Table of Contents

Visa Types Available for the US

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the visa category for which you are applying. When you apply at a U.S embassy or consulate, a consular officer will determine based on laws whether you are eligible to receive a visa. If so, which visa category is appropriate.
The chart below contains many different purposes of temporary travel and the related nonimmigrant visa categories available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Non – Immigrant Visa Categories

Purpose of TravelVisa CategoryRequired: Before applying for visa*Tags
Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)B-1(NA)
Au pair (exchange visitor)JSEVIS
Australian professional specialtyE-3DOL
Border Crossing Card: MexicoBCC(NA)
Business visitorB-1(NA)
CNMI-only transitional workerCW-1(USCIS)
CrewmemberD(NA)
Diplomat or foreign government officialA(NA)
Domestic employee or nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employerB-1(NA)
Employee of a designated international organization or NATOG1-G5, NATO(NA)
Exchange visitorJSEVISStudent
Foreign military personnel stationed in the United StatesA-2NATO1-6(NA)
Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or AthleticsOUSCIS
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional:Chile, SingaporeH-1B1 – ChileH-1B1 – SingaporeDOLWork
International cultural exchange visitorQUSCIS
Intra-company transfereeLUSCIS
Medical treatment, visitor forB-2(NA)
Media, journalistI(NA)
NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, CanadaTN/TD(NA)
Performing athlete, artist, entertainerPUSCIS
PhysicianJ , H-1BSEVISWork
Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)JSEVISStudent
Religious workerRUSCIS
Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledgeH-1BDOL then USCISWork
Student: academic, vocationalF, MSEVISStudent
Temporary agricultural workerH-2ADOL then USCIS
Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.H-2BDOL then USCIS
Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitorB-2(NA)Vacation
Training in a program not primarily for employmentH-3USCIS
Treaty trader/treaty investorE(NA)
Transiting the United StatesC(NA)
Victim of Criminal ActivityUUSCIS
Victim of Human TraffickingTUSCIS
Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)V(NA)
Renewals in the U.S. – A, G, and NATO Visas(NA)

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/all-visa-categories.html

*What the abbreviations above mean Before applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the following is required:

  • DOL = The U.S. employer must obtain foreign labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, prior to filing a petition with USCIS.
  • USCIS = U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval of a petition or application (The required petition or application depends on the visa category you plan to apply for.)
  • SEVIS = Program approval entered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • (NA) = Not Applicable – Additional approval by another U.S. government agency is not required prior to applying for a visa

Important Notes:

  • About this chart – It is not a complete list of all travel purposes for the visa category. Select a visa category webpage for more information. The chart lists almost all nonimmigrant visa categories, with the exception of several not listed above. Refer to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 402.1 for all nonimmigrant visa categories.
  • Canadian NAFTA Professional workers – A visa not required; apply to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at border port of entry.
  • K nonimmigrant visas – For U.S. citizen fiancé(e) and spouse for immigration related purposes. Refer to Immigrant Visa Categories.

The chart below contains different purposes for immigrating to the United States, and the related immigrant visa categories for which information is available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Immigrant Visa Categories

Immediate Relative & Family SponsoredVisa Category
Spouse of a U.S. CitizenIR1, CR1
Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petitionK-3 *
Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen & live in U.S.K-1 *
Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. CitizensIR3, IH3, IR4, IH4
Certain Family Members of U.S. CitizensIR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4
Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent ResidentsF2A, F2B
Employer Sponsored – Employment
Employment-Based Immigrants, including  (preference group):Priority workers [First]Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability [Second]Professionals and Other Workers [Third]Employment Creation/Investors [Fifth]Certain Special Immigrants: [Fourth] E1E2E3, EW3C5, T5, R5, I5S (many**)
Religious WorkersSD, SR
Iraqi and Afghan Translators/InterpretersSI
Iraqis Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. GovernmentSQ
Afghans Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. GovernmentSQ
Other Immigrants
Diversity Immigrant VisaDV
Returning ResidentSB

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/all-visa-categories.html

Important Notes:

  • K Visas – Listed with immigrant visas because they are for immigration related purposes.
  • About this chart – This chart is a list of many immigrant visa categories, but not every immigrant visa category.
  • Refer to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 502.1 for a listing of all immigrant visa categories.