The United States offers several categories of visas for foreign nationals who wish to visit, study, work, or reside in the country. These categories are based on the purpose of the visit and the applicant’s qualifications. Although these are categorized into just two main types; Immigrant and non-immigrant visas, there are more than 20 subtypes.
0Depending on the purpose of the visit here is a comprehensive list of all the visa categories available:
A-1 and A-2:Diplomatic visas for foreign government officials and their families.
B-1 and B-2:Visitor visas for tourism, business, or medical treatment.
C-1 and C-2:Transit visas for individuals passing through the United States on their way to another country.
D:Crewmember visas for individuals who work aboard commercial sea vessels or international airlines.
E-1 and E-2:Treaty trader and treaty investor visas for individuals conducting international trade or investment with the United States.
EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, EB5:The EB category, also known as employment-based immigration, is a type of visa category that allows individuals to come to the United States to work and live permanently. It is typically for individuals who have a job offer from a U.S. employer and possess specific skills, education, or experience.
F and M:Student visas for individuals pursuing academic or vocational studies in the United States.
G-1 through G-5:International organization visas for employees of international organizations such as the United Nations.
H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3:Work visas for individuals coming to the United States for temporary or seasonal employment.
I:Journalist and media visa for representatives of foreign media traveling to the United States for work-related purposes.
J-1:Exchange visitor visa for individuals participating in approved exchange programs such as work and travel, research, or training.
K-1:Fiancé(e) visa for foreign nationals engaged to U.S. citizens.
L-1A and L-1B:Intracompany transferee visas for employees of multinational companies being transferred to work in the United States.
M-1:Vocational student visa for individuals pursuing non-academic or vocational studies in the United States.
NATO:Visas for military personnel and employees of NATO and their families.
O-1 and O-2:Visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, as well as support staff.
P-1, P-2, and P-3:Visas for athletes, artists, and entertainers who are coming to the United States to participate in a competition or performance.
Q-1:Visa for individuals participating in an international cultural exchange program.
R-1:Religious worker visa for individuals coming to the United States to work in a religious capacity.
T:Visa for victims of human trafficking.
TN:Work visa for Canadian and Mexican citizens coming to the United States to work in certain professional fields under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
It’s important to note that each visa category has its own specific requirements and application process, and not all categories may be applicable to every individual. It’s essential to carefully review the requirements and seek professional assistance if needed to increase the chances of a successful visa application.
What are the Most Common US Visas Applied for?
There are many different categories of visas that can be used to enter the United States, depending on the purpose of the visit. Explained below is an overview of the most common categories of US visas.
B-1/B-2 visitor visa:This visa category is for individuals who wish to visit the US for tourism, business, or medical treatment. The B-1 visa is for business visitors, while the B-2 visa is for tourists and visitors seeking medical treatment. These visas are typically issued for up to six months and can be extended in certain circumstances.
EB-1:Priority Workers – This visa category is for individuals who are considered to have extraordinary abilities in science, art, education, business, or athletics, or who are outstanding professors or researchers or multinational executives or managers.
EB-2:Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability – This visa category is for individuals who have advanced degrees or exceptional ability in their field of work.
EB-3:Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers – This visa category is for individuals who have at least two years of work experience, a bachelor’s degree, or are unskilled workers with less than two years of experience.
EB-4:Special Immigrant Visas – This visa category is for individuals who are religious workers, employees of the U.S. government, Iraqi or Afghan translators or interpreters, or juvenile victims of human trafficking.
EB-5:Immigrant Investor Program – This visa category is for individuals who invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise or $500,000 in a targeted employment area and create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
F-1 student visa:This visa category is for individuals who wish to study in the US at an accredited educational institution. To be eligible for an F-1 visa, applicants must have been accepted into a full-time academic or language program and must have sufficient financial support to cover their expenses while in the US. F-1 visas are typically issued for the duration of the student’s academic program.
J-1 exchange visitor visa:This visa category is for individuals who participate in exchange programs that promote cultural exchange, education, and research. These programs may include study, research, training, teaching, or other educational or cultural exchanges. J-1 visas are typically issued for the duration of the program.
H-1B specialty occupation visa:This visa category is for individuals who have a job offer from a US employer for a specialty occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. H-1B visas are typically issued for up to three years and can be extended for up to six years.
L-1 intra-company transferee visa:This visa category is for individuals who are employed by a multinational company and are being transferred to a US office or subsidiary. L-1 visas are typically issued for up to three years for new employees and up to five years for employees who have been with the company for at least one year.
O-1 extraordinary ability visa:This visa category is for individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, and who have been recognized nationally or internationally for their achievements. O-1 visas are typically issued for up to three years and can be extended in certain circumstances.
K-1 fiancé(e) visa:This visa category is for individuals who are engaged to be married to a US citizen and wish to enter the US to marry and reside with their spouse. K-1 visas are typically issued for up to six months and must be used to enter the US within 90 days of issuance.