Nonimmigrant Visas (A Guide)

Guide to Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant visas are given to foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States temporarily for business, tourism, medical treatment, temporary work, or other reasons. There are a vast number of nonimmigrant visas that the USCIS offers, and if you are planning to come to the United States for a short time, it may be worth filing for a nonimmigrant visa.

Typically, nonimmigrant visas are easier to acquire than immigrant visas, with many countries not requiring any visa at all with the same benefits as a nonimmigrant visa. 38 countries, including most of the European Union, do not need non-immigrant visas for up to 90 days in the United States with the Visa Waiver Program. However, most of the world will need a nonimmigrant visa to come to the U.S. at all.

Among the most common reasons to obtain a nonimmigrant visa are school, employment, business, and tourism. Temporary Work Visas are issued to those who come to the U.S. for seasonal or temporary work positions. These visas will still require a petition from the prospective employer. The nonimmigrant visa program for students brings in tens of thousands of students to the U.S. each year. The Student Visa will grant a student the right to attend school full-time and have on-campus employment at an accredited educational institution. Those traveling to the U.S. for business or tourism may receive a Visitor Visa, unless they have the aforementioned Visa Waiver. Though it should be noted that there are conditions to the visa waiver program, including an unchangeable limit of 90 days within the U.S.

Below, are a list of all Nonimmigrant visas available from the United States:

Purpose of Travel

Visa Category

Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)


Au pair (exchange visitor)


Australian professional specialty


Border Crossing Card: Mexico


Business visitor


CNMI-only transitional worker




Diplomat or foreign government official


Domestic employee or nanny - must be accompanying a foreign national employer


Employee of a designated international organization or NATO

  G1-G5, NATO

Exchange visitor


Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States


Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics


Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional:
Chile, Singapore

H-1B1 - Chile
H-1B1 - Singapore

International cultural exchange visitor


Intra-company transferee


Medical treatment, visitor for


Media, journalist


NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada


Performing athlete, artist, entertainer



J , H-1B

Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)


Religious worker


Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge


Student: academic, vocational

F, M

Temporary agricultural worker


Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.


Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor


Training in a program not primarily for employment


Treaty trader/treaty investor


Transiting the United States


Victim of Criminal Activity


Victim of Human Trafficking


Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)


Renewals in the U.S. - A, G, and NATO Visas

If you believe you qualify for any of these nonimmigrant visas, it is important to get started on the process as early as possible before your intended trip to ensure everything goes smoothly. With these nonimmigrant visas, foreign nationals will be able to be admitted to the United States for a temporary stay.

Please keep in mind that applying for a nonimmigrant visa with the intent of immigrating to the U.S. is illegal. If you would like to apply for an immigrant visa, please contact our office for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

In order to be sure that you meet the requirements for a Nonimmigrant Visa and/ or to properly file a petition, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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Email: [email protected]

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