The different visas for the United States: what are they and how does it work?- The mail of the Americas
By amk, 22/09/2022

The different visas for the United States: what are they and how does it work?- The mail of the Americas

Security measures concerning the entry into the American territory are rigorous and any stay must be authorized.If you intend to stay more than 90 days in Florida or elsewhere in the United States, you must obtain a visa (or a Green Card) ... and there is an impressive list of visas in force!

A voir aussi :

-Immigration lawyers in the United States

- Immigration lawyers in Miami and Florida: its role and our practical advice

- All our articles on visas

- Our immigration guide


If you want to go to the United States, in Miami for example, and if you are fortunate to live in one of the 27 countries (including France) where an "Electronic System for Travel Authorization" is available, then you'will not need a visa, but a esta.However, ESTA is a temporary travel authorization limited to 90 days and which cannot be used to work.It is therefore intended for tourists or for a simple business trip.In the event of refusal of the ESTA, the traveler must still request a visa from the American embassy.

In terms of visas, there are actually two categories in the United States.Non-immigrant visas, intended for people entering the country for a stay of limited duration for a specific purpose (tourism, medical care, temporary work, business or studies), and immigrant visas, intended for people wanting topermanently establish in the USA.And for these two cases, there are several dozen different visas in the United States!

The best is obviously to call on an immigration specialized lawyer who will inform you of the possibilities and advise you on the visa most appropriate to your situation.The purpose of your stay in the United States determines the visa class you need.In other words, depending on the activity you will have on American soil, obtaining your visa will not be subject to the same rules.

Each year many French speakers make visa requests for stays in Florida or elsewhere in the USA, for various reasons.Here are some examples of visas and the situations to which they correspond…

Visa F, M, J: Student

They allow French students to continue their studies in the United States depending on whether it is a course in a general education establishment (F), technical or vocational education (M) or in a particular program known asof "sponsorship" (university exchange), (J-1).Classified "non-immigrants", these visas normally do not allow to work on American territory, except in exceptional and well-defined circumstances.

Visa E1, E2 or EB5: the investor visa

This is a question, either to set up a commercial affair (purchase or sale of products, services, tourism, transport, insurance, etc.) or to invest a substantial sum in an American company (new or already existing).These visas are allocated for a period of 2 to 5 years, renewable indefinitely, provided that the activity created of jobs and is in good standing with tax and social declarations.The EB5 visa gives the right to the Green Card permanent resident card), but it is necessary to invest more.See our article on investor visas

VISA L: Detached employee

A multinational located both in the United States and abroad wants that one of its employees, executive manager, senior executive or specialist employee (only), be detached for a period determined at the company's headquarters or in a subsidiaryto USA.The L1A visa concerns employees with the function of manager or senior manager, the L1B visa concerns employees with specialized knowledge.This type of visa is issued for an initial period of 1 to 3 years and can be extended within the limit of 5 years (L1B) or even 7 years (L1A).

Visas B-1 and B-2: temporary stay (tourist, medical, business appointments, etc.)

These are visas that allow the temporary stay for a maximum period of 6 months (renewable once).The candidate must be able to justify the reason why the 90 -day ESTA is not enough.The B-1 visa allows business stay while the B-2 is valid for tourist trips (or to attend an event in the United States) or medical stays.An extension of a maximum duration of 6 months can be requested by the visa holder before the expiration of the immigration (INS).None of these two visas makes it possible to exercise a professional activity on American soil or to collect money from an American entity for the duration of the stay.

If for example you are Canadian and want to stay in the USA for more than six months, or if you are European and want to stay more than three months in the States ... This visa is for you.

Les différents visas pour les Etats-Unis : quels sont-ils et comment ça marche ? - Le Courrier des Amériques

See our article on the B-2 visa

O-1 or O-1B visa: extraordinary capacities

These visas are aimed at individuals with extraordinary capacities in science, education, business world, sport (O-1) or in the field of arts, or which have an exceptional success in cinema or the television industry (o-1b).They are issued for a renewable period of 3 years.

Each year, more than 14 million people worldwide try their luck at the lottery to try to win one of the 50,000 "green card" proposed by the US government since 1995.The lottery is generally open for a month between early October and early November.The American dream is therefore also within click!

The list of visas obviously does not stop at the few examples above and you will find below the details of the visas in force in the United States ...

See our articles on Green Card Lottery


-A-1 visa: for heads of state or foreign governments: ambassadors, ministers, diplomats, consular officers and their close family members.

-Visa A-2: for other officials of foreign governments, their employees and their close family members.

-Visa A-3: for employees holding an official or diplomatic visa and their close family members.

-B-1 visa: for business trips and for domestic staff.

-B-2 visa: for tourist trips or for medical reasons.

-C-1 visa: for transit passengers.

-C-1/D visa: for crew members in transit.

-Visa C-2: for individuals in transit within the interallied generals of the United Nations in accordance with the dry.11.(3), (4), or (5) of the agreement of the Interalliated General General.

-Visa C-3: for senior officials, employees, and their family members close in transit.

-Visa C-4: for transit passengers according to the ATP program (formerly Twov)

-D-1 visa: for crew members leaving the United States with the same boat.

-D-2 visa: for crew members leaving the United States by other means than with the finish boat.

-E-1 visa: commercial exchange treaty, spouse and children under the age of 21.

- E2 visa: for investors, spouses and children under the age of 21.

-Visa E-2: for investor employees, spouses and children under the age of 21.

-Visa E-3: for specialized Australian workers, spouses and children under the age of 21.He is called "Visa H-1B for Australians".

-EB-5 visa: green card for investors of a million dollars or five hundred thousand dollars under the "pilot program".

-F-1 visa: for students.

-F-2 visa: for the spouse and children of students under the age of 21.

-Visa G-1: for members of a permanent mission of a government recognized by the United States with an international organization.

-Visa G-2: for representatives of a government recognized by the United States who go to the United States on a mission to an international organization.

-G-3 visa: for representatives of governments not recognized by the United States.

-Visa G-4: for people in office or on a mission to an international organization like the United Nations

-G-5 visa: for the staff of official or diplomatic visas holders subject to meeting the required conditions.

-VISA H-1B1: For specialized professional jobs requiring a higher education diploma.

-VISA H-1B2: for individuals coming to the United States for a limited period in order to carry out research and co-production projects.

-H-1B3 visa: for renowned professional models.

-H-1C visa: for nurses (eras) graduates (ées).

-H-2A visa: for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers.

-VISA H-2B: for people recruited for temporary jobs that could not be provided by nationals or American residents.

-Visa H-2R: another type of H-2B visa temporarily granted for a limited period in order to bypass the H-2B visa quotas for individuals who have already had a H-2B visa.

-Visa H-3: for professional trainees in an American or subsidiary company of a foreign company.

-Visa H-4: for spouses and children of trainees under the age of 21.

- Visa I: for journalists, spouses and children under the age of 21.

-J-1 visa: for exchange visitors.

-Visa J-2: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-visa k-1: for the fiancé (e) of an American citizen.

-Visa K-2: for minor children of the fiancé (e) of an American citizen.

-Visa K-3: for the spouse of an American citizen under the Life decree.

-Visa K-4: for the children of the K-3 visa holder under the LIFE decree.

-L-1A visa: for expatriate managers or executive executives coming to work within the American subsidiary.

-L-1B visa: for expatriate specialized workers coming to work within the American subsidiary.

-L-2 visa: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-M-1 visa: for professional or specialized studies.

-Visa M-2: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-Visa N-8: for the parents of an individual with a SK-3 immigrant visa

-Visa N-9: For children under the age of 21 of a holder of the N-8 immigrant visa, SK-1, SK-2, or SK-4.

-Visa NATO-1: for members of national delegations and NATO officials and their members of their nearby family dependent.

-Visa Nato-2: for other members of the national delegations and NATO officials and their members of their nearby family dependent.

-Visa Nato-3: for staff (civil servants) accompanying members of the national NATO delegations and their family members near dependent.

-Visa Nato-4: For NATO officials who are not part of the NATO-1 category and their close family members dependent.

-Visa Nato-5: For experts not being NATO civil servants committed to carry out missions for NATO and their family members near dependent.

-Visa Nato-6: for the staff of the armed forces attached to the Allied staff of NATO in the United States going on a mission, or temporarily returning within the framework of the agreement of the status of the forces of theNATO and members of their nearby family dependent.

-Visa Nato-7: For employees of the Nato-1, Nato-2, Nato-3, Nato-4, Nato-5 and Nato-6 categories as well as the members of their nearby dependent family.

-O-1A visa: for individuals with extraordinary skills in the fields of science, arts, education, business or sport.

-VISA O-1B: for individuals with extraordinary skills in the field of arts or having accomplished extraordinary artistic prowess in the cinema industry.

-Visa O-2: for professional assistants accompanying the O-1A visa holder.

-Visa O-3: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-P-1 visa: for artists, athletes and professional assistants accompanying the holder of the P-1 visa.

-P-2 visa: for artists or coaches performing in the United States as part of cultural exchange programs.

-P-3 visa: for artists or coaches performing in the United States as part of cultural programs only.

-P-4 visa: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-Q-1 visa: for individuals participating in cultural exchange programs.

-Q-2 visa: for Irish participating in cultural and training programs (Walsh visas).

-Q-3 visa: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-R-1 visa: for religious workers or working for a religious institution.

Visa R-2: for the spouse and children under the age of 21.

-S-5 visa: for individuals providing information on criminal organizations.

-S-6 visa: for individuals providing information on terrorist organizations.

-S-7 visa: for family members of the Holders of the S-5 and S-6 visas.

-T-1 visa: for traffickers victims.

-T-2 visa: for the spouse of the victim of traffickers.

-T-3 visa: for the children of the victim of traffickers.

-T-4 visa: for the parents of the victim of traffickers (if the victim is under the age of 21).

- TN visa: for Canadian and Mexican professional workers (Alena).

- TD visa: for the spouse and children under the age of 21

- Twov visa: for passengers or members of the transit crew provided by visa according to the ATP program (formerly Twov). Ce programme a été ANNULE le samedi 2 aout, 2003 à11h00.

-U-1 visa: for victims of certain criminal activities.

-U-2 visa: for the victim's spouse under Visa U-1.

-Visa U-3: for the child of the victim under Visa U-1.

-Visa U-4: for the parents of the victim under Visa U-1 (if the victim is under the age of 21).

-Visa V-1: for the spouse of a legal permanent resident who is the main beneficiary of the request for legal permanent residence through the family (form I-130) which was registered before December 21, 2000 and iswaiting for at least 3 years.

-Visa V-2: for the children of a permanent resident who is the main beneficiary of the permanent residence request through the family (form I-130) which was registered before December 21, 2000 and is pendingFor at least 3 years.

-V-3 visa: for children attached by alliance to the holders of V-1 or V-2 visas.

- TPS visa: for temporary protection status.

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