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Nonimmigrant visas are an excellent way to work, study, or visit in the U.S. on a temporary basis.

Overall, it is not as difficult to secure a nonimmigrant visa, as compared to a permanent, immigrant visa. However, refusal rates for both categories of visas have been increasing as the U.S. government has been engaging in a new practice of “extreme vetting.”

To receive a nonimmigrant visa, you typically need to apply directly at the designated closest consulate or embassy in your home country. You will need to fill out an online visa application, pay the required fees, provide a large number of supporting documents, and then attend an interview with a U.S. consular officer. In some cases, however, if you are already within the U.S., you do not need to leave to apply for a different nonimmigrant visa and can instead “change status” by filing certain forms and supporting documents directly with USCIS.

Here is a list of the main nonimmigrant visas available.

  • B1 or B2 Visa (Visitor)
  • E1 or E2 Visa (Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor)
  • H-1B Visa (Specialty Occupation)
  • J-1 Visa (Exchange Visitor)
  • K-1 Visa (Fiance)
  • L-1 Visa (Intra-company Transferee)
  • O-1 Visa (Extraordinary Ability)
  • R-1 Visa (Religious Workers)
  • TN Visa (NAFTA Professional)