American technology companies with a branch, parent, subsidiary or affiliate office in another country may take advantage of another type of visa that rivals the H-1B in its advantages. The L-1 visa is designed to facilitate the transfer of employees from a foreign company to its American company relative.
American Technology Companies hiring Canadian or Mexican nationals may also use a special visa created under NAFTA called the TN (Treaty NAFTA) visa. This visa is also appropriate for companies experiencing emergent needs as it can be obtained in a matter of days, rather than months.
For the rapidly growing American company, the H-2B Temporary Worker Visa is another temporary visa that can be used to address short term needs. No minimum level of education is required. This visa is only valid for up to a year and is available to meet a temporary need of a company. If qualified, employees can switch from H-2B to H-1B while in the US.
The B-1 visa is designed for persons visiting the US for the purpose of conducting business activities. The visa can be obtained in just a few days and is valid for 6 months initially and then extendable for an additional 6 months.
The O visa is set aside for aliens of “Extraordinary Ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletes, certain aliens accompanying or assisting those aliens, and their family members. The fundamental requirement for an O visa is to have reached the top of the profession or endeavor for which the alien seeks admittance into the U.S.
An often overlooked visa option available to American technology companies is the use of foreign “trainees.” The “J” exchange visitor programis designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences.
Like the J-1 visa, the H-3 Trainee Visa is available to foreign nationals who want to work in the US in order to gain skills through an employment experience. The H-3 requires that the experience be of the type that is not readily available in the trainee’s home country.
For persons who are interested in looking fro a job in the US, an appropriate visa is the B-1 Business Visitor visa. This visa can be used by foreign students after graduating from a US school, by foreign workers who have been laid off or by persons outside of the US who are simply interested in exploring employment options in the US.