The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. Please visit our Visa Wizard to find out what visa type is appropriate for you. You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions or find out about the Visa Waiver Program.
Other useful links: Visa Categories | Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate | Glossary
Nonimmigrant visas allow people to visit the United States for short periods and for specific purposes. If you want to move here permanently, please see the information below on immigrant visas.
Tourism & Visit
A foreign national traveling to the United States for tourism needs a visitor visa (B-2) unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. Tourism is a short visit for vacation, for visiting family and friends, or for medical treatment.
Study & Exchange
The United States supports international education and welcomes foreign students and exchange visitors. Before applying for a visa, students and exchange visitors must be accepted by their schools or program sponsors.
A foreign national traveling to the United States to conduct temporary business needs a visitor visa (B-1) unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.
To work in the United States temporarily as a lawful nonimmigrant, temporary workers must qualify for the available visa category based on the planned employment purpose.
Other Visa Categories
In addition to tourism, visits, business, employment, study and exchange, and immigration, there are other reasons for traveling to the United States, which also generally require a visa.
Do you want to immigrate to the United States, meaning you want to move here permanently? Do you want to sponsor someone to immigrate? Immigrant visas are based on family ties, employment, and the diversity visa. If you want to visit for a short period for a specific purpose, please learn about nonimmigrant visas above.
For certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders).
For permanent employment or investment by entrepreneurs.
Annual program making a limited number of visas available to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements.
Additional U.S. Government Resources
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, grants Green Cards, and naturalizes citizens.
Department of Homeland Security
Provides resources to help you plan your trip, manage your arrival, and, if needed, extend your stay.
Visit the United States
Cross U.S. borders
Locate a port of entry
Creates and organizes timely, needed government information and services.
Immigration and Citizenship
Visas and Visiting the U.S.
Recreation and Travel Within the U.S.