When you enter the United States, whether you plan on staying a short time or for a long time, you need to first secure a visa. The visa allows your legal entry into the country. It also ensures your legal status while you are in the country.
You must secure the correct type of visa. According to the U.S. Department of State, you will choose your visa based on what your plans are for entering the country and how long you wish to stay. You also must meet all the requirements for the type of visa for which you apply. You can get assistance at the U.S. embassy or consulate. There are two general types of visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant.
This type of visa is for those who wish to immigrate to the U.S. There are various subcategories, which include coming to the country as a spouse of a citizen or as a certain family member of a lawful permanent resident. The visa for an adopted child also falls under this category.
You may also use this type of visa to come into the country to marry a citizen and live here. There are employer-sponsored visas under this category, as well for workers who will make a life in the U.S.
This type of visa is for travel and other temporary entries into the country. It includes a variety of subcategories for professionals, such as athletes, religious workers, domestic employees and employees of NATO.
There are also subcategories for tourism or vacation and people arriving for a training program. This type of visa also provides options for victims of criminal activities or human trafficking. You may also get this visa type as a spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident.
The most important aspect of applying for your visa is to ensure that you apply for the correct one. You will need to meet the requirements for that visa type, so if you choose the incorrect one, you may be unable to do so.