Here, we will discuss different Visa Types issued by USCIS.
Every foreign national, seeking to enter the United States for different reasons must obtain a US Visa, before entering States. Depending upon the different needs of foreign nationals US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer different types of Visa.
Normally we can categorize different Visa types into two popular categories:
- Nonimmigrant Visa (For temporary stay in US)
- Immigrant Visa (For permanent stay in US)
Depending upon particular requirements of foreign nationals and their purpose of visit to United States, US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer following types of Visa:
1. B-1 Business Visa – US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer B-1 Business Visa to foreign nationals working for any foreign company. Foreign citizens willing to visit the United States for business purposes (it should not involve receiving salary or payment) are eligible to apply for a B-1 Business Visa.
2. B-2 Tourist Visa – Foreign national who wish to visit States for touring purposes, spending vacations or for medical treatment are eligible to apply for B-2 Tourist Visa. Citizens of countries qualifying for Visa Waiver Program also need B-2 Tourist Visa, if they plan to stay in United States for more than 90 days.
3. H-1B Work Visa – This type of Visa helps college educated professionals with special skills (like Doctors, Engineers, Scientists) to enter United States, in order to make valuable contribution in American development. However, there is one constraint, a maximum of 65,000 H-1B Visas can be issued in one year. Professionals with H-1B Visa can stay in United States for a maximum of three years. However, it can be extended if required, but the maximum period of stay cannot exceed more than six years. One advantage with H-1B Visa holders is that, they can apply for Permanent Immigrant Status (Green Card), if their company is ready to sponsor.
4. H-2B Work Visa – H-2B Visa is a different type of work Visa which is issued to skilled and unskilled workers (for non-agricultural jobs). Every year a maximum of 66,000 H-2B Visas are issued. Those foreign nationals are eligible for H-2B work Visas who are eager to come to United States for a temporary or seasonal job (non-agricultural) offered by US employer.
5. C-1 Transit Visa – Foreign nationals who need to enter US in order to transit to another country need C-1 Transit Visa. People with C-1 Transit Visa are allowed to travel (for a maximum of 29 days) in United States when their destination is another country. However, people holding B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa doesn’t need Transit Visa. Citizens from countries eligible for Visa Waiver Program also don’t need a Transit Visa.
6. F-1 Student Visa – USCIS offers F-1 Student Visa to foreign Students willing to undergo higher studies in United States. Foreign students seeking F-1 Students Visa must have a valid educational purpose for coming to United States. However, only students participating in full time educational programs are eligible to apply for F-1 Student Visa, this type of Visa is not for part time students. Students with F-1 Visa can stay in United States till the end of their educational session. F-1 Visa is multi-entry Visa, and they are free to enter United States many times (before end of their study period). They are also allowed to travel freely anywhere in USA. They are also allowed to do practical trainings during their study period to gain work experience. In many cases, students obtaining a bachelor or master’s degree are sponsored by their employer for an H-1B Work Visa. This is the most important advantage attached with F-1 Students Visa.
7. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa – As the name suggests, J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for individuals participating in exchange visitor programs organized by Education and Cultural Institutions or Business Houses. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa helps industrial trainees, students, teachers, research assistants, scholars, and people on cultural missions who are participating in a program of studies, training, research, or a cultural enrichment program designed for such individuals by the United States Department of State, through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
There are several other Visa Types targeting specific needs of people. You will get detailed information about them in next edition of our Newsletter.