Immigrating to the United States of America is consistently one of the most popular choices for overseas nationals wishing to make a new start, further their career, or join family members overseas. With huge cultural diversity and geographical variety, applying for Immigration to the USA can provide a wealth of opportunities for potential US immigrants. Global Visas can help you to take the first steps towards a new life in the USA, simply fill in our online assessment now to see how we can help you relocate to the USA.

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The American immigration service is notoriously complex and it can often prove difficult for those migrating to the US to grasp. In America, immigration incorporates a wide array of different services, with over sixty types of non-immigrant US visas, or temporary immigration services alone. As a specialist USA immigration consultancy, Global Visas can help you to make sense of the US immigration system and to explore the possibilities for your migration to the USA. We can help you to assess which of the range of American visas and US immigration services is the most appropriate for your relocation to the USA.

Short Term Visa Services

If you intend to visit the USA for a short-term period and your country of residence is not a participant in the USA visa waiver scheme, you will need to apply for a B1 business visa or submit a B2 travel visa application. Alternatively, if you wish to enter the country for a longer period to live and work in the USA for a number of years, you will need to apply for an L1 or H1-B visa, or another non-immigrant visa for the USA which permits you to do so.

Longer Term Immigration Solutions

For those wishing to immigrate to the USA on a permanent basis by gaining lawful permanent residence in the USA, the much coveted USA Green card, there are several routes available based upon family ties, employment, and the annual American "Green Card Lottery". The employment-based routes for US Green Cards allow those with "extraordinary" or "exceptional" ability in their field to immigrate to the US via the EB-1 visa and EB-2 visa services respectively. The EB-3 visa, EB-4 visa, and EB-5 visa are also designed to allow qualifying individuals to apply for permanent residency in the USA through employment opportunities. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a Green Card through specific categories of family connection in the United States or through the annual lottery aimed at allowing candidates from under-represented countries to commence living and working in the USA.

Whilst United States visas are certainly intricate and multi-faceted, immigration consultants at Global Visas can help you to make sense of the multitude of options, providing USA immigration lawyer advice at your initial application and throughout the process of your immigration to the US. Visa applications can be submitted for any America visa class and can be monitored at every stage ensuring that you are kept in touch with the progress of your USA visa application.

Non-immigrant visas for the USA

Non-immigrant visas for America come in a profusion of formats, each designed to cater for specific groups of temporary applicants. Unlike the United Kingdom, where the Highly Skilled Migrant programme or HSMP allows candidates to undertake UK immigration to seek and carry out employment as they fit, in most cases the United States requires a job offer to be in place for economic migrants. With the exception of some permanent categories for those with extraordinary or exceptional ability, candidates wishing to live and work in the US will need to be in possession of a guaranteed, permanent full-time job offer from a US based company. This is true of the H1-B (and its derivative the H2 visa), generally, the most popular work based United States visa, which functions much like a UK work permit application. Those who do not qualify for H1 visas may apply for the L1 visa, which once again is based upon a job offer and operates in a similar manner to the Intra Company Transfer or ICT in the UK.

In the United States, immigration on a temporary basis is also possible in order to undertake training or work experience on a J-1 visa; in addition, students may study in America through an F1 visa for study designed for academic students or an M1 USA study visa for those wishing to undertake a vocational course of study.

In America, visas for non-immigrant applicants are exhaustive in variation, with many individual classes including the K class of family visas, which incorporates the USA fiance visa and USA spouse visa. There is also a range of specific visas for spouse immigration and dependent immigration which are awarded in accordance with the immigration category of the primary applicant. Separate classes are available for governmental officials, diplomatic persons, athletes and entertainers, religious workers, victims of crime and people with extraordinary ability in their field. A USA migration consultant at Global visas will be happy to provide more detailed information on specific classes of USA visas.

Permanent Immigration to the United States

Whilst the options for permanent American immigration are not as numerous as those for temporary relocation, there are nonetheless several methods through which permanent resident status can be obtained. The process of applying for a Green Card can be an exceptionally long one, taking a number of years to complete. As a result, it is worth noting that a common practice is to enter the country through one of the temporary routes to working in America, visas such as the H1-visa for example, and to begin the permanent immigration process at the same time. H1- visas can be prolonged through applying for an American visa extension and since this route may endure for 5 or 7 years, proceedings for permanent residency in America can be initiated and can be allowed to progress separately during this time.

Those applying for permanent residence in the US based on employment rather than family connections may migrate to the USA under one of the options in the EB class. This class comprises EB-1 visas for priority workers, EB-2 Visas for professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability, EB-3 visas for skilled or professional workers, EB-4 visas for special Immigrants or EB-5 visas, often referred to as an immigrant investor visa, for those wishing to invest large amounts in the United States.

For potential applicants who do not qualify through an employment-based route, family immigration is possible when petitioned for by an existing American permanent resident, or someone who is an American citizen either by birth or by successfully applying for and obtaining a grant of US citizenship. In the case of permanent residents, spouses or unmarried children may be sponsored to come to the United States in this manner. For US citizens, the range of family members who can be sponsored is slightly broader, adding parents, and brothers and sisters.

To find out which category of American visa is right for you

There are dozens of US Immigration Visa categories you can apply under.  Here we have listed all those currently available from the US Department Of State:

Purpose of Travel

Visa Category

Required: Before applying for visa*

Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)



Au pair (exchange visitor)



Australian professional specialty



Border Crossing Card: Mexico



Business visitor



CNMI-only transitional worker






Diplomat or foreign government official




Domestic employee or nanny - must be accompanying a foreign national employer



Employee of a designated international organization or NATO

  G1-G5, NATO


Exchange visitor



Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States



Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics



Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional:
Chile, Singapore

H-1B1 - Chile
H-1B1 - Singapore


International cultural exchange visitor



Intra-company transferee



Medical treatment, visitor for



Media, journalist



NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada



Performing athlete, artist, entertainer




J , H-1B


Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)



Religious worker



Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge



Student: academic, vocational

F, M


Temporary agricultural worker



Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.



Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor



Training in a program not primarily for employment



Treaty trader/treaty investor



Transiting the United States



Victim of Criminal Activity



Victim of Human Trafficking



Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)V(NA)

Renewals in the U.S. - A, G, and NATO Visas



*What the abbreviations above mean - Before applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the following is required:

  • DOL = The U.S. employer must obtain foreign labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, prior to filing a petition with USCIS.
  • USCIS = U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval of a petition or application (The required petition or application depends on the visa category you plan to apply for.)
  • SEVIS = Program approval entered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • (NA) = Not Applicable - Additional approval by another U.S. government agency is not required prior to applying for a visa

Important Notes:

  • About this chart – It is not a complete list of all travel purposes for the visa category. Select a visa category webpage for more information. The chart lists almost all nonimmigrant visa categories, with the exception of several not listed above. Refer to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 402.1 for all nonimmigrant visa categories.
  • Canadian NAFTA Professional workers – A visa not required; apply to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at border port of entry.
  • K nonimmigrant visas – For U.S. citizen fiancé(e) and spouse for immigration related purposes. Refer to Immigrant Visa Categories.
Immigrant Visa Categories

The chart below contains different purposes for immigrating to the United States, and the related immigrant visa categories for which information is available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored

<valign="bottom">Visa Category

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen 

IR1, CR1

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petition

K-3 *

Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen & live in U.S.

K-1 *

Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens

IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4

Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens

IR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4

Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents

F2A, F2B

Employer Sponsored – Employment


Employment-Based Immigrants, including  (preference group):

  • Priority workers [First]
  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability [Second]
  • Professionals and Other Workers [Third]
  • Employment Creation/Investors [Fifth]
  • Certain Special Immigrants: [Fourth]

E3, EW3

C5, T5, R5, I5

S (many**)

Religious Workers


Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters


Iraqis Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government


Afghans Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government


Other Immigrants


Diversity Immigrant Visa


Returning Resident


Important Notes:

*K Visas – Listed with immigrant visas because they are for immigration related purposes.

About this chart - This chart is a list of many immigrant visa categories, but not every immigrant visa category.

**Refer to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 502.1 for a listing of all immigrant visa categories.

How can we help you secure your visa?


  1. Lily

    US B1 Visas

    I’m an 18-year-old girl from England. I am looking to obtain a US B1/B2 visa to travel to LA for pleasure purposes (staying with my relatives – they will be taking care of my accommodation and food expenses)

    I’m struggling with the whole ‘proving strong ties to your home country’ situation. Can my strongest tie be my immediate family? I have my mum, dad and brother in the UK. I’m dependent on my parents as I live in their house and they are my only source of income… I finished school education last year and I’m on a gap year right now (a gap year is a year you take off before you go into university) to do some travelling – so showing educational ties would be an issue… Is there anything else I could prove?

    1. Profile photo of Your Immigration Expert
      Your Immigration Expert Post author

      B1 Visas

      As a UK national you do not require a B1 or B2 Visa to enter the US if your stay is 90 days or less. Under the US Visa Waiver Program, many British Citizens do not require a US visa, as long as you hold a valid ticket for onward or return travel from the USA.

      If you want to secure a B1 visa you should let the US immigration authorities know what you have told me. They will be happy to grant your visa. A gap year is an amazing year of your life, the USA would be delighted if you spent so time there to help build the UK-US special relationship for generations to come. It would be helpful to have a letter of invitation from your family in the US outlining how long you will be staying with them and that they will sponsor and accommodate your if required. Enjoy your trip.

  2. marcus franklin

    Hi, I my American girlfriend is returning home to the states and we are going to marry in September if all goes well, I have read I can go on a tourist visa and get married as long as I return home to the UK which is what i plan to do, I would like to return back to the states to live permanently what visa would i need to get, I have read there is a couple. I’m just in a bit of a muddle and need some help.

  3. Lala

    I’ve been denied my visa based on section 214b, however, I solely care for my mother and 3 children mother and one of my children are unwell and it required me to stop my studies and take full-time care of them, therefore, I do not work. I planned to go to Miami for a break for 8 days and I don’t know how to prove I am coming back as I assumed being a carer and a mother would be enough… what can evidence could I Bring to the interview to support my application?

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