“ A ”
A-1 : Diplomats
Issued to Ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats/officers and their immediate families.
A-2 : Foreign Government Employees
Issued to accredited officials and employees of foreign governments and their immediate families.
A-3 : Foreign Government Attendants
Issued to attendants, servants and personal employees of foreign governments and their immediate families.
“ B ”
B-1/B2 : Business / Tourist
Issued to persons who travel for business and/or pleasure for a temporary period of time.
B-1 : Business Person
Issued to Beneficiary for a period not exceeding 6 months for the purpose of business and its development or medical attention.
B-2 : Tourist
Issued to Beneficiary for a period not exceeding 6 months for the purpose of holiday or family visits.
“ C ”
C-1 : Transit
Issued to persons who are in ‘immediate and continuous transit through U.S.’ For example, crewmen joining ship or businessman passing through.
C-2 : UN Transits
Issued to representatives or experts that the UN needs.
C-3 : Foreign Government Transits
Issued to accredited officials of foreign governments passing in transit through the U.S.
“ D ”
D-1 : Crewmen
Issued to persons serving on board a vessel in any capacity required for normal operating and service. This is not valid for U.S. based fishing vessels.
D-2 : Crewmen
Issued to persons serving on board U.S. based fishing vessels temporarily visiting Guam.
“ E ”
E-1 : Treaty Trader
Issued to Beneficiary to allow him/her to engage in import/export of merchandise or specialized skills between a treaty trader country and the United States. The time period of the visa depends upon the country of origin.
E-2 : Treaty Investor
Issued to Beneficiary to allow him/her to invest or be in the process of investing, in a commercial venture, where he/she has to put in a certain amount of capital. The time period of the visa depends upon the country of origin, but varies from 1 to 5 years.
“ F ”
F-1 : Student
Issued to Beneficiary of any age to allow him/her to study a full time course in a recognized school. There must be a minimum of 18 hours of classes per week. The duration of the visa depends upon the duration of the course of study.
F-2 : Immediate Family of Student
Issued to the spouse and dependant children of a beneficiary of an F-1 student. The duration of the visa is the same as that for the primary student.
“ G ”
G-1 : Resident Government Employee
Issued to principal representative, family and staff of any rank, of a foreign government, as long as they are assigned on a ‘resident basis’.
G-2 : Temporary Resident Government Employee
Issued to accredited officials and employees of foreign governments and their immediate families, assigned to temporary work.
G-3 : Without de jure Recognition
Same as G-1 / G-2 from government without de jure recognition.
G-4 : Employees of International Organizations
Issued to accredited officials and employees of international organizations and their immediate families.
G-5 : Attendants
Issued to attendants, servants and personal employees of G-1 to G-4
“ H ”
H-1A : Nurses
Issued to professional nurses for a period of 5 years. An extension of one year may be granted under extraordinary conditions. A trainee nurse may also enter under an H-3 visa. Athletes and Entertainers have now been removed from this category and placed in O and P categories.
This visa has now been discontinued.
H-1B : Specialty Occupations
Issued to persons in a specialty occupation, fashion models of distinguished merit and ability or persons providing service related to the Department of Defense cooperative research and development project or co-production project.
H-1C : Nurses
Issued to nurses who are coming to work in areas of health professional shortage.
H-2A : Temporary Agricultural Workers
Issued to temporary workers performing agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.
H-2B : Skilled / Unskilled Workers
Issued to skilled or unskilled workers, provided a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident is not available for the same job.
H-3 : Trainees
Issued to a temporary worker who has been invited by an individual or organization for purposes of receiving instruction and training other than medical. Nurses who are doing internship may come under this category.
H-4 : Family
Issued to the spouse and dependant children of the prime beneficiary of the “H” visa.
“ I ”
I : Representatives of Foreign Information Media
Issued to persons of press, radio, film or any other foreign information media, whose ‘home office’ is in a foreign country.
“ J ”
J-1 : Exchange Visitor
Issued to visitor to allow him/her to participate in an exchange visitor program by the U.S. Information Agency.
J-2 : Family
Issued to the spouse and children (under 21 years) of the beneficiary of the L-1 visa.
K-1 : Fiance/e
Issued to the fiancé/e of a U.S. citizen who seeks entry to the U.S. solely to conduct a valid marriage with the petitioner. The marriage must take place within 3 months of entering the United States.
K-2 : Children of Fiance/e
Issued to minor, unmarried children of the fiancé/e, who are included in the same petition.
K-3 : Spouse of U.S. Citizen
Issued to an alien spouse of a U.S. citizen who is waiting outside the United States for approval of his/her immigrant visa petition.
K-4 : Children of K-3 visa holder
Issued to dependant children of the alien spouse of a U.S. citizen.
L-1 : Intracompany Transferees
Issued to executives and managers (L-1A) or employees with specialized skills (L-1B), so as to allow them to be transferred from a foreign corporation to its American subsidiary, branch office or affiliate. This visa is usually valid for a period of 5 years.
L-2 : Family
Issued to the spouse and children (under 21 years) of the beneficiary of the L-1 visa.
“ M ”
M-1 : Vocational Student
Issued to Beneficiary of any age to allow him/her to study a vocational course in a vocational/non-academic institution. There must be a minimum of 18 hours of classes per week. The duration of the visa depends upon the duration of the course of study.
M-2 : Immediate Family of Student
Issued to the spouse and dependant children of a beneficiary of an M-1 student. The duration of the visa is the same as that for the primary student.
Issued to parents and children(under 21 years of age) of G-4s, accorded special immigrant status under INA #101(a)(27)(I).
N-8 : Parent of Special Immigrant
Issued to parent of an Alien Classified SK-3 Special Immigrant.
N-9 : Child of Special Immigrant
Issued to child of N-8 or of an SK-1, SK-2 or SK-4 Special Immigrant.
NATO-1 : Principal Permanent Representative
Issued to a Principal Permanent Representative of Member State to NATO (including any of its Subsidiary Bodies) Resident in the U.S. and Resident Members of Official Staff; Secretary General, Assistant Secretary General, and Executive Secretary of NATO; Other Permanent NATO Officials of Similar Rank, or Immediate Family.
NATO-2 : Other Representative
Issued to Other Representative of member state to NATO (including any of Subsidiary Bodies) including Representatives, its Advisers and Technical Experts of Delegations, Members of Immediate Art. 3, 4 UST 1796 Family; Dependents of Member of a Force Entering in Accordance with the Provisions Status-of-Forces Agreement or in Accordance with the provisions of the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters; Members of Such a Force if Issued Visas.
NATO-3 : Accompanying Official Clerical Staff / Immediate Family
Issued to Official Clerical Staff Accompanying Representative of Member State to NATO (including any of its Subsidiary Bodies) or Immediate Family.
NATO-4 : Official of NATO
Issued to an Official of NATO (Other Than Those Classifiable as NATO-1) or Immediate Family.
NATO-5 : Expert
Issued to an Expert, Other Than NATO Officials Classifiable Under the NATO-4, Employed in Missions on Behalf of NATO, and their Dependents.
NATO-6 : Civilian Component Accompanying Member
Issued to a Member of a Civilian Component Accompanying a Force Entering in Accordance with the Provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces Agreement; Member of a Civilian Component Attached to or Employed by an Allied Headquarters Under the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters Set Up Pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty; and their Dependents.
NATO-7 : Attendant
Issued to an Attendant, Servant, or Personal Employee of NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO- 5, and NATO-6 Classes, or Immediate Family.
“ O ”
O-1 : Extraordinary Ability
Issued to persons of extraordinary ability, defined as “a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top of a field of endeavor”. This is usually in the fields of Science, Art, Education, Business or Athletics.
O-2 : Accompanying Alien
Issued to a person who is accompanying the principal O-1.
O-3 : Family
Issued to spouse or child of O-1 or O-2.
“ P ”
P-1A : Athletes
Issued to a person who performs as an athlete or as part of a group or team at ‘an internationally recognized level of performance’.
P-1B : Group Entertainers
Issued to a person who performs with or is an essential part of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally, and the performer has had a sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.
P-2 : Reciprocal Exchange Program
Issued to an artist or entertainer who is under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and a foreign state.
P-3 : Unique Cultural Program
Issued to an artist or entertainer who wishes to perform or teach in a program that is culturally unique.
P-4 : Family
Issued to the spouse and dependant children of a beneficiary of a P visa for the duration of the same term.
“ Q ”
Q : International Cultural Exchange
Issued to allow a person to participate in an international cultural exchange program designed for the purpose of sharing the history, culture and traditions of the country of the person’s nationality and providing practical training in the field.
R-1 : Religious Workers
Issued to persons working in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation. The duration of the visa is limited to 5 years.
R-2 : Family
Issued to the spouse and dependant children of a beneficiary of an R visa for the duration of the same term.
S-5 : Crime Informers
Issued to certain aliens supplying critical information relating to a criminal organization or enterprise.
S-6 : Terrorism Informers
Issued to certain aliens supplying critical information relating to terrorism.
S-7 : Family
Issued to family members of S-5 or S-6.
T : Victims of Trafficking
Issued to individuals who are victims of ‘a severe form of trafficking in persons’.
U : Victims or informers of certain crimes.
Issued to persons who are either victims of or who possess information concerning certain firms of criminal activity such as rape, kidnapping, torture, etc.
V : Family Members of Permanent Residents
Issued to spouses and children of permanent residents whose applications for immigration have been pending for at least three years.
This visa allows Canadian and Mexican nationals of designated professions to work for a U.S. entity for a period of 1 year.
TD : Family
Issued to spouse or child of NAFTA professional.
The information in this article is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship between Jethmalani & Nallaseth and the viewer.