Non Immigrant Visas
A visa is a permit to apply to enter the United States. A nonimmigrant visa is given to someone who lives in another country and wishes to come temporarily to the United States for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrant visas are given to people such as tourists, business people, students, temporary workers, and diplomats. Foreign citizens must apply for a visa at an American embassy or consulate abroad when desiring to travel to the United States. A consular officer decides whether the traveler is qualified for a visa. The visa classifies the visit as business, tourism, etc. Each visa classification has its own requirements regarding how long a person can stay in the U.S. and what activities (e.g. work, study, artistic performance, etc.) are allowed. The visa is usually valid for multiple visits to the United States during a specified period of time. Some non-immigrant visa categories require that the foreign national apply for the visa directly with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. Other visa categories require that a petition first be filed by the foreign national or his employer and approved by the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States, such as an international airport, a seaport or a land border crossing. At the port-of-entry, an officer of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decides whether to allow him to enter and how long he can stay. An Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) is created by the DHS officer when the traveler is inspected upon arrival in the United States. It is sometimes possible for someone who is in the U.S. in one non-immigrant visa category to change to a different one. This is called an “change of status” and requires that an application be filed and approved by USCIS.
Below is a listing of some of the common non-immigrant U.S. visa classifications and links to detailed information provided by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Visitors Visas – Business and Pleasure B 1- B2 Visas
- Visitors Visas – B2
- Visa Waiver
- E1-E2 Treaty Traders and Investors
- F-1 Students
- H-1B Specialty Occupations and Professional Workers
- H-2A Agricultural Workers
- H-2B Non-Agricultural Workers
- H-3 Trainee Visas
- J-1 Exchange Visitors
- K-1 Fiance(e)
- K-3 and K-4 Fiances, Spouses and stepchildren of U.S. Citizens
- L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager
- L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability
- P-1 Internationally Recognized Athlete
- P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group
- TN NAFTA Professionals, Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker
For additional information contact Gonzalez Olivieri LLC at 713-481-3040, or contact us online today.