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Nonimmigrant Classes of Admission

Nonimmigrants are foreign nationals admitted temporarily to the United States within classes of admission that are defined in section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Examples of nonimmigrant classes of admission include foreign government officials, temporary visitors for business and pleasure, aliens in transit, treaty traders and investors, academic and vocational students, temporary workers, exchange visitors, athletes and entertainers, victims of certain crimes, and certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

Unlike people granted LPR, or "green card" status, who may live in the United States essentially without restrictions, nonimmigrants are authorized to enter the country for specific purposes. Nonimmigrants’ duration of stay and lawful activities, such as employment, travel, and accompaniment by dependents, are prescribed by their class of admission.

Temporary workers and their families

Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite. To work in the United States temporarily as a lawful nonimmigrant, temporary workers must qualify for the available visa category based on the planned employment purpose. The steps in the process before applying for a visa vary.

Temporary workers and trainees
CW1 CNMI-only transitional workers
CW2 Spouses and children of CW1
H1B Temporary workers in specialty occupations
H1B1 Chile and Singapore Free Trade Agreement aliens
H1C Registered nurses participating in the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas
H2A Agricultural workers
H2B Nonagricultural workers
H2R Returning H2B workers
H3 Trainees
H4 Spouses and children of H1, H2, or H3
O1 Workers with extraordinary ability or achievement
O2 Workers accompanying and assisting in performance of O1 workers
O3 Spouses and children of O1 and O2
P1 Internationally recognized athletes or entertainers
P2 Artists or entertainers in reciprocal exchange programs
P3 Artists or entertainers in culturally unique programs
P4 Spouses and children of P1, P2, or P3
Q1 Workers in international cultural exchange programs
R1 Workers in religious occupations
R2 Spouses and children of R1
TN North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional workers
TD Spouses and children of TN

 

Intracompany transferees
L1 Intracompany transferees
L2 Spouses and children of L1

 

Treaty traders and investors
E1 Treaty traders and their spouses and children
E2 Treaty investors and their spouses and children
E2C Treaty investors and their spouses and children (CNMI only)
E3 Australian Free Trade Agreement principals, spouses and children
E3D Spouse or Child of E3
E3R Returning E3

 

Representatives of foreign information media
I1 Representatives of foreign information media and spouses and children

Students and Exchange visitors and their dependents

The United States supports international education and welcomes foreign students and exchange visitors. Students and exchange visitors must be accepted by their schools or program sponsors before applying for visas.

Students and their dependents
F1 Academic students
F2 Spouses and children of F1
M1 Vocational students
M2 Spouses and children of M1

 

Exchange visitors
J1 Exchange visitors
J2 Spouses and children of J1

Diplomats and other representatives

Diplomats and other foreign government officials traveling to the United States to engage solely in official duties or activities on behalf of their national government must obtain specific visas prior to entering the United States.

Diplomats and other representatives
A1 Ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomatic or consular officers and their families
A2 Other foreign government officials or employees and their families
A3 Attendants, servants, or personal employees of A1 and A2 and their families
G1 Principals of recognized foreign governments
G2 Other representatives of recognized foreign governments
G3 Representatives of nonrecognized or nonmember foreign governments
G4 International organization officers or employees
G5 Attendants, servants, or personal employees of representatives
NATO 1 Principal Permanent Representative of Member State to NATO (including any of its Subsidiary Bodies) Resident in the U.S. and Resident Members of Official Staff; Secretary General, Assistant Secretaries General, and Executive Secretary of NATO; Other Permanent NATO Officials of Similar Rank, or Immediate Family
NATO 2 Other Representative of member state to NATO (including any of its Subsidiary Bodies) including Representatives, Advisers, and Technical Experts of Delegations, or Immediate Family; Dependents of Member of a Force Entering in Accordance with the Provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces Agreement or in Accordance with the provisions of the “Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters”; Members of Such a Force if Issued Visas
NATO 3 Official Clerical Staff Accompanying Representative of Member State to NATO (including any of its Subsidiary Bodies), or Immediate Family
NATO 4 Official of NATO (Other Than Those Classifiable as NATO1), or Immediate Family
NATO 5 Experts, Other Than NATO Officials Classifiable Under NATO4, Employed in Missions on Behalf of NATO, and their Dependents
NATO 6 Member of a Civilian Component Accompanying a Force Entering in Accordance with the Provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces Agreement; Member of a Civilian Component Attached to or Employed by an Allied Headquarters Under the “Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters” Set Up Pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty; and their Dependents
NATO 7 Attendant, Servant, or Personal Employee of NATO1, NATO2, NATO 3, NATO4, NATO5, and NATO6 Classes, or Immediate Family
N8 Parent of an Alien Classified SK3 or SN3
N9 Child of N8 or of SK1, SK2, SK4, SN1, SN2 or SN4

Temporary visitors for pleasure

Foreign travelers to the United States for short visits, for example tourism, vacation, visiting family and friends, or medical treatment, need visitor visas unless they qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.

Temporary visitors for pleasure
B2 Temporary visitors for pleasure
WT Visa Waiver Program – temporary visitors for pleasure
GT Guam Visa Waiver Program – temporary visitors for pleasure to Guam
GMT Guam - Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Visa Waiver Program - temporary visitors for pleasure to Guam or Northern Mariana Islands

Temporary visitors for business

Foreign travelers coming to the United States to conduct temporary business, for example business meetings and consultations, attending conventions and conferences, or negotiating contracts, need visitor visas unless they qualify for entry under the  Visa Waiver Program.

Temporary visitors for business
B1 Temporary visitors for business
WB Visa Waiver Program – temporary visitors for business
GB Guam Visa Waiver Program – temporary visitors for business to Guam
GMB Guam - Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Visa Waiver Program - temporary visitors for business to Guam or Northern Mariana Islands

Others

Transit aliens
C1 Aliens in continuous and immediate transit through the United States
C2 Aliens in transit to the United Nations
C3 Foreign government officials, their spouses, children, and attendants in transit

 

Commuter students
F3 Canadian or Mexican national academic commuter students
M3 Canadian or Mexican national vocational commuter students

 

Alien Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens and children
K1 Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens
K2 Children of K1

 

Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act
K3 Spouses of U.S. citizens, visa pending
K4 Children of U.S. citizens, visa pending
V1 Spouses of permanent residents, visa pending
V2 Children of permanent residents, visa pending
V3 Dependents of V1 or V2, visa pending

 

Crewmembers
C1/D Combined transit and crewmember visa
D Crewmember (sea or air)

 

Victim of human trafficking and their dependents
T1 Victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons
T2 Spouse of T1
T3 Child of T1
T4 Parent of T1
T5 Unmarried sibling under age 18 of T1
T6 Adult or minor child of a derivative beneficiary of a T1

 

Victim of criminal activity and their dependents
U1 Victim of criminal activity
U2 Spouse or U1
U3 Child of U1
U4 Parent of U1 under 21 years of age
U5 Unmarried Sibling under age 18 of U1 under 21 years of age

 

Other
S5 Certain Aliens Supplying Critical Information Relating to a Criminal Organization or Enterprise
S6 Certain Aliens Supplying Critical Information Relating to Terrorism
S7 Qualified Family Member of S5 or S6
Last Published Date: December 28, 2017

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