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Nonimmigrant Visas and Change of Status

Some of the most popular nonimmigrant visas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Business or Pleasure Visitors (B)
  • Temporary Workers (H, E, L)
  • Students Attending U.S. Schools and Universities (F, M)
  • Cultural Exchange Visitors (J)
  • Fiancé(e) or Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (K)
  • NAFTA Professionals (TN)
  • Religious Workers (R)
  • Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O)
  • Performing Entertainers and Athletes (P)

A nonimmigrant is a foreign national seeking to enter the United States (U.S.) temporarily for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrants enter the U.S. for a temporary period of time, and once in the U.S. are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visa was issued. They may have more than one type of nonimmigrant visa, but are admitted in only one status.

General requirements for foreign nationals seeking temporary admission include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The purpose of the visit must be temporary
  • The foreign national must agree to depart at the end of his/her authorized stay or extension
  • The foreign national must be in possession of a valid passport
  • A foreign residence must be maintained by the foreign national, in most instances
  • The foreign national may be required to show proof of financial support while in the United States
  • The foreign national must be admissible or have obtained a waiver for any ground of inadmissibility
  • The foreign national must abide by the terms and conditions of admission

If you have obtained a non-immigrant visa and wish to change to another non-immigrant visa, you must apply for a change of status. Depending on the type of visa currently held and the type of visa requested under the change of status, consular processing may be required (e.g., you may have to travel outside the US to obtain the new visa).