Types of Nonimmigrant Visas
The type of temporary visa you’ll need is fully dependent on the reason for your visit. You need a completely different visa to come here as a tourist than you do to come here to work short-term on a project. Common immigrant visa types are B-2 (for tourism), F-1 (student visa), E-2 (investor visa), and H-1B (specialty worker). The full list follows:
- A-1: This is the visa issued to politicians, diplomats, public ministers, ambassadors, and their families while in the US.
- A-2: Employees or Officials of foreign governments that do not qualify for an A-1 visa are given an A-2 as well as their families.
- A-3: Any attendants, workers, or servants that accompany A-1 and A-2 visa holders are issued A-3 Visas.
- B-1: This visa is issued to visitors who come to do business
- B-2: This is for any visitor coming simply to have fun or to seek medical treatment.
- C-1: This Visa is issued to any foreign travelers seeking continuous transport through the US.
- D-1: Issued to any members or crew of a ship that needs to land in the US and who intend to leave on the vessel on which they arrived.
- D-2: Issued to crew members who land in the US temporarily but plan to leave on a different ship than the one they arrived on.
- E-1: Traders who work in the US and their families for US companies that do more than half their business with the workers home country.
- E-2: Investors and their families for US companies who receive more than half their investment capital from the investors home country.
- E-3: Any Australian workers and their families in the US who perform a specialty service or occupation.
- F-1: This is issued to any student or person who comes here to study.
- F-2: Issued to the families that accompany an F-1 visa holder into the US.
- F-3: Any citizen of Canada or Mexico in the US to attend school.
- G-1: Any official and principal representative and their family of a foreign government present in order to take part in or work for an international organization.
- G-2: Issued to non-principal representatives and their families of foreign countries here to work for an international organization.
- G-3: Issued to any representative and their family from a foreign country that qualifies for G-1 or G-2 except that their country is not an actual member of the international organization for which they are in the country to work for.
- G-4: Issued to the employees, officers and their families of international organizations.
- G-5: Issued to any servants, personal employees, or attendants of G-1 through G-4 visa holders.
- H-1B: Issued to any specialty worker like fashion models or those with trade skills requiring at least a Bachelors or equivalent work experience.
- H-1C: Issued to any nurses coming to work in areas in the US where healthcare is inadequate.
- H-2A: Issued to agricultural workers in the US to help fill any shortage in agricultural labor recognized by the US Department of Agriculture.
- H-2B: Issued to all kinds of temporary workers in the US to help with a recognized shortage in workers for this kind of work.
- H-3: Issued to any trainees who have come for any on-the-job training unavailable in their home country.
- H-4: Issued to the families of H-1 through H-3 visa holders.
- I-1: Issued to any bona fide foreign press representatives and their families who are in the country specifically for this capacity.
- J-1: Issued to any exchange visitors for any work or study exchange program that is recognized by the US State Department.
- J-2: Issued to the children and spouses of J-1 visa holders.
- K-1: Issued to any foreign individual who is engaged and coming to the US to be married.
- K-2: Issued to the minor, children of any K-1 visa holders.
- K-3: Seldom used, but issued to the spouses of US citizens who want to enter the US and apply for adjusted immigrant status. This was supposed to be a shorter way to get an immigrant visa, but rarely is so is seldom used.
- K-4: Issued to any unmarried offspring of K-3 visa holders.
- L-1: Issued to intracompany transferees who occupy key business positions as persons with specialized knowledge.
- L-2: Issued to the families of L-1 visa holders.
- M-1: Issued to vocational (non-academic, non-language) students in the US
- M-2: Issued to the family of M-1 visa holders.
- M-3: Issued to anyone from Mexico or Canada in the US to study a vocational trade at a school.
- N-8: Issued to certain immigrants parents
- N-9: Issued to the children of special immigrants
- NATO-1 through NATO-5: Issued to any officials, experts, or other representatives (and their families) in the US for an applicable NATO Treaty provision.
- NATO-6: Issued to any civilians (and their families) that are with military forces acting under authorization of the NATO Treaty.
- NATO-7: Issued to any servants, personal employees, and attendants of NATO-1 through NATO-6 visa holders.
- O-1: Issued to persons with extraordinary abilities in athletics, arts, science, education, or business.
- O-2: Issued to any essential support staff of O-1 visa holders.
- O-3: Issued to the children and spouses of any O-1 or O-2 visa holders.
- P-1: Issued to internationally renowned performers, athletes, and entertainers as well as their support staff.
- P-2: Issued to entertainers specifically in the US to participate in US government sponsored exchange programs.
- P-3: Issued to performers and artists in the US for specific culture events and performances.
- P-4: Issued to the children and spouse of any P-1 through P-3 visa holder.
- Q-1: Issued to any visitors to the US who are participating in a cultural exchange program.
- Q-2: Issued specifically to international visitors in the US for the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program.
- Q-3: Issued to the children and spouses of Q-1 Visa holders.
- R-1: Issued to the preachers, ministers, and other workers of recognized religions.
- R-2: Issued to the children and spouses of R-1 visa holders.
- S-5: Issued to any visitors to the US that have come in order to assist the authorities in a criminal investigation.
- S-6: Issued to any visitors in the US that have come in order to assist the authorities in a terrorist investigation.
- T-1: Issued to any individuals who are the victims of human trafficking
- T-2 & T-3: Issued to the spouses (T2) and children (T3) of T1 Visa holders.
- TN: This is a trade visa that is issued to residents of Mexico and Canada.
- U-1: Any individuals who have sustained mental or physical abuse as a result of criminal violations that took place within the US and are helping law enforcement and other authorities.
- U-2 & U-3: Issued to the spouses (U2) and children (U3) of U-1 Visa holders.
- V: Issued to the spouse and children of an lawful US permanent resident who has waited 3 years and petitioned for and received approval for an immigrant visa before December 21, 2000.
US Activity Limits and Lengths for Nonimmigrant Visas
Different types of visas have different limits on what you can do while in the US. Student Visas allow you to study, but not to work. Every different type of nonimmigrant visa has a different purpose and as logically follows, the length for each of these visas is directly related to the purpose it is issued for. All US Visas come with an expiration date and most nonimmigrant Visas can be renewed/extended a number of times all together.
It should be noted your Visa expiration date limits when you may enter the US. However, how long you can stay is not dictated by your Visa, rather by your Form I-94 (typically a small green or white card you received when you entered the country if you came after April, 2013). You should be able to access your record on this by contacting the US Customs & Border Protection.
Visas are either “multiple entry” or they can only be used one time. If you have a multiple entry visa you can use it to enter the US again, otherwise is only good for the single entry.
Have More Questions about Nonimmigrant or Temporary Visas?
There are all kinds of temporary visas. Unfortunately, the laws around them are incredibly hard to understand – even those with advanced degrees have trouble figuring them all out! It’s a good idea to hire a qualified lawyer who has made it his business to help people seeking excitement in the US – whether it’s to study at our colleges or make it your home. If you need professional help to navigate the complicated visa application process, look no further than the Law Office of Yoel Molina, P.A. Yoel has experience assisting people just like you with their American Dream. Give our office a call and we’d be happy to discuss your legal needs and concerns. Call 305-548-5020 now.