When applying for a US visa, applicants must choose between immigrant and non-immigrant visas. With so much emphasis centered on picking the proper visa form based on the kind of visa, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the numerous types of visas and the different types and procedures involved.
The following article outlines everything about a non – immigrant visa.
What is exactly a non-immigrant visa?
A non-immigrant USA visa defines the United States’ legal system as a temporary stay in the nation.
It indicates you will visit the United States for a short amount of time for purposes like tourism, business, and so on, but you will not stay permanently.
Those who wish to relocate to the United States to live and work permanently must apply for a US Immigrant Visa.
Types of non-immigrant visa
There are various sorts of non-immigrant US visas.
The type of visa you need to apply for is determined by the purpose of your stay, whether you are visiting the United States for business, as a student, for a tourist, or for other reasons.
The following is a list of visa kinds, as well as the purpose of visit for each one, which will help you decide which one to apply for:
A Visa- (Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials.)
The A visa is for diplomats or foreign government officials visiting the United States on official business or representing their country.
The only person permitted to enter the United States for any reason is the Head of State or Government, such as the President or Prime Minister.
A-2 -NATO1-6 Visa
The A-2 NATO1-6 visa solely intends for foreign military personnel planning to serve or station in the United States.
B-1 Visa – Temporary Business Visa
The B-1 visa may issue to persons wishing to visit the United States as amateur or professional athletes, domestic workers/nannies, or for commercial purposes, such as:
- Attending industry seminars or conventions
- Negotiate contracts
- Consult with associates
- Settle estates
B-2 Visa- for Tourism
People are granted B-2 visas for the following reasons:
- Medical Attention
- Vacations and tourism
- Visits to family or friends
- Enrollment in non-credit courses for a brief period (not for official degrees)
- Participation in music, sports, or social activities if they do not compensate for it
BCC Visa – Border Crossing Card
A BCC visa is exclusively available to Mexican nationals.
It’s a laminated card that authorizes Mexican people to enter the United States.
It is usually valid for ten years once granted, but you must have a valid Mexican passport to apply for it.
C Visa – Transit Visa
The C visa is a transit visa to the United States.
That signifies you are going through the United States, but your end goal is somewhere else.
If you are going through the United States and wish to stop for a stopover to meet friends, relatives, or visit sites, you will be unable to do so with a C visa and require the appropriate visa.
People with B-type visas and those whose visas have to waive also permit transit through the United States.
CW-1 Visa – CNMI Work Visa
Employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) can apply for CW-1 visas to hire foreign employees who do not fall into other employment visa categories.
Employees given a visa, for this reason, are referred to as CNMI-only transitory workers.
D Visa- for crew members
The D visa is intended for crew members who will serve on a sea vessel or an international airline in the United States and require the visa in order to operate within the country.
E Visas – E1 Treaty Trader, and E2 Treaty Investor Visas
E visas grant to people who have treaties of trade and navigation with the United States.
You can apply for this visa for two reasons:
Engage in technology exchange or other activities between the United States and the treaty countries.
Oversee the operations of a firm in which you have invested.
E-3 Visa – Work Visa for Australian nationals
E-3 visas are only available to Australian natives who will be working in specialized vocations.
If Australia qualifies for an E-3 visa, so do their spouse and children; however, a marriage certificate must produce for the spouse.
F and M Visas- for students
The F and M visas intend for academic and vocational pursuits, respectively.
You will need to get either an F-1 or an M-1 visa, depending on your institution and subject of study.
G1-G5 NATO Visas
If you worked for an international organization in the United States, you require a G-1 to G-5 visa.
Those who work for NATO will grant a NATO visa.
H-1B visas – for individuals in highly skilled fields
H-1B visas grant to individuals who have worked in highly skilled subjects.
It suggests they have a postgraduate degree or a profession that requires substantial training.
H-1B1 Visa -for Chile and Singapore nationals
The H-1B1 visa, which is based on the US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile and Singapore, permits foreign citizens to reside and work in the United States for a limited time.
They can also bring their spouse and dependant children with them.
H-2A Visa -for agricultural workers
The H-2A visa award to temporary agricultural workers from nations in which the United States has an interest.
H-2B Visa -for temporary non-agricultural workers
The H-2B visa is for non-agricultural temporary, seasonal employees. It is similar to the H-2A in that it is only granted to persons if they are of interest to the United States and only for specific nations.
H-3 Visa -for training opportunities
The United States offers education and training possibilities that are not available in other nations.
The H-3 visa requirements for persons who want to take advantage of various training and education options do not count toward an academic degree.
I visa – for journalists
The I visa intends for foreign media representatives and journalists from the press, film, radio, or print sectors who visit the United States to work or engage in educational media activities.
J Visa -for exchange visitor
The J visa is for temporary travelers.
These are some examples:
- Scholars temporarily
- Professors and teachers
- College students
- Internships, Summer Jobs, and Travel
L Visa – Intracompany Transferee Visa
If your firm has a branch in the United States and you wish to transfer there, you will require an L1 visa.
It is known as an intra-company transfer visa, and the requirement is that you have worked for that firm for at least one year within the last three years.
O visa – for persons with extraordinary abilities.
People with exceptional talent in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics who want to work temporarily in their field of specialization require an O1 visa.
To be eligible for this sort of visa, these individuals must be critical to the supply of services in their field of competence.
P Visa – for athletes, entertainers, and artists
P visas classify into three types:
P-1 – This category is for solo or team athletes, as well as members of entertainment groups.
P-2 – is for artists and entertainers who will perform in the United States as individuals or groups.
P-3 – is for artists and entertainers who will perform, teach or coach as individuals or groups in the United States.
Q Visa – for a cultural exchange program
Q Visas are issued to those who are visiting the United States as part of an international cultural exchange program.
It implies that they will share their history, culture, and traditions with the United States people.
This visa is appropriate for people who plan to pursue practical training and work in the United States.
R Visa- for temporary religious workers
Temporary Religious Workers who wish to work in religious roles in the United States must get the R visa type.
T Visa – for victims of human trafficking
T visas intend for victims of human trafficking who have suffered extreme trauma, but they can also aid in investigating human trafficking-related offenses.
TN/TD Visas- for Canadian and Mexican citizens who work in NAFTA.
TN/TD visas issue to Canadian and Mexican citizens who intend to work in the NAFTA organization.
The visa is not available to Canadian or Mexican permanent residents.
V Visa- for family unity
The V visa permits families waiting for their immigration procedure to reunite with their family in the United States.
U Visa- for crime victim
Those who have been victims of specific illegal actions and can help with the investigation or prosecution of those perpetrators are entitled to apply for the U visa.
How to apply for a non-immigrant visa?
1. Fill out the DS 160 Form
To apply for any non-immigrant visa in the United States, applicants must first complete the DS-160 form.
The DS-160, also known as the Online Non-immigrant Visa Application form, is used for all forms of non-immigrant visas, including K visas, which fall under the category of immigrant visas.
This form is available on the Consular Electronic Application Center website and must be submitted to the Department of State electronically.
The DS-160 form needs to be filled out entirely in English.
2. Gather the documents
Several supporting papers, such as Standard Required Documents for US Visas, must be submitted with the DS-160 form.
Those seeking F, J, or M visas must also apply to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) and submit their SEVIS ID in the DS-160 form, and the name and address of the university will be attending.
The SEVIS ID may locate on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.
When filling out the DS-160 form for H-1B, H-2, H-3, CW1, L, O, P, R visas, applicants must give information from their I-129 state about their work and the purpose of their travel.
Applicants seeking an E-1 or E-1/E-2 visa must additionally present a completed DS-156E form from their employer.
3. Attend the interview at the embassy.
After submitting the form, you will be sent to a DS-160 barcode page, which you must print and maintain in order to provide to the US Embassy.
Following that, you will need to schedule a visa interview.
It conducts at the US Embassy in your country.
The information you provided on the DS-160 form, together with your interview, will help the consular office decide whether or not to grant you the visa.
4. Pay the processing fees.
Finally, you must pay the application cost, determined by the kind of non-immigrant visa you are applying for and your origin country.
5. Allow time for processing.
After submitting your application and completing your interview, you must wait for the embassy to review and reply to your request to learn your non-immigrant visa status.
The US Visa Department of State lists the wait periods for each phase of the non-immigrant visa application process.
You will need to input the city where the US Embassy to which you applied is situated, and it will offer you estimated wait periods.
Nonimmigrant Visa Validity
When you obtain your US visa sticker affixed to your passport, it includes a date that indicates when your visa will expire.
However, this does not imply that you may remain in the US until then, just as obtaining a visa does not provide you the right to enter the country.
The US immigration officer of the Department of Homeland Security at the port of entry determines whether you are permitted to enter and how long you may stay in the US.
The expiration date on your visa sticker indicates that you can use it to enter the United States until that date.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will issue you a card called Form I-94 that states how long you may stay and when you must depart.