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A Visa
             »  A-1 Foreign government officials (ambassadors, diplomatic and consular officers)
             »  A-2 Other foreign government officials
             »  A-3 Employees of foreign government officials (attendants, servants, etc.)
B Visa
             »  B-1 Business visa
             »  B-2 Visitors or tourist
C Visa
             »  C-1 Alien in transit through the US
             »  C-2 Alien in transit to United Nations
             »  C-3 Foreign government official in transit
             »  C-4 Alien in transit without a visa
D Visa - Crew member
E Visa
             »  E-1 Treaty traders
             »  E-2 Treaty investor
F Visa
             »  F-1 Academic students
             »  F-2 Spouse or child of F-1
G Visa
             »  G-1 Foreign government representatives to international organizations (United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund)
             »  G-2 Other foreign government representatives of international organizations
             »  G-3 Non-recognized foreign government representatives of international organizations
             »  G-4 International organization officers
             »  G-5 Personal employees of representatives of G-1 to G-4
H Visa
             »  H-1A Registered Nurses
             »  H-1B Temporary workers in specialty occupations (i.e., fashion models, architects, engineers, scientists, doctors, accountants, lawyers, teachers, writers/editors, etc.)
             »  H-2A Agricultural workers
             »  H-2B Temporary workers in non-agricultural labor or service.
             »  H-3 Temporary trainees
             »  H-4 Spouse or child of H worker
I Visa - Foreign information media representatives, spouse or child
J Visa
             »  J-1 Exchange visitor
             »  J-2 Spouse or child of J-1
K Visa - Fiance or fiancée of US citizen, child of the fiancé(e) or spouse or child of a US citizen
L Visa
             »  L-1 Intra-company transferee
             »  L-2 Spouse of child of L-1
M Visa
             »  M-1 Vocational student
             »  M-2 Spouse or child of M-1
N Visa - Parent of certain special immigrants
O Visa
             »  O-1 Alien of extraordinary ability
             »  O-2 Aliens accompanying and assisting in the performance of an alien of extraordinary activity
             »  O-3 Spouse and minor children of aliens of extraordinary ability
P Visa
             »  P-1 Athlete or entertainer who has receive international recognition
             »  P-2 Athlete or entertainer under a reciprocal exchange program
             »  P-3 Athlete or entertainer in a culturally unique program
             »  P-4 Spouse or child of P-1, P-2 or P-3
Q Visa
             »  Q-1 Participant in an international cultural exchange program
             »  Q-2 Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program
             »  Q-3 Spouse or child of Q-2
R Visa
             »  R-1 Alien in a religious occupation
             »  R-2 Spouse or child of R-1
S Visa
             »  S-5 Aliens supplying critical information relating to a criminal organization
             »  S-6 Alien supplying critical information relating to terrorism
T Visa
             »  T-1 Trafficking victim
             »  T-2 Spouse of T-1
             »  T-3 Child of T-1
             »  T-4 Parent of T-1 victim if under 21 years of age
TN Visa
             »  TN NAFTA professional from Canada or Mexico
             »  TD Spouse or child of NAFTA professional
U Visa
             »  U-1 Victim of criminal activity
             »  U-2 Spouse of U-1
             »  U-3 Child of U-1
             »  U-4 Parent of U-1, if under 21 years of age
V Visa
             »  V-1 Spouse of permanent resident who is the principal beneficiary of a family-based petition filed prior to December 21, 2000 which has been pending for at least three years.
             »  V-2 Child of permanent resident who is the principal beneficiary of a family-based petition filed prior to December 21, 2000 which as been pending for at least three years.
             »  V-3 Child of V-1 or V-2

Tourist/Business Visa

Anybody wishing to visit the United States on a temporary basis could do so by securing either of these two non-immigrant visas: BI or B2. The B-1 Visa is for business (attending conferences, business meetings) while the B-2 is for pleasure (tourism, visiting friends or relatives, obtaining medical care). A business visitor (B1) will be granted only a period of entry necessary to conduct his or her business. Mostly, these visits are approved for less than three months. Tourists (B2) are automatically given a period of entry of six months, even if the visitor intends to remain only for a shorter period. B Visa applicants file their applications only with the United States consulate. This visa can be issued for a period of validity up to 10 years and for an unlimited number of entries. The B Visa, however, does not allow the holder to engage in gainful employment nor to undertake an academic study program


The US State Department has outlined the following requirements for issuance of a B Visa.

  1. It is for a limited duration;
  2. The applicant intends to leave the US at the expiration of his or her stay;
  3. While in the US, the holder maintains a foreign residence which he or she has no intention of abandoning;
  4. The applicant/holder has adequate financial arrangements to travel to, live in and depart from the US;
  5. The visa applicant/holder will engage solely in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.

To be approved, an applicant must show bona fide non-immigrant intent by demonstrating that:

  1. He or she plans to stay only temporarily in the US;
  2. He or she maintains a residence outside of the US that he or she has no intention of abandoning;
  3. He or she intends to leave the US at the end of the temporary stay;
  4. He or she has made adequate financial arrangements to enable him or her to carry out the purpose of the visit to and departure from the US;
  5. He or she has permission to enter a foreign country at the end of the temporary stay.
Student Visa

There are three visas open to those wishing to study in the United States: The F-1, J-1 and the M-1.

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows one to enter the US as a full-time student in an accredited college or university. The student must be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program or course of study.

The J-1 Visa (Exchange Student) is for students pursuing graduate or post-graduate studies, medical doctors undergoing training, visiting scholars, teachers, professors, international visitors, etc., to gain experience, study and do research in their respective fields.

The M-1 Visa (Vocational Student) is issued to students in non-academic programs such as health care technician, machinist, dental hygienist, and the like, in an established institution.

F1 visa holders can bring in members of their immediate family under F2 visas; J1 holders can bring in their spouses and minor children under J2; while dependents of M1 visa holders can enter the US in the M2 visa category.

Requirements (F Visa):
  1. Applicant for an F Visa must be enrolled in an academic program, while those of the M Visa should be enrolled in a vocational program;
  2. The applicant must be enrolled in a school approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Schools with recognized names are almost certainly approved;
  3. The applicant must be enrolled in a full course of study;
  4. The applicant must be proficient in English or be enrolled in English language courses leading to proficiency;
  5. The applicant must have sufficient funds available to support him or her for the entire proposed course of study;
  6. The applicant must maintain a residence in his home country or abroad and must intend to leave the US upon the completion of his or her studies;
  7. The applicant must intend to attend the school specified on the visa.
Requirements (J Visa):
  1. The applicant must have plans to participate in a designated Exchange Visitor Program;
  2. In some cases, an exchange visitor must spend two years following completion of his or her US training program in their home country or last legal residence;
  3. The applicant must maintain a residence in his home country or abroad which he has no intention of abandoning.
Professional Visa (H-1B)

The H-1B program allows the employer to temporarily employ a foreign worker in the US on a non-immigrant basis in a specialty occupation. To hire a foreign worker on an H-1B visa, the job must be a professional position that requires, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree in the field of specialization.

An H-1B classification is valid for the period of employment indicated in the labor condition application (LCA), for up to three (3) years; a foreign worker can be in H-1B status for maximum continuous period of six years.

After the H-1B expires the foreign worker must remain outside the US for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Certain foreign workers with labor certification applications or immigrant visa petitions in process for extended periods may stay in H-1B status beyond the normal six-year limitation, in one-year increments.