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Law Office of Joseph C. Grasmick --Business Immigration--
Representing Canadian Businesses and Professionals for 30 years.

Grasmick's List--All U.S. Visa Categories for Canadians

You have to look for new employees wherever they may be. . . ---Lea N. Soupata, UPS HR chief, in Business Week

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Photo of Joseph C. Grasmick
Joseph C. Grasmick

Introduction to This Web Page

Here is a simple list of all of the U.S. immigration categories. I prepare this list with Canadians in mind.  This is one of the most popular pages on our Web site.

Surprisingly, it is not easy to find such a list. You may wish to mark this page as one of your favorites for quick reference. Use it to give contextual meaning to other Internet immigration information.

As you read the list, remember this: the most useful permits for my clients will be these:

Canadian citizens can get these three permits right on the spot, at the border. (See a photograph of the actual "I-94" border permit.) Before using any other permits consult with me if you intend to use my services. (See information about my office, legal fees and client feedback to help you decide.)

I only work with well-informed clients.

This Web site is for

  • Canadians and
  • managers hiring Canadians.

This Web page puts the U.S. permits for Canadians in their proper context. This should help clients work effectively with me; I only work with well-informed clients.

Follow the links on my home page for detailed U.S. to Canada immigration information. The interactive visa selector will help you sort out the multitude of visa options. The FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions can also help. If you are planning to hire a Canadian, or transfer a Canadian to the U.S. feel free to e-mail our office. I can help you identify the optimum permit for your employee.

Most readers will find only a few categories of interest, (e.g., how many of your employees are S-2 "Suppliers of Terrorism Information"?) so I begin with a discussion of the more popular categories. These few categories are the most useful for Canadian businesses and professionals.

Joe

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Temporary Business Visas

Millions of Canadians are in the U.S. at any one time.

Most Canadians in the United States are non-immigrants. Millions of Canadians retirees, visitors, and business people are in the United States at any one time on temporary visitors visas. Tens of thousands of others are there on various temporary business visas.  Non-immigrants in the United States usually require a U.S. visa of some type. Whether this visa is for business, pleasure, or other purposes, it expires at some predesignated date. Unless the visa is renewed, the holder must leave the United States. Temporary business visas include:

The Peace Bridge---A Main Source of TN NAFTA Activity
Peace Bridge: Our Canadian clients get work permits on the spot.
  1. B-1, temporary visitor for business: Usually for short term business trips but can be for up to a one-year stay initially, renewable at six month periods thereafter. Canadians and Canadian landed immigrants who are citizens of British Commonwealth countries do not need a B-1 visa. They are required only to present documents, such as birth certificates or Canadian visas, that show they are eligible for admission to the United States without a visa.
  2. TN, free trade professional: For some Canadian professions. Special category created by the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  3. H-1, Temporary professional worker: For people who are coming to perform professional services in a specialty occupation.
  4. E-1, Treaty trader; E-2, Treaty investor: For extended stay for business personnel overseeing or working for an enterprise in the United States that is engaged in trade between the United States and a treaty country or that a represents a major investment in the United States.
  5. L-1, Intracompany Transferee: For extended stay for high level personnel working in an enterprise in Canada, who will work part- or full-time in a U.S.business with common ownership with the Canadian operation.

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Master Chart of All Temporary and Permanent Categories:

Temporary Non-Immigrant Categories

  • A-1 Diplomatic or consular officers, close relatives *
  • A-2 Other foreign government officials or employees, close relatives*
  • A-3 Attendants, servants and personal employees, close relatives*
  • B-1 Temporary Visitor for Business  (Canadian citizens can get this permit right at the border.)
  • B-2 Temporary Visitor for Pleasure (Canadian citizens can get this permit right at the border.)
  • C-1 In Transit*
  • C-2 In Transit to UN Headquarters *
  • C-3 In Transit -Foreign government official, family and employees*
  • D-1 Crewman Visa, shore privileges only while vessel is in port*
  • D-2 Crewman Visa intending to depart on another vessel*
  • E-1 Treaty Trader, spouse and children
  • E-2 Treaty Investor, spouse and children 
  • F-1 Student Visas*
  • G-1 Principal recognized foreign government representative to an international organization, staff, spouse and children*
  • G-2 Other recognized foreign government representative to an international organization, staff, close relatives*
  • G-3 Nonrecognized foreign government representative to an international organization, close relatives*
  • G-4 International organization officers or employees, close relatives*
  • G-5 Attendants, servants, or personal employees of G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4, close relatives*
  • H-1B Specialty Occupations (professionals)
  • H-1C Nurses in health professional shortage areas
  • H-2A Temporary Agricultural worker
  • H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural worker
  • H-3 Trainees *
  • I Representative of Foreign Information Media *
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor
  • K-1 Fiancee & Fiance of U.S. Citizen *
  • K-3 Spouse of U.S. Citizen*
  • L-1 Intracompany Transferee (Canadian citizens can get this permit right at the border.)
  • M-1 Non-Academic Students *
  • NATO-1 Principal Permanent Representative to NATO and staff, spouses and children*
  • NATO-2 Other representative to NATO and staff, spouses and children*
  • NATO-3 Official clerical staff accompanying NATO representatives, spouses and children*
  • NATO-4 "Officials" of NATO, spouses and children*
  • NATO-5 NATO Experts, spouses and children*
  • NATO-6 NATO Civilians, spouses and children*
  • NATO-7 Servants of NATO-1 through NATO-6 and their spouses and children*
  • O-1 Temporary Worker of Extraordinary Ability
  • O-2 Accompanying O-1
  • P-1 Athletes and entertainment groups*
  • P-2 Artists and Entertainers under reciprocal exchange program*
  • P-3 Culturally Unique Artists and Entertainers *
  • Q-1 Cultural Exchange visitors* (spouses and children can use the B-2)
  • Q-2 Irish Peace Process Program Participant*
  • R-1 Religious Workers*
  • S-5 Suppliers of information regarding crimes*
  • S-6 Suppliers of information regarding terrorism*
  • SK1 Certain retired International Organization or NATO employees
  • TN Free Trade Professionals (Canadian citizens can get this permit right at the border.)
  • V-1 Spouse of Permanent Resident,With 2nd A Permanent Immigrant Family Category Filed Before December 22, 2000*

Look at this graphic to see if your profession fits within the O-1, TN-1 and/or the H-1B. Use this flowchart to decide between the TN-1 and the H-1B.

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Temporary Non-Immigrant Dependent Categories

  • C-3 Spouse and children of foreign government official in transit*
  • F-2 Spouse and children of student *
  • H-4 Spouse and children of alien classified as H-1, H-2, or H-3
  • J-2 Spouse and children of Exchange Visitor
  • K-2 Children of Fiancee & Fiance of U.S. Citizen*
  • K-4 Unmarried Child of Spouse of U.S. Citizen*
  • L-2 Spouse and children of Intracompany Transferee [See the L-1 Page] (Canadian citizens can get this permit right at the border.)
  • M-2 Spouse and children of Non-Academic Students*
  • N-8 Parent of child classified SK-3 ("SK-3" includes certain special immigrant officers and employees of international organizations.)*
  • N-9 Child of parent classified N-8 or SK-1, SK-2, or SK-4. ("SK-" categories are certain special immigrant officers and employees of international organizations.)*
  • O-3 Spouse and children of O-1 or O-2 aliens
  • P-4 Spouse and children of P-1, P-2 or P-3
  • Q-3 Spouse and child of Q-2*
  • R-2 Spouse and child of Religious Workers*
  • S-7 Family member of S-5 or S-6*
  • SK2 Spouse of SK1 retired international organization or NATO employees
  • SK3 Certain unmarried sons or daughters of an international organization or NATO employee
  • SK4 Certain surviving spouses of deceased international organization or NATO employees
  • TD Spouse and child of Free Trade Professionals [See the TN Page] (Canadian citizens can get this permit right at the border.)
  • V-2 Unmarried Child of a V-1 Applicant*

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Permanent Immigrant Categories-Employment Categories

Canadian Executive Receives Coveted Approval Notice
VICTORY: President of a construction equipment manufacturing firm (l) and Joe Grasmick (r) celebrate a hard-earned I-140 approval. This application was for a difficult National Interest Waiver Green Card.
  • EB 1st Employment based- 1st Preference Priority Workers: People of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and Multi-national Managers and Executives
  • EB 2nd Employment based - 2nd Preference Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of
    The Green Card: Crown jewel of U.S. immigration.
    Photo of a Sample "Green Card"
    Exceptional Ability (Includes National Interest Waiver) 
  • EB 3rd Employment based - 3rd Preference Skilled workers, Professionals and Other Workers
  • EB 4th Employment Based-4th Preference Certain Special Immigrants *
  • EB5th Employment Based -5th Preference Employment Creation Investors

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Permanent Immigrant Categories-Family Categories

Canadian Executive Receives Coveted Approval Notice
NEW CITIZENS: President of an international architectural design firm, his family and Joe Grasmick (second from left) after a citizenship naturalization ceremony. Citizenship gives you more potential to sponsor relatives.
  • IR Spouses, and Children unmarried and under the age of 21, of U.S. Citizens; Parents of U.S. Citizens, said Citizens age 21 or older
  • 1st Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • 2nd A Spouses, and children unmarried and under the age of 21, of Permanent Residents
  • 2nd B Unmarried Sons and Daughters, age 21 or older , of Permanent Residents
  • 3rd Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • 4th Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens, said Citizens age 21 or older
  • LB Spouses and Children of Legalization Beneficiaries*

*Footnote: Canadian businesses and professionals rarely use the categories with an "*". 

If you need help to find out where you fit on this page, request a phone consultation.

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2008 Law Office of Joseph C. Grasmick
Law Office of Joseph C. Grasmick, Business Immigration
300 International Drive
Williamsville, NY 14221 USA
Tel: 716/842-3100  jgrasmick@grasmick.com

This Internet Web page is http://www.grasmick.com/biglist.htm