There are two types of visas issued by the United States: immigrant visas (permanent) and non-immigrant (non-permanent) visas. In the class of non-immigrant visas, the H1-B visa may be an option for some foreigners. Some university educated and skilled professionals in specialized fields may qualify for a Temporary Employment Visa (H-1B) to travel to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation. The H1-B visa requires a masters or doctorate degree and a job offer in a specialty occupation, and the USCIS places a numerical limit of 65,000 visas per year.
An alternative to the H1-B visa is the B-1 business visitor visa. Under the B-1 visa, a visitor can negotiate and sign contract, purchase supplies or materials, hold business meetings or attend/exhibit at a convention, settle an estate, sit different types of exams and tests held inside the United States, perform certain professional services under certain conditions. A visitor can perform professional services if the visitor is employed by a non-US firm that will pay their salary during the visitor’s stay in the United States. This B-1 in lieu of H1-B visa is usually used by foreign companies who send consultants to the United States on a temporary basis.
Speak to an experienced immigration attorney to determine whether you qualify for the B-1 in lieu of H1-B visa.