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What is a Visa?

A visa is a piece of documentation that you obtain after a U.S. official has determined that you are eligible to enter the United States for a specific purpose and for a specific period of time. It has a certain expiration date and can be authorized for any number of entries into the United States. A visa allows you to travel to a U.S. port of entry, so that you may ask an immigration officer to allow you to enter the United States.

There Are Two Categories of U.S. Visas: Non-Immigrant Visas and Immigrant Visas.

Non-immigrant visas are generally applicable to those who, although having a permanent residence outside of the United States, wish to temporarily be in the United States for purposes such a business, investment, study, or travel. Typically, these visas require a corporate sponsor. If you are on a non-immigrant visa, after a certain period of stay in the United States, it is possible for you to apply for an immigrant visa.

Immigrant visas, commonly known as the Green Card, offer individuals many benefits, including the ability to live and work permanently in the United States. There are various classifications for employment-based and family-based immigration.

Particularly Common Non-Immigrant Visa Categories

Employees: H-1B, H-3

Students: J-1, F-1 / M-1

Artists: P-2, P-3, O-1

Athletes: P-3

Immigrant Visa Categories

Employment Based Immigrant Visa

Family Based Immigrant Visa

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program