People must seek permission to travel and to visit countries which are not their own. Visas are such “travel documents” which facilitate people to travel to countries other than their own. Visas in any country can be broadly classified into non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. In the context of United States, non-immigrant visas authorize an individual to enter United States for a specific purpose for a temporary period of time. Immigrant visas authorize an individual to reside and work permanently in the USA. These two categories of visas can be divided into 4 sub-types of travel visas- Tourist visa, Immigration and naturalization visa, Student Visa and Work Visa.
Tourist Visa, also known as visitor visa is a pleasure travel visa which is of non-immigrant type.
Immigration and naturalization visa:
Immigrant visas allows an individual to reside permanently in the USA, though it may not necessarily grant citizenship. Green cards are such immigration visas. A U.S. Green Card holder who have resided for five years or more in the U.S. can apply for citizenship.
Student visas are granted for studying abroad. Such visas are also applicable to exchange students.
Such visas are employment based visas granted for working purposes which includes both immigration work visa and non-immigration work visa.
The different types of work visa in the United States are:
H1-B Specialty Work Visa:
Such visas are issued to foreign workers such as engineers, lawyers, teachers etc. who possess specialized skills.
H-1B visa applications can be filed by employers who wish to bring skilled professionals to the U.S. as temporary workers.
E-3 Work Visa:
E-3 visas that are granted to Australian nationals who have been offered job in the U.S and hold Master’s degrees. Such visas are non-immigrant work visas.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visa: Such visas are granted to foreign nationals who have received national or international recognition in the field of science & technology, arts, education, athletics, television industry, business etc.
J-1 Temporary Exchange Visitor Visa:
With the help of such visas, foreign nationals such as professors, teachers, research assistants, students, etc. can take part in cultural exchange programs in the U.S.
L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa:
If a foreign national who works for an international company in his or her home country and he or she wish to transfer to a branch of the company in the U.S., he or she may opt for L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa.
NAFTA Work Visa:
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) work visa is granted to Mexican and Canadian nationals who are working in qualifying professions.
R-1 Religious Worker Visa:
Any foreign national who wish to work in religious occupations in the U.S. can opt for R-1 visas.
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