A Quick Guide to Temporary and Nonimmigrant Visas

In many cases, people apply for visas as a step in their path to United States citizenship. Although naturalization is certainly a reason why a lot of people obtain a visa, it is not a requirement. There are many different types of U.S. visas available, many of which do not result in permanent residency or naturalization. Below, we provide descriptions of the different types of temporary and nonimmigrant visas.

B-1 Business Visa

B-1 visas are available to people who plan on visiting the United States temporarily for a business or work-related purpose. For example, you may acquire a B-1 visa to attend a conference, volunteer, or conduct research. People with B-1 visas can stay in the U.S. for a maximum of one year, but may be granted 6-month extensions.

B-2 Tourist Visa

B-2 visas are for people who are visiting the U.S. temporarily for a reason that is not work-related, such as for a vacation or a medical reason. B-2 visas can also be provided for studying.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

E-1 visas are given to people from “treaty countries” who need to enter the U.S. to complete trade negotiations and operations.

E-2 Investors & Essential Workers

E-2 visas are provided to people/entities who are visiting the U.S. to invest in a business. Like E-1 visas, E-2 visas are given only to people from “treaty countries,” which includes Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Egypt, and many other nations.

F-1 Student Visa

F-1 visas allow students to study in the United States. In addition to allowing international students to attend universities, these visas can be provided to younger students who are attending English programs or other exchange programs.

H-2B Temporary and Seasonal Worker’s Visa

Some employers hire workers from other countries to provide assistance during peak busy seasons. For example, businesses in beach towns may recruit internationally in the summer. Workers who participate in this type of employment can obtain an H-2B visa.

H1-B Specialty Occupations

H1-B visas are given to people who are employed in “specialty occupations.” Primarily, this includes workers in the tech industry, but can also include people who work in finance, science, engineering, and other fields.

J-1 Exchange Visitor’s Visa

J-1 visas are provided to people who are completing educational programs or research, especially in the medical field.

K-1 Fiancee Visa

K-1 visas are for people who plan to marry a U.S. citizen and live in the country. A condition of receiving a K-1 visa is that an immigrant must marry their fiancee within 90 days of entering the United States.

K-3 Spouse Visa

To qualify for a K-3 visa, an applicant must be married to a United States citizen. These visas allow married couples to live together in the U.S. before obtaining permanent residency or naturalization.

L-1A International Executive Transferee

L-1A visas are provided to people who have been employed in an executive position in an international company and plan to move to the U.S. to do the same. L-1A visas are good for seven years.

L1-B Specialized Knowledge Transferee

If an international company plans to open an office in the United States, they can send over an employee with an L1-B visa to assist with that endeavor.

M-1 Vocational Student

M-1 visas are permitted for educational purposes. Specifically, these visas are given to students who are learning trades in industries such as cosmetology, aviation, tech, or cooking.

R-1 Religious Visa

An R-1 visa allows preachers and other members of a clergy to work in the United States. Immigrants with an R-1 visa can stay in the U.S. for up to five years.

TN Visa

TN visas are for Mexican and Canadian immigrants who work in roles that are listed as approved occupations in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The Gambacorta Law legal team can guide you through every aspect of your immigration case. Contact us if you would like to obtain a visa or have other immigration law questions.

If you are interested in speaking with our lawyers, request a consultation today by sending us a message or calling (847) 443-9303.