Temporary Nonimmigrant Visas and How to Apply


To access any country, you need a laissez-passer which is subject to a visa. A visa is a document issued by the government of a country authorizing its holder to stay in a country. A visa is considered immigrant or non-immigrant.

People enter the United States temporarily for different reasons, whether for business, medical, or even tourism. The type of visa issued to these individuals is a temporary non-immigrant visa. The type of nonimmigrant visa the U.S. Embassy issues to a person depends on the purpose of their trip.

Nonimmigrant Visa Types

Several non-immigrant visas are available for temporary visitors. Knowing the type of visa you have been issued and its requirements is essential.

#1. A-1, A-2 and A-3 visas

The A-1 visa is issued to persons coming as official representatives of another country as well as to their spouses and children. This set of people includes diplomats, ambassadors and ministers.

The A-2 visa, on the other hand, is issued to foreign government employees, their children, and their spouses. Employees of A-1 and A-2 visa holders, including their servants and personal assistants who must travel with them, are issued A-3 visas.

#2. B-1 and B-2 visas

These visas are issued to travelers entering the United States for business and non-business purposes. Some of the purposes for issuing this type of visa may include business meetings, attendance at conferences, medical treatment, family visits, vacations, or estate settlement. While a B-1 visa is issued to visitors entering the United States for business purposes, the B-2 visa is granted to those traveling for tourism or to receive medical treatment.

#3. C-1 Visa

The embassy issues this type of visa to foreigners en route to other countries but must transit through the United States.

#4. D-1 and D-2 visas

Crew members aboard a vessel or aircraft bound for the United States that will depart with the same vessel receive a D-1 visa. On the other hand, crew members who will leave the United States on a different ship than the one they arrived with will receive a D-2 visa.

#5. E-1, E-2 and E-3 visas

E-1 and E-2 visas are issued to merchants actively working with a Native American business and their families. On the other hand, the E-3 visa is specifically intended for Australian nationals who come to perform professional services.

#6. F-1, F-2 and F-3 visas

College students are issued F-1 visas while their spouses and children who may need to travel with them are granted F-2 passes. An F-3 visa is for residents of Canada and Mexico who are pursuing an academic program in the United States.

#seven. G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 and G-5 visas

Officials of foreign countries working for an international organization in the United States and their spouses and children receive G-1 and G-2 visas. G-3 is intended for representatives of foreign governments whose countries are not members of the international organization as well as their children and spouses.

On the other hand, officials of international organizations and their children and spouses receive a G-4 visa while their workers, servants and families receive a G-5 visa.

#8.H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, H-3 and H-4 visas

H-1B is given to specialists in a particular profession who have a degree, while nurses working in the United States for at least three years receive H-1C visas. H-2A and H-2B visas are similar but not identical. H-2A is issued to agricultural workers coming temporarily to work in the United States, H-2B is issued to non-agricultural workers.

H-3 visas are for trainees whose training cannot be continued in their country and who must temporarily enter the United States to complete the training. Children and spouses of H-1 through H-3 visa holders may need to travel with them and are issued H-4 visas.

#9. I-1 Visa

Foreign media journalists visiting the United States for work-related activities receive this type of visa.

#ten. J-1 and J-2 visas

Exchange visitors such as teachers, professors, students, interns and scholars get this type of visa. Spouses and children of J-1 visa holders receive a J-2 visa.

#11. K-1, K-2, K-3, and K-4 visas

U.S. residents with foreign fiancés and fiancés who must come to the United States to legally marry can apply for K-1 visas for their partners. At the same time, their minor children receive K-2 visas. On the other hand, spouses of U.S. citizens awaiting immigrant visa approval can apply for K-3 visas, while K-4 visas are for their unmarried children.

#12. L-1 and L-2 visas

Individuals working for companies with a US branch will need an L-1 visa to transfer to the US branch. Issuance is on the condition that they have worked consistently with the company for at least one year. When they wish to travel with their children and spouse, these family members will be issued L-2 visas.

#13. M-1, M-2 and M-3 visas

Students coming to the United States for non-academic or professional studies are eligible for M-1 visas. Their spouses and children are eligible for M-2 visas, while residents of Mexico and Canada pursuing professional studies in the United States are eligible for M-3 visas.

#14. O-1, O-2 and O-3 visas

Extraordinarily skilled people in business, science, the arts, and even athletes are issued O-1 visas. Their support staff who travel with them receive O-2 visas, while their children and spouses are eligible for O-3 visas.

#15. P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-4 visas

The P-1 visa is issued to internationally recognized entertainers and athletes and their support staff. P-2 visa recipients are performers or athletes entering exchange programs, while P-3 visa recipients are band performers. Spouses and children of P-1, P-2 and P-3 who must travel with them are eligible for P-4.

#16. Q-1, Q-2 and Q-3 visas

Q-1 and Q-2 visas are for participants in cultural exchange programs while their spouses and children are eligible for a Q-3 visa.

#17. R-1 and R-2

The R-1 visa is for religious workers temporarily visiting the United States. On the other hand, an R-2 visa is issued to spouses and children of religious workers.

#18. S-5 and S-6 visas

While people coming to the United States to donate to a criminal organization get an S-5 visa, their children and spouses are eligible for an S-6 visa.

#19. T visas

This type of visa is intended for all victims of human trafficking as well as their children and spouses.

#20. U visas

Individuals and their families who have suffered mental and physical abuse and who help provide information to the authorities to investigate the criminal case are eligible for this type of visa.

Apply for a nonimmigrant visa

To apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you must complete certain forms. After completing the forms, you will be invited for an interview at the US Embassy. The embassy will carry out security checks and the final decision will be made by the consulate. “A knowledgeable attorney could determine which type of visa is best for your situation, provide insight into the application process, or help you through any unexpected setbacks,” the attorney says. Zaira Solano of the law firm Solano, LLC.


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