Nonimmigrant Visas

Global Immigration Partners > Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant visas allow a non-citizen to travel to the United States for a specific purpose, usually for a limited time.  An individual who wishes to travel to the United States and requires a nonimmigrant visa must appear at a U.S. consular office abroad and formally request the issuance of a visa. Visa issuance is discretionary. This means that they may reject the visa application for any reason or no reason.

Visa Waivers

Citizens of certain countries are eligible for a visa waiver if they are only coming to the United States as a visitor for 90 days or less and meet certain other requirements. Also, Canadian citizens do not require visas to enter the United States. They must, however, show proof of eligibility for the nonimmigrant category in which they claim eligibility.

Visas That Require Petitions

Certain nonimmigrant visas require petition approval through the USCIS before a visa may be issued. An applicant for a visa in any of these categories must have a qualified petitioner successfully file a petition with the USCIS before any further action may be taken. Unless and until the petition is approved, the individual may not apply for any of these specified visas.




K, L, O, P

There are certain rules and procedures that are common to all types of nonimmigrant visa applications, irrespective of the geographic location of the office where the application will be made.

Automatic Visa Revalidation

For some travel, a new visa may not be necessary. If an individual is planning to go to Canada, Mexico, or certain adjacent islands only, for 30 days or less, then they may be able to travel there and return using their valid nonimmigrant status. This process is known as “automatic visa revalidation.” To be sure, there are significant limits imposed on the use of this process, but for those who qualify, it can mean the difference between an easy, casual trip or a complicated visit that includes several days dealing with a U.S. visa office abroad

Non-Working Visas

Unless a person is coming to the United States purely for tourism purposes, they must have an appropriate visa for their specific purpose in visiting.

Working Visas

Anyone coming to the United States to work must present a working type visa at the port of entry.

Change of Status

Sometimes, it is necessary to move from one visa category to another. If done while in the U.S., this is known as change of status.

Visa Denials

Visas may be denied for many reasons. Learn more about the various grounds for visa refusals and what can be done if a visa application is refused.

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