Visiting the U.S. as a student, worker, or long-term traveler?

A nonimmigrant visa might be right for you

Citizens of other countries seeking to enter the U.S. must typically obtain a visa. Visas may be divided into two general categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant. If you are looking stay in the U.S. for a limited period of time with a specific purpose, you can apply for a nonimmigrant visa. Nonimmigrant visas are divided into nineteen main categories. The most common are for:

  • Temporary visitors for business and pleasure;
  • Students;
  • Temporary workers;
  • Cultural exchange program participants.

  • Some other less-common categories include:

  • Aliens in transit;
  • Crewmembers;
  • Career diplomats, treaty traders and investors;
  • International organization representatives, foreign media representatives;
  • Entertainers;
  • Religious workers.

  • The “visa waiver program” permits certain nonimmigrants from qualified countries to enter the U.S. for a maximum of 90 days without a visa. You can view the most recent qualified countries on the official Homeland Security page here. If you are not from a qualified country, you need a visa. If you are staying more than 90 days, you need a visa – regardless what country you are from.

    The majority of nonimmigrant visas are issued to tourists (temporary visitors for pleasure) and business visitors. Both of these visas are valid for one year and are renewable in six-month increments. Additionally, nonimmigrant temporary worker visas are issued to workers who offer something American workers cannot. The most common temporary work visas are permitted for computer-related workers and agricultural workers. These visas are designed to help employers meet an immediate and temporary need for labor. However, limitations exist on nonimmigrant work visas.

    Another common nonimmigrant visa is for educational purposes. This is typically for academic students entering the U.S. to pursue a full course of study at an established academic high school, college, university, seminary, conservatory, or language school.

    Nonimmigrant visas are complex and may involve extensive petitions, applications, and documentation to demonstrate eligibility. We are experienced immigration attorneys and can help simplify the process so you get the right visa. Schedule a consultation today.