Different Types Of Visas In The United States Explained

The United States is a popular destination for those seeking to visit for a temporary period or for those who aspire to make it their permanent home. To make your journey smooth, it is important to understand the different types of Visas that are available for individuals with varying needs.

Whether you’re a tourist, student, business visitor, worker with specialized skills, or someone seeking permanent residency through family sponsorship, employment sponsorship, diversity lottery, or any other means, the following is a comprehensive guide on the various types of Visas that are currently available in the United States. Additionally, you will find valuable information on how to apply for a Green Card, which is the key to permanent residency in the United States.

Types Of Visas - Immigration Lawyer For Visa Consultation

Student Visa

For those who plan to further their education in the United States, obtaining an F-1 Visa is a crucial step. This Visa is necessary for foreign students who wish to attend a U.S. college, high school, or an approved English language school. It is important to note that the length of stay in the country for foreign students attending a public high school is limited to 12 months, whereas those attending private high schools may study for a longer period of time.

Additionally, foreign students whose coursework involves more than 18 hours of study per week are also required to apply for an F-1 Visa. The exception to this rule is for students who plan to take part in a non-academic study at a U.S. facility, for which they will need to apply for an M-1 Visa instead.

Temporary Worker Visa

For individuals who wish to live and work in the United States for a specific, limited period of time, a temporary Work Visa may be the most appropriate option. Obtaining this Visa requires a fixed job offer from a U.S.-based employer. The employer must then complete the necessary petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.

It is important to note that the length of time for which a temporary Work Visa is valid is determined by the specific terms of the job offer and can vary greatly. If you are seeking to live and work in the United States on a temporary basis, it may be worth considering this option and reaching out to a U.S.-based employer for further information.

Business Visa

Individuals who plan to visit the United States for business purposes may apply for a B-1 Visa. To be issued this type of Visa, it is necessary to demonstrate that the visit is temporary in nature and that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in the United States. 

Additionally, you will be required to provide evidence of a permanent residence outside of the United States, which you will return to once your business activities in the United States are complete.

Some common reasons for applying for a B-1 Visa include attending business conferences, important meetings, and negotiations. It is important to thoroughly prepare your application, providing all relevant evidence and documentation, to ensure that your application for a B-1 Visa is approved in a timely manner.

Visa For Recreation Purposes

For individuals who wish to visit the United States for a limited period of time for recreational or tourist purposes, a B-2 Visa is the appropriate Visa category to apply for. This Visa category also covers individuals who need to visit the United States for medical treatment that is not available in their home country. 

When applying for a B-2 Visa, it is important to provide proof of the purpose of your trip, including any relevant travel itineraries, and demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in the United States. Additionally, you will need to provide evidence of a permanent residence outside of the United States, which you will return to once your visit is complete.

The B-2 Visa is a popular option for individuals who wish to visit the United States for recreational purposes and are committed to adhering to the terms and conditions of the Visa, including returning to their home country at the end of their visit.

Immigrant Visas

For those individuals who are interested in the possibility of making the United States their permanent home, the option of applying for a Green Card is available. A Green Card allows the holder to live and work permanently in the United States and provides many of the same benefits as U.S. citizenship.

To apply for a Green Card, there are several eligibility criteria that must be met, including a qualifying family relationship with a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, having an offer of employment in the United States, or being a refugee or asylee. The Green Card application process can be complex, and it is important to thoroughly prepare your application and provide all relevant evidence and documentation to increase the chances of approval.

Once a Green Card has been approved, the holder is able to live and work permanently in the United States, and after five years of continuous residence, they are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. This provides additional rights and privileges, including the right to vote in elections and to access certain government benefits.

Becoming a U.S. citizen through the Green Card process requires successfully completing the naturalization process, which includes passing a test on U.S. history and government and demonstrating the ability to read, write, and speak English. It is a significant commitment, but for those individuals who wish to make the United States their permanent home, it provides the opportunity to fully participate in the life of their community and to enjoy the rights and freedoms of U.S. citizenship.

Types Of Green Cards

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document that grants an individual the right to live and work permanently in the United States. There are several types of Green Cards, each with its own eligibility requirements and application process.


The United States prioritizes family-sponsored Green Cards as the country strongly values reuniting close family members. To be eligible for a family-sponsored Visa, your spouse, parent, child, or sibling must be a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder. Unfortunately, it is not possible for a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin to sponsor your Visa application.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the necessary paperwork for obtaining residency through a close relative varies based on your connection to your sponsor. If your fiancé has offered to act as your sponsor, the K-1 Fiancé Visa application is required. Conversely, if your sponsor is your lawfully wedded spouse, the Marriage Visa form must be submitted.

In order to pursue a family-sponsored Visa, it is mandatory to file your application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. The USCIS offers the option of submitting your application online, which is the most convenient method. To commence the process, it is imperative to create an account with the USCIS and verify the same by clicking on the verification link sent to your email address. 

Upon successful verification, you will be able to access the online forms related to your application and complete them. Additionally, the USCIS provides the facility to make payments for your Green Card application fees through the online platform, making the entire process smoother and more efficient.

It is highly advisable to seek the assistance of a competent and well-versed immigration attorney if you are planning to apply for a family-sponsored Green Card. Attorneys ensure that all of your documentation is in order and meets the necessary requirements, reducing the risk of errors and inaccuracies in your application. 

Failure to correctly complete the application can result in the need for intervention by the USCIS or your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. These errors can lead to significant delays in the processing of your Green Card application and impede your journey to obtaining residency in the United States. 

By taking the time to carefully review and prepare your application with the help of a qualified immigration attorney, you can increase your chances of a successful and smooth process toward becoming a permanent resident in the United States.


If you are seeking permanent residency in the United States and do not have a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder, it may be advantageous to explore employment opportunities in the country. Many businesses in the United States are willing to sponsor residency petitions for foreign individuals they wish to employ for permanent positions within their organization. 

By applying for permanent job positions in the United States, you may have the opportunity to be selected for a position, and your potential employer can initiate the application process on your behalf. 


If you are facing persecution in your home country and fear for your safety, you have the option of applying for a Green Card as a refugee through the USCIS. This will provide you with a chance to permanently reside and seek refuge in the United States.

Why Hire An Immigration Attorney From Lincoln-Goldfinch Law?

An immigration lawyer from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is well-versed in U.S. immigration law and the Visa application process. They can advise you on the different types of Visas, determine which one is appropriate for your situation, and guide you through the process. 

As some people would comment, the Visa application process can be complex and time-consuming, involving numerous forms and supporting documents. With an immigration lawyer from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, you don’t have to worry about handling these forms, as they ensure that your application is complete and accurate. Hire an attorney now to handle all the legal processes so you can focus on other important aspects of your life.

Click Here To Read More

Get Help From An U.S Immigration Attorney

    How To Find Us

    Austin Office
    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1005 E 40th St
    Austin, TX 78751

    Waco Office

    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1616 Austin Avenue, Suite A
    Waco, TX 76701
    By Appointment Only

    Austin & Waco

    Call or Text: (855) 502-0555
    Fax: (512) 323-9351