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One of the advantages of knowing what the different types of US visas are is that you will be able to know the one that most applies to your current circumstances.

Visas are one of the most important requirements to legally enter the US. The purpose of your visit or other facts will be influential factors in determining the type of visa you will need under immigration law. The immigration lawyers in New Jersey at the Curbelo Law firm will be able to help you in the process of applying for a visa. 

Call us today to evaluate with you what are the different types of U. S. visas for which you could be eligible for your visit or stay in the United States. It does not matter if it is an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, get in touch with us and we will assist you.

What Are The Most Frequent Types Of American Visas In 2024

Next, we will show you what are the most common types of American visas:

types of american visas

Tourist And Business Visas

There are 2 types of visas for the category of tourism and business, these are:

  • B-1 business visitor visa, includes:
    • Business partners. 
    • Negotiation of contracts. 
    • Scientific assistance.
    • Educational assistance.
    • Liquidation of assets.
    • Nannies or domestic workers.
    • Amateur or professional athletes (only for competitions that award prizes).
  • B-2 visa for tourism, medical treatment or pleasure, includes:
    • Tourism.
    • Visits to family or friends.
    • Medical treatment.
    • Social or service activities.

Student Visas

Foreigners can study in the United States legally, as long as they are eligible for a student visa. Among these we find the following types of visas:

  • F-1 visa for foreign students enrolling in an academic study program (college or university). Valid for any level of studies.
  • F-2 visa dependents of the F-1 holder.
  • F-3 visa for Mexican or Canadian national academic students who have to travel (commuter) periodically. 
  • M-1 visa for students who enroll in vocational programs of short duration and without academic value.
  • M-2 visa dependents of the M-1 holder.

Worker Visas

To work legally in the United States, a specific visa is needed depending on the type of work. This category includes the following types of visas:

  • EB-1 visa granted to workers who possess extraordinary abilities and who come to practice permanently in the US.
  • EB-2 visa issued to people who practice medicine in marginalized areas.
  • EB-3 visa intended for professional workers who are not eligible for the EB-1 and EB-2 visa.
  • EB-4 visa for those who have worked in the US government and foreign widows/widowers who have been married to a US citizen.
  • EB-5 visa for the immigrant investor program.
  • H-1B visa granted to professionals with specialized jobs.
  • H-1B1 visa for the US-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) professionals and Singapore FTA professionals.
  • H-2A visa for temporary employment in agriculture.
  • H-2B visa for non-agricultural workers. For example:
    • Construction worker.
    • Gardening work.
    • Cleaning.
  • H-3 visa to trainees or exchange visitors with a special education.
  • H-1C visa for nurses who travel due to a shortage of professionals in the health area.
  • L visa for workers transferred to the US by their companies, businesses or organizations. It includes:
    • Visa L-1A workers in general or executive positions.
    • Visa L-1B workers with specialized knowledge.
  • O visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in: science, education. sports or arts. It includes:
    • O-1 visa for individuals with said skills.
    • O-2 visa for assistants to O-1 visa holders.
    • O-3 visa for dependents of O-1 visa holders.
  • E-3 visa dedicated to Australian professionals with a specialization.
how to get a job in the united states while being illegal

If you are an illegal immigrant in the United States and you want to know how to get a job, do not hesitate to review our blog where we you will find all the legal paths to achieve it.

Trader Visa

Foreigners will require a trader visa if they wish to invest or do business in the US. This includes the following types of US visas:

  • E visas which includes treaty traders and investors. These are:
    • E-1 visa of merchants by commercial treaty.
    • E-2 visa for investors by trade agreement.

Visas For Victims Of Crimes

Victims of certain crimes and abuses in the US may be eligible for:

Visas For Foreign Governments And International Organizations

  • A visa for officials and diplomats of foreign governments. It includes:
    • A-1 visa for civil servants, ambassadors, ministers or members of a federal administration.
    • A-2 visa granted to those who work in an embassy or consulate, government officials or official and military activities. 
  • G visa for members of international organizations. It includes:
    • G-1 visa granted to members of a permanent mission of recognized governments.
    • G-2 visa granted to representatives of a recognized government traveling temporarily for international meetings.
    • G-3 visa for government representatives or non-recognized members. 
    • G-4 visa for people traveling on commission for an international organization.
    • G-5 visa issued to personal employees or domestic workers of G-1 to G-4 holders.
  • TN visa for temporary North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professionals from Mexico and Canada.

Transit Visa And Crew

In order to transit in the US you will require a visa. An example is that if you will make a stopover in the country, you will need permission to do so. Crew members need to have an exclusive visa for them, which allows aircraft and ship pilots to access the territory

  • C Visa for aliens requiring immediate and continuous transit through the US to a foreign destination.
  • BCC is a border crossing card between Mexico and the US. It is also known as a laser visa.
  • D visa for those working on board commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the U.S.
  • D-2 visa for pilots and crew members entering the US and departing with another aircraft or ship other than the one that arrived to the US.

Family Visa

  • Visa for spouses of an American citizen, these are:
    • IR-1 granted to spouses who have been married to a US citizen for at least 2 years.
    • IR-2 allows the child of a U.S. citizen living outside the United States to lawfully enter and live in the country.
    • CR-1 granted to foreign spouses who have been married to a US citizen for less than two years. 
    • K-1 fiancé(e) visa of a US citizen.
    • K-3 visa granted to spouses of US citizens who may enter the country pending approval of Form I-130.
  • International adoption visas for orphaned children by American citizens. It includes:
    • IR-3 for children adopted abroad by a U.S citizen.
    • IR-4 for children to be adopted within the U.S by a U.S citizen.
    • IH-3 are generally for children who are adopted in a Convention country.
    • IH-4 are generally for children coming from a Convention country who will be adopted in the United States.

IR visas are issued to children who come from non-Hague Convention countries. On the other hand the IH is granted to children who belong to countries of the Hague Convention.

  • Visas for certain family members of a US citizen. They include:
    • F1 for unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 years of age or older.
    • F3 for married sons and daughters.
    • F4 for brothers and sisters if the American is 21 years of age or older.
  • Visas for Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents
    • F2A for spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
    • F2B for unmarried sons and daughters of 21 years of age.
u. s family based immigration

In our US family-based immigration section you will find specific articles to know how to petition to bring your relatives to the US: “US citizen petition for parents” or “How do I bring my foreign spouse to the US” among others.

Other Visas

Other visas available for the United States are the following:

  • Special immigrant juvenile status for minors who are victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect by a parent.
  • Visa I for media employees:
    • TV.
    • Radio.
    • Journals.
    • Newspapers.
    • Reporters.
    • Publishers.
    • Analysts.
    • Presenters.
    • Translators.
  • P visa for artists, performers or exchange workers who perform a musical or theatrical presentation. It includes:
    • P-1 applies to individual or team athletes who are recognized internationally.
    • P-2 for artists who belong to an exchange program.
    • P-3 applies to artists who perform in unique cultural programs.
    • P-4 spouses or children under 21 years of age accompanying P-1, P-2 and/or P-3 holders.
  • Q visa for cultural exchange in business, school, museum or other cultural centers.
  • J visa for foreign exchange visitors. They include:
    • J-1 visa for foreigners in study or work exchange programs.
    • J-2 visa for children under 21 years of age or spouse of the J-1 holder.
  • R visa for religious members, such as:
    • Minister.
    • Priest.
    • Worker of a religious association. 
  • SB-1 visa for immigrants who had a Green Card and were unable to return in time due to certain circumstances and lost their immigration status. 

What Are The Requirements To Apply For A US Visa?

how to apply for a united states visa

Depending on the type of US visa you will be applying for, you will need to submit some additional documents. Among the most frequent we find the following requirements:

  • Valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months to qualify for a visa.
  • Valid digital photo. The photo must meet all the necessary requirements, that is:
    • It must be recent.
    • Taken on white background.
    • You must look presentable.
  • Have an email. It is important that your email is spelled correctly and that you can access it.
  • Additional Information. You may be asked for supporting documents, such as travel insurance or bank information among others.

How To Apply For An American Visa?

To apply for an American visa, you must follow these steps:

  1. Fill out form DS-160 and apply for a visa individually or with the family group.
  2. Print the spreadsheet.
  3. Schedule a visa interview appointment on the official website of the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
  4. Pay the US visa application processing fee
  5. Attend the interview at the embassy or consulate and bring all the supporting documents for the information provided.

Common Questions About The Different types of US Visas 

What should I do if my visa is damaged?

If your visa is damaged, you will need to apply for a new one at a foreign consulate or US embassy.

What do I do if my visa expires before I travel to the United States?

If your visa expires, you will need to apply for a new one and pay the processing fee to obtain the non-immigrant visa. You may require the submission of new documents for this.

How long can I stay in the US with a visa?

The stay as a tourist in the United States should not be more than 90 days per period or more than 180 days per year. This with certain non-immigrant visas, such as tourist or business.
You must meet the date period issued on the admission paper. It is important to keep the Form I-94 or the admission stamp found in your passport.

If the visa application is rejected, will I receive a refund?

If your application for a US visa is denied, you will not receive a refund as the fees are applied to the cost of processing the application.

Does a visa guarantee me entry to the United States?

A visa does not guarantee that you will be able to enter the US, it only allows you to travel to the airport or land border. Upon arrival there, the US Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection ( CBP ) will assess whether you are admissible to categories in the united states

What is the difference between immigrant and nonimmigrant visas?

The difference is that nonimmigrant visas are temporary while immigrant visas are for permanent residence in the United States.

Why was my US visa application rejected?

The different types of US visas can be refused for various reasons. If you have a criminal record, lied in the interview, do not have the economic resources to support a solvency or you lived illegally in the country, you can be rejected.

Please note that US visas can be denied if you break any of the immigration laws. Especially if you intend to stay longer than is permitted, such as staying in the United States on a tourist visa.

How long does it take to deliver a visa in the United States?

At the end of the interview at the American consulate or embassy, ​​they will inform you if your visa has been approved or rejected. If so, you can pick up your endorsed passport at the DHL branch or receive it at home.
The visa passport will be sent to you in a period of 5 to 7 business days. Sometimes this process can take several weeks or even months.

What do I do if I find an error on my visa?

If an error occurs in your visa data, it will be replaced free of charge. As long as the claim is made within the same year when the visa was issued.

My interview was a week ago and I still haven’t received my visa, what can I do?

If you had an interview, your visa was approved, and it has been more than 7 business days without receiving your visa, you will need to visit the official website of the visa information service to determine the problems with the delivery of your document.

I have a valid visa in an expired passport, can I still use it?

If your passport has expired and you have a valid visa in it, you will be able to travel on that passport with the visa. However, you will need to have a new valid passport on hand. 

Do children need a visa to travel?

Children will also need a visa to travel to the U.S. However, minors under 14 do not need to be physically present at the American Embassy or Consulate interview, but parents must submit a photo of the minor in 5 x 5 cm size.

How long will a US visa be valid for?

American visas are valid for up to 10 years. This validity does not determine the time in which you can stay in the United States.

If you have any crimes in your criminal record, you will need the help of lawyers who are experts in both immigration and criminal law. Check out our crimmigration section and contact the law firm of Carolina Curbelo today.

New Jersey Law Firm to help you obtain your U. S. Visa

The process for obtaining visas can be complex for some people, so it is advisable to obtain the advice and legal help of an experienced immigration lawyer.

At the Curbelo Law firm; with offices in Ridgewood and Newark, New Jersey, a team of professionals will be able to help you find out exactly what types of US visas you may be eligible for.

Call us today and we can provide you with our services in all types of cases related to immigration law.