting a job placement fee or other compensation (either direct or indirect) at any time from an alien H-2B worker as a condition of employment. CA 92607–3004 Vermont Service Center By email: VSC. Albans. St. Petitioners must notify USCIS of an H-2A worker’s payment or agreement to pay prohibited fees to a recruiter. facilitator.gov By mail: California Service Center Attn: Div X/BCU ACD P. The petitioner’s information o Name: . This narrow exception does not apply. facilitator. recruiter. 3. 2.H2BABS@dhs.gov By mail: Vermont Service Center Attn: BCU ACD 63 Lower Welden St. where a petitioner knew or should have known at the time of the filing of its H-2B petition that the prospective worker had paid (or agreed to pay) such recruitment-related fees to any such persons or entities. The USCIS receipt number of the approved H-2B petition. Box 30050 Laguna Niguel. Petitioners must include the following information in the fee-related notification: 1. or similar employment service only after they filed their H-2B petition.H-2BAbs@dhs.

gov By mail: California Service Center Attn: H-2B Fee P. or placement service to which the beneficiaries paid or agreed to pay the prohibited fees: o o Name Address Fees not prohibited are:   The lesser of the fair market value or actual costs of transportation. The employer’s information (if different from that of the petitioner): o o o 5. Information about the recruiter. DOL regulations. CA 92607–1095 Vermont Service Center By email: VSC.O. and Any government-mandated passport.gov By mail: . How do I notify USCIS? Notification should be made via email or mail to the USCIS Service Center that approved the I-129 petition.H2BFee@dhs.H2BPROPLACEMENT@dhs. the FLSA. visa. Box 10695 Laguna Niguel. email notification is strongly recommended to ensure timely notification. facilitator. California Service Center By email:CSC. This includes. and DOL interpretations of the FLSA and other relevant labor laws. but is not limited to.o o Address Phone number Name Address Phone number 4. case law. Although not required. or inspection fees to the extent that the payment of such costs and fees by the H-2B worker is not prohibited by statute or other laws.

In order to obtain H-3 classification. in any field including but not limited to:        Commerce Communications Finance Government Transportation Agriculture Other professions This classification is not intended for U.S. VT 05479 H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category allows foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States as either a:   Trainee to receive training in any field of endeavor. a U. employer or organization must demonstrate that:   The proposed training is not available in the foreign national’s own country. other than graduate medical education or training. mental. St. employment. Albans.S. . The foreign national will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which U. It is designed to provide a foreign national with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the United States. or emotional disabilities.S.Vermont Service Center Attn: BCU ACD 75 Lower Welden St. Special Education Exchange Visitor to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical. that is not available in the foreign national’s home country. citizens and resident workers are regularly employed. Trainees An H-3 “trainee” must be invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training.

  The foreign national will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training. As of March 21. No more than 50 may be approved in a fiscal year. objectives or means of evaluation. Each H-3 petition for a trainee must include a statement that:      Describes the type of training and supervision to be given. Does not establish that the petitioner has the physical plant and sufficiently trained manpower to provide the training specified. Sets the proportion of time that will be devoted to productive employment. respectively. Special Education Exchange Visitor There is a numerical limit (or “cap”) on the number of H-3 special education exchange visitors. Describes the career abroad for which the training will prepare the foreign national. . Is designed to recruit and train foreign nationals for the ultimate staffing of domestic operations in the United States. and The training will benefit the beneficiary in pursuing a career outside the United States. in classroom instruction and in on –the-job training. Is in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States. Is incompatible with the nature of the petitioner’s business or enterprise.  A training program may not be approved which:         Deals in generalities with no fixed schedule. 2013. and the structure of the training program. or Is designed to extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized a nonimmigrant student. USCIS has approved H-3 petitions on behalf of 5 foreign nationals for Fiscal Year 2013. and Indicates the source of any remuneration received by the trainee and any benefit which will accrue to the employer/organization for providing the training. Shows the number of hours that will be spent. Indicates the reasons why such training cannot be obtained in the foreign national’s country and why it is necessary for the foreign national to be trained in the United States. Is on behalf of a foreign national who already possess substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training. Will result in productive employment beyond that which is incidental and necessary to the training.

Family of H-3 Visa Holders Trainees' spouses and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany them to the United States as H-4 nonimmigrants. If the trainee petition is approved for a special education exchange visitor. Period of Stay If the petition is approved. and for providing training and hands-on experience to participants in the special education exchange visitor program. the petition must show that the special education exchange visitor is:    Nearing the completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree program in special education. the trainee may remain in the United States for up to 18 months. However. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. H-4 nonimmigrants are not permitted to work in the United States. Note: Any custodial care of children must be incidental to the foreign national’s training. Application Process In order to obtain H-3 classification. nonimmigrant visa. if you: . and The foreign national’s participation in the training program. The petition must be filed with the information provided above. I Representatives of Foreign Media You may be eligible for the I. or Has already earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in special education. employer or organization must file a Form I-129. or Has extensive prior training and experience teaching children with physical.A petition requesting an H-3 “special education exchange visitor” must be filed by a facility which has professionally trained staff and a structured program for providing education to children with disabilities. It should include a description of:    The training the foreign national will receive. The facility’s professional staff. Representatives of Foreign Media.S. the trainee may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to 2 years. the U. In addition. mental or emotional disabilities.

seaport. Eligibility Criteria You must demonstrate that you are a bona fide representative of foreign media whose activities are essential to the functions of your organization. and similar occupations. you may be denied admission by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the port of entry (airport. see the link to the Department of State’s website to the right. Period of Stay At the port of entry.S.. film. or other foreign information media) Are coming to the United States to engage solely in this profession. and submit any required evidence and applicable fees. Admission as an I nonimmigrant is generally authorized for the duration of status (i. you cannot travel to the U. and engage in your profession without an I nonimmigrant visa.   Represent a foreign information media outlet (press. which will contain your authorized period of stay. may be eligible to travel with a visitor’s visa. . and Have a home office in a foreign country Occupations under this category include reporters. There are limited instances under which you. in accordance with the form filing instructions. If you attempt to travel to the U. you must file a Form I-539.S. The Department of State establishes visa application processing and issuance fees. If Form I-94 indicates a specific end date for your authorized period of stay. See the link to the Department of State’s website to the right for more information. The consular officer at the U. Application Process You can apply for an I visa at an American Embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. For detailed application instructions. without the appropriate visa. and you wish to stay beyond that specified end date. even if you are a citizen of a country that participates in the U. embassy will determine whether an activity is qualifying in order to obtain a nonimmigrant visa.e. as a foreign media representative. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Any spouse and children under the age of 21 may accompany or follow to join an I nonimmigrant. D/S on Form I-94). film crews. As a representative of foreign media. Arrival/Departure Record. a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will determine if you can be admitted to the United States. radio. or land border). editors. and no application for extension of stay is required to be filed as long as the media representative continues working for the same employer in the same information medium.S. The Officer will review and stamp Form I-94.S.

Your application should be accompanied by evidence of your current status and a letter from the employing foreign media organization describing the employment and establishing the fact that the applicant is a representative of that media organization. or travel without a nonimmigrant visa if they qualify under the U. see the link to the Department of State’s website to the right. with fee. If your spouse and children only intend to visit for vacation and do not intend to reside with you in the United States. you must file Form I-539.gov/I-129]. General Qualifications of the Employer and Employee To qualify for L-1 classification in this category. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). they may travel to the United States with a B-2 nonimmigrant visa. the employer must: . they must submit a copy of your I nonimmigrant visa with their application. Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status in accordance with the form filing instructions and with the proper fees. For additional information about the VWP.Requesting Change of Status to I Nonimmigrant or Change of Employer or Information Medium If you are currently in the United States and wish to request a change of status from another nonimmigrant classification to an I nonimmigrant status.S. The employer must file a Form I-129.S. or if you currently hold I status and wish to request a change of employer or information medium. Family of I Visa Holders Any accompanying or following-to-join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an I nonimmigrant visa. If your spouse and/or children apply for visas at a later date. The following information describes some of the features and requirements of the L-1 nonimmigrant visa program. Your spouse and children are not eligible to work with an I nonimmigrant visa. but can study in the United States without applying for an F-1 nonimmigrant student visa. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.S. on behalf of the employee. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.uscis. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker [http://www. L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.

Doing business means the regular. To qualify. See 8 CFR 214. systematic. subdivision. While the business must be viable.2(l)(3)(v) for details. without direct supervision of others.S. See section 101(a)(44) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. or will be. . or a department. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition. and Be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations. and The intended U.  Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade. Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level.  Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company. the employer must also show that:    The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office. collectively referred to as qualifying organizations). doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. function. and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.2(l)(1)(ii) for complete definitions. subsidiary. New Offices For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to establish a new office. and 8 CFR 214. the named employee must also:  Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States. or component of the organization. The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition. or affiliate. as amended. branch. and Currently be.

requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years.gov/I-539]. For all L-1A employees. with fee. and affiliates. they may apply collectively. If approved. there is no specific restriction as to where the L-2 spouse may work. The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches. The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more. Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status. and The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations meet one of the following criteria: Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period. Spouses Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765.Period of Stay Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. . All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. Blanket Petitions Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition.gov/I-765] with fee. Eligibility for blanket L certification may be established if:     The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services. generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.uscis. subsidiaries. Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status If these family members are already in the United States and seeking change of status to or extension of stay in L-2 classification. Application for Employment Authorization [http://www. until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years. Family of L-1 Workers The transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.uscis. if approved. on an Form I-539. [http://www. Such family members may seek admission in L-2 nonimmigrant classification and.

and send it to the employee along with a copy of the blanket petition Approval Notice and other required evidence. in connection with an application for admission to the United States in L-1 status. See 8 CFR 214. once the blanket petition has been approved. Canadians with an approved blanket petition seeking L-1 classification Canadian citizens.Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition [http://www.S. who are exempt from the L-1 visa requirement. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at certain ports-of-entry on the United States-Canada land border or at a United States pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station in Canada.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million.000 employees.gov] for additional information and/or requirements for applying for admission into the United States. provide the employer with the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States quickly and with short notice without having to file an individual petition with USCIS. the employer may file the Form I-129S and supporting documentation with the USCIS Service Center that approved the blanket petition. I-129S.S.uscis. so that the employee may present it to a consular officer in connection with an application for an L-1 visa. It does.S. instead of submitting the form and supporting documentation directly with CBP.Have U.CBP.gov/I-129s].2(l)(5) for more details regarding blanket petitions. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U. or Have a U. however. the employer need only complete Form. office to send . Where an L-1 visa is required In most cases.2(l)(4) and 8 CFR 214. may present the completed Form I-129S and supporting documentation to a U. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that an employee will be granted L-1A classification. Please refer to CBP’s website [http://www. work force of at least 1.S. Optional filing of Form I-129S with USCIS If the prospective L-1 employee is visa-exempt. L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge The L-1B nonimmigrant classification enables a U.

and is directed particularly to those filed on behalf of L-1B employees who will be stationed primarily at the worksite of an of an employer other than the petitioning employer or its affiliate. collectively referred to as qualifying organizations). systematic. and Currently be. the petitioning employer must show that:  The employee will not be principally controlled or supervised by such an unaffiliated employer. and . the employer must:   Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company. or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures (See 8 CFR 214. doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. research. While the business must be viable.2(l)(1)(ii)(D)). L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004 The L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004 applies to all petitions filed on or after June 6. or other interests and its application in international markets. management. and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad. techniques. branch. there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade. In order for the employee to qualify for L1B classification in this situation. The employer must file Form I-129. or parent. or affiliate. equipment. To qualify.  Specialized knowledge means either special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s product. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker [http://www. subsidiary. on behalf of the employee.uscis. General Qualifications of the Employer and Employee To qualify for L-1 classification in this category. subsidiary. 2005. Doing business means the regular.gov/I-129] with fee. and Be seeking to enter the United States to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations. the named employee must also:  Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States. or will be. service.a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one.

Period of Stay Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year.gov/I-539].uscis. generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. Family of L-1 Workers The transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years.3(c) of the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual. with fee.2(l)(3)(vi) for details.gov/I-765]. Application to Extend/Change Status [http://www. with fee. if approved. For all L-1B employees. the employer must show that:   The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office . until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years. . Change/Extend Status If these family members are already in the United States and seeking change of status to or extension of stay in L-2 classification. there is no specific restriction as to where the L-2 spouse may work. requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years. If approved. The work being provided by the employee is not considered to be labor for hire by such an unaffiliated employer. and The employer has the financial ability to compensate the employee and begin doing business in the United States. New Offices For foreign employers seeking to send an employee with specialized knowledge to the United States to be employed in a qualifying new office. available from the "Laws" tab at the top of this page for further details. See INA 214(c)(2)(F) and Chapter 32. Spouses Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I765. See 8 CFR 214. using Form I-539.uscis. they may apply collectively. Application for Employment Authorization [http://www. Such family members may seek admission in L-2 nonimmigrant classification and.

S.Blanket Petitions Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition. in connection with an application for admission to the United States in L-1 status. See 8 CFR 214. Please refer to CBP’s website [http://www. Eligibility for blanket L certification may be established if:     The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizationsare engaged in commercial trade or services. Where an L-1 visa is required In most cases.uscis. collectively. Optional filing of Form I-129S with USCIS . The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more. or Have a U. and The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations. Have U. meet one of the following criteria: Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period. may present the completed Form I-129S and supporting documentation to a U. Form I-129S [http://www. who are exempt from the L-1 visa requirement. and affiliates. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at certain ports-of-entry on the United States-Canada land border or at a United States pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station in Canada.000 employees. work force of at least 1. In order to qualify under the blanket petitioning process.gov] for additional information and/or requirements for applying for admission into the United States.gov/I-129s]. subsidiaries.CBP. The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches.2(l)(1)(ii)(E). the employer need only complete a Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million. so that the employee may present it to a consular officer in connection with an application for an L-1 visa. the employee having specialized knowledge must also be a professional.S.S. and send it to the employee along with a copy of the blanket petition Approval Notice and other required evidence. once the blanket petition has been approved. Canadians with an approved blanket petition seeking L-1 classification Canadian citizens.

.2(l)(4) and 8 CFR 214. The O nonimmigrant classification is commonly referred to as:    O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences. education. instead of submitting the form and supporting documentation directly with CBP. business. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1 O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s  General Eligibility Criteria To qualify for an O-1 visa. or athletics. education.2(l)(5) for more details regarding blanket petitions. business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned. the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. the employer may file the Form I-129S and supporting documentation with the USCIS Service Center that approved the blanket petition. For an O-1B. to assist in a specific event or performance. See 8 CFR 214. O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences. or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. education. or well-known in the field of arts. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U. business. or athletics (not including the arts. arts. the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. leading. artist or athlete. Extraordinary ability in the fields of science. For an O-1A. the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. motion pictures or television industry) O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry O-2: individuals who will accompany an O-1.S.If the prospective L-1 employee is visa-exempt.

does not exist the decision will be based on the evidence of record. Application Process O-1 Visa The petitioner should file Form I-129. the consultation must come from an appropriate labor union and a management organization with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability. If the O-1 petition is for an individual with extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television. the Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment. Such evidence may include but is not limited to: emails between the contractual parties. notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field. The summary of the terms of the oral agreement must contain: .To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry. A consultation may be waived for an alien with extraordinary ability in the field of arts if the alien seeks readmission to perform similar services within 2 years of the date of a previous consultation. link to the right) with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding. a written summation of the terms of the agreement. and the following documentary evidence: Consultation A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability. as evidenced by the summation of the elements of the oral agreement. Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement: If the petitioner can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group. The petitioner must submit Form I-129. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. (see Form I129. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Contract between petitioner and beneficiary A copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed. NOTE: USCIS will accept an oral contract. The petition may not be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien's services. To avoid delays. including a labor organization. or any other evidence which demonstrates that an oral agreement was created. Petitioners should submit a waiver request and a copy of the previous consultation with the petition.

it must document the terms of the employment offered and that the beneficiary has agreed to the offer. and the names and addresses of the establishments. see the “Department of State. an itinerary for a tour or a series of events. and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities. or locations where the services will be performed Contracts between the actual employers and the beneficiary. the beneficiary can apply at a U. Agents A U. if applicable (see the memorandum “Clarifying Guidance on “O” petition Validity Period” link to the right). For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees. Additionally.S. Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees. or in place of. agents filing I-129 petitions for multiple employers must include with the petition:  Supporting documentation including a complete itinerary of the event or events which specifies the dates of each service or engagement. and An explanation of the terms and conditions of the employment with required documentation. Itineraries An explanation of the nature of the events or activities. the representative of both the employer and the beneficiary. e. venues. Once the visa petition is approved by USCIS. Agent may be the actual employer of the beneficiary.   Agent Performing the Function of an Employer .state.g.S.  what was offered by the employer what was accepted by the employee The summary does not have to be signed by both parties to establish the oral agreement. the names and addresses of the actual employers. Agent for Multiple Employers Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent for the other employers. The petitioner must establish that there are events or activities in the beneficiary’s field of extraordinary ability for the validity period requested. or a person or entity authorized by the employer to act for. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”). However. the employer as its agent.gov” link to the right. travel. embassy or consulate for the visa. the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities.

A detailed description of the wage offered or fee structure and that the wage offered/ fee structure was agreed upon may satisfy this requirement.  Please note that USCIS relies on the contractual agreement that must be provided with the petition to determine whether the agent is functioning as the employer of the beneficiary. if the terms and conditions of employment show a level of control over the beneficiary’s work being relinquished to the agent. and when this work will take place. In totality. However. whether written or oral. Agent for Foreign Employers Agents filing I-129 petitions for foreign employers must submit the minimum general documentary evidence as required for all O-1 petitions which include:  Copies of any written contracts between the foreign employer and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed An explanation of the nature of the events or activities. USCIS does give some flexibility to how detailed the itinerary must be and does take into account industry standards when determining whether the itinerary requirement has been met. The petition must be submitted with evidence regarding the wage offered. Furthermore. There are no exceptions to the itinerary requirement when the petition is filed by an agent performing the function of an employer. However. A petition which requires the alien to work in more than one location must include an itinerary with the dates and locations of work. the itinerary should at a minimum indicate what type of work the beneficiary will be engaged. no particular wage structure is required.An I-129 filed by an agent performing the function of an employer must include:  The contractual agreement between the agent and the beneficiary which specifies the wage offered and other terms and conditions of employment. A contract is not required between the beneficiary and the entities that will ultimately use the beneficiary’s services. the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities. the regulations do not contain a prevailing wage requirement. This can be a summary of the terms of the oral agreement or a written contract. and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities A written advisory opinion from the appropriate consulting entity or entities. then the agent may establish that it is performing the function of an employer. This determination will be on a case by case basis and will be based on the contractual agreement. The contractual agreement should establish the type of working relationship between the agent and beneficiary and should clearly lay out how the beneficiary will be paid. where.   . As such.

or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:   Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements. or business-related contributions of major significance in the field Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence Participation on a panel. Evidentiary Criteria for O-1A Evidence that the beneficiary has received a major.The regulations do not require any additional documentary requirements for an agent filing on behalf of a foreign employer. such as an Academy Award. newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought Original scientific. the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility. or been nominated for. or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:  Performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews. Grammy or Director's Guild Award. as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field Published material in professional or major trade publications. such as a Nobel Prize. advertisements. internationally-recognized award. scholarly. it is the foreign employer who is responsible for complying with all applicable employer sanctions provisions. as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation       If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation. Emmy. significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field. publications. Evidentiary Criteria for O-1B Evidence that the beneficiary has received. contracts or endorsements . or individually. however. publicity releases.

major newspapers or other publications Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations. trade journals. The petitioner may not file the Form I-129 more than one year before the O nonimmigrant will begin employment. as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence     If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation in the arts. the consultation must come from an appropriate labor organization and a management organization with expertise in the skill area involved. trade journals. government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the beneficiary is engaged. A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes. critics. . Achieved national or international recognition for achievements. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right) with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. starring. expertise and knowledge of the beneficiary's achievements A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field. the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility (this exception does not apply to the motion picture or television industry). Application Process O-2 The petitioner must file a petition with USCIS for the O-2 visa. motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals. Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment. publications. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. and the following documentary evidence: Consultation If the O-2 petition is for support of an individual with extraordinary ability in athletics or the arts. or If the O-2 petition is for support of an individual with extraordinary achievement in motion pictures or television. The petitioner should file Form I-129. or other publications Performed and will perform in a lead. rating or standing in the field. The petitioner must submit Form I-129. (see the “Form I-129. box office receipts. To avoid delays. or testimonials. An O-2 alien must be petitioned for in conjunction with the services of the O-1 artistic or athletic alien. the consultation must be from the appropriate labor organization. with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority. as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers. as shown by such indicators as title. magazines. or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers.

In the case of a specific motion picture or television production. critical skills. including a labor organization. Extension of Stay The petitioner must request an extension of stay to continue or complete the same event or activity by filing the following documentation with USCIS: . see the “Temporary Workers Visas Department of State” link to the right. The beneficiary may only engage in authorized employment during the validity period of the petition. and that the continuing participation of the O-2 beneficiary is essential to the successful completion of the production. Post Petition Approval Once the visa petition is approved for O-1/O-2 by USCIS. the evidence should establish that significant production has taken place outside the United States and will take place inside the United States. the beneficiary may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition. plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. embassy or consulate for the visa. does not exist the decision will be based on the evidence of record. Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Extension of Stay Stay Up to 3 years USCIS will determine time necessary to accomplish the initial event or activity in increments of up to 1 year. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees. As an O nonimmigrant.S. Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees.Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement: If the petitioner can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group. the beneficiary can apply at a U. Agents See above for details on Agents. and experience of the O-2 beneficiary with the O-1 beneficiary and that the beneficiary has substantial experience performing the critical skills and essential support services for the O-1. Evidentiary Criteria for O-2 The evidence should establish the current essentiality.

the petitioner must file an amended petition on Form I-129 with the Service Center where the original petition was filed. Family of O-1 and O-2 Visa Holders Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an O-3 nonimmigrant visa. Material Change in Terms and Conditions of Employment If there has been any material change in the terms and conditions of the beneficiary’s employment or the beneficiary’s eligibility. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker A copy of the beneficiary’s Form I-94. When professional athletes with O-1 nonimmigrant status are traded from one team to another. then your new employer must file a Form I-129 with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. If the petition was filed by an agent. The simple act of filing the Form I-129. subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the O-1/O-2 nonimmigrant. employment authorization will continue with the new team for 30 days during which time the new employer must file a new Form I-129. Note: There are special rule for athletes.   Form I-129. . but they may engage in full or part time study on an O-3 visa. Changing Employers If you are an O-1 nonimmigrant in the United States and you want to change employers. If the new employer does not file a new Form I-129 within 30 days of the trade. and submit any supporting documents to extend their stay. within this 30-day period. The athlete also loses his or her employment authorization if the new Form I-129 is denied. the athlete loses his or her employment authorization. For more information see the “Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status” link to the right. an amended petition must be filed with evidence relating to the new employer and a request for an extension of stay. Arrival/ Departure Record A statement from the petitioner explaining the reasons for the extension In order to assist USCIS in adjudication of your request for extension. They may not work in the United States under this classification. extends the employment authorization at least until the petition is adjudicated. The beneficiary’s spouse and children must file Form I-539. the statement should describe the event or activity that was the basis for the original approval and confirm that the extension is needed in order for the beneficiary to continue or complete the same event or activity as described.

Return Transportation If the employment of an O nonimmigrant beneficiary is terminated for reasons other than voluntary resignation.S.S. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.S. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”. For more information about filing a Form I-129. Athletic Teams Eligibility Criteria You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete. If no appropriate labor organization exists. If an agent filed the petition for the employer. individually or as part of a group or team. Application Process To come to the United States your U. . The U. competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement. employer must submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization. P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete The P-1 classification applies to you if you are coming to the U. Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event. leading or well known in more than one country. the agent and the employer are equally responsible for paying these costs. the employer must pay for the reasonable cost of your return transportation to the O nonimmigrant’s last place of residence before entering into the United States. employer must file a Form I-129. at an internationally recognized level of performance. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right. this requirement is excused. evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned. Please note a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent. accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. The consultation must describe the work or services to be performed in the United States and your qualifications for such work. see the “Form I-129. Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker.

embassy or consulate.Time needed Athletic Group – Increments of up to 1 year . if the sport has international rankings Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport   Applying for a Visa at a U.S.Supporting Documents The Form I-129 must include the following documents:   A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization A copy of the contract with a major U. if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport An explanation of the event and itinerary Documentation of at least two of the following: Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U. Athletic Group .S.gov” link to the right.Time needed to complete the event.state. you can apply at a U. Total stay is limited to 10 years. competition or performance. Embassy or Consulate Once the visa petition is approved.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport. Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Individual Athlete . not to exceed 5 years Extension of Stay Individual Athlete –Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized Evidence that you or your team is ranked. competition or performance. college or university in intercollegiate competition A written statement from an official of a major U. travel. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees. see the “Department of State.S.

competition or performance. not to exceed 1 year Essential Support Personnel . For more information see “Extend my Stay” and “Change my Nonimmigrant Status” link on the right. scouts. extension of stay. Support personnel may include coaches. Family of P-1A Visa Holders Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status.Time to complete the event. or performance. activity. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:  A consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill . Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved. Essential Support Personnel Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U. or change of employment. Change of employer You may change employers. competition or performance. The U. Your dependents may not engage in employment.S. may not exceed 1 year in order to continue or complete the event. but may attend school or college. are eligible for P-1 classification. The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status.to complete the event. Total stay is limited to 10 years For additional information on extension of status for P-1 nonimmigrant individual athletes and P-1 essential support personnel see the memos: “Procedures for Applying the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1 Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes” and “Procedures for Applying the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1S Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes’ Essential Support Personnel” at the link on the right.S. worker. competition or performance. but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. trainers and other team officials and referees.

Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized. is essential. Please note that if you are a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple . Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained amount of time in consideration of special circumstances. Eligibility Criteria At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year. Application Process Your U.  A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentiality. Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification. The alien or aliens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus. not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production. Special Provisions for Certain Entertainment Groups Alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt the one year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The reputation of the group. critical skills and experience with the P-1 athlete (team) A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.S. employer must submit:  Form I-129.

 A consultation from an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists. record. publicity releases. trade journals. and other achievements as reported in trade journals.employers you must establish that you are duly authorized to act as an agent. trade journals. or evidence of at least three of the following: Your group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews. or nomination for. or testimonials Your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”. or endorsements Your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers. box office receipts. major newspapers or other publications . this requirement is excused) Supporting Documents Form I-129 must include the following documents:       Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or summary of terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed Evidence that your group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year Statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group Evidence that your group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group's receipt of. advertisements. cassette or video sales. magazines or other published material Your group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers. significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field. contracts. publications. publications. as evidenced by indicators such as ratings.

camera operators. you can apply at a U. . government agencies or other recognized experts in the field Your group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field. organizations. but may attend school or college. Embassy or Consulate Once the visa petition is approved.state. For more information see “Extend my Stay” and “Change my Status” link at the right. as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence Applying for a Visa at a U. Change of employer You may change employers. are eligible for P-1 classification. extension of stay. but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay.Your group has received significant recognition for achievements from critics.S. or change of employment. The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status. Essential Support Personnel Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved. order to continue or complete not to exceed 1 year the event. worker. competition or performance. competition or performance. Family of P-1B Visa Holders Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status.S. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees. travel.S. see the “Department of State.gov” link to the right. lighting technicians and stage personnel. Support personnel include front office personnel. Your dependents may not engage in employment. embassy or consulate. Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Extension of Stay Time needed to complete the Increments of up to 1 year in event.

Eligibility Criteria You must be an artist entering the United States through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program. you must possess skills comparable to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.S. a sponsoring labor organization in the United States. employer must file Form I-129. For more information about the Form. Supporting Documents The Form I-129 must include the following documents:  Written consultation by an appropriate labor organization . The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”. individually or as part of a group. Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. 129. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right. see the “Form 1 -129. In addition. The petition must include the following documents:    A consultation from an appropriate labor organization A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially.The U. Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent. or your U. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. Application Process In order for you to qualify for a P-2 Visa. critical skills and experience with the P-1 entertainer(s) A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program The P-2 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer.S.

competition or performance. see the “Department of State. the reciprocal exchange of U.gov” link to the right. For more information see the “Extend my Stay” and “Change my Nonimmigrant Status” links to the right. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events. Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status. extension of stay or change of employment. but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Time needed to complete the event. artist or entertainer subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists with comparable skills and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the United States was involved in negotiating.S. embassy or consulate. Embassy or Consulate Once the visa petition is approved. an itinerary must be submitted. Applying for a Visa at a U. or has concurred with.state. Change of Employer You may change employers. Copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring U. competition or performance. You may . For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees.    Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas.S. not to exceed 1 year Extension of Stay Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event. and foreign artists or entertainers. organization(s) and the organization(s) in a foreign country which will receive the United States artist or entertainer Statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of United States artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought Evidence that you and the U.S. you can apply at a U. travel.S.S.

under a program that is culturally unique. P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program The P-3 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform. critical skills and experience with the P-2 artist or entertainer Copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed. or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. but may attend school or college. or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic. In addition. The U. coaching.S. cultural. Essential Support Personnel Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P. trainers. musical. Eligibility Criteria For a P-3 visa. or artistic performance or presentation. theatrical. you must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of your art form. individually or as part of a group. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved. The petition must include the following documents:    Consultation from an appropriate labor organization Statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially. you must be coming to the United States either individually or as a group for the purpose of developing. Your dependents may not engage in employment. Application Process . teach or coach as artists or entertainers. Family of P-2 Visa Holders Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. representing.2 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U. folk. Support personnel may include stagehands. are eligible for P-2 classification. worker. interpreting.S.

presenting. OR documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers. coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of your or your group’s skills. activity or performance. an itinerary must be submitted. The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status. activity or performance. Supporting Documents Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:     Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or the summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary An explanation of the event and itinerary Affidavits. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right. For more information about the Form I-129. Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent. . extension of stay or change of employment.S. Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. journals or other published materials.Your U. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”. see the “Form 1129. not to exceed 1 year Extension of Stay Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event. testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of your or your group's skills in performing. employer or sponsoring organization must submit Form I-129. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events. Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events  Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas. Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Time needed to complete the event. For more information see the “Extend my Stay” and “Change my Nonimmigrant Status” links to the right.

The petition must include the following documents:    A consultation from an appropriate labor organization A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially. Your dependents may not engage in employment. Support personnel may include coaches. Bureau of Consular Affairs. Family of P-3 Visa Holders Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. worker. Eligibility Criteria Only employers who administer cultural exchange programs are allowed to petition for . The J nonimmigrant visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.3 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U. The Q nonimmigrant exchange program is for the purpose of providing practical training and employment. are eligible for P-3 classification. see the “Department of State: Exchange Visitor (J) Visas” link to the right. and traditions of your home country with the United States. Essential Support Personnel Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P. but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. The U. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel.Change of Employer You may change employers.S. trainers and other team officials and referees. scouts. but may attend school or college.S. culture. The Q nonimmigrant visa is for international cultural exchange programs designated by USCIS. For more information on Exchange Visitors. and to share the history. You may be eligible for a Q-1 nonimmigrant visa if you are seeking to participate in an international cultural exchange program. critical skills and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed Q Cultural Exchange Q Cultural Exchange There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons who want to participate in Exchange Visitor programs in the United States.

Application Process Your sponsoring organization must file Form I-129. You are required to spend 1 year outside the United States before you can apply for participation in the Q cultural exchange program again. philosophy. heritage. You must be at least 18 years old and be able to communicate effectively about the cultural attributes of your country. the employer must establish that:    It has designated a qualified employee to administer the program and serve as liaison with USCIS It will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local workers similarly employed It has the financial ability to compensate the participant(s). The purpose of the Q nonimmigrant visa is to facilitate the sharing of international cultures. but an integral part of your duties must have a cultural element. the employer must submit evidence that the employer maintains an established international cultural exchange program. Family of Q Visa Holders . tradition and/or other cultural attributes of the participant's home country.Q nonimmigrants. you are afforded 30 days to depart the United States. with the USCIS office specified in the form instructions (see the “Form I-129. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. history. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right). It is an employment oriented program. brochures or other types of material which illustrate that the cultural component of the program is designed to give an overview of the attitude. The employer may also submit evidence which illustrates that the program activities take place in a public setting where the sharing of culture can be achieved through direct interaction with the American public or a segment thereof. This may be demonstrated by submitting copies of catalogs. business income tax return or other form of certified accountant's report Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Up to 15 months After you complete your Q cultural exchange program. customs. as shown by a copy of the employer's most recent annual report. In addition. In addition.

Eligibility Criteria To qualify. any spouse or children must qualify for a visa classification for which they may be eligible.The Q nonimmigrant visa does not have a provision for any spouse or children to accompany or follow to join a Q-1 nonimmigrant.S.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad without prior USCIS approval of Form I-129. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. employer must file Form I-129. the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of the petition. Supporting Documents Required for the Religious Organization Supporting Documents Required for the Religious Worker Proof of tax-exempt status  Proof of membership  If the religious organization has its own individual IRS 501(c)(3) letter. Both the petitioning organization and the religious worker must satisfy certain requirements. provide: . Notice of Action. A prospective or existing U. which are listed in the chart below. provide a group ruling If the organization is affiliated with the religious denomination. at a port of entry as evidence of an approved I-129 R petition. An R-1 visa cannot be issued at a U. provide a currently valid determination letter from the IRS showing that the organization is tax-exempt If the organization is recognized as taxexempt under a group tax exemption. Therefore. Visa exempt workers must present the original Form I-797. R-1 Temporary Nonimmigrant Religious Workers An R-1 is a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by a non-profit religious organization in the United States (or an organization which is affiliated with the religious denomination in the United States) to work as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation. on behalf of an R-1 worker. provide:  Evidence that the religious worker is a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of Form I-129  If the religious worker will be working as a minister.

they must be provided. and Evidence of the religious worker’s completion of the denomination’s requirements for ordination  Verifiable evidence showing how the organization will compensate the religious worker. which is part of a broader international program of missionary work sponsored If the religious worker received salaried compensation. Evidence that room and board will be provided to the religious worker. leases. verifiable documentation  Proof of previous R-1 employment (for extension of stay as an R-1)  If the religious worker will be self-supporting  Documents that show the religious worker will hold a position that is part of an established program for temporary. and If IRS documents are not available. and documentation that establishes that the theological institution is accredited by the denomination If the denomination does not require a prescribed theological education. Documentation that establishes the religious nature and purpose of the organization. This may include. uncompensated missionary work. If IRS documents such as Form W2 or certified tax returns are available. including specific monetary or in-kind compensation. Form W-2 or certified copies of filed income tax returns reflecting such work and compensation for the previous R-1 . if any. which is part of the R-1 Classification Supplement to Form I-129 (see the links to the right) Proof of salaried or non-salaried compensation   A copy of the religious worker’s certificate of ordination or similar documents Documents showing acceptance of the religious worker’s qualification as a minister in the religious denomination. etc. Organizational literature. curriculum.. and A religious denomination certification. Include transcripts. Budgets showing monies set aside for salaries.A currently valid determination letter from the IRS showing that the organization is tax exempt. but is not limited to. Evidence of compensation may include: Past evidence of compensation for similar positions. The denomination’s levels of ordination. A list of duties performed by virtue of ordination. provide: The religious denomination’s requirements for ordination to minister. as well as evidence that he or she completed any course of prescribed theological education at an accredited theological institution normally required or recognized by that religious denomination. you must explain why and provide comparable. provide IRS documents that show he or she received a salary.

by the denomination

employment

Evidence showing that the organization has an established program for temporary, uncompensated missionary work in which: Compensated or uncompensated foreign workers previously held R-1 status; Missionary workers are traditionally uncompensated; The organization provides formal training for missionaries; and Participation in such missionary work is an established element of religious development in that denomination.

If the religious worker received nonsalaried compensation: If IRS documents are available, provide IRS documentation of the non-salaried compensation; or If IRS documents are not available, explain why and provide comparable, verifiable evidence of all financial support (including stipends, room and board, or other support) with a description of the location where the religious worker lived, a lease to establish where he or she lived, or other evidence

Evidence showing that the organization’s religious denomination maintains missionary programs both in the United States and abroad Evidence of the religious worker’s acceptance into the missionary program Evidence of the duties and responsibilities associated with this traditionally uncompensated missionary work

 

If the religious worker received no salary but supported him or herself and any dependents, provide verifiable documents to show how support was maintained. This may include, but is not limited to, audited financial statements, financial institution records, brokerage account statements, trust documents signed by an attorney, or other evidence

Copies of the religious worker’s bank records or budgets documenting the sources of self-support. This may include, but is not limited to, personal or family savings, room and board with host families in the United States, donations from the denomination’s churches, or other verifiable evidence Period of Stay USCIS may grant R-1 status for an initial period of admission for up to 30 months. Subsequent extensions may be granted for up to an additional 30 months. The religious worker’s total period of stay in the United States in R-1 classification cannot exceed 5 years (60 months).

USCIS counts only time spent physically in the United States in valid R-1 status toward the maximum period of stay. See the related policy memo for details. Family of R-1 Visa Holders An R-1 religious worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 classification. An R-2 dependent is not authorized to accept employment based on this visa classification. Green Cards For information about petitioning for a permanent immigrant religious worker, see the “Permanent Workers” link to the left and select “Employment-Based Immigration: Fourth Preference EB-4.”

TN NAFTA Professionals
TN NAFTA Professionals The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:
    

You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico; Your profession qualifies under the regulations; The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional; You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not selfemployment - see documentation required below); and You have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.

Eligibility Criteria Unlike Mexican citizens, Canadian citizens are generally eligible for admission as nonimmigrants without a visa. The TN category, a nonimmigrant classification, simply reflects this general exemption from the visa requirement. NAFTA governs which evidence is required to prove whether a Canadian or Mexican citizen is a professional in a qualifying profession. Canadian Citizens

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate. You may establish eligibility for TN classification at the time you seek admission to the United States by presenting required documentation to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station. You must provide the following documentation to the CBP officer:
 

Proof of Canadian citizenship; Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, and your educational qualifications; and Credentials evaluation (if applicable), together with any applicable fees.

Please refer to CBP’s website for additional information and requirements for applying for admission to the United States. If a CBP officer finds you eligible for admission, you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Alternatively, a prospective TN employer may choose to file on behalf of a Canadian citizen who is outside the United States by submitting Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to USCIS. Premium Processing Service is available. If USCIS approves Form I-129, you, the prospective worker, may then apply to CBP for admission to the United States as a TN nonimmigrant by providing the following documentation to a CBP Officer at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station:
 

Proof of Canadian citizenship; and Approval Notice from USCIS for Form I-129.

In addition, when applying for admission, you should have in your possession a copy of the Form I-129, and all supporting documentation that was submitted to USCIS, to respond to questions about your eligibility. You should also be prepared to pay any applicable inspection fees at the time you seek admission. If a CBP officer finds you eligible for admission, youwill be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Mexican Citizens If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. See the U.S. Department of State webpage, "Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker."

S. you must seek an extension of stay. Alternatively. then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. you may apply for admission at certain CBPdesignated U. your employer may file Form I-129 on your behalf. Granted TD status for no longer than the period of time granted to the principal TN nonimmigrant. and then. port of entry or at a designated Need a Visa? Must Show Depends.S. port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial application for admission as a TN nonimmigrant.S. If you are in the United States. once abroad. Dependents of TN Nonimmigrants Any accompanying or “following to join” spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. Spouses and children are:   Not permitted towork while in the United States. Application Information for Dependents or Spouses of TN nonimmigrants Spouse or Dependents Not citizens of Canada or Mexico Where to apply for admission to the U. you may apply at a CBP-designated U. If a CBP officer finds you eligible for admission.S.Once you are approved for a TN visa. Please refer to CBP’s website for additional information and requirements for applying for admission to the United States.S. See the table below for specific information on how to apply for TD nonimmigrant status. Check with the U. At a CBPdesignated U. Department  Proof of a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship with . Period of Stay/Extension of Stay Initial Period of Stay Up to 3 years If you wish to remain in the United States beyond your initial period of stay without first departing from the United States. but they are permitted to study. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station. you may depart from the United States before the date your status expires.

port of entry or at a designated preclearance/preflight inspection station. Canadian citizens No visa required   At a CBPdesignated U. Proof of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant. At a CBPdesignated U.S. of State to determine whether a visa is required and if so.S. preclearance/preflight inspection station. to learn how to apply for a visa.S. must apply for a TD nonimmigrant visa at an American embassy or Proof the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status. and Proof the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.Spouse or Dependents Need a Visa? Must Show Where to apply for admission to the U. Photocopies of the TN nonimmigrant’s admission documents. port of entry or at a designated preclearance/preflight inspection . such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate.   Mexican citizens Yes. Proof of Canadian citizenship. the TN nonimmigrant. and  Proof the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.

If a Mexican TD dependent wishes to travel abroad following approval of any such extension of stay and expiration of the TD visa.S.Spouse or Dependents Need a Visa? Must Show Where to apply for admission to the U. consulate Extending Your TD Nonimmigrant Stay If a Canadian or Mexican TN nonimmigrant applies for an extension of stay in the United States at the end of his or her period of admission or authorization as a TN. embassy or consulate before being permitted to return to the United States in TD status. . the family member will be required to apply for a new TD visa at a U. station.S. any eligible TD family member may also apply to extend their status without the need to travel abroad.

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