US visa types and visa requirements

Do you want to come to the USA? Are you in the USA and do you need to change your status? You will probably need a US visa. Read about the different types, find the best one for you, and learn how to apply.

US Dept of State sample US visa

What is a visa?

A visa is a stamp or document given by a country that says you are allowed to come to that country. It gives you permission to stay and says how long you may stay.

What kinds of visas are there?

The USA has many types of visas, but there are two main categories.

Immigrant

Immigrant visas are for people who want come and live in the United States. You can find a list of immigrant visas on the Department of State website.

Non-immigrant

Non-immigrant visas are for people who want to visit. Visitors may be tourists or visiting family members. They may want to come and work or study for a while. You can find a list of non-immigrant visas on the Department of State website.

How do I know which US visa to apply for?

It can be confusing to know how to choose the right visa. The US State Department’s Visa Wizard will help. It asks some basic questions, such as where you are from and why you are coming to the USA. You do not have to enter personal details. Depending on your answers, it will show you what your choices are. The different types of visas have letters to identify them.

How to apply for a US visa

State.gov page snapshot showing US visa types

tuatahi, choose the visa you need from the State.gov list. Select the link next to the type of visa. The link will be a letter or letters and often a number, too – for example J or H1-B.The link will take you to a page details and instructions for that visa.

When you select the link to apply for an immigrant visa, you will leave the Department of State website and go to the website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

State Sponsor of Terrorism countries

The USA has declared four countries to be state sponsors of terrorism. The USA says these four countries help terrorists. ko ratou: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, Sudan, and Syria. If you are a citizen of one of these four countries, you will have to be interviewed

US visa waiver program

Some countries are part of the US Visa Waiver Program. Their citizens do not need a visa to come to the USA. Instead visitors must get approval through a program called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). You can apply for ESTA if you are a citizen of one of the countries and if you are coming to the USA for 90 days or less for business or as a tourist.

Social media

Your visa application form will ask you to supply your social media information. You can learn more about why the US State Department wants to know about your social media and what it does with the information.

Important note: A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. It allows you to travel to the USA, but you may still be denied entry by a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration. Ētahi atu kōrero mō admission to the USA.

Other US visa status

There are some other categories that are neither immigrant nor non-immigrant, such as military personnel, or people getting medical treatment. You can read about other visa categories.

Permanent resident

If you have an immigrant visa, you can take the next step and apply to become a permanent resident. Becoming a permanent resident of the USA is a long process, but many visa holders are eligible. Learn more about becoming a permanent resident and getting your green card.

Humanitarian reasons

Some people come to the USA to seek protection. They may be allowed to enter or stay as:

  • an asylee
  • a TPS or DED holder
  • he rerenga
  • a victim of crime

Ako atu e pā ana ki humanitarian programs that allow people to live in the USA.

ako atu

Ētahi atu rauemi

This information was prepared to help you understand about visas. It was based on information from the US State Tari a US Raraunga me Immigration Ratonga. It is updated as often as possible. e kore e USAHello hoatu tohutohu ture, e kore e tetahi o matou rauemi tikanga ki te kia tangohia rite tohutohu ture. Ki te mea e rapu ana koutou mo te rōia noa iti-utu ranei te tauturu ture ranei, Ka taea e matou te āwhina koe kitea ratonga ture noa, me te iti-utu.

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