US visa types

If you are planning to come to the USA you need to understand a little bit about the VISA types to find out which one is better for you so you can come legally to the United States.

US Visa

I'm an immigrant myself and when I first considered coming to the US I had to deal with lawyers and paperwork to get my VISA, so I know how stressful is to look for the correct way to get everything right to finally legally come to the United States. So I hope I can help you with your journey.

I this article I will list some Visa types, so you can have a better idea of what are the options available for you. So just keep reading. 

Disclaimer

I'm not an immigration lawyer. I just have the information about Visas because I did an extensive research before coming to the US. I recommend hiring a lawyer to get the best Visa for your case.

What are the US Visa Types?

See below the list of US Visa types:

B-1 (Business)

If you are a professional that is coming to the United States to conduct temporary business, this Visa is the correct option for you. (You don't need one if you qualify for the Visa Waiver program).

Some examples of business are:

  • Attending business meetings or consultations
  • Attending a business convention or conference
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract


B-2 (Tourist)

When you want to visit the USA for tourism or amateur recreation such as music contest you can get a B-2 tourist visa. But be careful, you are not allowed to have a job or win money from some contest. You must not receive any payment at all for some sort of activity.

This Visa is popular with people that want to travel and have fun, just use it to visit the Disney World and stuff like that 😉

See some examples you can use your tourist visa for:

  • Tourism
  • Travel for Vacation
  • Visit your relative or friends
  • Participate in social events
  • Get medical treatment
  • Participation in (non-paid) musical, sports, or similar events
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course

H-1B (Person in Specialty Occupation)

If you have a higher stage of education (you are a specialist) and can work with government research or work on projects of the Department of defense, this Visa is for you.

Some people use to say that the H-1B Visa is for geniuses and I kind of agree with that because its a pretty hard one to get unless you are really a special and unique professional with high-level skills.

Examples of who can apply for an H-1B visa:

  • Scientists 
  • Researchers
  • Fashion models
  • Specialized workers

H-2A (Temporary Agricultural Worker)

People that work in agriculture can have a temporary job under this Visa.

Who can apply for an H-2A visa:

  • Farmers

H-2B (Temporary Non-agricultural Worker)

When there's a large demand for workers to fill some gap in the US Industry, temporary workers are hired to stay in the country just long enough to complete their jobs.

These workers are not considered immigrants and have no rights other than receiving the money agreed on the contract.

They must also pay the US taxes while temporarily working in the US.

Examples of who can apply for an H-1B visa:

  • Workers from different sectors that are required at the time of the application with a contractor company.

H-3 (Trainee or Special Education visitor)

The H-3 visa is for people that are foreign employees of U.S. companies that need to be trained but there's no training available in their field in the country they are living in.

The Visa holder must come to the country to get trained and come back.

Examples of who can apply for an H-3 visa:

  • Workers in the field of communication, business, agriculture, etc

L (Intracompany Transferee)

This is the Visa for employees that want to be transferred to a company's
branch in the United States.

There are some variations of this Visa such as the L1-A and L2 for example which allows somebody working as a manager or executive to be transferred to a company branch office in the U.S. and bring the family (with the L2 Visa).

This is the type of Visa I got and allowed me to come to the US. with my family and three years later I could get my green card.

Examples of who can apply for an L visa:

  • Manager and executives working for a multinational company
  • A business person that wants to open a company branch in the U.S.

O (Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement)

This is the Visa for people with extraordinary ability in the science, art, education athletics, television and business.

Examples of who can apply for an O visa:

  • Artists
  • TV directors
  • Athletes

P-1 (Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group)

If you are a member of an athlete and member of an entertainment group that needs to compete in the U.S. you can get this Visa.

Examples of who can apply for P-1 visa:

  • Professional athletes
  • Professional entertainer

P-2 (Artist or Entertainer - Individual or Group)

This type of Visa is for athletes or entertainer (or a group) that will participate in an exchange program in the United States and an organization in another country.

Examples of who can apply for P-2 visa:

  • Professional athletes
  • Professional entertainer

P-3 (Artist or Entertainer - Individual or Group)

For entertainers and athletes that will perform a unique culture that is traditional and related to music, theater and arts.

Examples of who can apply for P-3 visa:

  • Professional athletes
  • Professional entertainer
  • Support individuals or team

Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program

This Visa is for people that will participate in an international cultural exchange program for sharing history and tradition.

Examples of who can apply for Q-1 visa:

  • Professional entertainer or individual that will share a unique culture

Final considerations

Those are some of the Visa available for people that have interest to come to the U.S. temporarily.

Some of those Visas allow to chase a change on the immigration status and even apply for a green card and some of them don't.

Please consult your immigration lawyer to have a better idea which one is the right Visa for you.

I'm not an immigration lawyer and this post should not be taken as an advice to pursue a specific visa. You can find more information at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

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