| | | What Are the Types of Visas for Immigrants to the United States?
What Are the Types of Visas for Immigrants to the United States?2018-09-24T17:03:45+00:00

If you want to get a visa to come to the United States, you should first consider that there are many different types of visas. Some will suit your situation better than others. A few of the major types of visas will be explored on this page. They include:

  • Employment visas.
  • Immigrant visas.
  • Student visas.

Employment Visas

There are so many different types of employment visas available today. But, a very common question most people have is, “Which is the right employment visa for me?” For starters, to find what visa suits you best, you must first know what a visa is.

A visa can be defined as a passport or an endorsement. It states that a person may leave, enter, and stay in a certain country for a certain amount of time. There are many different types of workers visas so seeing which one applies best to your situation is important. Below is a list of some of the most common types of nonimmigrant employment visas.

Types of Employment Visas

  • H1B Visa. For people who are being hired in a professional level position. It lasts for three years and can be renewed for up to six years. After that, the worker must either leave the country or apply for another visa.
  • L1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa. If you are being transferred within your company to a location in the United States then this is the type of visa for you. It is initially issued for a three year period and can be renewed in two year increments. But, it expires after seven years.

E Visas

  • E-Visas (E1 and E2 Visas). This visa applies to companies or individuals within countries that have signed a treaty with the United States. These visas are good for as long as the business runs for and as long as your employment lasts. Although, keep in mind that you still have to renew it every two years.
  • E-3 Visa. This type of visa is strictly for Australians that are working in the United States in a specialty occupation. Once obtained, you may renew this visa every two years. Just like E-1 and E-2 Visas, it is good for as long as your services at the business are required.
  • E-4 Visa. In order to be eligible for the EB 4 visa, you have to be considered a special immigrant. This means that you must fall into one of the following categories:
    • Afghan translator.
    • Armed forces member.
    • Broadcasters.
    • Child of a deceased NATO-6 employee.
    • International organization employee.
    • Iraqi translator.
    • Iraqi who has assisted the United States.
    • Physicians.
    • Religious worker.
    • Retired NATO-6 employee.
    • Spouse of a deceased NATO-6 employee.
  • E-5 Visa. The EB-5 Visa was created by Congress in 1990 in order to benefit the US economy and create American jobs. Though this visa is very rare because it has a few requirements that require a lot of money and effort.

Additional Employment Visas

  • J-1 Visa. A temporary visa issued to people who come to the US to learn a trade. Generally, this type of visa is good for five years, but it varies depending on if you are a student, teacher, etc.
  • H-2A and H-2B. Another temporary visa issued to people who are involved in agricultural and nonagricultural seasonal work. The maximum stay for this visa is three years, but the duration you are required to stay varies depending on seasonal work.
  • O Visa. The O-1 visa is available to individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary ability in athletics, business, education, and science.
  • P Visa. There are three subcategories of the P visa. The first is the P-1 visa. This visa is available for athletes and entertainment groups. Then, the second type of P visa is the P-2 visa. This visa applies to entertainers or artists who are working with an exchange program between the United States and another country. The final type of P visa is the P-3 visa. This visa is also available for an entertainer or an artist, but it is available for those looking to teach, coach, or perform in the United States.
  • R Visa. One option that you have when looking for a work visa to come to the United States is the R-1 temporary nonimmigrant religious workers visa (more commonly known as the R or the R-1 visa).
  • TN Visa. If you are from Canada or Mexico, you will have access to a type of visa that other immigrants do not. This visa is the nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional visa, also known as the TN visa.

Immigrant Visas

Another type of visa is an immigrant visa. Each fiscal year, 140,000 immigrant visas are available. Those types of visas are permanent and require people to eventually get their green card, which entails an unlimited duration and permanent residency in the United States.

Student Visas

Students interested in pursuing a degree at a university in the United States should apply for a student visa. Student visas are a good option for those studying a subject only taught at a few schools or those who accepted at prestigious universities in the United States. Ultimately, the student visa is a temporary visa. It will last for the duration of the student’s program. But, getting a student visa can be good for someone who wants to get a permanent visa later. It can show that that person lived in the United States successfully and contributed to a university.

Consider the following types of student visas:

  • M-1 Visa. If you are an international student looking to attend a nonacademic program in the United States, applying for an M-1 visa is your best option.
  • J-1 Visa. If you are participating in a visitor exchange program that is based in study and work, your best option is applying for the J-1 visa. This type of visa allows applicants to attend certain programs in the United States, teach, receive job training, conduct research, and more.
  • F-1 Visa. If you are just interested in attending an academic program in the United States, you should consider the F-1 visa.

Visa Applications

Below, you can find some tips to help you as you apply for a visa.

Think Good Thoughts

You should have a positive attitude about your application. Believing that your application will be accepted and that you will receive a visa can work wonders on your mental state and the way that you are perceived in your interview. Especially during your interview, you should be positive, upbeat, and enthusiastic about the possibility of obtaining a student visa.

Make Your Intentions Clear

Make it clear when you apply that you want a visa for a specific thing. Maybe you want to go to a school in America. Or, maybe you need to get training for your job. Whatever it is, make it clear that you will return home when it is completed and will not try to stay in the country illegally.

Prove Your Financial Abilities

Applicants should prove that they have the funds to pay for the cost of living as well as additional costs, such as tuition fees. Make sure you have the documents to prove this, whether you are paying through a scholarship, personal account, or family funds.

Provide Concise Information

Written documents should be brief and concise. A consular office should be able to know what documents and information you are providing in a glance, not after painstakingly reading through several paragraphs of text.

Prove that You Will Return to Your Home Country

Applicants for visas are viewed as people intending to emigrate to and remain in the United States. Informing the United States that this is not the case can help your chances of getting a visa. You should be able to show your ties to your home, whether they are a steady job, providing for your family members, having a place of residence that you are not giving up, etc. When your visa has expired, you will be expected to return to your home country.

Fluency in English

You should be proficient in speaking English if you want to live in the United States. Make sure that you will be able to speak conversational English during your interview and that you have test results that show that you meet the standard of being able to speak English that is set by the United Students.

If you are part of a visa waiver program, you are not allowed to travel without a visa. You must obtain an exchange visitor (J) visa before participating in a program such as the:

  • Work program.
  • English study program.
  • Travel program.
  • Intern work program.
  • Summer work program.

These are some examples of visas that you might apply for. Also, for more information and assistance determining which visa is right for you, please contact my office.