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Different Types Of Visas

There are many types of visas. Depending on your situation, you may wish to apply for:

  • B1: Business. This allows you to:
    • Consult with business associates,
    • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference,
    • Settle an estate,
    • Negotiate a contract
  • B2: Tourism allows you to:
    • Vacation (holiday)
    • Visit with friends or relatives
    • Medical treatment
    • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
    • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
    • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a
    • degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)
  • J-1 The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.
    • Au pair and EduCare: participants and host families take part in a mutually rewarding, intercultural opportunity. Participants can continue their education while experiencing everyday life with an American family, and hosts receive reliable and responsible childcare from individuals who become part of the family.
    • Camp Counselor The Camp Counselor Program enables post-secondary students, youth workers, and teachers to share their culture and ideas with the people of the United States in camp settings throughout the country.
    • Government Visitor: Through the Government Visitor program, distinguished international visitors develop and strengthen professional and personal relationships with their American counterparts in U.S. federal, state or local government agencies.
    • Intern: Internship programs are designed to allow foreign college and university students or recent graduates to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive hands-on experience in U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.
    • International Visitor (Dept. of State use): The International visitor category is for people-to people programs, which seek to develop and strengthen professional and personal ties between key foreign nationals and Americans and American institutions.
    • Physician: Through the Alien Physician program foreign physicians participate in U.S. graduate medical education programs or training at accredited U.S. schools of medicine.
    • Professor and Research Scholar: The exchange of professors promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.
    • Short-term Scholar: Professors, research scholars and other individuals with similar education or accomplishments travel to the United States on a short-term visit for to lecture, observe, consult, train or demonstrate special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions or similar types of institutions.
    • Specialist: Specialists are experts in a field of specialized knowledge or skills who provide opportunities to increase the exchange of ideas with American counterparts.
    • Student, college/university: Foreign students have the opportunity to study at American degree-granting post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or participate in a student internship program that will fulfill the educational objectives of the student’s degree program in his or her home country.
    • Student, secondary: Secondary school students travel to the United States to study at an accredited public or private high school and live with an American host family or at an accredited boarding school.
    • Summer Work Travel: College and University students enrolled full time and pursuing studies at post-secondary accredited academic institutions located outside the United States come to the United States to share their culture and ideas with people of the United States through temporary work and travel opportunities.
    • Teacher: Foreign teachers have the opportunity to teach in accredited primary and secondary schools in the United States.
    • Trainee: Training programs are designed to allow foreign professionals to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive training in U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.
  • Employees of International Organizations and NATO visa: Diplomats, government officials, and employees who will work for international organizations in the United States need G visas. Officials and employees of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) who will work for NATO in the United States need NATO visas. With the exception of a Head of State or Government who qualifies for an A visa regardless of the purpose of his or her visit to the United States, the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon their purpose of travel to the United States.
  • G Visas: you must be traveling to attend meetings at, visit, or work at a designated international organization. If you are entitled to a G visa, under U.S. visa law, you must receive a G visa.  The exceptions to this rule are extremely limited.  International organization officials and employees requiring visas include:
    • G-1 – Permanent mission members of a recognized government to a designated international organization and their immediate family members
    • G-2 – Representatives of a recognized government traveling temporarily to the United States to attend meetings of a designated international organization and their immediate family members
    • G-3 – Representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments and their immediate family members
    • G-4 – Individuals coming to the United States to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations, and their immediate family members
    • G-5 – May be issued to personal employees or domestic workers of a G-1 – 4 visa holders.
  • NATO visa: you must be traveling to the United States under the applicable provisions of the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters Set Up Pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty. This includes national representatives, international staff, and immediate family members.  Personal employees or domestic workers of a NATO-1 – 6 visa holder may be issued NATO-7 visas.
  • H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.
    • H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional – Chile, Singapore To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa. For application procedures, please refer to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Chile or the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)
    • H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
    • H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker For temporary or seasonal non- agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
    • H-3: Trainee or Special Education visitor To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
    • L: Intracompany Transferee: To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.
    • O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognized achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
    • P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
    • P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
    • P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
    • Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program For practical training and employment and for sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of your home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.
    • E visas:
      • Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. For a list of participating countries, select Treaty Countries.
      • E1: Treaty Trader;
        • You must be a citizen of a treaty country.
        • The trading firm for which you plan to come to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise.
        • The international trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
        • More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the treaty country.
        • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
        • You must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
      • E2: Treaty Investor:
        • The investor, either a person, partnership or corporate entity, must have the citizenship of a treaty country.
        • If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality.
        • The investment must be substantial, with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
        • The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
        • It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
        • You must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
        • You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If you are not the principal investor, you must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

T Visas: Victims of Human Trafficking:

  • Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers typically lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Victims of severe forms of human trafficking are provided relief under U.S. immigration law by the Victims of Trafficking in Persons (T) nonimmigrant visa. This status allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States to assist in investigations or prosecutions of human trafficking violators.
  • Foreign citizens seeking T-1 nonimmigrant status must be physically present in the United States already, due to human trafficking. Therefore, U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad (outside the United States) do not issue T-1 visas, but may issue qualifying family members T (derivative) visas.

U Visa: Visas for Victims of Criminal Activity: Victims of certain criminal activities that either occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws may be eligible to petition for U nonimmigrant status to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Victims must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the criminal activity and possess information concerning that criminal activity. Law enforcement authorities must also certify that the victim has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

F: Visa: This is a student Visa, allowed to enter the United States to attend:

  • University or college F
  • High School
  • Private elementary school
  • Seminary
  • Conservatory
  • Another academic institution, including a language training program
  • M Visa: Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program
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