A Summary Of The Most Common Types of Special Visas

A qualified and experienced immigration attorney may help any individual obtain a special circumstance visa to the United States. Depending on the situation, the type of visa will differ. The following is a list of the most common nonimmigrant U.S. special circumstance visas:

  • L-1 Visas for Intercompany Transfers;
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors;
  • O-1 Visas for Extraordinary Ability; and
  • TN (NAFTA) Visas for Mexican and Canadian Citizens


*Special Visas

L-1 visas facilitate the temporary transfer of a foreign worker in the managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge to the U.S. to continue employment with an office of the same employer, its parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate. Although originally intended to assist large multinational companies transfer employees to the U.S., it provides assistance to smaller, startup companies wishing to expand their services to the United States.

J-1 visas are issued to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange. These are used especially to obtain medical or business training within the United States.

Sponsors screen and select the participants of their program according to eligibility criteria within each program category. Some categories require that a personal interview is part of the screening and selection process. In addition to other criteria, all participants must satisfy English language proficiency and insurance requirements. Sponsors are also required to monitor the progress and welfare of program participants for the complete duration of the program.

O-1 Visas are issued to individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.

TN (NAFTA) Visas are for Mexican and Canadian Citizens and permit them, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States in prearranged business activities for U.S. or foreign employers. Requirements for Canadians and Mexicans are different as Canadian citizens usually do not need a visa as a NAFTA Professional, although a visa may be issued to qualified Canadian TN visa applicants upon request. Mexican citizens require TN visas to request admission to the United States in this status.

Facing a legal dispute or needing legal advocacy requires that citizens know their rights and obligations. Whether your goal is United States Citizenship, a Green Card, or a business, student, or special circumstance visa, the Montefalcon Law Office offers professional representation and is here to help you with qualified legal assistance. Contact us online or schedule a free consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices. Telephone our downtown Sacramento office at (916) 444 0440, our south Sacramento office at (916) 399-9944, or our Concord office at (925) 222-5929.