The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. There are various types of nonimmigrant visas for temporary visitors to travel to the U.S., if you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident. It's important to have information about the type of nonimmigrant visa you will need for travel, and the steps required to apply for the visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
B-1/B-2 Tourist/Visitor Visas
Available to individuals who are coming in for medical treatment, domestic employees or nannies (must be accompanying a foreign national employer), athletes, amateur and professional (competing for prize money only) and all visitors coming to the U.S for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for a short duration and must not involve local employment. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the US for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.
C Transiting the United States
Available if you are traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en route to another country.
E-1/E-2 Treaty and Investor Visas
Investors and traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their businesses in the US if their home country has a commercial treaty with the US conferring visa eligibility.
F-1 and M-1 Student Visas
Students seeking to pursue a full course of study at a school either as academic and language students in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study plus, in some cases, a period for practical training in their field of study.
H-1B/H-1C Specialty Occupation (Professionals) Visas
Professional workers for example physicians with at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for a non-immigrant visa if their employers can demonstrate that they are to be paid at least the prevailing wage for the position or employed in specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge. Nurses traveling to areas short of health care professionals are granted H-1C visa.
K-1 Fiancé (e) Visas
A Fiancé (e) of a US citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa conditioned on the conclusion of the marriage within 90 days.
Available for Exchange visitors or their children (under age 21) or spouse, professors, short term research scholars, teachers who are participating in an approved exchange programs.al
L-1 Intra-company Transfer Visas
Available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer's U.S. affiliate. As an executive and manager, you may be eligible for permanent residency without the need to a labor certification.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas
This visa is aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics and includes entertainers, athletes, scientists, and businesspersons.
P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas
This category covers athletes, artists and entertainers.
R-1 Religious Worker Visas
Religious workers may be eligible for an R-1 visa.
TC and TN NAFTA and US-Canada Free Trade Agreement Visas
A special visa category has been set up for nationals of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement.
PERMANENT RESIDENCY VISAS ("GREEN CARDS")
Family Sponsored Immigration Visas
U.S. citizens may petition for spouses, parents, children and siblings. Permanent residents may petition for spouses and children.
Employer-Sponsored Immigrant Visas
EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers
Individuals in this category can petition for permanent residency without having to go through the time consuming labor certification process.
EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
Available for people who must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process which involves a testing of the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from a U.S. worker.
EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process.
EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers
Ministers of religion are eligible for permanent residency.
DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")
55,000 visas are annually allotted in a random drawing to individuals from nations underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.
Refugee and Asylum Applications
Available for persons with a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Temporary Protected Status
Available to individuals from selected countries which the U.S. currently recognizes as unsafe and allowing individuals to remain in the U.S. for the duration of their status, though it doesn’t lead to a visa.
Allows certain Mexican and Canadian workers to avoid the visa application process by proceeding directly to a U.S. port of entry and presenting the necessary documents.