Chicago Non-Immigrant Business Visa Lawyer

The Chicago business non-immigrant attorneys at Cho Immigration Law can help you obtain visas to bring foreign workers to the United States for a limited period of time. With almost 30 years of experience easing immigration barriers between U.S. companies and foreign workers, we have the knowledge and skill necessary to help you reach your goals. 

American companies and businesses rely on workers to succeed, but in some industries, it may be more difficult to find employees who are properly trained or willing to take on the company’s type of work. Business non-immigrant visas may be the solution. 

Our team at Cho Immigration Law will:

  • Answer your questions and address your concerns
  • Help you determine which visa is best for your situation
  • Assist you in gathering the necessary documentation
  • Ensure everything is submitted correctly and on time
  • Work closely with you to help you get the non-immigrant business visa you need

For help securing a non-immigrant business visa in Chicago, call Cho Immigration Law for a free consultation. Call (312) 853-3088.

What Is a Non-Immigrant Visa?

In contrast with immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas are issued on a temporary basis. Rather than providing a path to citizenship for foreign nationals looking to live permanently in the U.S., non-immigrant visas allow visitors to enter the U.S. for tourism, medical treatment, business, or temporary work, or study.

What Are the Types of Non-Immigrant Work Visas?

Foreign nationals can travel to the U.S. for professional or commercial purposes under a variety of visa classifications. The type of non-immigrant visa a traveler needs will depend on the nature of the work being performed and the level of specialization he or she has in his or her field. Typically, a non-immigrant traveling for business will need to secure one of the following visas:

B-1 Visa for Business Visitors

A B-1 visa authorizes visitors to travel to the U.S. to conduct business for a temporary period of stay. This period of stay is usually between 1 and 6 months, with the potential to extend to 1 year in special cases. Examples of work that qualifies for a B-1 visa include negotiating contracts, selling an estate, attending conferences and meetings, short-term training opportunities, and attending consultations.

E-1 and E-2 Visas for Treaty Traders and Investors

These visas apply to nationals of home countries that have a treaty of friendship, commerce, or navigation with the U.S. E-visas are typically granted for two purposes. First, an E-1 visa may be granted to a traveler tasked with carrying out a substantial trade between the United States and the treaty country. Second, E-2 visas may be administered to travelers who are directing operations for an enterprise in the U.S. they have substantially invested in.

L-1 Visa for Intracompany Transferees

The L-1A business visa classification authorizes U.S.-based employers to transfer executives and managers from foreign-based companies to affiliated U.S.-based offices. Also, through an L-1 visa, foreign companies that do not have an affiliated office in the U.S. can transfer executives to the U.S. to start one. There are, however, additional qualifications for employers to meet to secure an L-1 visa. Employers must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company and be either doing business or planning to do business in the U.S. by USCIS standards.

H-1B Visa for Specialty Occupations

H-1B visas are for travelers who work in a specialized occupation, workers who offer services of exceptional merit and ability for DOD cooperative research projects, or distinguished fashion models. Most occupations that qualify an individual for an H-1B visa are for professional positions that require a bachelor’s degree or higher. If a traveler changes employers during the duration of the visa, the visa can be transferred to the new position. 

H-2A Visa for Agricultural Workers

H-2A visas apply to temporary workers employed by U.S. agricultural producers. These visas typically apply to foreign seasonal workers. For a company to employ these workers, they must demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers to fill the position and hiring an H-2A visa worker will not impact the U.S. employees’ wages.

H-2B Visa for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers

H2-B visas authorize workers to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs when there are insufficient U.S. workers to take on these roles. In addition to proving similar conditions to employers filing for H-2A visas, those requesting H-2B visas must show that the position is either a one-time occurrence or a seasonal, peak load, or intermittent need. 

In addition to the above types of visas, employers or foreign workers can seek visas for other specialized fields or meritorious work. Some of these include R-1 visas for religious-based workers, O visas for foreign employees with extraordinary abilities in the arts, business, education or science, and P visas for foreign performers and entertainers.

Do you need a non-immigrant business visa? The Chicago attorneys at Cho Immigration Law can help you determine what visa category you should apply for. Call (312) 853-3088.

Who Qualifies for a Non-Immigrant Business Visa?

Foreign nationals qualify for a non-immigrant business visa when their purpose for travel to the U.S. is to engage in business activities of a professional or commercial nature. Examples of qualifying business activities include travel for business, educational, or professional conferences, participation in short-term training, consulting with business associates, and negotiating a contract. In addition to having a legitimate business-related reason to enter the U.S., applicants must have sufficient funds to cover trip expenses, plan to remain in the United States for a specified period of time, have a residence and binding ties outside the U.S., and be otherwise eligible for admission into the country.

FAQs About Non-Immigrant Business Visas in the United States

How Long Can You Stay on a B-1 Visa?

Foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. on a B-1 Visa are permitted to stay between 1 and 6 months. However, the initial stay can be extended up to 1 year. Following that period, non-immigrant visitors must return to their home country. If a visitor wishes to stay after the 1-year period, he or she must file Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status with USCIS

What Is the Difference Between an Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa?

The difference between immigrant and non-immigrant visas boils down to the long-term goals of the applicant. Immigrant visas provide an opportunity for foreign nationals to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Non-immigrant visas, on the other hand, are intended for temporary entry into the United States, typically for medical treatment, employment, business, travel, or education.

What Happens if You Overstay Your Non-Immigrant Business Visa?

If visitors wish to stay longer than the initial 6-month period, they must request an extension. This extension can prolong their return date up to 6 months, but non-immigrant business visitors are required to return home after 1 year. Non-immigrants on a business visa can file Form I-539 to extend their trip or change their non-immigrant status. However, if a visitor traveling on a business visa does not take these measures and overstays the allotted period of stay, the visa will automatically be voided, and the individual will be barred from entering the U.S. for a period of time. Those with voided visas after an overstay between 180 days and 1 year will be barred from reentry for 3 years. Overstays of more than 1 year will bar a visitor from reentry for 10 years.