Types of US Visa's

Types of US Visa's

Everyone who wants to enter the United States usually needs a valid US visa. If you are traveling to the USA with a valid ESTA or visa and then you want to live permanently in the USA, it is strongly recommended that you take part in the Green Card lottery.

On the other hand, if you desire to visit the US without staying there permanently, you can apply for the diverse visa categories available. Depending on the visa application, different US Visa Online requirements, conditions and deadlines must be met.

Documents required for US Visa for Indians 

Depending on the visa category, the requirements may vary greatly. However, there are general conditions that are the same for all non-immigrant visas:

The purpose of your US trip must be the same as the visa category for which you are applying. Say: If you apply for a so-called visitor's visa, you must prove to the US authorities that you are traveling to the USA for tourism purposes.

You spend only a limited amount of time in the United States and return to your home country after the end of your US stay.

You must have enough financial resources to cover the costs of your US travel.

Make a US visa application

If you want to apply for a non-immigrant visa, you must complete the following application steps:

Create the DS 160 application form (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)

 The DS 160 must be completed online and sent electronically to the US authorities.

Payment of US Visa Fees

 The amount of the application for the US Visa Fees depends on the type of visa. Since 2013, in addition to the online application DS 160, all applicants for a non-immigration visa must apply for a visa profile on the Visa Information Service CGI website in order to make an appointment and to pay the visa fee.

Make an appointment for an interview with an American consulate in your home country

An appointment for an interview with an American consulate in your home country has to be made. As an Indian who desire to visit the US, this appointment must be made upon applying for a US Visa For Indians.

 For the visa interview, you must bring necessary application documents, and evidence. Since 2001, all applicants from the age of 14 to 79 have to make a personal appearance without exception. No documents will be submitted by post in advance (exception: age groups under 14 and over 79 years). Another exception is the Visa Reissuance Program, which has been introduced since 2011 in some US consulates.

Do note that your passport will be withheld at the US Consulate on the day of the interview and sent to a provided address after a processing time of approximately one to two weeks by registered post. A personal pickup of the visa or an exhibition on the same day are not possible.

Do also make sure to apply for the US Visa in due time, as the US officials cannot and will not pay attention to individual travel plans.

Refusal of a US visa application at the consulate

A refusal does not have to be explained in detail. Once this has happened, a new visa can usually only be applied for after several months or even years. Also, the visa does not guarantee that you are actually allowed to enter the United States. At the US border, an official from the US Customs and Border Guard will decide if and how long you can travel to the US.

Types of US Visa

Whether as a tourist, business traveler, or employee of a company with a location in the US, the issuance of the visa would depend on the reason for your trip to the US. More specifically, this is usually called a non-immigrant visa. This means that the visas only entitles you  to a temporary stay in the United States.

To inform you about the Dos and Don'ts in the application process, below is an overview of the main non- immigrant visas and tips on applying for the right visa for the US .


1. Tourist and business visa  (B-1 visa, B-2 visa)

The question of border control when entering the United States is often: Why are you here - business or pleasure? If the answer is on business, the border guards would be very scrutinizing, but that does not have to be bad. Anyone traveling in the US, both professionally and privately, should be sure they have the right entry document.

For business-related and tourist entries, nationals of certain countries may use visa-free travel permission for the US with ESTA subject to certain entry requirements. Persons who due to nationality, purpose of residence and / or length of stay cannot use the visa-free entry must apply for a tourist visa or a business traveler visa.

The B visa allows the stay as a business traveler (B-1 Business Visitor) or as a tourist (B-2 Tourist Visa) for up to 180 days at a time or for multiple entries within a year. As a rule, these visas are issued for ten years (varying according to nationality), but can also be limited to shorter periods. This means that B visa holders  within the next ten years may be allowed entry into the US for a maximum of 180 days per visit.

Do note that a high entry frequency with longer residence times can lead to unpleasant demands and / or problems at the border. There is also a likelihood of higher travel expenses, and the border guards may suggest that your focus is shifted to the US because you are pursuing an illegal activity or you want to immigrate to the USA.

How do I apply for a B-1/B-2 visa?

Applications for a B-1 or B-2 visa are usually submitted to a United States Consulate in your home country. During the main travel times (summer and winter months), waiting times of up to four weeks can easily arise. Do prepare your visa application carefully, as the applications are thoroughly scrutinized. As a matter of principle, applicants must accompany the standard application form DS 160 and the "Appointment Confirmation" at the interview appointment and provide proof of their firm professional and private ties to their home country,  as well as their return intentions to their home country. In addition, documents should be attached to the specific purpose of residence (e.g., tourist travel plans, business trip, etc.)

Work visas

Applicants have several US visa options at their disposal for work in the United States. But who has the choice, also has the agony to determine the right visa for himself.

As a result, an intensive familiarization with the visa  laws and requirements is important and choosing the right US visa is of crucial importance. Which visa applies to the specific case and, above all, appears expedient, must be assessed individually. Factors such as qualification, nationality, duration of the planned stay, company affiliation or corporate constellation are decisive here.

Incidentally, the visa options (non-immigrant visa) described in the following merely entitle the holder to take up temporary employment in the USA, i.e., for a temporary work stay. If you desire to live and work permanently in the United States, you need to apply for an immigration visa (Green Card). Do also note that most US work visas are complex and time-consuming procedures. Below are some of the most important work visas for the USA.

Visa for Crewmember (C-1 / D visa)

The C-1 / D visa is usually issued to crew members and foreign nationals employed by an airline or a shipping company who regularly fly to and from the US .

The C-1 / D visa is not to be confused with the B-1 / B-2 category but is often issued in combination. This visa only allows people to work for a shipping company or airline located outside the United States - acting on their behalf in the United States. C-1 / D visa holders are therefore not allowed to work for a US American employer. If this is planned, a work visa (H, L or E visa) must be requested in advance.

Commercial Visa (E-1 Visa)

The E-1 Treaty Trader category dates back to the period when no mergers such as the European Union or NAFTA existed and countries concluded bilateral agreements to enable their citizens to engage in  transnational trade.

The E-1 visa is available to qualified employees of companies that engage in substantial trade with the US. An independent entrepreneur can qualify just as much for this visa as employees of small to multinational companies. Unlike the L-1 visa, there is no need for a location outside the US. However, a US company must always exist or have been founded.

As the e-Visa provides a simplified procedure for the application, this option should always be checked. Compared to other work visas, there are significant cost and time savings in the short term, even when businesses need more to be posted.

Investor visa (E-2 visa)

The E-2 visa, similar to the E-1 category, is based on bilateral investment projects in the United States. There are currently about 60 nations that have such relationships with the United States.

The investor visa is available to nationals of those contracting states who have invested or are about to invest in a US company in the US. A national does not necessarily have to be a natural person but may also be a company (legal person).

An independent entrepreneur can qualify for this visa as well as employees of small to multinational companies. Unlike the L-1 visa, there is no need for a location outside the US. However, a US company must always exist or have been founded.

As the e-Visa provides a simplified procedure for the application, this option should always be checked. Compared to other work visas, there are significant cost and time savings for the company in the short term, especially with an increased workforce in the US.

Visa for "Highly Qualified Workers" (H-1B visa)

Probably the best-known temporary work visa that helps many foreign professionals such as engineers, scientists, computer scientists, etc. work in the United States is still the H-1B visa. In principle, this category applies to all persons with an academic education (or a university degree) corresponding equivalent). The awarding of the H-1B visa, however, is subject to strong regulations.

The focus of discussion is always the so-called "cap" - the numerical limitation of H-1B visas. Quite a few US companies draw a large number of their foreign employees from this contingent. It is therefore not surprising that the demands for an increase in the H-1B visa rate are getting louder. Large American companies such as Microsoft or Google repeatedly refer to the shortage of skilled workers in the US and the high number of applications, which could not be considered due to the low quota. Not least for this reason, an increase in the H-1B visa quota is considered again and again, but not yet implemented. Similar to the Green Card lottery, a lottery ticket decides which H-1B visa applications will be considered.

Visa for persons with extraordinary abilities (O-1 visa)

Got talent? The O category allows work for particularly talented foreigners in the US to a US company or US organization, or via a US agency. The O-1 visa is only available to people with exceptional skills in specific work areas. Incidentally, the talents must be assignable.

Among other things, US immigration law is designed to give certain (talented) groups of people the incentive to live and work in the US, thus adding value to US society or the US economy.

In conclusion, the US is a great place which welcomes all visitors and in order to be granted entry, you must poses a valid US visa as highlighted above.

US VISA Sample