US Visa Everything You Need to Know
If you’re thinking about relocating to the United States, there are many things to consider. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about US visas, to help you make an informed decision about your future relocation and immigration plans.
Whether you’re traveling to the United States from abroad or if you are an American planning on traveling abroad, there are important things to keep in mind when it comes to having the right travel documents and applying for a US visa. This guide will walk you through all of the information you need to know about US visas in 2022 to make sure your travel plans are as seamless as possible.
On January 8, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order barring citizens of seven countries from entering the United States (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). Although the countries were originally supposed to be on the list for 90 days, the restrictions were recently extended until August 16, 2022. This executive order has created confusion and anger among many American citizens and has also resulted in concern among people who want to visit the US or move there permanently. How will these restrictions affect US visa applications? Is it possible to get a US visa if you are from one of these seven countries?
|Angola||Antigua and Barbuda||Argentina|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Botswana||Brazil|
|Costa Rica||Cameroon||Cape Verde|
|Central African Republic||Comoros||Congo Democratic Republic|
|Cuba||Dominican Republic||East Timor|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Georgia||Ghana|
|Panama||Papua New Guinea||Poland|
|Peru||Philippines||Republic of Korea|
|Qatar||Republic of Congo||Russia|
|Republic of Kosovo||Romania||Saint Lucia|
|Rwanda||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Samoa||Serbia|
|Saudi Arabia||Senegal||Solomon Islands|
|Seychelles||Sierra Leone||South Sudan|
|Tonga||Trinidad and Tobago||Tuvalu|
|Turkey||Turkmenistan||United Arab Emirates|
About US Visa
Most of us travel from country to country without giving a second thought about whether we will be able to get into that country and how long we can stay. This, for most of us, is because we are US citizens who were born in one of our fifty states or have simply acquired citizenship through an easy legal process.
But what if you aren’t one of those people? How do you go about acquiring a US visa? What kinds of visas are there and what are their benefits? These are all questions that can be answered by looking at one thing: getting a US visa. Here, we will break down exactly what you need to know about getting a US visa so that you can begin thinking about which route would best suit your needs.
Do I Need to Apply for a US Visa?
Even if you’re not an American citizen, you still may need a US visa. It all depends on your situation. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues three different types of visas for non-citizens: immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, and dual intent visas. An immigrant visa allows a person to live permanently in America.
An H1B visa allows non-citizens with special skills or talents come into America for a temporary period of time but doesn’t allow them to establish residency. Students are typically issued F1 visas that allow them to come into America temporarily and study at one of its institutions of higher learning; once they complete their studies, they have 60 days either find work or leave.
US Visa Application
The length of your visa interview will vary based on a number of factors. For example, if you are applying for a nonimmigrant K-1 visa as part of a marriage-based green card process and you're currently married to your US citizen spouse, your interview is likely going to be much quicker than that of someone applying for an H-1B visa or other specialty occupation such as a registered nurse (RN).
In general, it takes around five minutes for officers to review documents and grant approved petitions. If there are problems with any aspect of your application or supporting paperwork, officers may conduct additional research. This could result in an extra day or two—or more—if further investigation is needed. That said, most nonimmigrant applications can be processed within one week.
What is the Difference Between a Nonimmigrant Visa and an Immigrant Visa?
A nonimmigrant visa allows a person from another country to visit or work temporarily in America. A citizen of another country applies for a nonimmigrant visa and must be approved by an American consular officer at an American embassy or consulate abroad. Nonimmigrant visas are divided into five categories.
The most common type is a B-1, which is for business travelers, students, exchange visitors, or those on medical or agricultural exchange programs. The other main categories are tourist visas (B-2), business visitor visas (B-1), transit visas (C-1), and treaty trader/treaty investor work visas (E-1 and E-2). Immigrant visas are given to people who want to permanently live in America.
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US Visa Types
There are several different types of visas and you should choose which one is right for you based on your purpose for travel. Here are a few of them: B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa : This visa allows U.S. entry for business or pleasure and has no restrictions on how long you can stay or how many times you can enter during one period of six months or less.
1). Business/Tourist Visa
To visit the United States, all foreign visitors are required to obtain a nonimmigrant visa. Tourist visas are for those who are traveling for pleasure, such as visiting family or friends. If you will be going on vacation and staying less than 90 days with a multiple-entry option, then it is likely that you will be traveling under a tourist visa (B-2).
Business visas must also be obtained from an American embassy or consulate before traveling to United States of America. A B-1 business visa is for those who will be attending conferences, meetings, conventions, or similar events sponsored by nonprofit organizations; consulting with business associates; settling an estate; or negotiating contracts. A B-2 business visa is for business trips that involve tourism and shopping.
2). Work Visa
The J-1 visa is typically used by students, academics, and young professionals on a temporary basis. For example, you might use it if you’re studying at an American university or working for a U.S.-based company temporarily.
To qualify for a J-1 visa, you must meet certain requirements set by both your home country and your host nation. For example, in order to receive one of these visas from another country, you must have already applied for and received approval from a participating U.S.
3). Student Visa
The F-1 visa is designed for students who want to attend an academic institution, high school, or vocational school. It is also a viable option for those hoping to teach English abroad as a foreign language teachers (also known as TEFL). The cost of obtaining an F-1 visa varies depending on your country of origin and how soon you need it.
For example, if you're already legally present in your destination country, you can apply for an expedited visa that will only cost you $60. Unfortunately, most individuals will have to pay $140 because they’re not eligible for expedited processing—and if your situation is more complicated than average (for example, your family or spouse is sponsoring you), expect fees around $320.
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4). Exchange Visitor Visa
The J-1 exchange visitor visa is for international visitors who wish to participate in programs designed for educational and cultural enrichment, such as teaching English. Exchange visitors have a nonimmigrant status, which means that they are not immigrants—they will not be allowed to remain permanently or apply for citizenship while on a J-1 visa.
The U.S. Department of State issues these visas under two categories: cultural exchange (C) and education/research (J). The C category allows foreign nationals to visit as part of an organized program that promotes cross-cultural exchanges such as internships, employment with sponsoring organizations or short-term training courses, conferences or seminars at institutions of higher learning.
5). Transit/Ship Crew Visa
If you work on a ship that is transiting through US waters, you may be eligible for a crew visa, which grants up to 90 days of time ashore. Apply at an American embassy or consulate after disembarking and expect your visa within 72 hours of application. Some foreigners have reported waiting weeks or months for their visas—but don’t be alarmed if yours takes longer than expected.
Applicants must fill out Form DS-156, have a passport valid for six months past their intended departure date, proof of onward travel (for example: flight tickets), and $135 ($110 plus consular fee). No visa extensions are possible; once your visa expires, so does your privilege to stay in America.
6). Domestic Employee Visa
As of 2014, domestic employees who work for foreign diplomats, representatives or employees of an international organization accredited to or recognized by the United States are eligible for H-4 visas. However, even if you meet all other requirements, as of 2014 you’re only allowed one H-4 visa at a time.
If your spouse gets another job (or visa) after getting her first H-4 visa, she will have to stop working before you can be approved again. As a result, many people wait until they’ve held their first H-4 visa before they begin working outside of their home country. There’s no maximum time limit on how long you can hold an H-4 visa; however, once your spouse obtains another type of U.S.
7). Journalist and Media Visa
If you’re a journalist, reporter, or researcher working on assignment for a foreign news agency (or certain other media), your visa will be approved quickly and easily. The only cost is that of your plane ticket and hotel expenses while you’re here.
The only thing you must do before arriving is send an email or letter to either your US publisher or one of its senior executives confirming that they will compensate you while you are in-country. If they will not provide compensation, then it’s unlikely that Immigration will grant you a visa.
What Does a US Visa Look Like?
Most people who apply for a US visa probably don’t even realize it, but all US visas are actually passports—only much smaller than a standard passport. All official US visas are blue, regardless of how long they last, and say United States of America along with other specific information about your visa type on them.
In fact, all US visas look very similar at first glance: for example, both immigrant and non-immigrant visas include an identification number that begins with A. However, there are key differences between these two types of visa that you need to understand. Just as important as knowing what your visa looks like is knowing where it will be used—are you going to need a business visa? Or a tourist one?
Does Having a US Visa Guarantee Entry Into the United States?
There’s a common misconception that having a US visa guarantees you entry into America. In fact, if you overstay your visa or don’t have a valid reason for visiting, you could face fines or even criminal charges upon re-entry. To ensure your visit is as trouble-free as possible, follow these guidelines on whether you need to apply for an ESTA and how long your visa is valid for. Doing so can save you time, money and serious inconvenience.
What Happens if I Do Not Get a US Visa?
US Visas are non-transferable, and if you do not use your US visa, it will expire. If you have a valid US visa but do not use it for travel within one year of issue, it is subject to cancellation at any time. We cannot reissue a cancelled visa.
In addition, if you wish to apply for another type of US visa after you’ve used yours and that new type is not eligible for multiple entries during its validity period (e.g., B1/B2), your original visa will be cancelled upon submission of your application for that new type (even if it was used for a single trip). If you plan on applying for more than one visa with us or another U.S.
What is USCIS?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency responsible for administering immigration services. The primary function of USCIS is to handle immigration matters inside of the United States, including naturalization applications and petitions for family members, workers and refugees. Part of USCIS’ responsibilities include tracking foreigners who are already in America or who are seeking entrance into America through legal channels.
In addition, they help protect America from terrorists or other threats by making sure that immigrants entering the country have legitimate reasons for doing so. In order to do all of these things, USCIS operates under strict guidelines and enforces rules as directed by Congress, with oversight from high-ranking government officials such as cabinet secretaries or department heads.
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Although Trump administration seems open to improving US-India ties, they will have a very tough time making big improvements. This is mainly because of three reasons: India's increased dependency on Russian armaments, US' weak influence on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and New Delhi's unwillingness to jeopardize its relations with Russia by adopting an anti-Russia stand on Iran. Although it is highly unlikely that India will ever become a strategic partner of America, these factors do not prevent them from developing closer ties and better cooperating with each other where interests meet or overlap.