What Visa to Apply for in U.S.A. – 10 Facts
What Visa to Apply for in U.S.A. – 10 Facts
Every visitor going to the U.S.A. has to get a visa. However, the exact type of visa depends on your reason for traveling. While people go to the U.S. for many different reasons, some are more common than most.
Here is an insight at some of the common reasons for traveling to the U.S.A. and the type of visa you will need.
- Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials – A1 of A2
Foreign government officials who go to the U.S.A. solely for official activities are required to get an A-1 or A-2 visa. A-1 visas come with more privileges than A-2 visas, and the type that you qualify for depends on your exact purpose of travel, your government, and your rank in the government. Heads of States, however, always qualify for an A visa regardless of their purpose for visiting.
Family members of government officials also qualify for A-1 or A-2 visas. Additionally, employees to diplomats and government officials also qualify for A-3 visas.
- Traders and Investors – E-1 or E-2
Traders and investors from countries that have commerce and navigation treaties with the U.S. are required to obtain E-1 or E-2 visas. Individuals under this category need to visit for two main reasons. First, you must be planning to engage in substantial trade activities. Alternatively, you should be planning to oversee operations in an enterprise in which you have invested significant capital.
Treaty traders are required to obtain the E-1 visa while treaty investors should apply for the E-2 visa.
- Foreign Fiancés – K-1
Foreigners engaged to U.S. citizens are allowed to move to the U.S. only when they are ready to get married. To do this, they have to apply for a K-1 visa and get married within 90 days of their arrival. After that, they can then apply for an adjustment to permanent residence through the Department of Homeland Security.
Unless in cases where meeting in person is challenging, the two lovebirds are required to have met at least once within the past two years. Additionally, the fiancés have to meet some of the eligibility requirements of immigrants.
- Visitors (Business or Pleasure) – B-1 or B-2
Visitors traveling to the U.S.A. temporarily for business are required to apply for the B-1 visa. This visa mostly applies to people looking for temporary employment and those visiting to cater for their business interests here and back home. Tourists, on the other hand, should apply for the B-2 visa. It covers activities such as entertainment, pleasure, or a visit to friends and relatives.
You can also apply for both types of visas if you are planning to mix business and pleasure during your visit.
- Border Crossing Card – BCC
A Border Crossing Card is granted only to Mexico citizens seeking to work or live in the U.S. temporarily. It is the equivalent of a B1/B2 visitor card, but it comes with greater privileges. To start with, it looks more like an identification card. What’s more, the average period granted for stay is ten years, and renewing it is easy.
However, applicants of BCC have to meet the eligibility requirements of B1/B2 visas. They must also show that their ties to Mexico would compel them to leave after their time expires.
- Athletes and Entertainers – P1 or P2
We categorize athletes and entertainers into two groups. Those performing at an entertainment gig or athletic competition are required to apply for a P1 visa. However, they have to be internationally recognized and have a record of sustained performance internationally.
On the other hand, those competing or performing under an exchange program are required to apply for the P2 visa.
- Foreign Media and Press – I
In its recognition of free speech and media freedom, the United States grants special visas for foreign media representatives. I visas are easier to apply for than non-migrant visas. However, the media representative has to be traveling for purposes that are not formal or for educational reasons, and the media they are working for has to have its home office outside the U.S.A.
- International Organizational Officials – G-1 – 4
This visa type is for individuals working for international organizations with activities in the United States. The organization has to be registered and recognized by the U.S. government. The embassy also grants this visa type to their family members and employees.
- Students – F-1 or M-1
Students looking to study in the U.S. are required to apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa depending on their course and the school they plan to attend. The following learning institutions will qualify you for an F-1 visa: university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, language training program. Other non-academic institutions that are recognized will qualify you for an M-1 visa.
- Trainee and Special Education Visitors – H-3
This visa is for those looking to receive non-academic training. The people issued this are mostly individuals with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. However, there has to be proof that the necessary training facilities are not available back home.