B-1 - Business Visitor
B-1 Visas are available to visitors who will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States. You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to obtain a B-1 visa:
1) The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature;
2) You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time;
3) You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States.
4) You have a residence outside the United States in which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit; and
5) You are otherwise admissible to the United States.
B-2 - Tourist
B-2 Visas allow individuals to temporarily enter the United States for the purpose of tourism, pleasure, or visiting. Holders of B-1 Visas are generally allowed to remain in the United States for up to 6 months.
F-1 - Student
The F-1 visa allows individuals to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
To learn more about student visas read our blog post entitled "An Overview of Student Visa Categories"
J-1 - Exchange Visitor
The J-1 exchange visitor non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. This visa enable foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.
To learn more about the J-1 Exchange visa read our blog post entitled "An Overview of the J-1 Visa for Exchange Visitors"
K-1 - Fiance(e)
A U.S. citizen may petition for a fiancé(e) visa by showing that he/she intends to marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the United States, that you are both free to marry and that any previous marriages must have been legally terminated, and, with some exceptions, that you met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition.
To learn more about the fiance(e) visa read our blog post entitled "The Fiancee Visa"
O-1 - Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is available to individuals who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
To learn more about the O-1 visa read our blog post entitled "An Overview of the O Visa Classification"
The P visa is available to internationally-known athletes (either individuals or members of a group or team) or entertainment group, individual and group performing artists participating in a reciprocal exchange program, culturally unique artists; and support personnel for primary P visa holders.
To learn more about the P visa read our blog post entitled "An Overview of the P Visa Classification"
T- Human Trafficking Victim
T visas are available to individuals are or were a victim of trafficking, are in the United States or at a port of entry due to trafficking, comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking, and demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States. You must also be admissible to the United States. However, if you are not admissible you may apply for a waiver.
U - Crime Victim
U visas are available to individuals who are the victim of qualifying criminal activity, have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse, have information about the criminal activity, and were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. The crime must have occurred in the United States and you must be admissible. However, If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver.
EB-1(A) Extraordinary Ability Visa
The EB-1(A) nonimmigrant visa is available to individuals who are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. The achievements must be recognized in the individuals field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required.
EB-1-2 Outstanding Professors and Researchers
The EB-1-2 nonimmigrant visa is available to individuals who can demonstrate international recognition for y outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The individual must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area and must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure, tenure track teaching, or a comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education.
EB-2 Schedule A, Group 2 Exceptional Ability in Arts and Sciences Visa
To this visa, the intending nonimmigrant must work in a field that could be classified as the “arts” or “sciences,” received widespread acclaim and international recognition by recognized experts in his or her specific field, have worked in the field during the past year, and be able to demonstrate that their work in the U.S., after the green card is approved, will require exceptional ability. Exceptional ability is defined as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of up to 90 days for purposes of business, tourism, or visiting. In order to travel without a visa through the visa waiver program, an individual must have authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a U.S. bound air or sea carrier. ESTA is the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) automated web-based system to determine eligibility to travel without a visa to the United States for tourism or business.
Citizens of the following 38 countries are eligible for the visa waiver program:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.
Those who entered the country through the program had previously been unable to extend their stays or adjust their status once in the United States. However, under a November 14, 2013 policy memorandum issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), field offices shall now have the authority to adjudicate adjustment of status petitions filed by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who were last admitted to the United States under the visa waiver program. This includes cases where Form I-485 was filed after the 90-day period of admission.
To learn more about the visa waiver program read our blog post entitled "An Overview of the Visa Waiver Program"