Non-immigrant visas are visas to enter the U.S. for a limited period of time. The most common non-immigrant visa is the B visa, which includes both B-1 (Business visitor) and B-2 (Tourist) status. Foreign nationals who enter the U.S. in B status are typically allowed to remain in the U.S. for a period not to exceed 6 months.
There are a host of non-immigrant visas based on the nature of a foreign national’s visit and stay within the U.S. Common non-immigrant visas include B, E (E-1, E-2, E-3) H, L, F, and TN. To learn more about these different types of non-immigrant visas, click on the various pages listed above under the heading “non-immigrant visas”.
Non-immigrant visas are very distinct from immigrant visas. An immigrant visa is the visa given to a foreign national who is entering the U.S. for the first time as a lawful permanent resident. Immigrant status, greencard holder and Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) all refer to the exact same immigrant status, namely, the right to permanently reside in the United States. Of course the term “Lawful Permanent Resident” can be misleading because a person can lose this status for a number of reasons. The most common reasons a foreign national loses LPR status are (1) the person abandons status by not residing in the U.S. for a sufficient amount of time, or (2) the person commits an offense which makes them deportable and/or inadmissible (not allowed to reenter the U.S. after traveling abroad).