U.S. Visas Information
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There are two types of visas—nonimmigrant and immigrant.
A nonimmigrant is a foreign
national seeking to enter the United Sates temporarily for a specific
purpose. Most students enter the United States on nonimmigrant visas.
Nonimmigrants come to the United States for a temporary period of time,
and once in the country, are restricted to the activity or reason for
which their visa was issued. Any visa designated by a letter in front of
a number (for example, F-1, J-1, B-2) is a nonimmigrant visa.
Anyone on an immigrant visa
has permission to remain indefinitely in the United States and,
generally speaking, has the same rights and privileges as a citizen.
While permanent residents or immigrants can become citizens, there is no
requirement that they do so.
Most international students and scholars and their dependents are
nonimmigrants and hold one of the following visa statuses:
- F-1: For individuals conducting full-time study
at an authorized institution in the United States.
- F-2: For spouses and children of F-1 visa
- J-1: For individuals participating in educational
and cultural exchange programs. This status permits an individual to
enter the United States for study, teaching, or training.
- J-2: For spouses and children of J-1 visa
Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant
visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with
low rates of immigration to the United States. If you receive a visa
through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to
live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed
to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to
the United States.
All U.S. Embassies and
Consulates of the world are listed online.