U.S. Visas – A Guide, Do You Need One, If so, Which One is Right for You?

USA visas are for those folks hoping to visit, work in, or study in the United States temporarily, not on a permanent basis. There are many different kinds of US visas. We thought a guide to US visa types is useful to those looking to come to the United States. Do you need a visa to visit the US? If so, what type do you need. If you do need a visa, discussed first, we briefly survey the major visa types.

Do you Need a Visa? Not Everyone Does

Firstly, do you need to be concerned about securing a visa before coming to the US? Some countries are simply visa exempt. In other words, no visa is needed, you simply apply at at the US border, or at airport before flying to the US. Canada is an example of this type of country. For most, but not all, Canadians wishing to come to the US will fit into this category.  Another exception to the visa rule is those people wishing to visit the US for business or pleasure from countries that are members of the Visa Waiver Program. For example, if you are a business visitor from Germany, after qualifying through an ESTA application, you may simple purchase an airline ticket and travel to America. Assuming you gain admission to the US, you are authorized to remain for up to 90 days to conduct your business.wishing to come to the US will briefly look into the varied sorts of visa below.

Visitor Visa for Business or Pleasure

If your country is not part of the Visa Waiver program discussed above, you must apply for a visitor visa to come to the US for business or pleasure. For example, if you are from Brazil and you would like to visit Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, you would need a B-2 tourist visa. Alternatively, If you plan to come to the USA to meet business associates, you might get a type B-1 visa. In both cases, you would be eligible to stay for time allowed by your I-94 issued by CPB, generally up to 180 days.

Working Visas

One of the most typical reasons somebody comes to the US on a visa is for the purpose of work. There’s lots of visas for working and a range of professions are covered. As an example, you could come to the States on an R-1 visa if you wished to work as a minister. Or you could come here on an H-2A visa if you had the desire to work as a temporary agricultural worker. You can find worker visas that be relevant for everything from US investment and trade to working in the States as an entertainer or artist. Worker visas differ in length depending on the specific visa you choose.

What most people do not understand about work visas, is who applies for the visa? People who would like to work, think that they can apply for the workers permit or visa. Although, that’s not the way it works in America. For most working visas, the employer makes the application for the visa. The employer fills in the relevant visa application naming the prospective worker as the employer petition beneficiary. After the employer’s portion of the application is approved, the employer provides you the approval notice from the USCIS, and you then make application for the working visa in your home country.

Student Visas

If you need to come to the States to go to a school, there are some different visa options for this too. You could possibly come to the US as an academic student, a vocational/non-academic student, or an exchange visitor. For instance, if you wished to come to the United States to get a degree in English, you should obtain an F-1 visa. If it was your wish to attend some sort of trade college, to become an auto mechanic, you will get an M-1 type visa. And lastly if you wanted to be a research assistant in the United States, you would come here on a J-1 type visa. School visas do not allow you to work or get a job in the USA for at least the 1st year.

Sometimes people come to the United States as tourists, on the B-2 visa, and decide that they would like to study here in the US. They wonder if it is possible to change their status here from B-2 to F-1 so they don’t have to go back. In theory, this is possible, and we have a special article about this process. In practice is difficult and can result disaster if not done correctly.

Specialized Visas

You can also find quite a few specialty visas that are not contained in the tourist/student/worker classifications. As an example, there is a type U visa that you could get if you have been abused as a victim of crime and are aiding government officials to investigate the case. Another example is a visa for someone who wants to come to the United States to create employment through business ownership. This visa is the called the investor visa, the E-2 Visa. For all these common specialized visas, we generally provide a dedicated article to go over the requirements and nuances of apply for them.

To Summarize: A Knowledgeable Immigration Attorney Will Help You With a Visa

In conclusion, there are several different visa types, paired to the equally varying reasons why somebody might want to come to the United States. Certain visas are easier to get than others, and also different visas allow you to remain in the United States for varying lengths of time. Should you wish to visit the USA on a short term basis, its likely, there is some kind of visa that is perfect for you.

If you’re having difficulty finding out precisely which visa works best for you after you have consulted our guide to US visa types, maybe even several fit your circumstances, a competent immigration attorney can assist you figure out which one is best. That exact same immigration lawyer can get your application ready and submit it for an employer.

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