U.S. Visas and Immigration

There are many types of US Visas, and if you are considering immigration to the US, you will need to select a visa to apply for. Which visa you apply for will depend largely on your purpose for coming to the US. However, you will also need to consider which US visas you qualify for. Before applying for an immigration petition, therefore, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of US visas available:

1. H-1B visas are work visas for professional jobs, which are usually jobs that require a college degree. The employer must file for a “”Labor Condition Application”” (LCA) with the Department of Labor before hiring an H-1B worker.

2. B-2 visas are visitor visas, which allow someone to enter the US for a fixed time in order to take part in tourism or medical purposes. This visa can be used to visit friends and family, get medical treatment in the US, or take part in tourism activities. This is one of the most common visas used to enter the US temporarily and only gives holders a specific period of time in the US.

3. B-1 visas are business visas which allow a person to enter the US with the purpose of taking part in business meetings and other business purposes. This nonimmigrant visa does not authorize the holder to work in the US.

4. F-1 visas are student visas. These nonimmigrant visas allow students to enter the US in order to study at a recognized school in the US. Students need to be approved for a program of study and admitted to a school before applying for a student visa.

5. M-1 visas are for vocational and non-academic students who wish to enter the US temporarily in order to study.

6. O-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas designed for persons with “”extraordinary ability”” in business, sciences, the arts, athletics, education, motion pictures, or television to enter the US temporarily. Applicants need to prove that they are recognized in their field.

7. P-1 and P-3 visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow entertainment groups and athletes to enter the US for purposes of competition or performance.

8. J-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas for Exchange Visitor Program visitors to the US. J-1 visa holders can include au pairs, trainees, researchers, physicians, students, government visitors, and others taking part in exchange programs.

9. L-1 visas are for intracompany transferees to come and work in the US. These applicants usually work for a company abroad that has close links to a US company. Applicants usually are managers, executives, or workers with specialized knowledge needed in the US.

10. TN visas allow some Mexican and Canadian professionals to live and work in the US.

11. K-1 visas allow the foreign-born fiancé or fiancée of a US citizen to enter the US with the purpose of marrying the US citizen. Once the marriage has taken place, K-1 visa holders can apply to have their status adjusted to permanent resident.