There are numerous types of nonimmigrant (temporary) visas available to enter the U.S. for business and pleasure. This section of our site covers eligibility, application processes, rules, and problems that may arise.
For nonimmigrant work or student visas, see our topic specific sections on Work Visas and Student Visas.
Are You Eligible to Get a Temporary (Nonimmigrant) U.S. Visa?
An introduction to whether you might be eligible for a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa with which to spend time in the United States.
No Tourist Visa Required: Visiting The U.S. Under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
If you're coming from a VWP Designated Country, you may enter the U.S. without first obtaining a visa. However, it may be in your best interests to get a visa anyway.
Is It Harder to Get a U.S. Visa Coming From Certain Countries?
Consular officers working in different countries have their own methods for determining who will be likely to abuse a U.S. visa if granted.
Entering the U.S. With a Nonimmigrant Visa
Learn about the inspection process you'll need to go through when you enter the United States with a nonimmigrant visa.
Tips for the U.S. Visa Application Process
The most important tips on how to successfully navigate the immigration bureaucracy.
Timeframe to Get a Nonimmigrant U.S. Visa Approved
If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States, make sure the visa is ready in time for your trip.
Applying for a U.S. Visa: Which Consulate?
Most U.S. visa applicants can get their visa from any U.S. consulate or embassy, but there are a few problems one might face.
Can I Get a U.S. Visa if I'm Already in the Country?
Understanding when you do and don't need a visa, and how to change or renew your status from within the United States.
Temporary Visa Applicants Must Prove Their Intent to Leave the U.S. on Time
Tips on presenting a successful application for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States.
How & When To Write a Visa Letter of Invitation
If you have foreign family or friends wishing to visit the United States, a visa letter of invitation might help. Here are some tips on what to write, and a sample.
What If Your Visa Expires While Waiting For Another One?
If your temporary U.S. visa expires - or soon will - you next steps depend on where you are in the application process for your new visa.
Do Temporary Visa Holders File U.S. Tax Returns?
Even nonimmigrant visa holders may have to file a tax return with the IRS.
How to Get a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa
Temporary visitors to the United States usually need to obtain an entry visa, and the B visas are most common. Here is an overview on the process to obtain one.
Downsides of Visa Waiver Program vs. Getting a Visitor Visa
The VWP makes it easier and more convenient for people from certain countries to visit the U.S., but there are some limitations to be aware of.
Forms & Documents Needed for a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa
In order to apply for a B-1 (tourist) or B-2 (business) visitor visa, you will need to complete a few forms and submit supporting documents.
Laws and Restrictions on the B-2 Visitor (Tourist) Visa
Most tourists wishing to visit the United States will use the B-2 visitor visa. Here's how it works.
Laws and Restrictions on the B-1 Business Visitor Visa
If you need to visit the United States temporarily for business purposes - but not to work for a U.S. employer - the B-1 business visa is likely the best option for entry.
Can I Visit the U.S. as a Tourist After My Work Visa Expires?
If you wish to enter the U.S. on a B-2 visa after you have been in the U.S. on a work visa - such as an H-1B visa or L-1 visa - you may have some difficulties.
Overview of E-1 & E-2 Treaty (Trader/Investor) Visas
Learn about the eligibility rules and requirements for E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas.
E-1 Visa for Foreign Business Nationals
The E-1 visa allows nationals of a foreign country with which the U.S. maintains a trade treaty to come to the U.S. to engage in business with a U.S company.
E-2 Visa for Foreign Investors
The E-2 visa allows foreign nationals to come to the U.S. and invest in a U.S company.
Exchange Visitor Programs: J-1 vs. Q-1 Visa
If you would like to come to the U.S. as an exchange visitor, the program you choose will determine the type of visa you'll need.
Eligibility for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
The J-1 exchange visitor visa is a temporary U.S. visa created for people who are teaching, receiving training, or conducting research in the U.S.
H-4 Visas for Family of H-1, H-2, or H-3 Visa Holders
The H-4 is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa for the spouse or minor, unmarried child of someone who holds an H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 visa.
Can You Work in the U.S. With an H-4 Visa?
Learn about the prohibitions on working while in H-4 status, and alternatives to explore.
Getting a TD Visa as Family of a TN Visa Holder
Family members of TN visa holders can come to the US along with the work visa beneficiary.
What Is the L-2 Visa?
The L-2 visa allows immediate family members of an L-1 visa holder to accompany them to the United States.
F-2 Visa for F-1 Students' Family Members
Students in the U.S. on an F-1 visa may also bring immediate family members into the country using an F-2 visa.
The J-2 Visa for Family of a J-1 Visa Holder
Family of J-1 exchange visitors can accompany the primary visa holder to the United States.
O-3 Visas for The Family of O-1 and O-2 Work Visa Holders
How spouses and children can obtain O-3 visas to accompany an O-1 or O-2 work visa holder to the United States.
R-2 Visa for Family of Religious Workers (R-1 Holders)
Family members of R-1 holders are eligible for an R-2 visa. Here's how to apply.
T Visa: For Victims of Human Trafficking Assisting Law Enforcement
How people who have been crime victims and are helping U.S. police and other authorities can attain a T visa, leading to a green card.
U Visa: For Immigrant Victims of Crimes
The U Visa is a U.S. Visa for immigrants who are victims of crimes, making it possible for them to attain temporary -- and in some cases permanent -- legal status.
VAWA Protection Under Family Immigration Laws
See our section on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) under Family Immigration Laws.
I-94 Date vs. U.S. Visa Expiration Date
Know when your stay in the U.S. is up.
Applying for an Extension of a U.S. Visa or Change of Status
The I-539 form & application requirements for obtaining an extension of your stay or a change to a new nonimmigrant status.
How Much Will It Cost to Extend or Change Your Visa Status?
If you are looking to extend your U.S. visa, or change your status to another visa, you'll be filing an I-539 application and related documents. Here's what to expect in filing fees and lawyer costs.
Reasons a U.S. Tourist Visa Could Be Denied
Here are some common factors that may prohibit someone from obtaining a tourist visa for the United States.
When and Why Your U.S. Visa Would Be Cancelled
Your visa can be cancelled or revoked at any time, for a number of reasons. Here are the most common.
U.S. Visa Denied Due to Lack of "Nonimmigrant Intent": Your Options
A U.S. consulate or embassy may refuse to approve your visa if they believe you intend to stay in the United States beyond the specified time limit. Here's what you can do about it.
Consequences of Overstaying on a Temporary U.S. Visa
Understand the three-and ten-year bars to returning to the U.S. after long periods of unlawful stay.
How a Visa Overstay Affects a Minor
Young people (under the age of 18) face consequences for overstaying a U.S. visa, though not as severe as adults do.
Will I Be Able to Reenter the U.S. If I Overstay My Tourist Visa?
Issues to consider when hoping to return to the U.S. after a tourist visa overstay.
Can My U.S. Visa Overstay Be Forgiven?
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be "forgiven" for overstaying a temporary visa, and obtain further immigration benefits.
Can You Stay in the U.S. Legally While in Between Visas?
Here's how to correctly handle applying to change status from one visa to another.
Getting a U.S. Visitor Visa With a Criminal Record
If you'd like to visit the U.S., and you have a criminal record, you may need to take additional steps to gain entry.