The most commonly known U.S. visas are tourist visas and work visas. Within work visas, applicants can apply for either nonimmigrant (temporary) status or permanent worker status. It’s important to understand the difference between permanent immigrant and nonimmigrant visas if you are interested in submitting an application.
Who is a nonimmigrant worker?
A nonimmigrant visa is assigned to those who seek entry to the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. This type of visa allows individuals to visit the United States to perform temporary services or activities, such as business, tourism, academic studies, or medical treatment. Nonimmigrant workers are granted access to the country for a specific period of time and are not given permanent resident status.
To obtain a nonimmigrant visa, you must be able to demonstrate that your purpose for entering the United States is legitimate, that you plan to stay only for a specific, limited period of time, and that you are able to support yourself while in the U.S. In most cases, your prospective employer must file a nonimmigrant petition on your behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, you can apply for a nonimmigrant visa at your local U.S. consulate or embassy. If the visa is approved, you can travel to the United States and begin working upon your arrival.
Types of nonimmigrant visas
There are two types of nonimmigrant visas:
- Tourist Visa: The most commonly issued type of nonimmigrant visa is the B-2 visa, also known as the tourist visa. This type of visa is granted to people wishing to visit the U.S. temporarily for vacation, sightseeing, visiting friends and family, or other leisure activities.
- Business Visa: The B-1 visa is another type of nonimmigrant visa and is intended for business travelers who will be conducting short-term business activities in the U.S.
It’s important to note that nonimmigrant visas are granted for a specific period of time, and they do not offer permanent residence in the U.S. Nonimmigrant visas have expiration dates that must be honored or extended in order for one to remain in the country legally.
Who is an immigrant worker?
Immigrant workers are those who come to the United States with the intention of settling permanently. This visa differs from nonimmigrant workers, who come to the country on a temporary basis, such as for a particular job or to attend school. To become a permanent resident in the United States, immigrants must obtain an immigrant visa.
Permanent immigrant worker visas are issued to qualified individuals who have a specific set of job skills, experience, or educational background. Every year, the U.S. government allocates 140,000 permanent worker visas for people from all over the world. Applicants must demonstrate that they will be able to support themselves financially once they arrive in the United States and that they have no criminal history or other issues that may prevent them from entering the country.