Immigration Law – Visa Categories

All immigrants wishing to come to the United States must present a basis for their application for a US visa. The general categories are immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas are for foreign nationals who intend to live in the United States on a permanent basis. Non-immigrant visas are for foreign nationals who intend to stay in the United States on a temporary basis.

Immigrant and non-immigrant visas are divided into the following categories. Please note that this list reflects only the most common categories.

Schengen Visa

Immigrant Visas

Family Sponsored Visa(I-130)
PERM Labor Certification Visa
Employment Bases Visa (EB-1/EB-2)
Violence Against Women Act Visa (VAWA)
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Visa
Diversity Visa Program-Lottery (DV-2014)
Extraordinary Ability Visa (EB-1A)
Professors/Researchers Visa (EB-1B)

Non-immigrant Visas

Business Visa (B-1)
Visitors Visa (B-2)
Student Visa (F-1)
Fiancee Visa (K-1)
Skilled Workers Visa (L-1B)
Extraordinary Ability Visa (O-1)
Entertainer’s Visa (P-1)
Religious Workers Visa (R-1)


When an intending immigrant submits his application for a United States visa under one of the categories available to the applicant, the US government will process the visa. The processing time depends on the category of visa under which the immigrant applies. After the US visa is processed, the immigrant must go to an interview at the US Embassy overseas. The purpose of the interview depends on the category of the US visa under which the immigrant has applied. The following are examples that illustrate the purposes of the interview followed by a couple of sample questions that the interviewer may ask the immigrant in order to determine the approval of the US visa.

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