How Long does a U.S. Work Visa Last?

How Long Does a U.S. Work Visa Last?
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How long your U.S. work visa lasts depends on the type of visa you have. A Orlando work visa lawyer with our firm can help you apply to enter the country for employment reasons and explain your rights and obligations. We can also help you petition to extend your stay in the United States or apply to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).  

Understanding the Date on Your U.S. Work Visa

Your visa’s expiration date is not the same as your permitted length of stay in the United States. 

According to the U.S. Department of State, a visa permits you to travel to a U.S. port of entry. The expiration date on your visa indicates how long you have to present yourself at a port. In addition, your visa indicates if it is good for a single entry or multiple entries before it expires. 

A visa does not guarantee you entry into the United States. Once you arrive at a port, a U.S. immigration officer determines if you can come into the country. If you can enter, an officer will mark your admission stamp or Form I-94 with a set admitted-until date or with D/S (duration of status). D/S indicates you can stay as long as you continue your studies, exchange program, or qualifying employment. 

To consult with an experienced immigration lawyer today, call 855-780-9986

Different Work Visas Allow You to Stay in the U.S. for Different Lengths of Time

Non-immigrant work visas allow you to enter the country for varying lengths of time based on your employment. How long your U.S. work visa lasts depends on the visa you have. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), duration of stay limits for temporary work visas are as follows:

  • CW-1 visas for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-only transitional workers: One year with a possible extension of up to three years
  • E-1 and E-2 visas for treaty traders and qualified employees: Two years with the possibility of unlimited two-year extensions
  • E-2C visas for long-term foreign investors in the CNMI: Until Dec. 31, 2029
  • E-3 visas for specialty occupation workers from Australia: Two years with the possibility of unlimited extensions
  • H-1B visas for specialty occupation workers: Three years with the possibility of a three-year extension
  • H-1C visas for registered nurses working in areas with a health professional shortage: Up to three years with no possibility of extension 
  • H-2A visas for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers and H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers: Length of stay depends on your temporary labor certificate and terms of employment with an initial maximum of 12 months and an overall maximum of three years
  • H-3 visas for trainees (other than medical and academic) and special education exchange visitors: Up to two years for trainees and up to 18 months for special education visitors
  • I visas for representatives of foreign media: Duration of Status (D/S), i.e., the length of the assignment
  • L-1A and L-1B visas for intracompany transferees: Initial stay of up to one year with the possibility of extension 
  • O-1 and O-2 visas for individuals with extraordinary talents in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or movie and television production, and their assistants: The amount of time it takes to complete your project, not to exceed three years
  • P-1A and P-1B visas for internationally recognized athletes and entertainers: The duration of a specific competition, performance, production, or tour
  • P-2 and P-3 visas for athletes and entertainers performing, teaching, or coaching under a culturally unique program: The duration of the program, which should not exceed one year
  • Q-1 visas for individuals in an employment-based cultural exchange program: Up to 15 months
  • R-1 visas for religious workers: Up to 30 months with the possibility of a 30-month extension
  • TN visas for North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) temporary professionals from Mexico and Canada: Up to three years

If you have any questions about your work visa or length of stay, an immigration lawyer with our law firm can help. We can also assist you with applying for an extension of your stay if desired. 

Can You Get a Permanent Work Visa? 

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States issues about 140,000 immigrant work visas annually. This visa allows entry to those wishing to permanently relocate to the U.S. Once issued, immigrant work visa holders can apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status and obtain a Green Card. 

The U.S. gives preference for immigrant work visas in the following order:

  1. EB-1 visas: Issued to individuals with extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences, business, education, and athletics, and outstanding professors, researchers, and multinational managers and executives.
  2. EB-2 visas: Issued to professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, and business.
  3. EB-3 visas: Issued to professionals and skilled workers.
  4. EB-4 visas: Issued to “special immigrants,” including religious workers, employees of U.S. service posts, and minor wards of the U.S. courts.
  5. EB-5 visas: Issued to foreign investors who make a significant investment in a new commercial enterprise employing at least 10 U.S. workers.

If you want to move to the U.S. permanently, we can help you apply for or change your work visa status to an EB visa. We can then assist you with applying for a Green Card and becoming an LPR. 

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What If Your U.S. Work Visa Expires? 

If you overstay the terms of your work visa, you will violate U.S. immigration law. Generally, this automatically voids the terms of your visa and could result in deportation. It could also make you ineligible to obtain future visas to travel to the United States. 

If your visa has expired or will soon expire, contact an immigration attorney with our team. We can help you file the appropriate documents to extend your stay or help you pursue permanent residency. 

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Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns for Help With Your Work Visa

A work visa attorney with Bogin, Munns & Munns can answer any questions you have about immigrant and non-immigrant U.S. visas, including how to apply for a visa, extend your stay, or obtain a Green Card. Contact us today for a free consultation. Hablamos español. 

Call or text 855-780-9986 or submit our Consultation Request form today



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