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What’s the Difference Between Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visas?


There are two types of visas — nonimmigrant and immigrant. While both give foreign nationals a chance to visit the United States, the type of visa that an individual applies for depends solely on the purpose of their travel. Here’s how each type of visa works.

Immigrant Visa

The United States government issues immigrant visas to individuals who were born outside the United States with the intention to move to the U.S.permanently. Also referred to as green card holders, individuals with immigrant visas are also allowed to work in the United States. Having an immigrant visa also allows you the same privileges and rights of a United States Citizen.

To be considered for an immigrant visa, you must be sponsored by an employer or family member based in the United States. Other individuals may also acquire an immigrant visa through gaining refugee status as well as other humanitarian programs.

Nonimmigrant Visa

Anyone who wishes to visit the U.S. on a temporary basis would apply for a nonimmirant visa. Nonimmigrant visas usually have terms that require the individual to leave the United States within a specified period. Individuals who are visiting the United States with a nonimmigrant visa may be traveling for several reasons. The following travel purposes may fall under a nonimmigrant visa:

After being granted a nonimmigrant visa, you may be restricted to activities related to the purpose in which you have traveled to the United States. For example, if you are given a student visa, you must be enrolled in school throughout your time in the United States to meet the terms and requirements of the issued nonimmigrant visa.

We understand that navigating the visa process can be daunting, especially when you’re unfamiliar with immigration law. If you or a loved one needs assistance with obtaining a visa, we can help. Contact Yekrangi & Associates at (949) 478-4963 today to learn more about how our experienced immigration attorneys can guide you through every step and ease your concerns.

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