Acquiring A Non-Immigrant Visa

Non-Immigrant-VisaA non-immigrant visa is the kind of visa that can allow you to travel to any United States port of entry but with the permission granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for specific purpose. If you want to immigrate to the U.S. for certain time being for the purpose of employment, studying, attending a conference or perhaps to visit your families or friends or invited by an American citizen, the non-immigrant visa is what you need.

In comparison with the immigrant visa, an immigrant visa is the type of visa for those who seek to live in the U.S. permanently but have to undergo complex process specified by immigration policies. For a non-immigrant visa, the length of stay in the U.S. also depends on the purpose and visa status that will be given to the applicant by the officers of U.S Consular office right at the port of entry. For example, a foreign student who has his F-1 student visa may be given years of stay until he completes his degree. If his visa expires in the middle of his studies he may get a form from his school and apply for a visa validity renewal. While for a tourist visa which is also known as the B-2 visa, an individual who come to visit his parents may only be given up to six months.

Non-immigrant visas are generally considered the temporary visas and basically there are more than 30 different kinds of temporary visas that are issued on individuals with various level of non-immigrant status. From the athletes to the victims of human trafficking, their case are reviewed and given the types of visas they are eligible with. As well, each visa also has specific limitations and duration of stay in the U.S. In most cases, non-immigrant visas can also be renewed under the consideration of the Department of Homeland Security through its U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.

Applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa

Your visa requirement depends on you purpose to come to the states. As a non-immigrant traveler, you will need a B-2 visa but for a business purpose you will need a B-1 visa. You can also have a combination of both if your purpose is tourism and do business (B-1/B-2 visa). For students who wish to study in America and wanted to have an F-1 visa, they are required to present authorization from their schools and countries and documentation before they apply for non-immigrant student visas. Fortunately, there is now a faster application process that you can try and this is through Online Non-immigrant Visa Application method. Below is an explanation on its significance.

Step-by-step Procedures on How to Apply for Non-immigrant Visa

    • Step 1
      Know the type of visa you need. Read the Common Nonimmigrant Visas. The important thing is you must know which visa classification you can qualify and also the requirements. The most common type of nonimmigrant visas are the business, tourist, student, work, exchange visitor, transit, ship crew, domestic employee, media or journalist and religious worker visa. People who need advanced medical attention can also apply for nonimmigrant visa with the recommendation of their local hospitals.
    • Step 2
      Ensure that you read carefully the Visa Waiver Program. If it happens that your country is among those that has Visa Waiver Program, you may not need a temporary visa if you travel for business purpose or even as a tourist. However, you may only be allowed to stay in the U.S. for 90 days or even less.
    • Step 3
      Download the DS-160 form but make sure you review the guidelines when completing it. You must input only accurate and correct answers because the consuls will likely find out lies and false info when you have your intensive interview. For those who cannot speak straight English they can get a translator or maybe an immigration lawyer. Copy the 10 digit barcode numbers from the DS-160 form. Submit the form right on the website where you have filled it up.
    • Step 4
      Go to a local bank accredited by the U.S. Embassy and present the ID number or the 10 digit code number that was in your DS-160 form and pay for the application fee. Download the U.S. Visa Appointment Form and fill it up. You can email the form to You can also fax it to 1-877-770-7096. Remember to keep your receipt number when booking for your visa interview appointment.
    • Step 5
      Wait for the U.S. Embassy’s reply for your scheduled appointment for interview. However prior to the interview appointment, you must be ready with the following:
      1.    Your passport. Memorize your passport number
      2.    Receipt number given by the bank when you have paid the visa application fee.
      3.    Ten digit barcode number which you got from the DS-160 form.
    • Step 6
      Go the U.S. Embassy for the interview. You must have with you the DS-160 confirmation page, one picture taken within the last six months as well as your old and current passports.
    • Step 7
      If you are successful and everything goes fine and your visa is approved, wait for your visa at your designated mailing location. You should therefore put a clear mailing address so that your visa mail would not get lost.

If you want more clarifications on how to acquire a nonimmigrant visa, do a lot of research. There are a lot of websites which the American government has put up to assist immigrants and non-immigrants alike with their visa applications. Immigration to the United States would seem a complex process and the application fees are non-transferable and non-refundable. So better make the best of it when you decide to apply for an immigrant or a non-immigrant visa.