What visa to apply for in USA – 10 Facts
What visa to apply for in USA – 10 Facts
Many people wish to live, work, study or visit the US for business or pleasure. For these people to gain entry into the country, they need a visa that conforms to their intent in the US. Most people are unaware of the visa they should take since some visa categories might overlap. It is also good to have as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision and increase the chances of acceptance for your visa application. Therefore, here are ten facts that will guide you on your visa application.
- B-1 and B-2 visas are the most common in the visitor visa bracket. The B-1 category is for people who wish to enter the US for business purposes while the B-2 visa is for people visiting the country on vacation or those who are seeking medical treatment in the country. While applying for this visa, it is paramount that you demonstrate your intent to return to your country of residence or your native country.
- Some select citizens are allowed to enter the US without a passport. These are citizens hailing from the 38 countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Most of the European Union member countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are just some of the countries included in the Visa Waiver Program. Under the program, visitors can conduct B-1 and B-2 type activities while in the country. The VWP program guarantees a stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa.
- Individual skilled professionals looking to work in the US from Canada or Mexico have the option of applying for an H-1B visa or a TN visa. The H-1B visa is extremely competitive, but dual intent covers it. The meaning of this is that one can hold this visa with the intention of obtaining permanent residency in the United States. Firms such as My Visa Solutions can help you out in the application process to ensure that you are adequately prepared and give you a higher chance of being accepted. Obtaining a TN visa is easier than getting an H-1B visa. However, dual intent does not cover it, which means that you must have the intention to return at the end of your employment or expiration of your visa. Therefore, holders of the TN visa have a difficult time when applying for a green card.
- An F-1 or M-1 visa holder can have his/her children studying in the US up to the twelfth grade. The F-1 and M-1 visas are for foreigners who enter the US with the primary intention of studying in an academic institution. Foreigners achieve this under the F-2 and M-2 visas which allow the spouse and children of an F or M visa holder to live with him/her in the US. However, after the twelfth grade, your children have to seek an F-1 visa to continue pursuing their education in the country.
- The Visa Waiver Program does not cover students wishing to study in the United States. Foreigners in the US under the Visa Waiver Program or a visitor’s visa can only participate in a recreational study.The F-1 or M-1 visa permits the holder to pursue any study that leads to a degree or certificate in the US. Thus, students, such as those on distance learning programs that are required to spend some time on the main campus, have to obtain an F-1 visa.
- Students engaging in an exchange program are required to obtain a J-1 visa. The J-1 visa is also for other scholars and workers involved in an exchange program. Students who accepted for an internship program in the US should also seek a J-1 visa. The J-1 visa also incorporates physicians under the Alien Physician Program.
- Mexican citizens can enter the US with a special visa called a Border Crossing Card (BCC). This visa grants you the privileges of a B-1 and B-2 visa. However, the BCC has some limitations such as the access area. With a BCC you are only allowed to go as far as 25 miles into the US from the Mexican border. In Arizona, this distance is 55 miles. You can, however, obtain documentation that allows you to travel further inwards.
- The A type visas are for foreign diplomats and government officials. A-1 visas are for high ranking officials such as heads of state, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries and their immediate family members. They are also for other select employees who perform duties in their country’s embassy.
- Athletes who are competing for prize money only require a B-1 visa. However, if the person is an amateur participating in an amateur sport or contest with no prize money reward, then they should seek a B-2 visa. A P visa is for athletes and entertainers who plan to stage a performance.
- US immigration also grants a special category for fiancés of American citizens who wish to be married and reside in the US. Such people get a K-1 visa, and they should marry within 90 days of their entry into the country.