Business visas is a general term for any visa that allows a person to enter the United States and perform work, employment, investment, entrepreneurial functions.

These visa categories may include: B-1, L-1, E-2, EB-5, H-1B, O-1 and P-1 to name a few.

As we have already looked at the B-1, E-2 and EB-5, we will now look at L-1, O-1 and P-1.

L-1 Visa – Intra company transferee

The L-1 visa is where a foreign based company will transfer an individual in an executive or managerial capacity to a subsidiary located inside the United States. This can be a person who is going to open a new office or serve in an executive capacity in an existing branch office.

The entity petitioning for the executive must demonstrate that a subsidiary location exists in the United States normally demonstrating a physical location and employees. The beneficiary of the L-1 must have been employed by the parent company for at least 1 year out of the last 3 and must establish that the individual meets the qualifications of a manager or other executive position.

L-1 individuals may work in the United States for up to 7 years for the appropriately affiliated US company. The spouse of the L-1 is permitted to work in the United States upon application for work authorization from USCIS. The children of an L-1, under 21, may be admitted as L-2’s. However there are no provisions for dependent children to be employed in the United States.

O-1 Visa – Extraordinary Ability

The O-1 is also a non-immigrant visa for those who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

The individual must demonstrate a record of extraordinary achievement in their specific category. Numerous athletes, film stars, film directors and others may qualify under this visa category.

  • Examples of O-1 individuals could include but not be limited to: professional golfer, soccer player, football, baseball, or tennis player.
  • Examples of other O-1 extraordinary individuals could include: World renowned artist, scientist, research professor or business leader. They would have made original scientific, scholarly or business related contributions of major significance and normally will command a high salary or other remuneration for their service.

P-1  – Athletic Visa

The P-1 visa is normally available to individuals entering the United States to perform a specific athletic competition, individually or as part of a group or team at an internationally recognized level of performance.

An example of a P-1 would be a jockey coming to the United States to ride in an individual event or series of races held throughout the United States. Another example would be a professional golfer coming to the United States only to participate in a certain number of events. However, it is possible to qualify as a P-1 if you are a member of an entertainment group coming to perform in the United States at different venues.

This discussion of these visa categories are minimal and you are advised to contact us for further information and consultation concerning your individual case.