Nonimmigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States on a temporary basis for tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work. The type of nonimmigrant visa needed is defined by immigration law, and related to the purpose of the travel. Generally, an individual applies directly to the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad for a tourist (B-2) or business nonimmigrant (B-1) visa. However, foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States to study or work may require certain authorization and documentation prior to applying for a nonimmigrant visa. For an alphabetical listing all of the nonimmigrant visa classifications and specific requirements refer to the USCIS website. or the U.S. Department of State website.
Issuance of a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States. A visa simply indicates that a U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate has reviewed the application and that officer has determined that the individual is eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. The CBP Officer at the port-of-entry will conduct an inspection to determine if the individual is eligible for admission under U.S. immigration law.