Your Guide To Nonimmigrant Visas

  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: June 2, 2021
Your Guide To Nonimmigrant Visas


If you are a citizen of a foreign country, you will need a visa to enter the United States. There are two broad categories that visas fall under:

  1. Nonimmigrant visa
  2. Immigrant visa

If you want to temporarily work in the United States, you will need a nonimmigrant visa. You are here to work rather than to move to this country. There are different employment groups and types of visas.

  • Exchange Visa – This is a “J” visa. You will see these associated with schools. University professors may teach at a school for a semester. And they will be traveling to a foreign country to do so. Because they will be working and getting paid, they would be applying for this visa.
  • Temporary Employment – This is your visa for temporary employment 
    • B Visas – Temporary Business Visa
    • H-1B – Speciality Occupations (i.d., a Bachelor’s Degree)
    • H-2A – Seasonal Agricultural Workers
    • H-2B – Seasonal/Non-Agricultural
    • H-3 – Training and Education
    • L Visa – Internal Company Transfers
    • O Visa – People With Extraordinary Ability (this pertains to people who are recognized nationally or internationally for their abilities in a field) 
    • P Visas – This is for athletes who are coming to the U.S. to compete in an event
    • R Visas – For religious employees coming to the U.S. to work for a religious organization
  • Media Visa – These are “I” visas. These are for the media and press

How To Apply 

The first step is to ensure your passport is valid. That goes beyond just having one that isn’t expired. The expiration date on your passport needs to extend at least 6 months past your return date to your country of origin. Secondly, there needs to be a blank page to stamp your passport book. 

Then you will complete Form DS-160, the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Here’s a TIP: be patient when completing this form. Don’t leave anything blank—even if it doesn’t pertain to you. Put “N/A” or “None” in the space. When someone reviews your application, she will know you didn’t skip over anything accidentally. 

Incomplete or inaccurate forms will only add to the amount of time it will take to get your visa. But after you submit your application, you will need to prepare. Gather your documentation. 

For L and H-1B visas (specialty occupations & company transfers), you will likely need to show when and why you intend to return to your country of origin. This will include proof of the life you have built in your home country including, but not limited to:  your home, your assets, your family.  These things demonstrate that you have an interest in returning. 


A U.S. embassy or consulate will interview you. This will be done in your home country. There is likely one in or near your capital city. Don’t be caught off guard if you are sworn in and your fingerprints get taken

Lastly, check ahead of time if and when the closest U.S. embassy is conducting interviews. Depending on your location, there could be a significant delay or wait. This will simply enable you to plan accordingly. 

Cuprys & Associates

At Cuprys & Associates, we have extensive ex-spouse experience with immigration-related legal issues. Whether you are pursuing a visa or a green card, contact Cuprys & Associates to schedule your consultation. We look forward to helping you discover your American Dream.

Magdalena Cuprys, Esq.

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how
important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands
how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

Translate »