Applying for a Temporary Visa to Visit, Work or Study in the U.S.


If you seek to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose such as business, study, or pleasure, you are a nonimmigrant and will probably have to apply for a temporary visa. Having an approved visa allows you to travel to the United States and request permission to enter the country.  When you arrive at a U.S. port of entry, an official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will grant or deny your admission to the Untied States.  Even if you have the proper visa, you can be denied admission to the United States if a CBP official believes you are not admissible.  If you are granted admission, a CBP official will stamp your I-94 Card with an expiration date.  You must leave the United States before the date stamped on your I-94 Card.  If you want to stay beyond that date, you will have to apply for an extension of stay.

List of Nonimmigrant Categories and Temporary Visas

Aliens in Transit (C)
Athletes (P)
Crewmen (D)
Cultural Exchange Visitors (Q)
Entertainers (P)
Exchange Visitors (J)
Fiancé(e)s of U.S. Citizens (K-1)
Foreign Government Officials (A)
Foreign Government Officials to International Organizations (G)
Foreign Media Representatives (I)
Intra-Company Transferees (L)
NAFTA (Canadian and Mexican Professionals) (TN)
Religious Workers (R)
Spouses of U.S. Citizens (K-3)
Spouses of Lawful Permanent Residents (V)
Students (Academic) (F)
Students (Vocational & Language) (M)
Temporary Professional Workers (H)
Temporary Workers (Outstanding Ability) (O)
Transit Without Visas (TWOV)
Treaty Traders and Investors (E-1 and E-2)
Victims of Certain Crimes (U)
Victims of Human Trafficking (T)
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Visitors (Business/Pleasure) (B)
Witnesses/Informants (S)