The ABCs of Immigration: The Human Resources Guide to U.S. Nonimmigrant Visas and Employment-Based Green Cards – Work Visas


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As a human resources professional, you are responsible for finding the right talent to help your business thrive. Many times you will find the best candidate for the position near you. However, as you work to fill more skilled positions, you may need to broaden your search in the global job market, which adds a complex new element to the hiring process – securing a work visa.

Due to the nuances of each hiring situation and each candidate, there are many types of U.S. nonimmigrant visas available.

To help you understand the requirements for each type of visa, we have created The ABCs of Immigration: The HR Guide to US Immigration Visas and Green Cards a comprehensive overview of seven types of US nonimmigrant visas, as well as employment-based green cards.

Important details of each employment-based visa (e.g. H-1B, E-3, O-1) and green card category are covered in this guide, which is divided into two sections: visas for temporary stays in the United States and green card visas intended for permanent residence.


The B-1 Temporary Business Visitor Visa is commonly used for overseas contract negotiations by foreign nationals who must enter the United States to attend or receive short-term training, to attend conferences, or for in-person consultations.


Who is eligible

Foreign nationals entering the United States for business purposes are eligible for a B-1 visa. The B-1 does not allow the foreign national to work in the United States

Business goals may include the following: Attending meetings, trainings, seminars and negotiating contracts.

To be eligible, the entrepreneur must have:

  • Funds to cover expenses throughout the stay

  • No compensation from a US employer during the trip

  • Residence and country ties in the country of origin without interest in abandoning these ties

  • Intention to leave the United States at the end of his visit

Visa Waiver Program

Citizens of certain countries may travel to the United States for a stay of 90 days or less without a US visa. To travel under the Visa Waiver Program, the traveler must have completed the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) process prior to travel. Persons admitted under the Visa Waiver Program cannot extend or change their status in the United States. Participating countries include:

For a complete list, visit:

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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August 2022 Global Immigration Alert

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Note: While we are covering some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the information below contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they stand today.


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