The United States of America is a country full of opportunities and people go there for various reasons. There are numerous types of US visas available and the purpose of the trip, the length of stay, and the nationality of the visitor, determine which US visitor visa is required.
Millions of people enter the United States on different types of US visas each year. There are two general types of US visas: non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas are travel documents that enable foreigners to travel to the United States for a finite temporary period of time. An immigrant visa, on the other hand, is a legal classification that enables the visa holder to permanently reside in the US. The type of non-immigrant or immigrant visa that applicants should seek depends on their background and why they wish to enter the United States.
Following is a discussion of immigrantand Non-Immigrant visa categories:
Non-Immigrant US Visas:
- B1/B2: This "visitor" visa is a non-immigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the US temporarily for business (B-1) and for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). For example, if the purpose of your planned travel is Tinformal, for a vacation including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, then a vistor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel. As additional examples, if the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or conference on specific dates, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business (B-1) visitor visa would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel.
- F-1 and M-1 Student Visas: Applicants seeking to pursue a full course of study at a school 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.
- J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas: Persons coming to the US in an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's visa. J-1 programs often cover students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors and research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs. In some cases, participation in a J-1 program will be coupled with the requirement that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the US before being permitted to switch to a different Non-immigrant visa or to permanent residency. We regularly handle the application process for seeking a waiver to the home residency requirement that applies to many J-1 visa holders.
- K-1 Fiance(e) Visas: The K-1 visa allows a fiancé(e) of a US Citizen to marry in the US. A K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to the fiancé(e) of a US citizen to enter the United States. The US Citizen must file a petition in the US with USCIS. Once the fiancé is issued the visa, he/she must marry in 90 days. It is after this period that a permanent residence may be pursued.
- K-3 US Spouse/Marriage Visas: K3 is a marriage visa to the United States. It allows spouse and children of US Citizen to join their partner/parent in the United States. The US sponsor must have already filed a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition on behalf of his or her relative.
- L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visas: L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer's US affiliate. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need to a labor certification.
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas: The O-1 category is set aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. This 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.
- H-1B Work Visa - H1-B allows foreigner to travel to the United States to work. The applicant has to be sponsored by a US employer to work in a specialty occupation in the US. The H-1B visa is generally valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three-year period. The visa allows your family to travel with you to the United States. Like many visa application, H-1B visa is very complicated and one must approach the H-1B visa application process with foresight and a calculated strategy.
- H-2B Work Visa - The H2B Visa is the type of visa that allows unskilled workers to work temporarily in the United States. This is a popular visa category. Applicant of this visa must get sponsorship from an US employer
Immigrant US Visas
This kind of visa refers to individuals that have one purpose only - to immigrate in the USA. Usually, the immigration is supported by a US citizen or a permanent resident who is in connection with the person who wants to immigrate (relative, employer, etc). An immigrant visa is issued to a foreign national who intends to live and work permanently in the United States. In most cases, a relative or employer sponsors the individual by filing an application with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Certain applicants such as workers with extraordinary ability, investors, and certain special immigrants can petition on their own behalf. The application is later forwarded to the appropriate US Consulate or Embassy overseas for continued processing and issuance of the immigrant visa to the intending immigrant, if eligible. An intending immigrant must present the immigrant visa at a US port-of-entry prior to the expiration of the immigrant visa. An intending immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident once the immigrant visa and accompanying paperwork is reviewed and endorsed by a CBP Officer. For specific information regarding immigrant visa classifications and requirements, refer to the USCIS website or the Department of State website.
Immigrant visas may be divided into two categories: visas subject to numerical limitations and those that are not.
Visas not subject to numerical limitations are granted to immediate relatives (children, parents and spouses) of US citizens, resident aliens returning from temporary visits abroad, and former US citizens. To qualify as a "child" of a US citizen the person must be unmarried, under 21 years old, and either a legitimate child, stepchild, illegitimate child, adopted child, an orphan adopted abroad, or an orphan coming to the US to be adopted. A parent with any of the relationships described under the definition of child qualifies as a "parent." In order to receive a visa as the spouse of a US citizen the alien must have a "valid and subsisting marriage" with that citizen.
Visas subject to numerical limitations are granted to persons qualifying for family sponsored, employment related, or diversity immigrant visas. There are four categories of family sponsored visa preferences: unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens and their children; spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent residents; married sons and daughters of US citizens and their spouses and children; and brothers and sisters, including spouses and children, of US citizens ages 21 and over. There are five categories of employment-sponsored preferences: priority workers; professionals with advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability; skilled workers, professionals (without advanced degrees), and needed unskilled workers; special immigrants (e.g. ministers, religious workers, and employees of the U.S. government abroad); and employment creation immigrants or "investors."
Need help with US Visa applications?
US Immigrant visas and some nonimmigrant visas (particularly those authorizing employment, education, or training) are complex and may involve extensive preparations, applications, and documentation to demonstrate eligibility. It's a good idea to consult with an experienced Travel Agency who can help simplify the process and increase the chances of a favorable outcome. Akbar Travels assist in setting up your online US visa interview appointment account and schedule your appointment(s) to the US Embassy for you and your family. We work with you and take into account the US visa wait times, processing times, your schedule, and estimated departure date in order to ensure you get your US visa interview appointment on time. Our service helps you with the entire process of obtaining a US visa,right from getting started with the process and gathering the required documents, to preparing you for the actual interview at the US Consulate.
How to apply for a US Visa
Tips to get US Visa
Reasons for US Visa Rejection