Nonimmigrants are applicants coming to the U.S. temporarily: note that none of the nonimmigrant visas results in permanent residency.


   B1:  Visitor for business
   B2:  Visitor for pleasure

   H1B:  Alien in a specialty occupation (professional)
   H1C:  Registered Nurse
   H2A:  Temporary agricultural workers
   H2B:  Nonagriculatural temporary worker
   H3:    Trainee
   L:       Intercompany transferees
   O:      Extraordinary ability or achievement in arts,
             business, or science


   F-1:   Academic student
   M-1:  Vocational or other nonacademic student


Immigrants are those applicants coming to the U.S. on a permanent basis. Immigrant-based visas may result in a “green card.”


Extraordinary Ability Aliens
Extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education,
business or athletics...  more

Outstanding Professors and Researchers
Professors and researchers who can show recognition internationally as outstanding... more

Employment-Based Immigrant (Investor)
Available to alien entrepreneurs coming to the U.S.
to engage in a new commercial enterprise... more

National Interest Exception
Applies to those who have an advanced degree in their field and which would be in the national interest... more

Labor Certification
Used when a U.S. employer offers a foreign professional a position on a permanent basis... more


Immediate Relative
Important category since visas are always available; there are three classes of immediate relatives...more

Family preference categories:

Not as favorable, since visas are limited and typically there are quotas and waiting lists...more

The INA grants immigration status to certain classes of aliens. Some of these self-petitioning family, "special" or miscellaneous aliens must file for benefits on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special immigrant. Most special immigrant classifications are included as 4th preference employment based immigrants.

Some of the more common special immigrant classifications are the following:

Special Immigrant Religious Workers

Battered Spouse of USC or LPR