immigration_childrenThere are two broad categories of Visas that are available to an Alien who wants to travel to the United States – one type is an “Immigrant Visa” and another is a “Non-Immigrant Visa.” Of Course, there are many subsets of these two broad categories. So what is the difference between the two? Well, it depends on whether the alien is intending to come to the United States to live permanently, or whether the alien is intending to stay in the country for a period of time, but not indefinitely. An alien would apply for an “Immigrant Visa” if the person is intending to come live in the US permanently. An alien would apply for a non-immigrant visa if the person is intending to come to the country for a particular task or reason and then return to their country of residence. An example of a non-immigrant visa would be any of the following: (a) Student visa, (b) temporary or seasonal work visa, (c) travel visa for vacationing here, and so on. Contrast those with some typical Immigrant visa categories: (a) refugee or asylum visa, (b) finance visa, (c) immediate family member visa. Obviously the last few categories are normally applied for with the intent that the person applying will ultimately stay in the United States indefinitely. For example, the finance visa is designed to allow US citizens or Legal permanent Residents (LPRs) to bring over their finances and marry here. The idea is that after marriage the couple will live permanently in the US with his or her spouse. We hope that this basic concept helps people understand on an elevated level where to begin when thinking of the type of visa to apply for.