The U.S. immigration law determines the type of visa depending on the purpose of the intended travel. Hence, before applying for a visa, the applicant needs to meet all the requirements listed by the government for that visa. Based on the laws, a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate will determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa and its category.
The visa categories are broadly divided as non-immigrant and immigrant visa.
Temporary visitor, who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident, travelling to U.S. needs a non-immigrant visa for his travel. As per U.S. immigration law, there are various kinds of non-immigrant visas which are dependent on the purpose of travel and other facts.
The following chart contains brief information on the different purposes of temporary travel and related types of visa.
|Type of Visa||Purpose of Intended Travel|
|A-1||Ambassador, Public Minister, Career Diplomat, Consular Officer, Career Courier|
|A-2||Other Foreign Govt. Officials or Employees coming to the U.S or Immediate Family. Includes technical and support staff for A-1|
|A-3||Attendant, Servant or Personal Employee of A-1 or A-2|
|B-1||Temporary Visitor for Business|
|B-2||Temporary Visitor for Pleasure / Tourist|
|C-1||Alien in Transit – direct or continuous travel through United States|
|C-2||Alien in Transit to U.N. Headquarters|
|C-3||Foreign Govt. Official, Immediate Family, Attendant, Servant, or Personal Employee of official, in Transit through U.S.|
|D-1||Crewman – person serving in any capacity onboard a vessel or aircraft. Crewman arriving on vessel/aircraft must depart the same vessel/transportation line as arrival.|
|D-2||Crewman – person serving in any capacity onboard a vessel or aircraft. Crewman departing from different vessel/aircraft or other means of transportation than his arrival vessel/transportation line.|
|E-1||Treaty Trader, Spouse or Child(ren). Must be a national of a Treaty Country and must be involved in trade and services and/or trade in technology. Can’t be manual, unskilled labor.|
|E-2||Treaty Investor, Spouse or Child(ren). To develop and direct the activities of a bona fide enterprise in which he has invested substantial amount of capital. Can’t use the investment to immigrate, or as a marginal enterprise solely to earn a living.|
|E-3||Nationals of Australia who are professionals coming to the U.S to perform services in a specialty occupation.|
|F-2||Spouse or child of F-1 Student|
|G-1||Principal Resident Representative of recognized Foreign Govt. or NATO to the International Organization, Staff or Immediate Family|
|G-2||Other Representatives of Recognized Foreign Member Govt. or NATO to International Organizational or Immediate Family.|
|G-3||Representative of Non-Recognized Nonmember Foreign Govt. or NATO to International Organization, or Immediate Family|
|G-4||International Organization or NATO Officer or Employee, or Immediate Family|
|G-5||Attendant, Servant, or Personal Employee of G-1 thru G-4 or Immediate Family|
|H-1B||Alien in a Specialty Occupation (Professional)|
|H-1B1||Alien in a Specialty Occupation (Professional). Must be a Citizen of Chile or Singapore.|
|H-1C||Registered Nurse, licensed to perform services at facility providing health care services|
|H-2A||Temporary Worker Performing Agricultural Services unavailable in U.S|
|H-2B||Nonagricultural Temporary Worker performing services unavailable in U.S.|
|H-2R||Returning H-2B Workers|
|H-3||Trainee receiving training in any field of endeavor such as Agriculture, Commerce, Communication, Finance, Govt., Transportation and the Professions|
|H-4||Spouse or Child of Alien Classified H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3|
|I||Foreign Media Representative|
|J-1||Exchange Visitor (Educational, Cultural, and Scientific exchanges)|
|J-2||Spouse or Child of J-1 Exchange Visitor|
|K-1||Fiancé or fiancée of United States Citizen|
|K-2||Child of K-1 Fiancé or Fiancée|
|K-3||Spouse of United States Citizen. Valid marriages with United States Citizen who filed I-130 that is pending.|
|K-4||Child of K-3|
|L-1A||Intracompany Transferee (Executive, Managerial)|
|L-1B||Intracompany Transferee (bringing specialized knowledge of company’s operation)|
|L-2||Spouse of child of Transferee L-1 Intracompany|
|M-1||Vocational or Other Nonacademic Student|
|M-2||Spouse or child of M-1 Student|
|O-1||Alien of Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Education, Business, Athletics, Arts, or motion picture/television industry|
|O-2||Accompanying alien who is coming solely to assist in the artistic or athletic performance by an O-1|
|O-3||Spouse or Child of O-1 or O-2|
|P-1||Internationally Recognized Athlete or Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group|
|P-2||Artist or Entertainer in Reciprocal Exchange Program|
|P-3||Artist or Entertainer coming to perform, teach or coach in a Culturally Unique Program. Relates to individuals and members of a group.|
|P-4||Spouses or Child(ren) of P-1, P-2, P-3 Athlete, Artist, or Entertainer|
|Q-1||International Cultural Exchange Program Participants|
|Q-2||Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Principal|
|Q-3||Spouse and Minor Children of Q-2 only (effective 10/1/2008 this program is repealed)|
|R-2||Spouse or child of R-1 Religious Worker|
|S-5||Alien Witness or Informant, supplying critical, reliable information concerning a criminal organization or enterprise, whose presence in the U.S is required for the successful investigation or prosecution of the criminal organization.|
|S-6||Alien Witness or Informant, supplying critical, reliable information about terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation, who will be placed in danger as result of supplying that information; and is eligible to receive a reward under separate U.S. State Department legislation.|
|S-7||Qualified Family Members of S-5 or S-6 Witness or Informant. This includes the spouse, married and unmarried sons/daughters, and parents.|
|TN||NAFTA Professional Canadian/Mexican citizen seeking entry to engage in business activities at a professional level|
|TD||Spouse or child of a TN NAFTA Professional|
|T-1||Victim of Severe Form of Trafficking in Persons|
|T-2||Spouse of T-1 victim|
|T-3||Child of T-1 victim|
|T-4||Parent of T-1 victim, if T-1 is a child under 21 years old|
|T-5||Sibling of T-1 Victim|
|U-1||Victim of Criminal Activity|
|U-2||Spouse of U-1 victim|
|U-3||Child of U-1 victim|
|U-4||Parent of U-1 victim|
|U-5||Unmarried siblings under 18 years of age|
|V-1||Spouse of Legal Permanent Resident Alien|
|V-2||Child of Legal Permanent Resident Alien|
|V-3||Child of V-1 or V-2 (Derivative child of his/her parent’s petition)|
|WB||Visitor for Business admitted under Visa Waiver Program|
|WT||Visitor for Pleasure admitted under Visa Waiver Program|
Any foreign applicant wishing to immigrate to U.S. must have a sponsorship by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident immediate relative(s), or prospective U.S. employer. Generally, a petition is filed before an immigration visa is applied for.
There are 5 classification of immigration visa:
1) Family-Based Visas: Involves immigration of certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
2) Intercountry Adoption Visas: Involves adoption of orphans from other countries.
3) Employment-Based Visas: Involves immigration based on permanent employment or investment by entrepreneurs.
4) Special Immigrant Visas: Involves immigration based on special categories, including former U.S. government employees.
5) Diversity Visa: It is an annual program involving immigrant diversity visas to eligible persons from certain countries.
We, at the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC can help you in applying for change of status/ extension/adjustment of status to a different visa. To schedule your appointment contact us at 201-518-6642201-518-6642 (Jersey City Office), 732-750-1269732-750-1269 (Woodbridge Office). You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.