What Are Non-Immigrant Visas?
If you’re from a foreign nation, you may be wondering, “what is a non-immigrant visa?”. Non-immigrant visas are visas typically obtained by those entering the United States temporarily. In order to receive a U.S. non-immigrant visa, you must show that you demonstrate “non-immigrant intent,” which is the intent to leave the United States once you reach the expiration date on your non-immigrant visa. Examples of visiting the United States on a temporary basis include travel, study, temporary work, business, and medical reasons. Depending on your situation, you may need to obtain a certain type of non-immigrant visa.
Why a U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa May Be Right for You
A U.S. non-immigrant visa may be right for you if you plan on visiting the United States temporarily. Non-immigrant visas are broken into different categories, such as those for visitors, students, workers, and exchange visitors. Below are the most common types of U.S. non-immigrant visas:
There are several employment visas individuals can apply for to enter the United States temporarily. To obtain a work visa, an employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the USCIS approves the petition, you’ll be able to apply for a visa using Form DS-160.
If you’re a foreign student looking to study in the United States, you’ll have to apply for a student visa. Similar to work visas, there are several types of student visas depending on your situation. However, the most common student visa is the F-1 Visa, which allows recipients to study full time at an American university, college, community college, high school, middle school, elementary school, or any other school approved by the USCIS.
Whether you’re coming to explore America’s National Parks or visiting extended family, you’re going to need a travel visa. A travel visa is stamped on a recipient’s passport and allows them to enter the United States for a set period of time. The most common travel visa is the B-2 visa, also called the visitor visa.
There are a few special programs a visitor can apply for if they need to enter the United States temporarily. These special programs are typically meant for humanitarian emergencies. The three types of special programs include:
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Deferred Action
- Prosecutorial Discretion
Dual Intent Doctrine and Non-Immigrant Visas
There are a few different types of visas that are considered “dual intent” visas, where a non-immigrant intending to immigrate can visit the U.S. while not immigrating at the time of the visit. Dual intent visas allow non-immigrants to visit the U.S. while still having the option to apply for a green card in the future. With a dual intent visa, non-immigrants can enter the U.S. even while their green card is being processed. Below are non-immigrant visas with dual intent:
If you’re looking to work temporarily for a company based in the United States, you can apply for an H-1B visa. H-1B visas are meant for labor and employment purposes for highly-educated foreign nationals with an intent to work temporarily in the U.S. The U.S. government sets a cap on the number of H-1B visas administered each year, making them somewhat difficult to come by.
To obtain an H-1B visa, your employer will have to file a petition for you to qualify as a nonimmigrant worker. Types of workers who can be eligible include individuals in a specialty occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, workers involved in research projects administered by the U.S. Department of Defense, and fashion models.
If you’re looking to obtain temporary work in the U.S., a Consumer Law Group non-immigrant visa lawyer can help ensure you file a successful application.
L- Intra-Company Transfers
Employees working for a multinational company with an affiliate, subsidiary, or joint venture partner in the U.S. can apply for an L Visa. L Visas allow foreign nationals in an executive or managerial role, or one with specialized knowledge, to transfer to the U.S. for a set period of time.
O- Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
Non-immigrants demonstrating extraordinary ability in business, athletics, art, science, and education can come to the U.S. temporarily with an O Visa. O Visas allow nonimmigrants to live and work in the U.S., as long as they demonstrate extraordinary ability, which can be proven by receiving a majorly internationally recognized award like a Nobel Prize, or by documenting their abilities and achievements in an exclusive association, publication, or employment role in a highly-regarded company.
P- Performing Artists and Athletes
Athletes and performing artists, such as musicians, bands, and circus performers, can apply for a P Visa to temporarily visit and work in the U.S. Groups can apply for a P Visa, or each member can apply separately, but not both. To apply, your employer must submit Form I-129 to the USCIS, along with the supporting documents, to the branch in the area you intend to perform.
Other Non-Immigrant Visas
There are dozens of non-immigrant visas that allow foreign nationals to come to the U.S. temporarily. However, knowing which one is right for your situation can be a challenge. At Consumer Law Group, our non-immigrant visa lawyers can help you decide which of the following non-immigrant visas is right for you:
- A: Diplomatic, Ambassadors
- B: Visitors for Business / Pleasure
- C: Foreign National in Transit
- D: Crewpersons
- E: Treaty Traders & Investors
- E-3: Australian Specialty Occupation Workers
- F: International Student
- G: Foreign Government Agencies
- H: Temporary Workers
- I: Foreign Media Representatives
- J: Exchange Visitors
- K: Fiancé of U.S. Citizen
- L: Intra-Company Transfers
- M: International Vocational Student
- N: Children of Special Immigrants
- O: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
- Q: Cultural Exchange Visa
- R: Religious Visa
- S: Special Snitch Status (“LEA”)
- T: Work Options for Students
- B-1: Temporary Business
- B-2: Temporary Tourists
- C-1: Transit Visa
- C-2: United Nations
- C-3: Government Officials
- D-1: Crewmen
- D-2: Crewmen
- E-2: Investors
- H1-B1: Speciality Occupations
- H-2A: Agricultural Workers
- H-2B: Temporary Services
- H-3: Training
- O-2: Accompanying Aliens
- P-1: Artists and Athletes
- P-2: Troupes and Bands
- P-3: Artists and Entertainers
- TN-1: Canadian Citizens
- TN-2: Mexican Citizens
- H-1B: Audit and Investigations
- U Non-Immigrant Visa: Victims of Criminal Activity
How to Obtain a Non-Immigrant Visa
To apply for a non-immigrant visa, you’ll first need to determine whether you’re required to have a visa in the first place—some countries participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Then, you’ll need to figure out which type of non-immigrant visa you’ll should apply for. Our team at Consumer Law Group can work with you to help determine the best course of action. After you’ve found out which non-immigrant visa to apply for, you’ll begin your visa application and submit the following materials:
- The online nonimmigrant visa application form, Form DS-160
- A photo of your face
- A visa application fee
- A schedule for your visa interview
Once these steps are complete, you’ll be on your way to obtaining a non-immigrant visa.
Get Assistance from Our Non-Immigrant Visa Lawyers Today
If you’re ready to come to the United States for a temporary stay, whether it’s for work, travel, or school, make sure you’re prepared with a non-immigrant visa. At Consumer Law Group, our immigration law attorneys can help you decide which non-immigrant visa is right for you and walk you through the steps to obtain one.
Our team of non-immigrant visa lawyers are committed to helping you get the best outcome—and don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at what our customers have to say about us by reading through our testimonials. To embark on your new journey to the U.S., get in contact with us by calling or emailing Consumer Law Group today.
With a large team focusing on various practice areas, we are able to help clients with diverse needs. Consumer Law can assist you with: