The United States of America (USA) is a sought-after travel destination. This country is often described as the “Land of Endless Promises.” This is why millions of people across the globe choose the USA as their immigration destination.
You will need a USA visa, a stamp on your travel document, to enter the country. Having a USA visa does not guarantee your entry to the USA. Final discretion lies upon the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection inspectors.
The USA visitor visas are meant for those who wish to go to the United States to visit for a maximum duration of 6 months.
Visitor visas are divided into the following sub-categories:
The B1 visa is a temporary/non-immigrant USA visa. It permits visitors to enter the USA for business purposes.
The B2 visa is another temporary, non-immigrant US visa that allows the visa-holder to visit the United States for a short period for holiday, travel, recreation, or meeting the family. It is also known as the USA Tourist Visa.
This visa is usually issued for 6 months. Still, in some cases, it is issued as a multiple entry visa for up to 10 years.
You can apply for a USA visitor visa when:
Here is the list of necessary documents required to get a USA visitor visa:
The application fee of a USA visitor visa is USD160.
It takes 3 – 5 weeks to process your application for the USA Visitor Visa.
The F and M visas are designed to meet the academic and vocational purposes. Depending on the educational institution and study field, you will be granted either an F1 or an M1 visa.
Here are the popular categories of the USA student visas:
This visa allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited educational institution or in a language training program.
F2 is a non-immigrant dependent visa. It allows the family members of an F1 student visa holder to live in the United States. The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of F1 visa holders can apply for an F2 visa.
M1 is a type of student visa in the USA. It is reserved for international students who are enrolled in vocational schools and technical schools.
To get the F1 visa, you must meet some specific conditions:
Here are the documents that you will need to apply for an F1 Visa:
F1 visa application involves the following steps:
You have to pay a fee of USD160 while applying for the USA Student Visa.
The USA receives a vast number of student visa applications every month. It takes a few weeks to receive the decision on your student visa application.
Exchange visitor visas are non-immigrant visas.
This visa category is reserved for individuals who have been approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States.
The Exchange Visitor visa is granted if you fall under any one of the following categories:
J-1 Visa Application Steps:
Application for the J-1 visa comprises of the following steps:
J-1 Visa Application Cost:
You have to pay an application fee of USD160 for a J-1 visa.
Processing time for the J-1 visa:
You can expect a decision within 2 – 3 weeks from the date of application.
Temporary work visas are issued for temporary workers in the United States.
Here are the major categories of the USA work visas:
This visa is granted to the persons who have been employed in highly specialized fields
The H2A visa is granted to temporary agricultural foreign workers from selected countries with whom the USA shares some sort of interest
The L1 is a temporary visa. It allows you to transfer from a company in your homeland to its USA branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent company. You have to be in an executive or managerial position to obtain an L1 visa.
TN Visa is meant for the citizens of Canada or Mexico. They are going to work in the NAFTA organization. There are about 63 occupations for which Canadians and Mexicans are allowed to take jobs in the USA.
The H1B visa applicant must meet the following requirements to apply for the visa:
An applicant can ditch all these requirements if he/she has at least 12 years of specialized work experience like a surgeon or an M.D.
Following is the list of documents required for an H1B application:
The standard H1B Filing Fee is currently USD460. This fee is for the 1-129 petition. The base filing fee for H1B will be USD 555 from 2nd October 2020.
Your H1B application may take 3 months to 1 year to get approval. The H1B premium filing service offers a decision within 1 - 15 days.
The USA Transit Visa category allows you to enter the US and stay for a layover. As soon as your pre-scheduled flight or ship leaves for the next destination, you have to leave the USA.
There are two types of Transit Visa:
You will be exempted from the US transit visa requirements only under the following circumstances:
You have to fulfill any of the following eligibility criteria to get a Transit Visa:
You have to follow these steps to apply for a USA Transit Visa:
The USA Transit Visa application cost is USD160.
You will receive a decision on your transit visa application within 5 – 7 days from the application date.
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Foreign citizens need a US visa to travel to the USA. If you are a citizen of Visa Waiver Countries or citizens of Bermuda and Canada, you can travel to the USA for a temporary stay of 90 days or less without a visa. Nationals of non-VWP countries must need a US visa to travel to the USA.
Citizens of VWP countries also have to apply for a US Visa if they intend to stay more than 90 days. All foreigners must obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) from the US Customs and Borders Protection.
The USA offers several types of visas to meet different purposes of visits. In this context, we are going to mention only the major USA visa categories meant for overseas visitors, students, skilled workers, and business individuals.
There are more or less 185 types of US visas. They can be grouped into 2 major categories:
H1B is the most popular category of temporary work visa in the USA. This visa is particularly known for the scope of getting a Green Card.
These are 4 ways to obtain US citizenship:
A Green Card holder can not apply for US citizenship until he/she has lived for at least 5 years as a lawful permanent resident in the United States.
Yes, you can. The Trump administration has passed a new Executive Order. The order limits immigration to the USA for the rest of this year, i.e., 2020. This order will be effective from 24th June 2020 to 31st December 2020.
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa. The visa allows a person to travel to any country from the Schengen Area and stay up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
The H4 is a non-immigrant H-type dependent visa category. It never grants permanent residency to the holder but allows him/her to study, work, and live in the USA. H1B visa holders can bring their families to the USA under the H4 visa category.
SEVIS is a non-refundable fee, applicable to anyone who is seeking a non-immigrant USA visa. The I-901 SEVIS Fee is a separate fee paid to SEVP. SEVIS fee supports the Student and Exchange Visitor Program in DHS.
Yes, you can reschedule your non-immigrant visa appointment. But there is a limit to the number of times they can reschedule it.
No, it is not mandatory. But it is highly recommended to take the help of an immigrant consultant because the process is not that straightforward.