Immigration 101: Your Guide to All Types of Visas

Immigration 101

Planning on visiting or staying in the United States from somewhere else in the world?

There’s a lot to learn before you can actually hop on the plane and arrive. More people visit the US than anywhere else in the world on a yearly basis; and that number is still rising. It’s important to get familiar with the basics before planning your move.

If you’re attempting temporary immigration into the country, you’ll need to get familiar with a wide variety of visa options. There are many types of visas and each one has a different purpose and function.

What is the proper visa for you and why is it so important to secure it far ahead of your move? Read on and we’ll walk you through the details.

Nonimmigrant Visa Options

What do you do if you’re planning on visiting the United States for a decent period of time but you’re not planning on establishing a full-time residency? What you’ll need to secure is known as a nonimmigrant visa.

As the name of the visa itself suggests; you won’t be able to become a full-time immigrant of the United States with this kind of visa. They are not intended to last forever. However, obtaining one can make a big difference in your ability to take advantage of all sorts of opportunities within the country.

Even within the umbrella of nonimmigrant visas, there are many options that you’ll need to get familiar with. You can use the federal government’s visa wizard to help determine which might be right for you.

Work Visa

Of the nonimmigrant visa options, the most popular and well-known is that of the work visa.

If you are planning on coming over to the country to work, you’ll need this kind of visa to do so legally. Even if you’re only coming for a small portion of time and then returning home; you’ll still need to secure this kind of visa in order to do so.

There are a number of different work visas available, each with its own set of requirements, costs, and processing times. These visas are generally divided by the type of work that is being done: there are visas for foreign journalists, specialty occupation workers, trade professionals, and so forth.

The application for a visa can be time-consuming and complicated and should be started as early as possible in order to secure a successful outcome.

For almost all work visas, the main requirement that will need to be filled is that of a job offer from a United States employer. It goes without saying that one would need work in order to secure a work visa, and sponsorship by an employer will be a necessary first step to get this process going.

For this reason, one’s work visa will be tied to their employer. If a person came to the United States on a work visa but quit working for the employer they applied with; they would no longer have legal grounds to stay in the country.

Most employers will help prospective employees with the process of getting their visa applications together.

Student Visa

Another popular temporary visa is the student visa. When a student from abroad wants to enroll in a university in the United States; they can secure this type of visa to do just that. The visa will last for as long as they are enrolled as a student in the University in question.

In some cases, foreign citizens can secure this type of visa when working at an internship position as well. This is considered education and will fall under the same umbrella. However, if their internship was to turn into a full-time job, they would need to secure a work visa.

US Visitor Visa

There is also a visitor visa that exists for those hoping to stay in the country for visiting purposes for up to 180 days. If you’re hoping to come to the United States and have a long and extended vacation; this would be the way to do it.

Immigration Visas

What if you do plan to try and live in the United States full-time, making it your new and ideally permanent home?

In this situation, you’ll want to secure what is known as an immigrant visa, more colloquially known as a Green Card. When a person obtains a Green Car; they can live and work within the United States for as long as they like.

There are different types of immigrant visas and different ways to obtain them as well. You can get one via employment, through marriage, or even through the USA Green Card DV lottery registration. This program runs a yearly lottery where those that apply are chosen to be given this status.

There are many types of immigration visas so it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your and your situation. It is advisable if you are considering immigrating to the United States; to speak with an immigration lawyer or professional as early on in the process as possible.

They will be able to look at the specifics of your case and determine which visa you need and what will be the best path towards garnering it. It’s a long but exciting road ahead!

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Understanding Types of Visas

If you’re hoping to make the United States your new temporary or permanent home, you’ll need to get familiar with visas. There are many different types of visas, but the above information can break down which each is for and which might be right for your situation.

Need more travel advice and information? What about tips and tricks? Keep scrolling our blog for much more.

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