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A Complete Guide to Short Term U.S Visas

Do you need to travel to the United States for a short period of time? A short-term U.S visa may be the right option for you! Our South Carolina family immigration team discusses what short-term visas are, who is eligible for one, and how Colón Law Firm can guide you through the application process.

What Is a Short-Term Visa?

A short-term visa, also known as a nonimmigrant visa, allows an individual to stay in the United States for a specific, limited period. Short-term visas are typically granted for business purposes or tourism/leisure travel.

Who Is Eligible for a Short-Term Visa?

Applicants must be permanent residents of another country and have a specific purpose for entering and staying in the U.S. There are many nonimmigrant visas; the applicant must qualify for the visa type they seek.

Nonimmigrant visa categories include:

  • Investors
  • Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens
  • Specialty professional workers
  • Exchange visitors
  • Intra-company transfer workers
  • Extraordinary ability workers
  • Artists and athletes
  • Religious workers
  • Business visitors
  • Students, including vocational students
  • Tourists
  • Victims of human trafficking, abuse, or neglect
  • Journalists
  • Foreign nationals assisting in a criminal investigation

Nonimmigrant visa applicants' spouses and unmarried children may also accompany their family members through the visa application process.

Types of Short-Term Visas Available

There are a few different types of short-term visas available, depending on the purpose of your stay in the United States. The most common type of short-term visa is the B-visa, which is intended for business visitors. Other types of short-term visas include the F-visa (for students), J-visa (for exchange visitors), and the H-visa (for specialty workers).

Applying for a Short-Term Visa

The application process for a short-term visa can be complex and time-consuming. It is crucial to clearly understand the process and acquire the necessary help.

Hire an Immigration Lawyer

Though it is not obligatory, having an experienced immigration lawyer to guide you will help you avoid any pitfalls or delays and to ensure that your application and submission are made correctly.

Fill in Form DS-160

The first step in applying for a short-term visa is to fill out and submit the DS-160 form, which is an online application. This form will ask for general information about yourself, travel plans, and background.

Pay Your Fee

After you have submitted your DS-160 form, you will need to pay the visa application fee. The current fee for a short-term visa is $160. Unless you are a temporary worker, you will have to pay a $190 fee.

Compile Documents and Schedule an interview

Once you have paid the visa application fee, you must schedule an interview at your country's U.S. consulate or embassy. You will need to bring all the required documentation to your interview, which we will discuss in more detail below.

Prepare for your interview.

You will need to gather a few documents to prepare for your interview. These include:

  • A valid passport
  • A photo that meets the requirements for a visa photo
  • Your DS-160 confirmation page
  • The visa application fee receipt
  • A printout of the appointment confirmation page

You may also need to bring additional documentation, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you are applying for a student visa, you must provide evidence of your enrollment in a school or university in the United States. Your attorney will assist in inquiring and organizing all needed documentation.

Attend the Interview

At the interview, a consular officer will ask you about your background, travel plans, and reason for wanting to enter the United States. They will also review all the documentation you have brought with you. Interviews can be brief or long and detailed, depending on the situation. Remember that you are under oath, so answer all questions clearly and accurately.

After the Interview

A visa will be issued to you if your application is approved. The visa will allow you to travel to a U.S. port of entry, where a Customs and Border Protection officer will inspect you. If they determine that you are admissible, you will be allowed to enter the United States.

A denial of your application will come with a reason for the denial and instructions on how to appeal it.

Have Colón Law Firm On Your Side

The immigration process can be complicated, whether you are applying for a short-term visa or any other type of visa. Having an experienced attorney on your side will help ensure your application is processed quickly and efficiently. Colón Law Firm has a team of highly qualified immigration lawyers ready to assist you with your case.

If you or a loved one need assistance with a short-term visa, find out more about how we can help. Contact us today through our website or give us a call at (864) 697-2870 to schedule a consultation.