Explaining Immigration Visas: Which Visa Type Is Right for You?

Thousands of immigrants settle in Las Vegas every year, captivated by its unmatched energy, opportunities, and promise of a brighter future. But before people from other countries can visit this dynamic city, they must clear an essential hurdle: securing the correct immigration visa. With many visa options, each designed for distinct situations and goals, choosing the proper visa for your situation is critical.

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At De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration, our Las Vegas immigration visa lawyers can make this process smoother and more understandable for you. This blog will guide you through the landscape of immigration visas, highlighting the features of each visa type as we aim to help you identify the one that resonates with your vision for life in Las Vegas.

Different type of Immigration Visas

How Many Types of Immigration Visas Are There?

One way to organize the different types of immigration visas is to break them down by their function. There are five main types of visas, and each type is suited to a particular purpose:

Tourist Visas

If someone wishes to visit Las Vegas for tourism, to see friends or family, or for other non-business purposes and is not looking to settle here permanently, they need a B-2 visa. Some situations in which someone needs a B-2 visa to enter the U.S. include:

  • Tourism and Vacations
  • Visits with Friends or Relatives
  • Medical Treatment
  • Social Events
  • Amateur Participation in Events (sports events, music contests, etc.).
  • Recreational Courses of Study

To obtain a B-2 visa, you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete the DS-160 Form online or at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country.
  • Submit a photograph that meets State Department guidelines.
  • Pay the required visa application fee.
  • Depending on factors such as your age and location, you might be required to attend an interview at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

For individuals from certain designated countries, the Visa Waiver Program allows eligible visitors to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business purposes without a visa for up to 90 days. However, this program comes with its own requirements, and not every traveler qualifies for the VWP. Finally, citizens of Canada and Bermuda generally don’t need a visa to enter the U.S.

Business Visas

The B-1 visa is for people who wish to visit the U.S. for short business trips. Some of the valid purposes of a B-1 visa include:

  • Business associate consultations in the U.S.
  • Attending a convention or conference related to your industry
  • Settling someone’s estate after their death
  • Negotiating a contract with a person or business in the U.S.

Like the B-2 visa, a B-1 visa is a visitor visa, and the steps to apply for one are largely the same as applying for a B-2 visa. Those steps include:

  • Completing the DS-160 Form
  • Submitting a photograph
  • Paying the visa application fee
  • Possibly having to attend an interview, depending on your age, country of origin, and other factors.

Finally, visitors from qualifying countries can enter the U.S. without a visa through the Visa Waiver program. Ensure you meet the requirements before attempting to enter the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program. Business travelers who are citizens of Bermuda or Canada typically do not need a visa to enter the U.S.

Work/Employment Visas

There are many visa types for those wishing to immigrate to the U.S. for work. These visas last much longer than visitor visas like the B-1 or B-2. Some common categories of employment visas include:

  • H-1B Visas: Specifically designed for individuals in professional or specialty roles. Ideal for those with unique skills or expertise in their respective fields.
  • H-2B Visas: Suited for temporary workers who seek short-term employment opportunities in the U.S.
  • L-1A Visas: Tailored for high-ranking executives or managers from international firms aiming to transfer to their U.S. offices.
  • L-1B Visas: Perfect for employees of global companies who possess specialized knowledge and are looking to transfer to the U.S. branch of their organization.
  • TN Visas: Exclusively for professionals from Mexico or Canada, easing their path to work in the United States.
  • E-2 Visas: Designed for investors of E2 countries and their crucial staff. It is ideal for those investing significantly in a U.S. business venture.
  • E-1 Visas: A fit for treaty traders and their essential workers. These are for individuals involved in trade between the U.S. and their treaty country.
  • R-1 Visas: Tailored for religious workers looking to serve in their respective vocations within the U.S.

Most employment-based visas require additional steps beyond those required for a B-1 or B-2 visa. While some highly skilled or professional workers can submit a visa petition independently, most of these visas require sponsorship from an employer. Furthermore, each visa type has its distinct set of requirements. A seasoned immigration attorney can help you apply for one of those work-based visas.

Transit Visas

Travelers who must pass through the U.S. to reach their final destination can use a transit visa. These visas allow a traveler to enter the U.S. temporarily, provided they leave promptly and do not stay to visit friends or family, conduct business, or engage in other activities that require another type of visa. The requirements to obtain a transit visa are generally the same as applying for a B-1 or B-2 visa, including:

  • Completing the DS-160 Form
  • Submitting a photograph
  • Paying the visa application fee
  • Possibly having to attend an interview

Student Visas

As the name implies, student visas are for international students visiting the U.S. for long-term study at a primary, secondary, or vocational school. Depending on what type of school the visitor plans to attend, they will need an F or M visa. The requirements for student visas are generally the same as applying for a visitor visa, including:

  • Completing the DS-160 Form
  • Submitting a photograph
  • Paying the visa application fee
  • Possibly having to attend an interview
How to Know Which Visa You Need

Understanding the different types of U.S. visas can make your head spin. The most effective way to determine your visa is to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer. The De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration team has the knowledge and dedication to guide you toward the most fitting visa for your aspirations.

Don’t leave such a significant decision to chance. Call (702) 996-4860 or complete our contact form for a complimentary consultation, and take the first step towards realizing your American dream.