Visas Overview -P2

Immigrant Visas without Numerical Limits

Immigrant visas not subject to numerical limitation are available to:

Immediate relatives of citizens,
Permanent residents returning to the United States, and

Former American citizens. 

The immediate-relative category is the most common of these visa categories even though it covers only spouses and children. The USCIS will not grant visas for fraudulent marriages entered into in order to receive immigration benefits, and the bureau penalizes sham marriages through deportation, criminal imprisonment and fines, and permanent bars to permanent residence.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant visas apply to temporary visitors who intend to return to their home countries.  Nonimmigrant admissions far outweigh the number of immigrant visas issued each year.  The USCIS establishes a wide range of categories for nonimmigrant visas, and each category brings distinct rights and responsibilities for the holder.  Some examples of nonimmigrant visa categories include:

A-1 visas for diplomatic personnel,
B-1 visas for business,
B-2 visas for tourism,
F-1 visas for students, and
H visas for temporary workers.
Some nonimmigrant visas allow the holder to work during his or her stay in the United States.  Others allow the visitor to bring family members or to enter the country to join family members. 

Getting Legal Help with the Visa Process

The application procedure for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas can be complicated, involving a large number of forms and necessary documentation. In order to ensure that the application process goes smoothly and has the best chance for a favorable outcome, prospective visa applicants should contact an experienced immigration attorney for key advice and proper guidance.