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United States Nonimmigrant Visa Guide - PLEASE READ

This sticky is not relevant to any persons visiting the United States of America for the sole purpose of business or tourism that is a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program Country or Canada. If you are from a VWP country or Canada and intend to work in the United States, then this does apply to you.






United States Nonimmigrant Visa Guide



http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/images/great_seal.gifhttp://travel.state.gov/images/visa2.jpg

There is always much confusion with the visa policy of the United States. Visiting the United States of America for business or pleasure can seem overly complex. Immigrating to the United States of America can seem absolutely impossible.

Hopefully this visa guide will assist you interpret the visa categories/types relevant for work, vacation or immigration.

Lets define two very different categories:

NONIMMIGRANT:

A U.S. visa allows the bearer, a foreign citizen, to apply to enter the U.S. temporarily for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrant visas are primarily classified according to the principal purpose of travel. With few exceptions, while in the U.S., nonimmigrants are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visa was issued. Examples of persons who may receive nonimmigrant visas are tourists, student, diplomats and temporary workers. Some immigrant visa categories require a non-immigrant visa prior to the issuing of an immigrant visa at a USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) center.

IMMIGRANT:

An immigrant visa is for a person who plans to live indefinitely and permanently in the U.S. Only in specific circumstances is an immigrant visa issued before a non-immigrant visa. An example of which is marriage.

This sticky deals strictly with nonimmigrant visas.

NOTICE: The majority of immigrants (Lawful Permanent Residents LPWs) will start their journey on a nonimmigrant visa.

Now lets break down the non-immigrant types. There are several. You should consider applying for a visa that best matches your intended purpose.

B-1 Visa

Business Visitors – persons seeking entry into the United States for the sole purpose of business. This includes conventions, meetings, consultations. This does not mean working for wages in the United States.

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J Visas

Exchange Visitor Visa - The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.

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L Visas

Intra-company Transferee Visa - To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.  Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.

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B-2 (Tourism/Medical Treatment)

Tourism/Medical Treatment - Any person desiring to visit the United States for the purposes of tourism should apply in this category. Medical treatment not funded by the US Government but rather the insurance of a foreign entity outside the US or individual savings should apply for this category.

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H-1B

Person in Specialty Occupation - To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.

Be advised 75% of all nonimmigrant visas for the purposes of work will fall under this category.


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F/M Visas

Student Visa - A student wishing to attend a university or other academic institution in the United States requires a student (F-1) visa. This includes for language studies, but does not include non-academic/vocational studies. A non-academic study would be a M visa.

I-20 and SEVIS approved school required prior to interview.

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C Visa

Transit Visa – For any person or persons desiring to transit the United States on a connecting flight. Overnight stay are not permit.

This type of visa is not recommended for spouses of United States citizens transiting the United States for a foreign destination.

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K Visa (Fiancée or Spouse)

Nonimmigrant Visa for Fiancée (K-1) - The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (Green Card) with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United State.

Nonimmigrant Visa for Spouse (K-3) - The K-3 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen spouse of a United States (U.S.) citizen. This visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by having the option to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of the immigrant visa petition.  K-3 visa recipients subsequently apply to adjust status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) upon approval of the petition.

Under MOST circumstances a nonimmigrant K visa will lead to a CR/IR immigrant visa.

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In the coming weeks I will define the types of immigrant visas, and what is needed to obtain one. As stated before – this sticky will apply to a vast majority of individuals seeking to live and reside in the United States, with the hopes of one day living there permanently.

Feel free to reply to this thread with any questions, or if you feel more comfortable send me a private message.

Good Luck!

Matt-

@ usmc_mv: Thank you for the sharing of information :)

Thank you that was helpful.

Does anyone have experience with a K-1 visa? I am in the process now but it has been 5 months since we have gotten a letter or any information on the next step.

aidalize_me :

Does anyone have experience with a K-1 visa? I am in the process now but it has been 5 months since we have gotten a letter or any information on the next step.

K-1 Fiancee visas take 8-9 months to fully process. It can be soon depending on the embassy you are going through. The UK is generally the fastest for K-1, K-3, CR-1, IR-1 visas.

K3 visas are pretty much dead in the water and no longer used.

When the USCIS application is submitted, the petitioner should include form G1145 (I think) so that the petitioner will get email and /or SMS notifications during the process. Additionally an account can be opened on their website that you can use to track.

There's a specific immigration website that has a nifty tool that calculates your approval. It calculated both of mine correctly to within 3 days.

Good luck.

VillageHeadMaster :

K3 visas are pretty much dead in the water and no longer used.

When the USCIS application is submitted, the petitioner should include form G1145 (I think) so that the petitioner will get email and /or SMS notifications during the process. Additionally an account can be opened on their website that you can use to track.

There's a specific immigration website that has a nifty tool that calculates your approval. It calculated both of mine correctly to within 3 days.

Good luck.

I know exactly the site you are referring to.

K3 visas are still issued, I just processed one at the PoE last night. They aren't common, maybe once or twice a week. People are catching on the it is the same wait time for a CR1/IR1 visa than it is for a K3 visa and the process is less complicated. In fact it is cheaper to get a CR1 visa than a K class visa.

If you get approved for DCF (Direct Consular File) the process is cut virtually in half if not more.

the non immigrants visa for tourism purpose is more like an interrogation investigation.  I applied for it and went for an interview...despite having good bank statement with approximately 40k USD, family and properties in my home country..and invitation from my friend( an american) In the states..they rejected me with a simple reason of not having strong ties....they hold the power to surpress any of us..just because we are to them maybe forever from  a lower level of national status..( im not racist) just because they are working for the states..in the embassy doenst mean they can threw the documents back to you..and press you to the floor with sarcastic look.

No excuse for less than stellar customs service but you may have your fellow countrymen who have gone to the US on tourist visas and never returned for the line of questioning.

My Wife, then Fiancee was turned down for a Fiancee visa at an embassy for "lack of a bonafide relationship". We of course knew we have a solid relationship.

10 months to that date she entered the US as a resident alien after filing for and receiving a spousal visa and at the same embassy.

So I understand the let down when you are sure of your own facts but managed not to convince one person who have your future (temporary as it may) in their hands.

Good luck.

PS: 9 months after her parole into the US we celebrated the arrival of our new american baby (assembled from genuine Nigerian parts), so it would seem to be perfect proof that we did indeed had a solid relationship and the interviewer simply made a wrong decision.

[moderated: no free ads please]

My Daughter is planning to marry her boyfriend of 3 years this Christmas, he has just joined the Services and they want to be together. She is currently here on an E-2 dependent visa, will she have to get a K2 visa once they tie the knot or will her husband just have to petition her as she is already legally here.

Chinito, what do you mean "joined services", did you mean he is on active duty in the armed forces? Navy, AF, army or usmc? If he is on active duty, there is a special provision for active duty service members to petition their spause.
I went thought the process myself.

Hi Dinoxskc,

Yes he just signed with AF, waiting for a placement in training. I know he wants to live on base but I wasn't sure if they could process the paperwork themselves or if I should get a lawyer to do it.

Lynn.

I'm not sure what "placement in training" means. You do not need a lawyer to process your papers. Do not waste your money hiring a lawyer to process your paper works. send me a private message and I will explain further. I was in the Navy myself and went through the process with my wife. Piece of cake.

Hi ,

Thank you for the post . I am looking for a staff hiring agent of USA  who helps internationals get a job there .Do you know anyone ?

Hi,
I m Green Card holder /not US CITIZEN live  in US and my girlfriend she is Dominican, please help me any advice how would be better for her...to married there,to married her to take a fiance/ spouse visa.
Any advice?
Thank you very much.

Hello ,

Try to consult with an immigration lawyer or you can ask your question on Yahoo ,there you may get right response .

Best of luck .

hi there
my name is Tawfik ,I'm an Egyptian  who is 22 years old
I'm seeking to immigrate to USA and this is my main goal in life
I'm a geophysicist
and I ask for any one to help me improving my English before travelling there
Can any one help me?

Please how will i apply for the visa?

Hello everyone,

@Tittoo123, i invite you to drop an advert in the Language Exchange in the USA section of the website so that you may get someone with whom you can practice.

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@ Temifaf please read the dedicated section of the Living in the USA guide so as to get relevant infos about Visa :

- Visas

Best of luck,
Bhavna

Quite informative :)

Thanks for the info, that helps.

HI there,
I live in France for about 13 year, and wish to move to USA , in order to open up a business , tea salon with french pastry( i have a precise idea, all the détails writen down). I do speak and understand English. I have a son 7 years old that i would like to sent to a charter school in US.  I have some saving to start but  not the  half million dollars required for business to get a VIsa. What shooud i do.
Thanks

bibilava :

HI there,
I live in France for about 13 year, and wish to move to USA , in order to open up a business , tea salon with french pastry( i have a precise idea, all the détails writen down). I do speak and understand English. I have a son 7 years old that i would like to sent to a charter school in US.  I have some saving to start but  not the  half million dollars required for business to get a VIsa. What shooud i do.
Thanks

Seriously! What can you do? Well save up your money I guess. No one has a magic wand, or are you hinting that you want someone to give you the money?

If you can't afford it, then you just can't go. Simple as that.

Sorry

Chuckle Butty

His profile says he has been living in Chicago for the last 15 years. I'm confused.  :huh:

You need to get a copy of a TOEFL study guide. It is what my neighbor who teaches children from other countries to learn english told me and my fiance.

Can you please give me the link to that website? I would love to check it out. Thank you

To chuckle Butty,
You have misunderstood me, so let me explain.
I am not hinting for someone to give me money. That is not me( though there are many way to get  help from investissors). Here,[u][b] [b]it's not the case, i was looking for someone to give me an idea how to get , a type of VISA as entrepreunneur( without having a big project), i mean an entreprenneur with an idea, hard working person  and certain amount of tresorery.  Anyway, i ve found the right one which correspond in my project. VISA E2.


So , i will work out how to realise it .
Sorry
MANAH JEWEL( bibilava)

HUM!
I dont know about that profil. I will check it out later. I live in France for many years ( 13 years now), and i came from an Island called Madagascar in Indian ocean.

bibilava :

To chuckle Butty,
You have misunderstood me, so let me explain.
I am not hinting for someone to give me money. That is not me( though there are many way to get  help from investissors). Here,[u][b] [b]it's not the case, i was looking for someone to give me an idea how to get , a type of VISA as entrepreunneur( without having a big project), i mean an entreprenneur with an idea, hard working person  and certain amount of tresorery.  Anyway, i ve found the right one which correspond in my project. VISA E2.


So , i will work out how to realise it .
Sorry
MANAH JEWEL( bibilava)

Your post wasn't very clear and didn't explain what you wanted.

Glad you have sorted it out.

Good luck with your business

CB

bibilava :

HUM!
I dont know about that profil. I will check it out later. I live in France for many years ( 13 years now), and i came from an Island called Madagascar in Indian ocean.

Can you change your profile?  It says you are living in Chicago, want to move to USA.  Many consider Chicago to be in the USA.

To CB,
Thank you.
I will make it happen.

bibilava :

To CB,
Thank you.
I will make it happen.

Still in Chicago.

Hi there,

In fact , my profil was not completed. I update it .
Thank you.

bibilava :

Hi there,

In fact , my profil was not completed. I update it .
Thank you.

Wonderful How do you intend to come to the USA?  What kind of visa?

Hi Bibilava,

Here is a form for small investors visas. You should work with a right profile immigration attorney. It will cast you probably 6,000 or 7,000 for a completion of a good case. You also should have some money to place at a risk for your business and they should be in a local USA bank account. I just want to suggest that USA is very different than France, and your venture might do not work.
All differences are cumming up later, and you'll be surprised! Find a partner. It will work as well. If you decide to go for it, I can give you one attorney I know is doing it successfully.
Talk to you soon. From Chicago land area.

Hi there,
You are right about a business Partner.
But f,inding the RIGHT one will be a long and difficult task. Most of business close down because Partners ' different views and the way of workings. Moving to Usa will be great deal for me. I cannot afford to loose everything only because of having a wrong Partner and end up in court . Beside that , i will have to deal with personnal behaviours , accounting and admnistration paper ( tax and so on). I will have to be strong and become a superwoman to deal all of that aspect .
Thanks ,
I like talking to you.
Please keep in touch

PS:Sorry,i speak broken English. You know ,It's not my native language.

Hi Zerbache!

i post a message for you, have you got it?

Yes, I did. The main concept for small investors is: they have visas (and their family members) until their business exists.

It was a lady from France who invested in dogs' shampoos manufacturing. Funny, but fact.

Hum! dog's shampoo manufacturing? that's a great idea.
Next year, i will travel to USA , to have more détails about my business venture...
You have mentionned an attorney in your previous post, do you still have their contact?

Have a nice day!

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