Non-Immigrant Visas

Non-immigrant visas allow individuals to stay in the United States for a limited period of time and for a specific purpose. A non-immigrant visa is most often a tourist, business, student, or specialty worker travel document that allows a person to travel to the United States during the validity of the visa. Persons who travel to the U.S. for a temporary amount of time and for a specific purpose are classified as non-immigrants because they intend to return to their home country afterwards.

All applicants for non-immigrant visas must complete the DS-160 online form. The confirmation page that is provided after the DS-160 is electronically submitted must be brought to your interview.

There are a number of non-immigrant visas that an individual may qualify for. The type of visa that an individual should seek will depend on why he or she wishes to come to the United States and his or her particular circumstances. The visas described below are a few examples of non-immigrant visas.

The B-2 visa is applicable to individuals who are traveling to the U.S. to visit for pleasure, to obtain medical care, to partake in a sport or music performance as an amateur, or for similar reasons. An individual seeking a B-2 visa must demonstrate that he or she has a permanent residence outside the U.S. to which he or she intends to return afterward. This can typically be shown through a foreign home address, a job, family ties, and any other connections to the country of origin.  A B-2 visa holder cannot work in the U.S. or enroll in any academic study programs. 

Canadian and Mexican citizens who wish to work temporarily in the U.S. in certain professions may qualify for a TN visa. Individuals seeking a TN must have a position in a field that is specifically listed on the NAFTA list of professionals. Some of the professionals on this list include engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. TN visa holders can reside and work in the U.S. for up to three years at a time. After the three-year time frame is up, the TN visa can be renewed for another three years. There is no limit to the number of times an individual can renew a TN visa.

Students who wish to live in the U.S. for a certain amount of time for educational purposes can apply for a non-immigrant F visa. The F-1 visa is the most common type of educational student visa issued by the U.S. government. In order to qualify for an F-1 visa, the person must have a residence outside the U.S. to which he or she intends to return, show an intent to depart the U.S. upon completing the course of study, and have adequate funds to be able to pay for the educational course and cover living expenses.  The duration of an F-1 visa is tied to the course of study. A student has an additional 60 days to leave the U.S. after finishing the program of study. 

As mentioned earlier, the visas described above are only a few of the non-immigrant visas that are available to individuals. In order to determine whether you are eligible for a non-immigrant visa, it is important to seek the help of a qualified immigration attorney who can assess the details of your case.

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