Consulates are also charged with issuing visas for employment based immigrant and non-immigrant visas including: Permanent residence for professionals, advanced degree holders, multi-national managers, extraordinary aliens, religious workers, and investors, both sponsored and self-petition; and
Nonimmigrant status including, among other categories, H-1B, H-2A/H-2B, E-3, TN L-1, O-1, Q-1, and R-1 visas, business visitors, government, diplomatic, or international agency based, entertainers, journalists, crewman, and exchange visitors.
E-1 Treaty Traders and E-2 Treaty Investors may file directly with a consulate for visa and status in the United States upon a finding of substantial trade principally between the United States and the treaty country or a substantial investment in a new or existing for-profit, bona fide enterprise in the United States. Applications for E-1 or E-2 visas do not require pre-approval from the US Department of Homeland Security and even if DHS previously approved such status, the consulate will review the application de novo or without consideration of prior DHS approval. E visas may be issued for up to five years for entry in E status up to two years upon each admission to the United States. Most consulates maintain a record of previously approved enterprises to aid in renewing the principal visa or issuance of Essential Worker visas. Generally only one consulate in a foreign country is authorized to issue E visas, and each consulate around the world has its own requirements in terms of the format, content, and volume of evidence that may be submitted. Usually applicants are asked to submit evidence in support of the E application well in advance of his/her intended entry date for consideration. Review of evidence for the E application alone before an interview is scheduled may take weeks or even months.
The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years of the principal applicant may apply jointly for E-2 dependent status upon a showing of a qualifying relationship. Dependents are granted a visa for the same period of time authorized for the principal. Entry in E-2 dependent status does not grant employment authorization to dependents, but dependents may apply for employment authorization pursuant to status after admission.
EB-5 Investors, or those applicants for permanent residence who have invested up to $1 Million and provided evidence of intended job creation, may apply to complete processing of conditional residence at a consulate. An Immigrant Visa Application in this category is based upon the approval of an I-526 Entrepreneur Petition from US Department of State.
Many nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications permit dependent or derivative applications for qualifying family members upon evidence of a qualifying relationship. Dependents are usually defined as spouses or the unmarried children under the age of 21 years of a principal applicant. Generally the consulate will grant dependent applicants a visa for the same time period as the principal visa applicant.
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