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Visa Category

J-1

Pros: No LCA;no annual cap; more flexible in areas not considered "specialty occupation";
Cons: Maximum 5 years; might have a 2-year home residency requirement;24 month rule might apply. temporary positions only;
Fees: Internal processing fee; SEVIS fee; visa application fee

H-1B

Pros: Dual intent;annual cap but there are exceptions;
Cons: Maximum 6 years; requires LCA; not eligible with 2-year home residency requirement;must be a "speciality occupation";
Fees: I-129 application fee; fraud prevention fee; attorney's fee; visa application fees

TN

Pros: No LCA; no annual cap; may be renewed annually without limitations;
Cons: Canadians and Mexicans only; not all occupations are eligible; temporary positions only;
Fees: Visa application fee;

O

Pros: Eligible even with 2-year home residency requirement;no annual cap; initial approval for maximum of 3 years but no limitations on yearly extensions thereafter;
Cons: Heavy documentation burden; temporary positions only;
Fees: I-129 application fee; attorney's fees; visa application fees

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Last Update: 07/15/2011