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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)

K - Fiancees of U.S. citizens

Under the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) and its amendments, the K visa allows the spouse and unmarried children (below the age of 21 years) of a U.S. citizen to enter, live and work in the U.S. as nonimmigrants until they receive Lawful Permanent Resident status. The spouse is given a K-3 visa and the children are given a K-4 visas.
You can receive a K-3 (Spouse) visa if:

  • You have married a U.S. citizen.
  • Your U.S. citizen spouse has filed Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with USCIS for you.
  • You want to enter the U.S. to wait for the approval of the petition to become a Lawful Permanent Resident.
  • You have forwarded an approved Form I-129F (Petition for Alien FiancĂ©) to the U.S. Consulate (which issues immigrant visas) in the country where you were married. If you were married in the U.S., the approved petition has to be forwarded to a consulate which has jurisdiction over the area where you reside.

You can receive a K-4 (Child) visa if:

  • You are unmarried and under the age of 21 years.
  • You are the child of a foreign national who is eligible for a K-3 visa.

There are two advantages to having a K-3/K-4 non-immigrant visa:

  • You are allowed to work in the U.S. while waiting for your Permanent Resident status. However, in order to do this you must have a work permit. To apply for a work permit, submit Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) to the USCIS center in Chicago.

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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