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The Most Important Visas

- definitions and qualifications -

A-1, A-2, A-3, B-1, B-2, C-1, C-1D, C-2, C-3, C-4, D-1, D-2, F-1, F-2, G-1, H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4, I, J-1, J-2, K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4, L-1A, L-1B, L-2, M-1, M-2, O-1,P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, R-1, R-2, TN, TD

     Foreign Government Officials

     A-1 Visa__________________________

Eligible persons:
Ambassadors, public ministers, career, diplomatic or consular officers, and members of immediate family, visiting high level officials of a foreign state.

     A-2 Visa__________________________

Eligible persons:
Other foreign government officials or employees, and members of immediate family, such as accredited officials (not diplomats) representing their national Government traveling to the U.S.A. in order to engage themselves on behalf of their Government in official activities.

     A-3 Visa__________________________

Eligible persons:
     Attendant, servant, or personal employee of A-1 and A-2 visa holders employed in a domestic capacity and paid by the principal, and members of their immediate family.


     B-1 Visa_________________________

Intent: Temporary visitors for business.
Eligible persons:
     Persons who attend educational, scientific, business, professional, or religious conventions
Persons to work on a specific project in the U.S. and paid by a foreign employer.
Business professionals participating in commercial transactions such as negotiating contracts and consulting with business associates or to attend meetings as a member of the Board of Directors of a U.S. corporation.
People to undertake independent studies such as market research or feasibility studies.
Foreign companies’ personnel come to the U.S. to install equipment pursuant to a contract of sale or to provide after sales service.
Foreign business consultants brought by U.S. companies for training or expert advice
Foreign guest speakers (such as bona fide religious missionaries) or lecturers brought by U.S. Universities.

     B-2 Visa_________________________

     It is a nonimmigrant visa for persons who desire to enter the United States temporarily as a tourist on a pleasure trip or medical treatment. Tourist visa applications generally have a very low success rate. Tourist visas are more acceptable if the person can show that she/he has sufficient ties to return to her/his country. Examples of this include a child not traveling with her/him, substantial assets, prior experience traveling to first world countries, a good job, and money in a bank in her home country. As a practical matter rejection rates exceed 95%.

    Aliens in Transit

    C-1 Visa_________________________

Alien in transit directly through U.S.

    C-1D Visa_________________________
Definition: Combined transit and crewman visa
Eligible persons:
Foreign travelers passing through the U.S. to another country.
Foreign travelers passing through the U.S. to change to another visa classification such as D-1.

     C-2 Visa__________________________
     Alien in transit to UN headquarters district under Section 11.(3), (4), or (5) of the Headquarters Agreement
Eligible for this type of visa:
Foreign nationals traveling to the U.N. on their official work.
U.N. officials passing through the U.S. to another country.
Immediate family members of C-2 visa possessor.

     C-3 Visa__________________________

Eligible persons:
     Foreign government officials, members of their family, attendants, servants, or personal employees, in transit.

    C-4 Visa_________________________

Intent: Transit without Visa for crewmen.

    D-1 Visa_________________________
Intent: crewmember departing on same vessel of arrival.
Eligible for this type of visa:
     Individuals traveling to the U.S. as passengers to join a commercial ship or aircraft.
Crew members or employees who land temporarily and depart on the same ship or plane. This includes: pilots, flight attendants, scientists, electricians, waiters, cooks, entertainers, barbers, lifeguards, and salespersons.

    D-2 Visa__________________________
Intent: Crewmember departing by means other than vessel of arrival.
Eligible for this type of visa:
Crewmembers, passenger individuals or employees serving on a fishing vessel having its home port or operating base in the U.S.

    Academic Students

     F-1 Visa_____________________________

Intent: academic student
     The F-1 category includes academic students and students in language training programs.
Eligible persons:
Foreign nationals qualified to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities or graduates programs in the U.S.
Foreign nationals coming to attend a full course at U.S. educational institutions based on language training programs.
Do you know that?
The student visa usually takes much longer, because the applicant must take an English test in his home country (TOEFL Test) and then apply for admission to a U.S. university prior to applying for a student visa. The applicant must be able to prove that he/she has sufficient financial founds to pay for one year of tuition, fees, room, board, books and all other related expenses at the time of the interview to the U.S. Embassy in their country.
Without proof of financial resources, the student visa will be denied even if all the above criteria are met.

    F-2 Visa______________________________
Eligible persons:
Spouse or children of F-1 visa holders who wish to visit / accompany the foreign national studying in the U.S.

    Foreign Government Officials to International Organizations

     G-1 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons:
Principal resident representative of recognized foreign member government to international organization, and members of immediate family.
May be paid by the organization for which they receive their G-designation. No other work is permited.
G-4 spouses and dependents may apply to the Department of State for special work permission.

    Temporary Workers

    H-1B Visa______________________________

    H-1B is a U.S.Immigration Service visa classification that permits aliens to be employed in the United States up to six years in a specialty occupation, including occupations in information technology.
To be eligible for an H-1B visa, an alien must have a sponsoring employer.
Fields in which specialty occupations exist for which H-1B visas have been permitted include but are not limited to architecture, engineering, medicine and health, accounting, and the arts, as well as information technology.
An employer is required to state or demonstrate that a U.S.worker will not be displaced by the H-1B applicant. In addition to the H-1B workers, up to 20,000 non-U.S. residents who earn a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher learning will also be allowed temporary work visas. Eligible persons:
Foreign professionals with specialized knowledge, such as scientists, engineers, programmers, research analysts, management consultants, journalists, accountants, and others with Bachelor's or equivalent degrees.
Professional Nurses entering the U.S. to perform complex job duties or supervise nursing operations.
Professional fashion models.

    H-1C Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: nurses going to work for up to three years in health professional shortage areas.
This visa category was established by the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 (NRDAA) (Pub. L. No. 106-95) and is designed for registered nurses working in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).
In order to qualify for H1C visa, the applicants must:
  1. have a full and unrestricted nurse's license in his or her home country, or have received nursing education in the United States;
  2. have passed an appropriate examination (as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)), or have a full and unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in the state of intended employment;
  3. be fully qualified and eligible under all state laws and regulations to practice as a registered nurse in the state of intended employment immediately upon admission to the United States.
The procedure for an H1C is somewhat similar to the procedure for an H1B.
In addition to the attestation that must be filed with the DOL, a petition must also be submitted to the USCIS. More than one nurse may be included on a petition.
H1C nurses may be approved for a period of admission to the United States of up to three years.
Upon the expiration of the admission period, the status may not be extended.

    H-2A Visa______________________________

Temporary agricultural worker.

    H-2B Visa______________________________

Temporary workers: skilled and unskilled

    H-3 Visa______________________________

The H-3 Visa enables individuals to train in the U.S. in 'any field of endeavor'.
This includes agriculture, technology, communications and governmental leadership.
The H-3 Visa is not self-petitioning; the employer must submit the petition on behalf of the trainee.
The H-3 does not cover individuals seeking graduate medical training.
However, medical students on vacation in the U.S. may be eligible for the H-3 Visa
The employer must provide certain evidence about the training, including a description of the training program, compensation (if any) and reasons why you need the training.

     H-4 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: spouse or child of H-1, H-2, H-3 visa holders.

    Foreign Media Representatives

     I Visa______________________________

Eligible persons:
This is a visa for foreign media representatives. Upon a basis of reciprocity, an alien who is a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media, who seeks to enter the United States solely to engage in such vocation, and the spouse and children of such a representative if accompanying or following to join him.
The admission of an alien of the class defined in section 101(a)(15)(I) of the Act constitutes an agreement by the alien not to change the information medium or his or her employer until he or she obtains permission to do so from the district director having jurisdiction over his or her residence.
An alien classified as an information media nonimmigrant (I) may be authorized admission for the duration of employment.

    Exchange Visitors

    J-1 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons:
    An alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of a bona fide student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist, or leader in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, or other person of similar description, who is coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program designated by the Director of the United States Information Agency, for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training and who, if he is coming to the United States to participate in a program under which he will receive graduate medical education or training, also meets the requirements of section 212(j), and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him.

    J-2 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: spouse and child of J-1 visa holder.

     Fiance(e) of US Citizen

     K-1 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons:
     Fiancé or Fiancee of US citizens entering the U.S. in order to marry the U.S. citizen within maximum 90 days.
The U.S. citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States may petition for a fiancé(e) classification (K-1) for their fiancé(e).
The US citizen must have met with his/her fiancé(e) in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancé(e) visa.

    K-2 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: minor child of K-1 visa holder.

    K-3 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: spouse of a U.S. Citizen (LIFE Act).

    K-4 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: child of K-3 visa holder (LIFE Act).

    L-1A Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: executive, managerial persons with total stay limited to 5 years.

    L-1B Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: foreign persons with specialized knowledge and with total stay limited to 5 years.

    L-2 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: Spouse or child of L-1 visa holder.

    Vocational and Language Students

    M -1 Visa______________________________

Under provision of law an M -1 visa holder is "an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution (other than in a language training program) in the United States particularly designated by him and approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of Education".

    M -2 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: spouse or child of M-1 visa holder.

     Workers with Extraordinary Abilities

     O-1 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: Persons with extraordinary ability in the Sciences, Arts, Education, Business, or Athletics. The initial period of stay can be sought for three years. Then the visa could be extended with one year increments until the the project will be complete. The petition will be submitted by an U.S employer only after the consultation with an official labor organisation.


    Athletes and Entertainers

    P-1 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: individual or team athletes.

    P-2 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: entertainment groups.

    P-3 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: artists and entertainers in "Reciprocal Exchange Programs".

     P-4 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: spouse or child of P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holders.

    Religious Workers

    R-1 Visa______________________________

Eligible person: Religious worker who has been a member of a religious denomination for the 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission and having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States.

    R-2 Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: the spouse and children of the alien if accompanying or following to join the alien R-1 visa holder.

    TN Visa______________________________

Trade visas for Canadians and Mexicans who seeks to enter the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

    TD Visa______________________________

Eligible persons: the spouse and children of a TN visa holder if accompanying or following to join such alien.