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Apply for Nonimmigrant Visas to the U.S.

Đang chơi bàiLearn how to apply for different types of nonimmigrant visas for tourists, students, business travelers and future spouses. Also, find information about the Visa Waiver Program, and how to get a job in the United States as a foreign worker.

Đang chơi bài

Under normal conditions:

If you are planning a brief visit to the U.S. for business or tourism, you might need to apply for a visitor or a transit visa. These are the steps you should take:

1. Find out if you need a visa.

Check to see if your country participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP)Đang chơi bài. If you don't see your country listed, you will need a nonimmigrant visa to visit the U.S.

2.  Determine which visa you might need for your visit.

Most business and tourism travelers use B-1 and B-2 visitor visas.

  • B-1 visa classification is for business travelers to consult with business associates, attend a conference, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract.

  • B-2 visa classification is for tourists on vacation and people coming for medical treatment, a social event, or participation in amateur contests for no pay.

Đang chơi bàiTransit visas are less common.

  • visa classification is for foreign nationals traveling through the U.S. to another country and stopping briefly in the U.S. as part of their travel to the next foreign destination.

  • are for crewmembers of sea vessels or international airlines traveling to the U.S.

3. Apply for a visa.

The process of applying for a visa will vary depending on the where you apply. Follow the specific instructions for the country that you’re in.

In general, you will need:

  • Đang chơi bàiTo complete online , the nonimmigrant visa application form

  • A photo

  • To schedule an interview

If you plan to visit the U.S. under the VWP,  you must get an approved travel authorization prior to your trip. Authorization approvals are determined using the . 

How to Apply for ESTA and Get Approval to Travel to the U.S.

  • that participate in the VWP.

  • You must have an . This type of passport is also known as an electronic passport and has an embedded chip in it.

  • Fill out the . ESTA determines the eligibility of a visitor to travel to the U.S. under the VWP.

  • The processing fee is $4.00 and if you are approved, there is an additional $10.00 authorization charge. Learn .

  • When you fill out your application, you will get an ESTA application number. Use this number to if it has been accepted to travel to the U.S.

Visitors traveling to the U.S. for tourism or business meetings or conferences under the VWP can stay for up to 90 days without a visa.


An international student can apply for a student or exchange visitor visa only after being accepted by a school certified in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Students’ records are kept in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Learn more , and about .

Types of Educational Visas

Đang chơi bàiYour course of study, the school you plan to attend, or the exchange program you will be with will determine the type of student visa you will need.

The most common student visas are F-1 and M-1 visas.

  • F-1 visa classification is for a full-time international student pursuing academic studies.

  • M-1 visa classification is for a full-time international student pursuing vocational studies.

Đang chơi bài (PDF, ) between F-1 visas and M-1 visas and .

  • Đang chơi bài visa classification is also known as the exchange visitor program (EVP) and is for foreign nationals approved to take part in work or study-based exchange programs. Examples include visiting scholar, camp counselor, or research assistant.  

The duration of stay for J-1 visa holders depends on the agreement between you and your Department of State approved sponsoring organization.

Learn more about studying in the U.S.

Đang chơi bài .


Đang chơi bàiOnly citizens of Canada and Mexico are eligible for a nonimmigrant North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Professional visa to work in the U.S. The NAFTA Professional visa classification is TN and grants the holder temporary entry into the U.S. to work in business activities at a professional level for an initial period of up to three years.

How to Apply    

After getting a letter from your future employer confirming your offer of a position, the application processes varies for Canadian and Mexican citizens.

Canadian Citizens: a NAFTA Professional (TN) visa is usually not requiredĐang chơi bài. You can go directly to a , with your documentation for an interview to be admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant who can legally work in the U.S.

Mexican Citizens: a NAFTA Professional (TN) visa is required. Complete the , print out the confirmation page, and bring it to your interview. If you are applying in Mexico, a photo is not required for your application.

Prepare for Your Interview


Đang chơi bài web page for an overview of each worker category and type of visa.

Đang chơi bàiUse the to find:

  • The visa you need

  • Đang chơi bàiThe application process

  • Fees

  • Đang chơi bàiEstimated wait time for a visa interview

Your Rights and Protections as a Temporary Foreign Worker

  • As a temporary foreign worker in the U.S., you will not be denied a visa or be punished by the U.S. government because you have exercised your rights under U.S. laws. 

  • If you  of your work visa, it could be revoked. You could be deported, arrested, or denied re-entry into the U.S.

  • Đang chơi bàiIf you think you or someone you know is being brought to the U.S. for human trafficking, .

Immigration Questions

If you’re in the U.S. and have questions about visas and immigration, visit the . If you’re in another country, contact your nearest .

Đang chơi bài for you. The K-1 visa allows you to travel to the United States to marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of arriving. After you marry, you may apply for an  to get a .

The K-1 visa expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. If you do not marry within that time, you must leave the country or face possible deportation.

  • Đang chơi bàiFind instructions for applying for your K-1 visa on the  page.

  • Đang chơi bàiDownload forms for your fiancé(e) to petition for your visa and for you to apply for authorization to work. Find these on the  page.

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Last Updated: November 30, 2020