An H1-B1 visa is also known as “the professional visa”. An American corporation/company offers you a “professional job” related to your degree and/or working experience. An H-2 visa is another temporary visa for agricultural or seasonal work. An H-3 visa is related to training. An H-4 is given to the dependents of an H-1B.
The L-1 is referred to as the “multinational transferee visa” for employees who are brought to a company’s American headquarters and who have been working for the subsidiary abroad at least 1 year. An L-2 is given to the dependents of an L-1. (See Antonia’s lines Fall 1999 issue).
The E-1 or E-2 visa is the “investor’s visa” for nationals who are from countries that have signed a commercial treaty (for trade or investment) with the United States. (See Antonia’s lines Fall 1998 issue).
A visa which enables foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability or achievement to perform services for a US company in the field of ability. (See Antonia’s Lines Fall 2001).
A visa which is available to foreign entertainment groups, athletes, or entertainers who wish to enter the United States temporarily to perform. (See Antonia’s Lines Spring 2002).
The visa H and O are given for up to 6 years and the L visa is valid for up to 7 years. But if you don’t like your current job you can always quit. This means, however, that you loose your visa status.
If you graduate from university you have 1 year of Practical Training, hence, 1 year to look for a good employer. If you completed vocational studies, then you only have 6 months of Practical Training.
You would have to look for another employer within 10 days after you were laid off.
No, if you are not working, you don’t have a valid visa and every time you enter the country with this visa you are committing fraud.
Yes, of course you can. Most non-immigrant visas allow you to apply for residency.
There is a long alphabet of visas and it is not a popularity contest, rather we need to analyze which is the best suited for your particular needs and qualifications. (See “The art of employing foreign nationals).
Canadians and Mexicans professionals have a visa called “TN” which is valid for a year and is renewable. It is directly obtained at the borders and is a rather quick and easy visa to obtain. Canadians in particular do not get stamped visas on their passports, the I-94 card act in lieu of a visa. They need a letter from an employer stating that a job offer is waiting for them in American territory.