Immigrant Visa Categories

(Last Updated On: April 8, 2024)

There are different types of visas. Visa requirements are also different. A visa is an official document that allows your entry to a foreign country. It is stamped on your travel document or your valid passport. Every year, millions of people travel to the United States. However, American visas are of different types. There are 185 types of visas offered for entering the United States. They are grouped into two categories. Either you need an immigrant visa for a permanent stay or a non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay. However, you can apply for a valid visa by submitting a visa application at the U.S. embassy. Hence, if travelers meet the requirements for visa-free travel, then they may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa. Wondering where to knock?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, is the main immigration agency for U.S. visas.

A United States tourist visa is valid for 90 days for Chile and 180 days for Mexico. Whereas in the Philippines it is valid for seven days for nationals of China and  14 days for Each country has its own rules and regulations for visas. In Canada, a business travel card is used as a substitute for a multiple-entry visa valid for three years. We are going to discuss different types of visas in this article. So, if you are intending to travel to the United States, this is particularly important for you.


Categories of Visas For Immigration

In the immigration process, professional translators play a vital role in ensuring the accurate translation of common documents such as birth certificates and meeting eligibility requirements for various categories of visas. Whether applying for permanent residency or seeking nonimmigrant status, immigration authorities require documents translated into the original language of the applicant by a qualified translation service.

Eligibility for certain visas, such as those for skilled workers or academic students, may involve meeting specific criteria, including labor certification or demonstrating exceptional ability. Children under a certain age may be included in their parents’ immigration application, with fee waivers available for those facing financial hardship. Depending on the visa category, there may be an annual limit on the number of immigrant visa petitions approved, particularly for categories such as unskilled workers.

  • Immigrant visas are crucial for individuals seeking to obtain resident status and permanently relocate to the United States. Unlike nonimmigrant visas, immigrant visas have no expiry date or deadline, granting holders permanent residence and earning them the colloquial term “green cards.” As a result, immigrants can remain in the country as a permanent resident for as long as they desire. However, it’s essential to note that while visa validity is not a concern, adhering to the application process and fulfilling the necessary requirements remains paramount to securing resident status.
  • Nonimmigrant visas are different from the immigrant visa category. These are issued for temporary visits for a particular period of time. It is used by students, workers, tourists, family visits, or business people. However, it is for work purposes. It is a temporary visa. They have an expiry date, and the visitor has to return immediately. According to visa laws and regulations of the United States, visa applicants of this type have to demonstrate that they have strong ties with their country of residence or destination country. Moreover, they intend to depart after their temporary stay in the United States.

Hence, the purpose and other facts of your intended travel will determine the type of visa you require under United States immigration law. The processing times will also depend on your type of visa. Check out the types of visas available for the US.

Nonimmigrant Visa Categories

Visitor visas

A visitor visa allows its holder to move to the United States for a maximum of six months. Hence, they are divided into two categories:

B1 visa

This visa category permits visitors to enter the United States for business purposes. The benefit of this visa is that you can visit the United States as many times as you want for business interests. Hence, B1 visa holders can settle estates, negotiate contracts, and attend educational, professional conferences, or business events in the United States.

B2 visa

These are tourist visas for tourism or to visit friends and family trips.

Student visas

These visas are for academic and vocational purposes. Hence, these are F and M visas, depending on your field of study and school. Following are the categories of student visas:

F1 visa

These visas permit international students to study at educational institutions in the United States. Hence, they are study visas. Students of elementary schools, universities, or graduates can apply for this visa.

F2 visa

This visa Is for the dependents of F1 holders. Hence, they can bring their spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 years to the United States. F2 visas will help in bringing their relatives to the United States.

M1 visa

This visa is for vocational studies in the U.S. However, those who want to enroll themselves in cooking classes, fight school, mechanical classes, and technical courses. They can apply for an M1 visa.

Nonimmigrant visa categories

Exchange visitor visas

These visas are for those who want to participate in the exchange programs. Moreover, these can be used for practical training or employment within the United States. Private entities sponsor these visas in the United States. They have  two visa types:

J1 visa

It is for exchange program participants and students. Hence, government visitors, research scholars, professors, teachers, trainees can also get this visa for the United States.

Q visa

This type of visa is for cultural and employment exchange programs. Hence, this can be applied through U.S. citizenship and immigration services.

Temporary worker visas

This American visa type is for temporary work in the United States. There are many visa options to choose from this type of immigration visas.

H visas

  • HB1 Visa:

This is also a person on a specialty occupation visa. However, you can apply for this visa if you are employed in highly specialized fields. This is sometimes an Employer-sponsored-visa.

  • H1B1 visa

Nationals of Singapore and chile can apply for this visa for work in the U.S.

  • H-2A visa and H-2B visa

Temporary agricultural workers can apply for an H2-A visa, and non-agricultural workers can apply for an H2-B visa.

  • H-3 visa

This visa is for trainees and educational opportunities within the United States.

  • L-1 visa

This visa is for intracompany managers or executives who can transfer from a company in their country of origin to its U.S. branch.

O visas

These visas are for persons with extraordinary athletic, business, art, or education abilities. Hence, his type of visa has three categories: O1, O2, and O3.

P visas

These are for sportspersons and their teams.

Temporary religious worker (R-1) visas

This is a religious worker visa who wants to practice in the U.S. Hence, religious workers can apply using R and R-1 visas.

Treaty trader and investor visas

These visas are for those who have treaties of commerce and navigation in the United States. Hence, these are E visas. E-1 for treaty traders and E-2 for investors.


Nonimmigrant visa categories

Diplomatic visas and official visas

It has the following categories:

A visas

It is one of the most beneficial visas of the U.S.

  • A-1 visas are for diplomats, consular officers and, Ambassadors.
  • A-2 visas are for government officials.

G-5 visa

This visa is for those who are employed in an international organization in the united states.  Sometimes. Hence, G-4 visas are also issued to diplomats and foreign government officials for official travel.

Visas for victims of crime and human trafficking

These include T and U visas for those suffering from trauma victims of criminal activities.

Transit and crewmember visas

Transit visas and airport transit visas are C visa and D visa is for crew members.

Nonimmigrant Visa Categories

Immediate relatives and family-sponsored visa

This type has the following category of visas:

  • U.S. citizens’ IR2 visa is for unmarried children under 21 years old.
  • U.S. citizens’ IR3 and IR4 are for orphans or adopted children by U.S. citizens. Hence, these are used for intercountry adoptions of orphan children.
  • Iraq or Afghanistan citizens have SQ visas. However, they also get special immigrant visas on behalf of the U.S. visas.
  • Married sons, daughters, and their minor children have F-category visas

Immigrants Visa Categories

Immigrant visa Categories encompass a range of documentation requirements, including original documents such as academic transcripts and bank statements, as well as legal documents like police records and criminal records, to establish immigration status. Meeting translation requirements for these documents ensures accurate representation throughout the visa application process.

  • Immigrants’ visas include fiance and spouse visas, as well as K3, IR1, and CR1 visas.
  • Employer-sponsored or domestic employee visas are for immigrant employees. However, foreign workers can apply for a permanent immigrant visa.
  • Diversity immigrant visas are for those whose country of citizenship has lower immigration rates than the U.S.
  • SB visa or returning resident visa is for those who have remained outside the United States. Hence, they can apply for this visa if their re-entry permit is not valid anymore. These are for special immigrants. This is a multiple-entry visa.


These visa types will help you choose the most suitable visa. Before you travel to the United States, the United Kingdom, or even the United Arab Emirates, you must be aware of their visa policy. The United States Embassy, or USCIS, provides visa services to every individual.

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