Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa

What is the difference between a nonimmigrant and an immigrant visa?

Nonimmigrant visas permit individuals from other countries to enter the United States to accomplish a specific purpose.  Nonimmigrant visas are frequently issued to students, business owners, and tourists.  With a nonimmigrant visa, qualifying individuals can remain in the U.S. for a period of weeks, months, or years and will be permitted to study or work here, depending on the specific visa you seek.  

Immigrant Visa vs Nonimmigrant Visa

A nonimmigrant visa is issued to a person who permanently resides outside of the U.S., but who wants to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis for work or study, tourism, business, or medical treatment.  An immigrant visa, on the other hand, is issued to those individuals who want to come to the U.S. to live and work or study permanently.  It is important that you apply for the appropriate visa that will allow you to accomplish the purpose of your trip to the U.S.  If you enter the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa and later decide you want to make a permanent move to the U.S., it is critical that you contact an immigration attorney right away.

Requirements for a Nonimmigrant Visa 

There are over 20 different types of nonimmigrant visas, and each visa will have its own unique requirements.  For example, an immigrant seeking to enter the U.S. for business related purposes will have several nonimmigrant visa options.  If you plan to attend a conference or hold business meetings, but not conduct business, you could apply for a B1 business visa.  You will need to apply no later than 60 days before the travel date.  You cannot bring your spouse or children on this visa.

Given the variety of nonimmigrant visas available to you, it is important that you consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure you apply for the appropriate visa for your travel purposes.  If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107).  You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at