List of US visa types

There are several US visa types that you should learn more about. Citizens who enter the United States of America from other countries should always have visas. There are nonimmigrant or tourist or temporary visas. Immigrant visas are available for those who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States. The non-immigrant visa is for those who are tourists, businesspersons, students who wish to stay for a temporary duration and so on.

Here are the US visa types to be aware of-

  1. Business/Tourist Visa-

This is the temporary visa for traveling that people often require. The B-1 is for business associates who wish to settle estates, negotiate deals/contracts and attend educational/scientific and business conferences/conventions. The B-2 visa covers medical treatment, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, social/service activities and the like. In most cases, these are combined and issued as a single visa. The consular officer should be convinced that you will be returning after the trip is completed and also that you can fund your expenses while in the country. You cannot accept any employment while you are using a visitor visa in the United States.

  1. Work Visa USA

If someone wishes to temporarily work in the United States, there is a specific visa required based on the work type. The USCIS should approve petitions in case of H, O, L, Q and P visa applicants. There should be approval of Form I-129 prior to applying for this visa. The employer will get the Form I-797 which will be the approval for the petition notification. These may also be called employment visa USA. Some of the types of work visas include the following-

  • H1-B for specialty occupation
  • H-2A for seasonal workers in agriculture
  • H-2B for unskilled and skilled workers
  • H-4 for dependents (spouse and unmarried children can accompany professionals to the USA but cannot accept employment)
  • H3 for trainees
  • L-2 for dependents of L visa holders
  • L-1 in case of intra company transfers of those at managerial/executive levels
  • Type O Visa for those with talents in the arts, education, science, athletics, business, motion pictures, television production and other fields
  • Type P Visa which covers entertainers, artists, athletes and support personnel who come down to the USA for performing
  • Type Q Visa- This is needed for those wishing to take part in global cultural exchange programmes
  • Student visa USA

Foreign citizens who wish to study in the country have to obtain acceptance at their chosen program/institution. They can apply for the visa within 120 days from the I-20 start date and traveling is allowed within a period of 30 days from the I-20 commencement. The student visas available include the F-1 visa (academic studies/approved English language program and courses exceed 18 hours a week) and M-1 visa (vocational, non-academic courses or training). Those who have M-2, A, H-4, E, J-2, G, F-2 and other nonimmigrant visas can get enrolled in elementary/public secondary schools.

  • Exchange Visitor Visa-

Exchange program participation is allowed but the program sponsor should accept and approve the applicant first. The participants can be professors, teachers, students, professional trainees, research scholars and other visitors.

  • Transit visa USA or ship crew visa-

There is the Transit C Visa for citizens traveling to another country through the USA. Layover privileges have to be obtained in case the person wishes to visit people in the USA. There is the Crew D Visa where crew members who serve on aircrafts and sea vessels qualify for the B-1 visa within the Outer Continental Shelf. B-1 or B-2 visas are a must for crew members who are coming into the USA during their time off between cruises and flights.

  • Religious Worker Visa
  • Domestic Employee Visa-

This covers housemaids, footmen, valets, cooks, paid companions, helpers, chauffeurs, nannies, butlers, gardeners and so on. Domestic employees of government officials or foreign diplomats have eligibility for G-5 or A-3 visas.

  • Media & Journalist Visa-

The Media I visa is given to nonimmigrants who are representatives of foreign media houses for a temporary period. However, visitor visas are offered in case the person is attending any meeting/conference/guest lecture/academic session and also for a vacation or buying media equipment. The temporary work visa is offered in case the applicant is coming to the USA for filming any material for advertising/commercial entertainment and also for set designers, proofreaders, librarians, television and quiz show personnel, personnel for staged events, production of artistic media content and likewise. Children under 21 and spouses of principal visa holders can accompany them with the B-2 visa.