The United States of America Visa Types (Detailed)

There are numerous visa types for the United States, each with its specific purpose and requirements. Here is an overview of some of the most common visa categories:

  1. Nonimmigrant Visas:

a) Visitor Visas:

  • B-1: Business visa for individuals participating in business activities, such as conferences, consultations, or contract negotiations.
  • B-2: Tourist visa for individuals traveling to the U.S. for tourism, vacation, or visiting friends and relatives.

b) Student Visas:

  • F-1: Visa for academic students enrolled in an approved educational program in the U.S.
  • M-1: Visa for vocational or non-academic students enrolled in an approved vocational or non-academic program in the U.S.
  • J-1: Exchange visitor visas for individuals participating in approved exchange programs, such as students, scholars, interns, or trainees.

c) Work Visas:

  • H-1B: Specialty occupation visa for professionals working in a specialized field, typically requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • H-2A: Temporary agricultural worker visa for individuals coming to the U.S. to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work.
  • H-2B: Temporary non-agricultural worker visa for individuals coming to the U.S. to perform temporary non-agricultural work.
  • L-1: Intracompany transferee visa for employees transferring from a foreign branch of a company to a U.S. branch.
  • O-1: Visa for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  • P-1, P-2, P-3: Visas for athletes, artists, and entertainers coming to the U.S. to perform at specific events or competitions.
  • R-1: Religious worker visa for ministers, religious professionals, or other religious workers coming to the U.S. to work for a religious organization.

d) Other Nonimmigrant Visas:

  • K-1: Fianc√©(e) visa for foreign nationals engaged to a U.S. citizen, allowing them to enter the U.S. to get married.
  • U: Visa for victims of certain crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  1. Immigrant Visas (Green Cards):

a) Family-Based Immigrant Visas:

  • Immediate Relative: Visas for spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Family Preference: Visas for more distant family members of U.S. citizens and specific family members of lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

b) Employment-Based Immigrant Visas:

  • EB-1: Visa for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers and professors, or multinational executives and managers.
  • EB-2: Visa for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • EB-3: Visa for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.
  • EB-4: Visa for special immigrants, including religious workers, certain employees of U.S. foreign service posts, and other specified categories.
  • EB-5: Investor visa for individuals who invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in targeted employment areas) in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

This is not an exhaustive list, and there are other visa types and subcategories available. For more information on specific visa types and their requirements, visit the U.S. Department of State website or consult with a qualified immigration attorney.