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USA Visa

Overview: A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport. Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the U.S. without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel.

There are two main categories of US visas: non-immigrant visas for travel to the United States on a temporary basis or immigrant visas for travel to live permanently in United States.

Major non-immigrant worker visas include H-1B Visa, H-2A Visa, H-2B Visa, L Visa, O Visa and TN Visa. Holders of Student Visa(F-1 Visa, M-1 Visa), Exchange Visitor Visa(J-1 Visa), Visitor Visa for Business Purpose(B-1 Visa) could also apply for work authorization under some circumstance.


List of Major US Visa

Symbol Type Description
A-1 Foreign government officials and families: ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, or consular officers
A-2 Foreign government officials and families: other foreign government officials or employees
A-3 Foreign government officials and families: attendants, servants, or personal employees of A-1 and A-2 classes
B-1 Non-immigrant Temporary visitors: for business
B-2 Non-immigrant Temporary visitors: for pleasure
BCC Non-immigrant Mexico citizens border crossing card and B1/B2 visa
C-1 Non-immigrant Transit aliens: aliens in transit
C-2 Non-immigrant Transit aliens: aliens in transit to the United Nations
C-3 Non-immigrant Transit aliens: foreign government officials and families in transit
Continued Presence (CP) Temporary Issued by federal law enforcement to victims of crime actively cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of a federal crime
Transit aliens: aliens in transit to the United Nations
DV-1 Immigrant Diversity visa: lottery winner
DV-2 Immigrant Diversity visa: spouses and children
E-1 Treaty traders and investors: treaty traders
E-2 Treaty traders and investors: treaty investors
E-3 Treaty traders and investors: Australian Free Trade Agreement
EB-5 Immigrant Immigrant investors
F-1 Non-immigrant Students and exchange visitors: academic students
F-2 Non-immigrant Students and exchange visitors: spouses and children of academic students
F-3 Non-immigrant Students and exchange visitors: Canadian or Mexican national academic commuter students
G-1 Representatives to international organizations and families: principals of recognized foreign governments
G-2 Representatives to international organizations and families: other representatives of recognized foreign governments
G-3 Representatives to international organizations and families: representatives of nonrecognized or nonmember foreign governments
G-4 Representatives to international organizations and families: international organization officers or employees
G-5 Attendants, servants or personal employees of representatives
GB Temporary visitors: for business, visa waiver, Guam
GT Temporary visitors: for pleasure, visa waiver, Guam
H-1B Dual-intent Temporary workers and trainees: specialty occupations
H-1B1 Dual-intent Temporary workers and trainees: Chile and Singapore Free Trade Agreement
H-1C Dual-intent Temporary workers and trainees: registered nurses participating in the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas
H-2A Temporary workers and trainees: seasonal agricultural workers
H-2B Temporary workers and trainees: seasonal nonagricultural workers
H-3 Temporary workers and trainees: industrial trainees
H-4 Dual-intent Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of H-1, H-2, and H-3 workers
I-1 Representatives of foreign information media and families
IH-3 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Orphan resident in a country that is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption ("Hague country") and adopted by U.S. citizens, whose adoption was finalized outside the U.S.
IH-4 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Orphan resident in a Hague country whose adoption by a U.S. citizen will be finalized in the citizen's home jurisdiction.
IR-1 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Spouse of a U.S. citizen. This visa is called CR-1 (for conditional resident) if the marriage is less than 2 years old at the time of application. The CR-1 visa has to have its conditionality "removed" two years after entry in a separate process.
IR-2 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Unmarried child, under 21 years of age, of a U.S. citizen.
IR-3 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Orphan resident in a non-Hague country adopted by U.S. citizens, whose adoption was finalized outside the U.S.
Note: In order for an IR-3 visa to be issued, U.S. regulations require that both adoptive parents take part in the overseas adoption and actually meet with the child in the child's home country. If only one parent travels to pick up the child, the child will be issued an IR-4 visa instead.
IR-4 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Orphan resident in a non-Hague country whose adoption by a U.S. citizen will be finalized in the citizen's home jurisdiction.
IR-5 Immigrant Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Parent of a U.S. citizen; the citizen must be at least age 21.
J-1 Nonimmigrant Students and exchange visitors: exchange visitors
J-2 Nonimmigrant Students and exchange visitors: spouses and children of exchange visitors
K-1 Dual-intent LIFE Act: fiances(ees) of U.S. citizens
K-2 Dual-intent LIFE Act: children of fiances(ees) of U.S. citizens
K-3 Dual-intent LIFE Act: spouses U.S. citizens, visa pending
K-4 Dual-intent LIFE Act: children of U.S. citizen, visa pending
L-1 Dual-intent Intracompany transferees: principals
L-2 Dual-intent Intracompany transferees: spouses and children of intracompany transferees
M-1 Students and exchange visitors: vocational students
M-2 Students and exchange visitors: spouses and children of vocational students
M-3 Canadian or Mexican national vocational commuter students
N-1 to N-6 NATO officials and families
N-8 and N-9 Immediate relatives of certain SK-3 special immigrants
O-1 Temporary workers and trainees: extraordinary ability or achievement
O-2 Temporary workers and trainees: accompanying and assisting in performance of O-1 workers
O-3 Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of O-1 and O-2 workers
P-1 Temporary workers and trainees: internationally recognized athletes or entertainers
P-2 Temporary workers and trainees: artists or entertainers in reciprocal exchange programs
P-3 Temporary workers and trainees: artists or entertainers in culturally unique programs
P-4 Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of P-1, P-2, and P-3 workers
Q-1 Temporary workers and trainees: workers in international cultural exchange programs
R-1 Temporary workers and trainees: workers in religious occupations
R-2 Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of R-1 workers
S visa [two types: S-5/ S-6] Aliens Assisting Law Enforcement
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Qualifying children present in the U.S. who are declared dependents of a juvenile court and who would be harmed if returned to their home country
T-1 Victims of human trafficking
T-2 Victims of human trafficking: spouse of victim
T-3 Victims of human trafficking: children of victim
T-4 Victims of human trafficking: parents of victim who are children
TD Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of NAFTA workers
TN Temporary workers and trainees: NAFTA professional workers
U-1 Victims of qualifying criminal activity, such as rape, murder, manslaughter, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or human trafficking
U-2 Victims of qualifying criminal activity: spouse of victim
U-3 Victims of qualifying criminal activity: children of victim
U-4 Victims of qualifying criminal activity: parents of victim who are children
U-5 Victims of qualifying criminal activity: siblings (of minor age) of victim who are children
V-1 LIFE Act: spouses of permanent residents, visa pending
V-2 LIFE Act: children of permanent residents, visa pending
V-3 LIFE Act: dependents of V-1 and V-2, visa pending
WB Temporary visitors: visa waiver, business
WT Temporary visitors: visa waiver, pleasure

Last Updated: 8/29/2014.


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