There are different types of US visas. Unless you are a citizen of a country that is participating in the Visa Waiver Program or a few others, you’re required to have a visa to enter the US. Moreover, citizens of these countries must obtain a specific type of visa if the intention of their visit is other than a short visit. That said it is very important that you to differentiate types of US visas.
Types Of US Visas
In general, US visas are divided into main categories
- Non-immigration visas
- Immigration visas
Common US non-immigrant visas are:
- Tourist visa (B-2 visa)
- Business visa (B-1 visa)
- Temporary work visa (H type of visa)
- Student visa (F visa)
- Exchange visitor visa (J visa)
- Transit visa (C visa)
- Media and Journalist visa (I visa)
Whereas US immigrant visas include:
- Family-based immigration visa
- Employment-based immigration visa
- Religious work visa
- Investor visa
- Diversity Immigrant visa etc.
What Type Of US Visa Do I Need?
Before you can even start a visa application you must always check which type of US visa you need. In general, there are two main factors that specify what visa you’re required to get:
- The intention of your visit
- Your nationality
As seen above, if you plan a short visit to the US then you must apply for a non-immigration type of visa. On the other hand, for indefinitely long stays in the US and finding a job an immigration type of visa is required. Also, visa requirements vary subtly among different countries. For instance, citizens of Visa Waiver Program participating countries can travel visa-free to the US for short visits.
US Work Visas
The US has a global reputation for an attractive job market. Therefore, of many foreign people who enter the country every year, a high number of them come to work in the US.
If you want to work in the US as well you must first obtain a work type of visa. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a US work visa. It’s rather a common name for a category of visas issued to foreign employees planning to work in the US. For instance, a US work visa can be an immigration visa or a non-immigration one. For instance, if you’re going to work in the US for a limited period of time you will need a non-immigration visa. On the other hand, if you’re seeking long-term employment under the sponsorship of a US employer you’re required to get an immigrant type of visa.
The list of US work visas:
- H-1B Visa: Person in Specialty Occupation
- H-1B1 Visa: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional – Chile, Singapore
- H-2A Visa: Temporary Agricultural Worker
- H-2B Visa: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker
- H-3 Visa: Trainee or Special Education visitor
- I Visa: Representatives of Foreign Media
- L1 Visa: Intracompany Transferee
- P-1 Visa: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member or an Entertainment Group
- P-2 Visa: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) – to perform as part of a reciprocal exchange program.
- P-3 Visa: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) – to perform, teach or coach under an exchange program that is aimed at promoting cultural exchange, traditions, folk, etc.
- R-1 Visa: Temporary Nonimmigrant Religious Workers
- TN Visa: NAFTA Workers
- O1 Visa: Visa for persons with outstanding abilities
How To Get An US Work Visa?
First, you must have a job offer from a US employer. If that is the case, the company that is willing to hire you must file a petition to the USCIS on your behalf. This petition can be an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, or Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker Form I-129. Furthermore, in some cases, your employer must request the approval of a Labor Certificate from the Department of Labor.
With these documents in your possession, you can initiate a standard visa application process at the US embassy in your home country. This process consists of these steps
Complete the online application through the website of the embassy
- Pay the application fee
- Schedule an appointment
- Collect the required documents
- Attend your appointment
- Get your US work visa.