PLEASE NOTE: All visa options listed on this page are different types of non-immigrant visas. In general, they authorize you to live in the US for a limited period only. If you are interested in permanent residence in the US you will, sooner or later, need to apply for the Green Card.
This is a business visa (B-1-Visa). It is a single-entry visa and may be issued for up to six (6) months at each application. The visa may be also be issued as a ten-year, multiple-entry authorization. Applications must be filed with the nearest US consulate. The visa costs about US$ 100. The application for this type of visa can be processed by the consulate in just a matter of days. You may also apply for it by mail or through a travel agency. Foreigners who have only lived in their current countries of residence for a short period of time are generally denied this type of visa.
This is the standard visa issued to applicants who would like to live and work legally in the US. However, eligibility is limited to persons with academic degrees or professional qualifications. Under normal circumstances, individuals with only vocational or technical skills cannot be granted this type of visa for admission into the US. The chances of securing this type of visa are better if you have proof of employment or a job offer. The first step should be taken by the potential US employer who must first pay a fee of $600 (US) to file the request for visa, on your behalf, with the US Department of Labor. As soon as this first step is completed, you will be ready to apply directly to the US consulate for your work permit. The work permit visas are issued under very stringent regulations and are valid for a maximum of six (6) years only. Fortunately, conversion to a permanent resident (Green Card) status is possible if you meet a number of employment requirements.
This visa may be issued to semi-skilled persons who wish to work in US factories or industries. Farm workers are not eligible for this type of visa. There are two important conditions of eligibility, however: 1) The potential employer has to prove that a US citizen with the same or similar skills is unavailable or cannot be found to take the position for which you are applying.
2) The expiration date for the visa is strictly enforced. The visa may be issued for anywhere between twelve (12) months to three years. Very often, however, it is issued for only nine (9) months.
Social workers and individuals with professional backgrounds or training in government, public administration or business may apply for this visa in order to enter the US in order to gain some relevant practical training. The maximum length of stay for this visa is 18 to 24 months. An accredited exchange program, institution or organization may apply on your behalf.
Managers and other key employees of an international company may be transferred to the US by their company. This type of visa is also an option for small business owners and sole-proprietorship entrepreneurs. Under this type of visa, the transferred employee must necessarily occupy an executive position. The maximum length of stay is seven years. Under certain conditions, however, a subsequent conversion to a permanent resident (Green Card) status is possible.
Any company that has a significant volume of business with the US may transfer employees to the US via this visa. Self employed individuals or small business owners may also qualify for this type of visa.
It is important that a substantial part of the company's transactions take place within the United States. In addition, at least 50 % of the company's revenue must derive from business transactions between its new US office and the existing home office branch that must be located in the applicant's country of origin.
For your information, the residence status for this visa may be extended indefinitely.
Companies or individuals who want to invest large amounts of capital in the US may apply for this visa. The standard minimum investment requisite for this visa is $50,000. The investment may be in the form of the acquisition of an existing company or the incorporation of a new one. Under certain circumstances, the employees of any such acquired or incorporated company may also be eligible for visas to enter the US. The new company should be profitable, capable of generating news jobs and contributing positively to the growth of the US economy.
GOOD NEWS: The residence status may be extended indefinitely, if the company continues to exist under the general management of the visa holder.
Only persons with “extraordinary abilities” may apply for this type of visa. Normally this applies to prize winners and international award recipients. The visa may be extended indefinitely.
This visa allows internationally renowned athletes, artistes and entertainers to work in the USA. The initial period for a stay is one year and may be extended. Under certain circumstances, support, administrative or other specialized staff may be allowed to accompany the primary applicant for this visa.
This visa entitles staff of churches and religious organizations to live and work in the US. The term “religious organization” is used in this context in a broad sense and may apply to a lot of individuals. The organization needs to recognized by the US as a bona fide “religious organization”. Persons admitted under this visa may work as teachers of religious studies, hospital chaplains, clergy, choir leaders, missionaries, clerical translators, etc. Applicants need not have been previously employed in their country of origin as religious workers. However, they should have been members of a religious denomination for at least two years at the time of the visa application.
This the standard visa that is issued to individuals who wish to study in the United States. It is valid for the duration of your status as a student and for the period of your studies. This visa carries restrictions in terms of your ability to work off-campus. It is issued with the understanding that you may take only on-campus employment. You may apply for this visa only upon proof of admission to an accredited school or university in the US.
This visa is issued to participants of exchange programs, corporate on-the-job trainees as well as au-pairs. It is also suitable for academic and institutional researchers. You may not apply for this visa on your own. A US-based organization must apply for the visa on behalf of the interested party. You can find a complete list of these organizations by downloading the PDF-File here. Offices in other countries may provide further information on this type of visa.