In general, B-1 visas are for business professionals for the purpose of conducting business related activities. This does not grant an employment permit and cannot be used to seek employment while in the United States. Business visitors under B-1 visa
may not be compensated by a U.S. entity for work performed during their visit. Any compensation for such work must be paid by a foreign entity. They may be reimbursed by the U.S. entity for incidental or out of pocket expenses.
A B-2 visa, which is also known as tourist visa, is issued to foreign nationals who wish to temporarily visit the United States on a short term basis for recreational purposes. A typical length of the visit is a few weeks. The maximum during of the visit is decided by an immigration officer at the time of the entry into the United States. It is not uncommon for immigration officers to grant an initial period of entry of six months. B-2 visa
holders may apply for an extension and if approved, the extension may not exceed six months.
F-1 visas are for students who wish to attend a school, college, or university in the United States. The F1 visa
is valid for as long as it takes the student to finish his or her course of study. F-1 visas allow students to work on campus, and off campus in some situations. Upon completion of their academic programs, F1 visa holders are eligible to apply for employment authorized practical training. F-1 visas will not grant a permanent residency in the United States, and students must leave the United States within 36 days once the course of study or practical training has been completed.
An H-1B visa allows immigrants to come to the United States to work temporarily. H-1B visas are classified as non-immigrant visas, which mean that they do not grant residency to those who hold them. There are several unique things about this. For one thing, workers themselves may not apply for them. Instead, an employer must initiate the H-1B visa
process. In fact, the entire H-1B visa process is out of the hands of employees. Another important thing to keep in mind about the H-1B visa is that there are many requirements involved in getting one.
H-2A visa is designed to accommodate temporary needs for employers to fill seasonal agricultural jobs where U.S. workers are not available. This program allows employers to temporarily bring foreign nationals into the United States. An H2A visa
is valid up to one year, and may be renewed annually up to a maximum of three years. An agricultural worker who has held an H-2A nonimmigrant status for three years is required to leave the United States, and remain outside for three consecutive months prior to seeking readmission in the United States under H-2A.
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