Requirements for Nonimmigrant Visas

Requirements for Nonimmigrant Visas

Requirements for Nonimmigrant Visas

Many people who come to the United States have no intent to stay indefinitely. Whether visiting friends or family or working a seasonal job, they need permission to come into the country but don’t have to pass the kinds of screening it takes to get an immigrant visa.

These visitors seeking to enter the US temporarily for tourism, medical treatment, business, or certain kinds of temporary workers receive nonimmigrant visas. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you obtain the visa you need.

Common Visas and Eligibility

Among the common types of nonimmigrant visas are the following:

  • P Visas for athletes, artists, and entertainers
  • BCC Visas for Border Crossing Card, Mexico
  • D Visas for Crewmembers (serving aboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States
  • A Visas for Diplomats and foreign government officials
  • G1-G-5, NATO Visas for employees of a designated international organization and NATO
  • J Visas for exchange visitors, including au pairs, children, spouse of a J visa holder, physicians, professors, scholars, teachers, and international cultural figures (J-1, J-2, J, Q) 
  • K-1 Visas for those engaged to be married
  • R visas for religious workers
  • F-1 Visas for students
  • T-1 Visas for victims of human trafficking

Business workers, those seeking medical treatment, and certain investors may also be eligible for nonimmigrant visas.

Each type of visa will have different requirements for your authorization and any supporting documents you have to submit. An immigration lawyer can help you determine what category you fall into and what you need for your application.

Issuance of a visa does not guarantee that you will be allowed to enter the United States. It only means that an embassy officer has reviewed your application and determined that you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. The Customs and Border Protection officer will conduct an inspection to determine whether you are eligible to enter the country under US immigration law. 

The citizens of some countries are permitted to travel to the United States without obtaining a visa. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits nationals from these designated countries to apply for admission to the US for as long as 90 days for business or pleasure without a visa. 

To enter the US without a visa under the VWP, you must:

  • Have a round-trip ticket to take you anywhere outside the US to a place not contiguous with the US unless that is where you live.
  • Have a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond your intended stay or essentially for nine months). If your passport is expired, you are ineligible for VWP admission.
  • Complete an Arrival/Departure Form I-94W. You must pay a processing fee if you arrive at a land border. 

If you arrive on a VWP visa, you may not file an application to change to immigrant status or even another nonimmigrant status. VWP applicants – even if they don’t know it – waive their right to appear before an immigration judge unless they apply for asylum.    

The program applies to many countries, including most of Europe, certain Asian countries, and Australia and New Zealand. 

If you would like more information about nonimmigrant visas, Vestal Immigration Law can help. Contact us today to learn more and discuss your options.

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