Types of Visas for Temporary Visitors


Are you seeking entry into the United States as a tourist or investor?  Or, are you a student or athlete?  If so, you may be eligible for entry in a nonimmigrant classification.

There are various types of nonimmigrant visas for temporary visitors to travel to the U.S., if you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident. The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. It’s important to have information about the type of nonimmigrant visa you will need for travel, and the steps required to apply for the visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Review the chart below. For more detailed information specific to each visa category, including how-to-apply information and more, please contact us at 513-791-1673.

Purpose of Travel to U.S. and Nonimmigrant Visas Visa Type Required: Before Applying for Visa*
Athletes, amateur & professional (compete for prize money only) B-1 (NA)
Au pairs (exchange visitor) —J— SEVIS
Australian professional specialty E-3 DOL
Border Crossing Card: Mexico BCC (NA)
Business visitors B-1 (NA)
Crewmembers —D— (NA)
Diplomats and foreign government officials —A— (NA)
Domestic employees or nanny -must be accompanying a foreign national employer B-1 (NA)
Employees of a designated international organization, and NATO G1-G5, NATO (NA)
Exchange visitors —J— SEVIS
Foreign military personnel stationed in the U.S. A-2
Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics —O— USCIS
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professionals: Chile, Singapore H-1B1 – Chile
H-1B1 – Singapore
International cultural exchange visitors —Q— USCIS
Intra-company transferees —L— USCIS
Medical treatment, visitors for B-2 (NA)
Media, journalists —I— (NA)
NAFTA professional workers: Mexico, Canada TN/TD (NA)
Nurses coming to health professional shortage areas H1-C USCIS
Performing athletes, artists, entertainers —P— USCIS
Physician J , H-1B SEVIS
Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor) —J— SEVIS
Religious workers —R— (USCIS)
Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge H-1B DOL then USCIS
Students: academic, vocational F, M SEVIS
Temporary agricultural workers H-2A DOL then USCIS
Temporary workers performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature. H-2B DOL then USCIS
Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitors B-2 (NA)
Training in a program not primarily for employment H-3 USCIS
Treaty traders/treaty investors —E— (NA)
Transiting the United States —C— (NA)
Victims of Human Trafficking —T— USCIS**
Visa Renewals – Available in the U.S.   (NA)

*What the abbreviations (above) mean:
Before applying for a visa at a U.S. Embassy abroad the following is required:

  • DOL = The U.S. employer must obtain foreign labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, prior to filing a petition with USCIS.
  • USCIS = DHS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve a Form I-129 petition, filed by the U.S. employer. ** A T-1 applicant must have USCIS approval of a Form I-914 application before a family member can apply for a visa.
  • SEVIS = Program approval entered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • (NA) = Not Applicable – Means that additional approval by other government agencies is not required prior to applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy abroad

At Geygan and Geygan, Ltd., we help people just like you every day.  We understand the legal system and will represent you throughout the immigration process and before the Department of State.  You can reach us at 513-793-6555 or Thomasjr@geygan.com

Immigration is a very specialized area of law; so, be sure your attorney focuses his practice on immigration and protecting your legal rights.  We focus our practice on immigration law and you can reach us at 513-793-6555 or Thomasjr@geygan.com.  We will gently walk you through your immigration issues, represent you in front of the Department of State, and aggressively fight for your legal rights.