Many who will seek to enter the United States will do so for a temporary period of time.  While some will be allowed entry without a visa, most will require a visa to enter. Particular visas are appropriate, depending on the purpose.  For example:

Visas for Temporary Visitors

  • B-1: granted to foreign visitors seeking to enter the U.S. for business purposes
    (meetings, conferences, etc.)
  • B-2: granted to foreign visitors seeking to enter the U.S. for pleasure (to visit family, to visit famous American sites and landmarks, etc.)

Visas for Students and Trainees

  • F: granted to students in private elementary and secondary schools; and to public and private community/junior colleges and universities.
  • M: granted to student attending vocational or non-academic institutions.
  • J: granted to trainees, professors or research scholars, non-academic specialists, foreign physicians, teachers, government visitors, camp counselors, au pairs and summer students engaging in travel/work programs.
  • H-3: granted to temporary workers invited to train or receive instruction in a non-productive employment setting.  

Visas for Business Personnel

  • E:  granted to persons entering the United States to carry on trade in goods and services (E-1 treaty trader); or persons entering the United States to invest (E-2 treaty investor).
  • I: granted to media representatives (bona fide representatives of foreign press, radio, film or other foreign information media).
  • H-1B:  granted to workers in a professional or specialty occupation, certain fashion
    models, or a workers involved in Department of Defense projects.

Special H-1Bs are also available to nationals of Singapore, Chile, and Australia.

  • H-1C: granted to nurses to work temporarily at hospitals in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  • H-2:  granted to workers performing services of a temporary or seasonal nature.
  • L:  granted to employees of multinational companies who are transferred into the United States to work for the U.S. affiliate or subsidiary
  • O:  granted to persons who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; or persons in the motion picture or TV production industry if such person has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement.
  • P: granted to Athletes (individual or part of a team) and Group Entertainers who are internationally recognized as being outstanding
  • Q: granted to participants in an international cultural exchange program for the purpose of providing practical training, employment and the sharing of the history, cultural and traditions of the country of the person’s nationality.
  • R: granted to ministers or persons working in a professional capacity in a religious setting.

Visas for Diplomatic and International Organizations:

  • A:  granted to diplomats, officials and employees of foreign governments that are recognized by the United States and who are coming on official business
  • C2/3:  granted to foreign government officials passing through the United States or representatives or others requested by the United Nations.
  • G:  granted to members of a permanent mission; representatives of a recognized government; or employees of international organizations; and their staff.

Family-Related Visas

  • K-1/2:  granted to the fiancé/ee of a United States Citizen and the fiancé/ee’s child
  • K-3/4:  granted to the spouse of a United States Citizen and the foreign spouse’s child(ren)
  • V-1/2/3: granted to the spouse and children of a U.S. lawful permanent resident (V- 1/2) or the children of the spouse (V-3) if the petition to sponsor them for immigrant visa was filed prior to 12/21/2000.

Transit and Crewman Visas

  • C1: granted to foreign nationals in transit through the United States or crewmen seeking to join their ship
  • D:  granted to crewmen employed by vessels

Law Enforcement Visas

  • S:  granted to persons in possession of information necessary to a criminal
    investigation whose presence in the United States has been deemed essential to
    the investigation or prosecution.
  • T:  granted to persons who have been the victim of “severe trafficking” who will
    assist in the investigation.
  • U:  granted to persons who have suffered substantial abuse as a victim of rape,torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, peonage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal
    restraint, false imprisonment, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury, or the attempt/conspiracy/solicitation to commit any of the above crimes; such persons must possess information about the criminal activity and must be helpful to the investigation.
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