Los Angeles Immigration Attorneys: Non-Immigrant Visas

If you are planning to visit the United States for a temporary period, our top immigration attorneys are here to help you.

Our reliable and dedicated immigration attorneys will advocate for your rights and help you get the necessary visa to temporarily immigrate to the United States, whether it be for travel, work, or study.

Contact LA Attorney’s today to discuss your eligibility for a non-immigrant visa.

  • What is a Non-Immigrant Visa?

  • What are the Types of Non-Immigrant Visas?

  • How to Apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa?

  • What is the Visa Waiver Program?

What is a Non-Immigrant Visa?

A non-immigrant visa is admitted to those who are temporarily visiting the United States for a set period of time. In other words, a non-immigrant visa is for those not planning to permanently immigrate to the United States or who hope to gain citizenship.

There are multiple ways one can be eligible for a non-immigrant visa depending on the purpose of travel, such as short-term employment or business, tourism, and study. A non-immigrant visa can also be obtained for other purposes, such as medical treatment.

A non-immigrant visa is different from an immigrant visa since the latter is intended for those who plan to move to the United States permanently, and requires a host of other eligibility requirements, like sponsorship from a family member or employer.

What are the Types of Non-Immigrant Visas?


Temporary work visas are issued to those who are coming to the United States to work for a certain, pre-disclosed period. This includes seasonal or temporary work that has a distinct start and end date.

Most employment visas require sponsorship or petition from an employer, which must be approved before applying for a visa.

Within the category of employment visas, there are several different visas that one can obtain based their type of employment:

  • H visas (H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3)- professional-level jobs

  • H-2A and H-2B visas are for seasonal work, either agricultural or non-agricultural

  • (L-1A or L-1B)- transferring within a company that has a U.S. office

  • (O-1)- those with extraordinary abilities

  • (P-1A, P1-B, P2, P-3)- artists or entertainers

  • (Q visa)- cultural exchange participants


Every year, many international students come to the United States to study at universities.

However, these students also require a non-immigrant visa.

The most common student visa is the F-1 visa which is required for full-time students studying at any accredited institution in the United States, which applies to universities and high schools.

The other most common student visa is the J-1 visa , which is for students participating in an educational or work-related exchange program.

However, to be eligible for this visa, the program, the visitor must be proficient in English.


A non-immigrant visa is required for a quick vacation to the United States and visitors staying a prolonged period for tourism or business trips.

The B-1 or B-2 visa is required for those traveling to the United States.

The B-1 visa is for business and valid for the following purposes as outlined by the U.S. Department of State: “Consult with business associates; attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference; Settle an estate; Negotiate a contract.”

The B-2 visa is for tourism, which is defined by the U.S. Department of State as:

  • “Vacation (holiday); Visit with friends or relatives"

  • Medical treatment

  • "Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations; Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating"

  • "Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree”

How to Apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa?

For short-term visits to the United States such as tourism or a business visit, non-United States citizens can apply for a non-immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in their home nation.

However, those requiring a temporary visa to stay in the United States for a longer period, for employment or educational purposes, will need to gain additional authorization before obtaining a non-immigrant visa.

For the non-immigrant visa to be granted, a traveler must outline their reason for traveling to the United States, how long they plan to stay, and give a set departure date.

To ensure that your non-immigrant visa gets granted, be sure to follow the necessary procedures:

  • Once you have determined the type of non-immigrant visa you will require, be sure to compile the necessary documents, such as evidence of departure and evidence of financial support for your trip.

    However, the necessary documents may differ depending on your purposes for travel and the nation from which you are traveling from.

  • You may also be required to schedule an interview before obtaining a non-immigrant visa.

Although one obtains a non-immigrant visa, this does not guarantee entry into the United States.

Obtaining a non-immigrant visa means that you have been deemed eligible to enter the United States. However, once you have reached the United States, a Customs and Border Protection officer will be able to grant admission.

What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program or VWP allows nationals from a list of countries to travel to the United States for 90 days without a non-immigrant visa.

However, for a traveler to get their visa requirement waived, they must obtain authorization before travel.

The nations eligible for the Visa Waiver Program include many European nations such as the United Kingdom, France, and Spain, as well as other nations like Australia and Japan.

For the full list of the 39 countries eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

Contact LA Attorneys Today!

Obtaining a non-immigrant visa is necessary for entering the United States for a short period.

No matter your purpose of travel, it is essential that the necessary documents are compiled and that all procedures are fully understood and carried out.

If you have any further questions regarding non-immigrant visas or are planning to obtain a non-immigrant visa in the near future, contact LA Attorneys today for further guidance.