A visa is a permit to temporarily stay in the United States. There are many different types of visas from a simple travel visa that gives the holder permission to travel freely around the U.S. while on vacation or visiting relatives, to ones that are very specific to the type of work a person must be doing while living here. While some visas are easier to obtain than others, it is recommended that individuals consult with a visa attorney before applying for one. Having an attorney to help you with your visa application has many advantages and from a bigger picture point of view, it may ultimately save you time and money.

The following are some of the many different types of visas available to people wishing to stay in the United States:


is a visitor for business visa. Applicants can apply for short-term business visits to the U.S.


is a visitor for pleasure visa and is often referred to as a tourist visa. Applicants can obtain permission for short-term pleasure visits to the U.S.


is a conditional resident visa for a spouse of a U.S. citizen if they have been married for less than two years.

E-1 / E-2

is a visa investors and treaty traders. An individual from a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation may apply to be admitted to the U.S. when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Some employees may also be eligible for this visa.


is a visa specifically for Australian professionals. This visa allows Australians to come to the United States to perform services in specialty occupations. The spouse of someone with this visa can obtain work authorization.


is a student visa that allows people to come to the United States to pursue academic studies. There are many regulations and legal guidelines for obtaining and maintaining F-1 student visa status.


is a type of work visa. To get an H-1B visa, an applicant must possess a Bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) and have a legitimate job offer for a position that requires the type of specialized training or education the applicant has obtained.


is a fiance visa. A K-1 visa is issued to the fiance of a U.S. citizen. It requires a foreigner to marry their partner of U.S. citizenship who petitioned for them within 90 days of entering the U.S.


is a visa for multinational executives, managers, and persons holding specialized  knowledge, who work for or own foreign enterprises located in the U.S.


is the Optional Practical Training visa. It allows certain students to work in the U.S.


is a visa for individuals of extraordinary ability. A foreign national who can show that they have obtained a sustained national or international acclaim in their fields may be eligible for this type of visa.


is a visa for religious workers. Religious workers and their families (spouses and children) who get this visa are eligible to come to the United States for up to five years to work as ministers or in religious vocations or other religious occupations.


is a visa for citizens of Canada and Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) gives permission to live and work in the U.S. to certain Canadian and Mexican professionals with job offers here.

Visa Waiver Program

is a program that makes citizens of 38 countries and territories eligible to enter the U.S. without a visa. If you are interested in obtaining a visa for any of the above reasons or for one not mentioned here, a good place to start this process is with a reputable visa attorney.