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Nonimmigrant Visas

The categories of nonimmigrant visas read like alphabet soup and are notated by a letter-number combination as appearing on the I-94 Arrival-Departure Card.

A Diplomats and foreign government officials
B Visitors for business or pleasure (B-1/B-2 information)
C Transit visa
D Crewmen
E Treaty Traders and Investors (E-1 & E-2 information)
F Students (academic) (F-1 information)
H Temporary Workers
I Representatives of foreign media
J Exchange Program students, scholars, trainees, teachers, research assistants, medical graduates, etc. (J-1 information)
K Fiancees of U.S. citizens
L Intracompany transferees (L-1 information)
M Students (vocational) (M-1 information)
N Parents or children of an alien accorded Special Immigrant status
O Individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, athletics, movies, or television
P Athletes and entertainers - highly qualified individuals / groups as well as accompanying group members
Q Participants in international cultural programs
R Religious workers
S Individuals coming to the U.S. to testify in a criminal proceeding
TN Canadians and Mexicans entering under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Types of Nonimmigrant Visa

The categories of nonimmigrant visas read like alphabet soup and are notated by a letter-number combination as appearing on the I-94 Arrival-Departure Card. The main types of temporary, nonimmigrant visas are:

  • A: Diplomats and foreign government officials
  • B: Visitors for business or pleasure (B-1/B-2 information)
  • C: Transit visa
  • D: Crewmen
  • E: Treaty Traders and Investors (E-1 & E-2 information)
    • E-1 Treaty Trader
    • E-2 Treaty Investor
    • E-3 Australian Professionals
  • F: Students (academic) (F-1 information)
  • H: Temporary Workers
    • H-1B classification applies to a specialty occupation that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge requiring completion of a specific course of higher education. This classification requires a Labor Condition Application issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. Numerical limits apply to H-1B for certain types of applicants. Spouse and child dependents of H-1Bs can maintain H-4 status.
    • H-2B classification applies to nonagricultural work of a temporary, seasonal, or peak-load nature. This classification requires a temporary labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. Numerical limits apply to H-2B.
    • H-3 classification applies to trainees other than medical or academic.
  • I: Representatives of foreign media
  • J: Exchange Program students, scholars, trainees, teachers, research assistants, medical graduates, etc.
  • K: Fiancees of U.S. citizens
  • L: Intracompany transferees
  • M: Students (vocational)
  • N: Parents or children of an alien accorded Special Immigrant status.
  • O: Individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, athletics, movies, or television
    • O-1 classification applies to a person who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field. Spouse and child dependents of O-1s can maintain O-3 status.
    • O-2 classification applies to a person accompanying an O-1 alien to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance.
  • P: Athletes and entertainers - highly qualified individuals / groups as well as accompanying group members
    • P-1 classification applies to an individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group who are internationally recognized.
    • P-2 classification applies to artists or entertainers who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program.
    • P-3 classification applies to artists or entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique (same as P-1).
  • Q: Participants in international cultural programs
  • R: Religious workers
  • S: Individuals coming to the U.S. to testify in a criminal proceeding
  • TN: Canadians and Mexicans entering under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The TN classification is for Canadians and Mexicans entering as professionals and pursuant to a qualifying job offer from a U.S. employer. Their occupation must be listed on the schedule for NAFTA purposes.

NOTE: Immigration law changes frequently. The resources and information provided on this web site are intended to help you understand basic issues involved in the immigration process, and are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. This information is not offered as, nor does it constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Although we strive to keep this information current, we neither promise nor guarantee that the information is the latest available, or that it applies to your specific situation. You should not act or rely upon the information in these pages without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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