About US Visas

Most individuals who are not US nationals need a valid visa to enter the United States.

There are two types of US visa:

 

The United States embassies and consulates around the world are responsible for issuing US visas.

 
 B-1 Business Visa

 Visa for individuals who wish to visit the US for business that does not involve payment
 B-2 Tourist Visa
 Visa for individuals who want to visit the US for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment  
   
 B-1 Business and B-2 Tourist Visa
 Combined visa for individuals who wish to visit the US for business and pleasure  
   
 Border Crossing Card / Laser Visa for Mexican Nationals
 Visa for Mexican nationals wishing to visit the US for business and /or pleasure  
   
 C-1 Transit Visa
 Visa for individuals who need to enter the US to get to another foreign country  
   
 D Crew Member Visa
 Visa for individuals who provide services on board an aircraft or sailing vessel
e.g. flight attendant, lifeguard, beautician etc.
 
   
 C1 / D Combined Visa for Transit and Crew Members
 Combined visa for individuals who need to transit the US and who perform
duties as crew members on board an aircraft or sailing vessel
 
   
 E-1 Treaty Trader Visa
 Visa for individuals from authorized countries who want to set up a business
trading between the US and their home country
 
   
 E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
 Visa for individuals who are investing in a business which they intend to manage  
   
 E-3 Work Visa for Australians
 Visa for Australian citizens who wish to work in the US  
   
 F-1 Student Visa
 Visa for foreign students who wish to study in approved US educational institutes  
   
 H-1B Work Visa for College Educated Professionals
 Visa for professionals in “Specialty Occupations” who can make a contribution
to the US economy
 
   
 H-2B Work Visa for Skilled and Unskilled Workers
 Visa for temporary work in non-agricultural positions of short supply  
   
 H-1C Nurse Work Visa
 Visa for qualified nurses to work in the US under the Nursing Relief for
Disadvantaged Area Act of 1999
 
   
 H-3 Trainee Work Visa
 Visa for on-the-job training within a US company  
   
 J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
 Visa for individuals who wish to join a sponsored exchange  
   
 K-1 Fiancée/Fiancé/Spouse Visa
 Visa for individuals who wish to bring their future wives or husbands to
the US to get married
 
   
 L-1A Intracompany Transfer Work Visa - Management / Executive
 Visa for individuals who are coming to the US to work in a managerial or
executive position in the US branch of their current employer
 
   
 L-1B Intracompany Transfer Work Visa - Specialized Knowledge
 Visa for individuals who are coming to the US to work in a specialist
knowledge position in the US branch of their current employer
 
   
 L-2 Dependents of Intracompany Transferees
 Visas for the immediate family and dependents of an employee involved
in a country transfer to the US
 
 M Visa for Vocational Students
 Visa for vocational students entering the United States in order to attend
a vocational or other non-academic institution
 
 O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability
 Visa for individuals who can prove extraordinary ability or achievement in
a range of fields
 
 O-2 Visa for Individuals accompanying a person of Extraordinary Ability
 Visa for individuals who are accompanying a person of extraordinary ability
as an aid or dependent
 
 P Visa for Athletes and Entertainers
 Visa for individuals who are globally recognized athletes, artists or entertainers  
 R-1 Visa for Religious Workers
 Visa for individuals who are members of valid religious organizations  
 NAFTA visa (TN visa) for Mexican and Canadian Professional Workers
Visa for Canadian and Mexican citizens belonging to professions on the
NAFTA approved list.
 
 Visa Renewals
Most visa renewals follow the same procedure as applying for a first time
visa although embassies and consulates in some countries have expedited
procedures for applicants wishing to renew their US visa
 
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Visiting the U.S.
Holding a valid visa does not guarantee entry into America; this is decided at the port of entry by the U.S. immigration officer reviewing your documents. On arrival, the immigration officer will inspect your passport and visa and present you with Form I-94. On this form, the officer will record the length of time you can stay in the US, this may be different to the term specified on your visa. You must leave the US on or before the date logged on the I-94 document. Failure to do so will prevent you from obtaining future entry into the US.

Visa Process
The non-immigrant visa process consists of two steps; Filing an application form with a US Embassy or Consulate in your country of permanent residence and attending a mandatory visa interview with a Consular official who will decide your eligibility for a visa. applicants aged under 14 or over 79 do not have to attend an interview. Some countries require two interviews.
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