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A: Visas for Diplomates & Foreign Government Officials.

ESTA/VWP (WB)(GB): Electronic System for Travel Authorization/

Visa Waiver Program: permits citizens of certain countries to enter the U.S. without obtaining a Visa from a U.S. Consulate.

B-1: Temporary Business Visitor.

B-2: A Visitor to the U.S. for Tourism or Medical Treatment purposes.

C: Transit Visa.

D: Crew member Visas.

E-1: Treaty Traders and their Dependents.

E-2: Treaty Investors and their Dependents.

E-2C: CNMI-Only Investor.

E-3: Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia and their dependents.

F-1/F-2: Student Visa for Academic Students and their dependents.

G: Visas for International Organization Employees.

H: Visas for foreign workers, in particular, the H-1B for Specialty Occupation foreign workers and their dependents.

H-1B1: for Professionals from Chile and Singapore.

I: Representatives of Foreign media

J-1/J-2: Exchange Visitors that are part of approved programs and their dependents.

K-1/K-2: Fiance visa and dependents.

K-3/K-4: Petition to potentially expedite a USC Spouse (IR-1/CR-1) Visas.

L-1A/L-2: Intracompany Transfers and their dependents.

L-1B/L-2: Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge and their dependents.

M-1/M-2: Visa for Vocational Students and their dependents.

NAFTA: TN1/2 and TD for Dependents (North American Free Trade Agreement, to become USMCA)

NATO: Visa for NATO Employees.

O-1A&B/O-2/O-3: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement, Assisting Individuals and Dependents

P-1A: Internationally Recognized Athlete

P-1B: A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group.

P-2: Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

P-3: Artist or Entertainer Coming to be Part of a Culturally Unique Program.

Q: Cultural Exchange.

R-1: Temporary Religious Worker

S: Informant Visa.

T: Victims of Human Trafficking.

U: Victims of Criminal Activity.

V: Visa created to allow families to stay together while waiting for the processing of immigrant visas. Not used anymore.

DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was on Obama-era program to permit some who had entered the U.S. as children and satisfied other criteria, to be granted prosecutorial discretion from removal and a work permit.

TPS: Temporary Protected Status is announced by the U.S. government periodically, permitting some foreign nationals who may have to deal with extreme issues (such as wars, health, or natural disaster) from leaving the U.S. until the situation is cleared up/the TPS period has ended.

Humanitarian Parole: Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole for Individuals Outside the United States

CAM: Central American Minors (Parole).

CFRP: Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program.

CMPP: Cuban Medical Professional Program.


Immediate Relatives: U.S. Citizen Spouse IIR-1/CR-1), Unmarried Children under 21 (IR-2) and their Parents (IR-5)

Family Preference Categories:

F1: Unmarried sons/daughters of U.S. Citizens over 21 (and derivatives)

F2: LPR Spouses and Minor Children (F2A) and unmarried sons and daughters (F2B)

F3: Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens (and derivatives)

F4: Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens (and derivatives)

Employment Preference Categories:

EB-1: Priority workers.


  • Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, educations, business or athletics.
  • Foreign nationals that are outstanding professors or researchers with at least three years of experience in teaching or research and who are recognized internationally.
  • Foreign nationals that are managers and executives subject to international transfer to the United States.

EB-2: Professionals holding advanced degrees (Ph.D., master’s degree, or at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience) or persons of exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business. OR National Interest Waivers (NIQ – EB-2c)

EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

EB-4: Certain special immigrants – ministers, religious workers, current or former U.S. government workers, etc.

EB-5: An investor who invests between $900,000 and $1,800,000 (as of 11/21/2019), depending on the employment rate in the geographical area, in a commercial enterprise in the United States which creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. Citizens, permanent resident aliens, or other lawful immigrants, not including the investor and his or her family.


SB-1: Returning Resident Visa (permission to reenter as an LPR after 1 year or more absence abroad (or beyond the validity period of a Reentry Permit)

Asylum v. Refugee: If within the U.S., a foreign national can apply for Asylum through USCIS. Refugee status is for those outside the U.S. that apply through the UN program that maintains this process for Refugees.

VAWA: Special visa categories for victims of abuse by LPR or USC spouses.

Diversity Visa: Green Card Lottery. An annual lottery for foreign nationals from low-migration countries to be able to obtain Lawful Permanent Residency.