Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.
United States of America is considered the ‘Land of the Free’ while others say it is the ‘Land of Milk and Honey’. Making it one of the top countries in the world to visit, work, and migrate. The United States has two visa classifications and these are immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
** Immigrant Visa **
In Immigrant visa classification, it has categories under;
– Employment Based –
I got mine thru this. It was a long wait for my priority date to be current but that long wait is well worth. I have gone through a lot of trials and tribulations just to get this. I needed to be a skilled worker to be eligible and an employer should have offered me a job to process all the paperwork and visa application. Under employment based category are divided into different prefence group; E1(priority workers), E2(professionals holding advanced degrees), E3(professional,skilled or unskilled workers), E4(special immigrants such as religion ministers) and E5(investors). In addition to these information, an applicant needs to follow and check the Visa Bulletin that will show the priority date that the embassy is currently processing.
– Spouse and Fiancé/e –
From what it is called, it is a visa issued to spouse, fiancé/e and their children to enter the United States but they should meet certain requirements. It doesn’t give or grant citizenship or residence to the spouse or fiancé/e by just marrying a US citizen. They should undergo petition by their US citizen spouse and apply for this visa.
– Immediate Relative –
A spouse, parent, step-parent, child or step-child underage (below 21) of a US citizen and the spouse a deceased US citizen are eligible to apply under this category.
– Family Based –
Anyone who is part of the immediate family but not eligible on the Immediate Relative category is eligible under this category such as unmarried/married children of a US citizen who is over the age of 21. This category is also divided into different groups; F1(unmarried children of a US citizen), F2 is divided into two with F2A(spouse and minor children of permanent residents) and F2B(unmarried children of permanent residents), F3(married children of a US citizen), and F4(siblings of a US citizen).
– Adoption –
There is also this category. Since I haven’t heard of it that well, you can check it thru this website for Philippine applicants, click here.
– Returning Residents –
Lastly, this category ‘Returning Residents’. Residents who were unable to go back to the United States more than a year without permission from USCIS/ US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
** Nonimmigrant Visa **
In Nonimmigrant visa classification, it has different types as well. Under this classification are;
– Foreign government representatives –
– Visitor visa such as personal, business, tourism, medical and emergency situations –
– Transit visa –
– Seafarer visa –
– Investors –
– Student visa –
– Temporary workers –
– Journalists and media crew –
– Exchange visitors –
– Fiancé/e or spouse of a US citizen –
– Athletes and entertainers –
– Cultural exchange visitors –
– Religious workers –
If you want to know more about it, visit this site by clicking here for Philippine applicants.
As what I have mentioned earlier, you can’t just barge into the US embassy to file for your application. You need to follow some rules. Filing for a visa application doesn’t need you to go to the US embassy. You need to do it online by filling out specific forms for each category. If you are under the Immigrant Visa class with employment based and family based type, once you have confirmation, you still need to wait for your priority date to be current. Checking the Visa Bulletin every month is a must. Access it thru here. If you are under Nonimmigrant Visa class, you need to schedule your interview and have a confirmation or invitation before you can proceed to the US embassy.
For more information such as requirements, procedures, visa fees, forms and questions that need more answers, you can access your country’s US embassy website.
I only based the information I posted here through the US embassy site, the experience I had when I filed my visa application, and the experiences my friends went through when they had their visa application, too. Hope these information help even though those weren’t broad enough. Just take time to read and be patient in applying for a US visa. That’s what I’ve learned and it paid off 200% more.