There are more than 180 types of visas in the United States, divided into two categories – nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas.
The category of nonimmigrant visas includes all types of visas for temporary visits, which includes different purposes such as tourism, business, work, family, and studying.
The category of immigrant visas includes all types of visas for people to immigrate to the United States to live permanently.
In this article, we will provide you a non-exhaustive list of the types of USA visas.
Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored Visas
There are two types of family-based immigrant visas – immediate relative and family preference. The first applies to close family relationships with a US citizen (spouse, child, or parent.).
The second category is for specific and more distant family relationships with a US citizen, as well as some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident.
While US citizens can file an immigrant visa petition for their spouse, children, parent, or siblings, a US Lawful Permanent Resident can only file an immigrant visa petition for their spouse or unmarried children.
This category includes the IR3, IH3, IR4, and IH4 visas, which are for children from other countries who will be adopted by US citizen parent(s).
A US citizen has two ways to bring a foreign spouse (husband or wife) to the United States:
- utilizing the IR1 and CR1 visas, which are for spouses of US Citizens, or
- utilizing the K3 visa, which is for spouses of US citizens who are in the process of obtaining permanent immigration status.
A US-based employer (or prospective employer) can sponsor a foreign national to become a permanent resident based on a permanent job offer.
There are three main types of visa issued for immigrant employees:
- Employment First Preference Priority Workers visa (EB1),
- Employment Second Preference Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability visa, or
- Employment Third Preference Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers visa,
Immigrant investors can apply for an EB-5 visa.
Temporary Work Visas
Individuals who want to work temporarily work in the United States can apply for this category. In this sense, the category is divided between:
- Individuals who have been employed in highly specialized fields (H1B).
- Nationals of Chile and Singapore (H1B1).
- Temporary agricultural workers from selected countries in whom the US has some type of interest (H2A).
- Other types of temporary seasonal workers, who do non-agricultural work (H2B).
- Individuals who want to take advantage of training and education opportunities (H3).
- Intracompany managers or executives (L1).
Visitor/ Student Visas
Visitor/ Student Visas are issued for people who want to go to the United States as a visitor for a maximum six-month period. This category is divided into business visitors (B1) and tourism visitors (B2).
Individuals who want to go to the United States for academic or vocational purposes can apply for a visa in the F and M categories. This category is divided between student visas (F1), dependents of F1 visa holders (F2), and vocational purposes (M1).
There is also the category of exchange visitor visas (J1 and Q visas). This type of permission is targeted at individuals who participate in exchange programs within the United States.
Visas for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability in Arts, Science, Business, Education, or Athletics
As suggested by its name, the category is reserved for individuals with extraordinary abilities in several fields (O1). Assistants and dependents of O1 visa holders are granted O2 and O3 visas, respectively. The P visas also fall into this category, being issued to sportspersons and their coaching teams.
Other types of visas in this category include:
- Temporary Religious Workers (R1).
- Citizens of Canada or Mexico who will be working in the NAFTA organization (TN/TD).
- Australian nationals who will be working in specialty occupations (E3).
- Representatives of foreign media and journalists’ part of the press, film, radio, or print industries, on a visit to the United States to work or participate in educational media activities (I visa).
Transit and Crewmember/ Treaty Trader and Investor Visas
This category of nonimmigrant visas is suitable for individuals working onboard commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the United States. It includes the subcategories Transit Visa USA (C visa) and the D visa for crew members who will work board commercial sea vessels or international airlines.
The E category includes the Treaty Trader (E1) and Treaty Investor (E2) visas, for individuals in those categories who have commerce and navigation treaties in the United States.
Diplomatic and Official Visas
This category embraces diplomats and other foreign government officials traveling to the United States. Diplomats or foreign government officials who are traveling to the US on official duties or representing their government receive the A1 visa.
NATO workers receive the NATO visa, while the A2 NATO1-6 visa is designed only for foreign military personnel who are about to serve or be stationed within the United States.
Individuals employed by an international organization in the United States can apply for the G visa (G1 to G5).
Visas for Victims of Crime and Human Trafficking
Victims of human trafficking who have severe trauma but can assist in investigating crimes related to human trafficking are eligible for T visas.
On the other hand, individuals who have been a victim of certain criminal activities and that can aid in the investigation/prosecution of those criminals are eligible for U visas.
We Can Help You to Get Your USA Visa
Professional guidance is a crucial step for anyone who wants to obtain a USA visa. Get in touch with Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.