O1,P1,R1 and B1/B2

O-1 Extraordinary Ability

The O visa is for aliens of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. The fundamental requirement for this classification is extraordinary ability or achievements in the field for which the alien seeks admittance into the U.S. The alien can stay in the U.S. until the event for which the alien is admitted is finished. The initial period of stay is up to three-years and thereafter one year increments may be sought to complete the activity. Also, an advisory opinion letter must be issued from an appropriate peer group, labor organization, or management company regarding the alien’s work and qualifications.

P- Athletes and Entertainers

The P visa covers aliens who perform as part of an entertainment group or as athletes who perform at an “internationally recognized level of performance.” The alien must be seeking temporary entrance into the U.S. solely for the purpose of performing in a “competition, event or performance.” The classification also includes essential support personnel and groups who perform in a culturally unique program. Also, an advisory opinion letter must be issued from an appropriate peer group, labor organization, or management company regarding the alien’s work and qualifications.

R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 visa classification is for religious workers coming to the U.S. temporarily to work as a minister or in a religious occupation which relates to a traditional religious function. Requirements include evidence that the alien is a member of the petitioning religious organization, the religious denomination is exempt from taxation; the alien has been a member of the organization for two years preceding entry into the U.S.; and the alien is entering the U.S. solely to carry on the vocation of minister or will work in a religious vocation or occupation.

B-1 Business Visitor

The visitor visa for business is the most common category for persons commencing business activity in the U.S. not involving gainful employment. The visa is issued at a consulate post upon the merits of the alien making application. The B-1 allows an individual to come to the U.S. for commercial transactions but precludes the individual from directly managing any U.S. business or receiving wages from a U.S. source.

B-2 Tourist Visitor

The visitor visa for pleasure is intended for those coming as temporary tourists to the U.S. The visa is issued upon the merits of the alien applying. The applicant must adequately demonstrate sufficiently strong family, social, and economic ties to their home country which will compel them to return after a temporary stay in the U.S. The B-2 allows an individual to come to the U.S. for the purpose of tourism, social visits, health purposes, and other temporary visits. The visa may not be used by visitors for gainful employment.

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