Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Visa?
A travel document sealed inside the passport which permits ingress and egress through a U.S. Port of Entry. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad issues visas.
What is the difference between Non-Immigrant and Immigrant Visas or Status?
Generally, non-immigrants intent to depart the United States upon their arrival. On the other hand, immigrants intent to stay permanently in the United States. In some cases, visas or change of status applicants both non-immigrant and immigrant intent, this is called dual purpose. Examples are explained below.
- Nonimmigrant Examples
The applicant intends to enter the United States for a temporary purpose such as tourism or to study or to open a business and then return to their home country. Examples include the: B1/B2 Visa, F1 Visa or Status, E1/E2 Treaty Investors.
The applicant intends to enter the United States and obtain residence status or green card in order to permanently reside in the United States. The basis for immigrant visas can be family ties (Ex. Husband / Wife). Employment based applicants such as EB1 Aliens of Extraordinary Abilities, EB2 Aliens with Advance Degrees / Exceptional Abilities, and the EB5 Alien Entrepreneurs qualify for permanent resident status or green cards.
- Dual Purpose
The dual purpose combines a nonimmigrant intent that can be converted to an immigrant intent at a later time. Example include the: L1/L2 Intercompany Transferees (typically for Multi-National Corporations that hold offices in the United States and abroad).