American Visa Types - Basic Concepts

Types of American Visa Basic Concepts


Foreign citizens often need visas to go from one country to another or to perform certain activities abroad. Visas are official approvals of the government that are normally placed in the passport of the receiver and that will allow a foreign citizen to proceed with his visit program in the foreign country. In the United States, foreign citizens can use different visa programs to receive an immigrant visa or non-immigrant to enter. The specific visa depends on the needs and goals of the individual, as also of its condition in respect of the immigration rules.

Immigrant Visas

The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants immigrant visas to the candidates who are eligible and who wish to enter the United States and stay permanently. The specific type of immigrant visa that is granted varies depending on the condition of the individual, for example, if you are the family member of a citizen or permanent resident, a potential employee of a U.S. company or a foreign citizen with business interests or investment in the United States.

Limits of Vacancies for Visas

Some immigrant visas are subject to limits of vacancies per year. The USCIS divides the visas sponsored by the family and those related to employment in the limited categories, and awards visas on the basis of a mapping established previously between these classifications.

[alert-note]Example: In the case of immigration for family reasons, the spouses and children of permanent legitimate residents, receive a higher percentage of immigration visas for family reasons available to married children of U.S. citizens. In regards to employment, the priority workers, including outstanding teachers, and people with skills that are rare in various fields receive a larger proportion of work visas available to religious workers.[/alert-note]

Lottery Visas Program

In addition to the visas for family reasons and work, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS) gives them diversity visas to immigrants from countries that have historically sent fewer immigrants to the United States. The system involves a lottery of visas and is, therefore, a method very uncertain to obtain legal entry to the United States.

Visas Without Vacant Limits

Immigrant visas that are not subject to limits of vacancies are available for:

The category of immediate relative is the most common of these categories of visa program, although it covers only spouses and children. The USCIS will not grant visas in the case that have not come to fraudulent marriages in order to receive immigration benefits; in addition, the office sanctioned marriages fake with deportation, imprisonment and criminal fines, and bans permanent for the residence.

See also: Immigrant Visas Frequently Asked Questions

Non-Immigrant Visas

The non-immigrant visas apply to temporary visitors who have the intention of returning to their countries of origin. The admissions of non-immigrants exceeded the number of immigrant visas that are awarded each year. The USCIS provides a great variety of categories for non-immigrant visas, and each category implies different rights and responsibilities for the owner. Some examples of categories of non-immigrant visa include the following:

  • visas A-1 for diplomatic personnel;
  • B-1 visas for business;
  • visa B-2 for tourism and travel;
  • F-1 state visa for students;
  • H visas for temporary workers, employment visas.

Some nonimmigrant visas allow the holder to work during their stay in the United States. Others allow the visitor to bring family members or to enter the country to reunite with their family members or just to travel the country.

The application process for immigrant and non-immigrant visas can be complicated and may involve many forms, and documentation. For that there are no problems and to guarantee a favorable result, applicants to receive a state visa should contact an experienced immigration lawyer to provide you with key tips and a proper program.

Watch the video Immigrant Visa Vs. Nonimmigrant Visa

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