The word “visa” is short for “Visitors International Stay Admission.” Immigrant and non-immigrant visas are the two main categories of U.S.visas offered by U.S.immigration authorities. The visa you choose will primarily depend on your goals for immigration as well as your reasons for wanting to immigrate to the U.S. This is a crucial decision.

For those wishing to settle permanently in the U.S., immigrant visas are available. An immigrant visa might be the best option for you if you want to remain and work in the United States or if you’re interested in obtaining U.S.citizenship. There are just a few of these visas available, though. If a visa is not obtainable when you apply, you can be put on a waiting list until one does.

Non-immigrant visas typically do not require waiting lists and are significantly simpler to get. Many of these visas, nevertheless, do not permit you to remain in the live and work for an extended period of time. Instead, these visas are made to let travelers enter the U.S.for a limited time and for particular objectives.

Although immigrant and non-immigrant visas can be generically categorized as U.S.visas, every visa type also has its own subclasses. If moving to the something you’re interested in, you should think about the precise kind of visa you might be eligible for.

For instance, there are particular non-immigrant U.S.visas for specialty jobs, tourists, business travelers, travelers for medical reasons, officials from the government, exchange visitors, students, and so on. Immediate family members of U.S.citizens, qualified immigrants, immigrants sponsored by employers, and immigrants sponsored by families are all eligible for immigrant visas in the U.S.

If you are applying for an immigrant or non-immigrant U.S. visa, it is crucial to select the appropriate type. Your application may experience delays if you apply for the incorrect visa. The wrong option could result in you entering the U.S.without being granted permission to carry out your intended activities there. For instance, it’s vital to apply for a U.S. visa if you want to study there. You may not be eligible for admission or able to enroll in classes without one.

What Kinds of Visas Are Available?

The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of visa types that contains 185 different varieties. This can serve as a good starting point. Most often, a visa is required for any foreign national wishing to enter the United States.

According to immigration law, non-immigrant visas are intended for a transitory stay while immigrant visas are intended for permanent residence. American embassies and consulates grant visas. The United States Department of Homeland Security also provides details on various visa categories.

Various visa types include:

  • Travel visas
  • Visas for immigration and naturalization
  • Student visas
  • Work or business visas

Visas Common to Immigrants

An alien who intends to reside permanently in the U.S. needs an immigrant visa. The petitioner will thereafter be given Permanent or Conditional Resident status following entry into the country on this visa.

Before requesting an immigrant visa, individuals who want to immigrate permanently to the United States must have a petition accepted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Usually a qualified relative or a prospective employer files the petition.

Some examples include:

  • IR1 or CR1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen for individuals who are married to an individual with U.S. citizenship
  • IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4: Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens for U.S. individuals or couples who are adopting a child from a foreign country
  • E3, EW3: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability for highly skilled and/or gifted professionals

Typical Non-Immigrant Visas

Non-immigrant visas come in a wide variety of forms, such as those for business and tourists, students, exchange programs, transit workers, religious workers, domestic assistance, victims of sex trade, financial investors, spousal sponsorship, and media, to mention a few. Even non-citizens who are a victim of a crime and working in the United States can obtain a visa.

Some examples include:

  • B-2: Business/Tourist Visa for temporary work or medical treatment
  • H, L, O, P and Q: Work Visa which is based upon the type of work
  • M-1, F-1: Student Visa for academic studies or non-academic/vocational studies
  • J-1: Exchange Visitor Visa for exchange programs, including the participant
  • R-1: Religious Worker Visa for individuals who work in a religious spectrum on a temporary basis

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re considering an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, there are many things to learn before choosing the best one for you. It frequently depends on your own situation and your level of interest in various things like working, going to school, or traveling. You shouldn’t attempt to apply for a visa on your own, which is why you should select a knowledgeable and professional visa attorney to guide you through the procedure.

The Pride Immigration team has expertise assisting clients in obtaining the necessary visas as well as assisting immigrants with a broad range of legal requirements. We have knowledgeable experts who can help you choose the appropriate U.S. visa and walk you through the application process.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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