Nonimmigrant visas allow foreign nationals to enter the United States temporarily. These include short visits for tourism or business, or study. In order to get a nonimmigrant visa, you must first apply in person. Once you have been approved, you may be able to stay in the United States for a period of six months to one year. If you plan on staying longer than this, you will need to get an immigrant visa.
There are many different types of nonimmigrant visas. Each is classified based on its letter-number combination. You can find out more about these types of visas by visiting the Department of State’s website.
The most common types of nonimmigrant visas are the B-1, B-2, and F-1. They permit adults, children, and scholars to enter the U.S. and take part in certain cultural exchange programs, academic studies, or work-related training. A few other categories of nonimmigrant visas are the H-1B, L-1, and O-1. While the majority of these nonimmigrant visas are valid for three months to ten years, the exact duration will vary depending on the applicant’s country of origin.
To get a nonimmigrant visa, applicants must go to the consulate in the United States. At the consulate, they will meet an officer who will review the applicant’s documents. This can be a lengthy process, so applicants should make an appointment in advance. Before the interview, applicants will be required to present their passports, a printed copy of their appointment letters, and a form called DS-160. Applicants will also need to bring evidence of their financial status and ties to their home country.
After the interview, the visa applicant will be asked to sign a form under oath. He or she will then be given a passport with the visa stamped on it. The passport will then be delivered to the applicant’s registered address later on. When the immigrant visa has been approved, it will be reviewed by a CBP Officer, who will endorse it. Finally, the embassy will issue the visa.
Many countries have a Visa Waiver Program, which waives the requirement of getting a visa for certain foreign nationals. Those who are not eligible for the VWP, or who do not have legal status in the country they are coming from, must obtain an immigrant visa before traveling to the U.S. It is important to remember that your financial status, or your ties to your home country, cannot save you from a denial.
Depending on the visa type, applicants will need to prove they have a strong connection to their home country. For example, if you are applying for a F-1 visa, you will need to show proof that you are taking an intensive language course. Another way to demonstrate nonimmigrant intent is to provide a travel itinerary, employment records, or other identifying documents that show you will return to your home country.
The Department of State also offers an online application for a nonimmigrant visa, known as DS-160. All information contained in the form must be in English. During the visa interview, the consular officer will ask questions about your finances and travel itinerary.