Business, Travel, World

Different types of USA visas

Different types of USA visas

US law requires foreign nationals to obtain a visa before any stay of any kind in the United States. However, the French, wishing to make a tourist and / or business stay of less than 90 days, come under the visa exemption program in which France participates and are therefore exempt.


The Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP) allows French nationals to apply for admission to the United States for a tourist and / or business stay of less than 90 days without having to obtain a visa in advance.
The traveler must then present a valid passport to the immigration inspector and plan a stay of up to 90 days (the return ticket constitutes sufficient proof).
As part of this program, it will not be possible, once in the United States, to change the status of your visa or extend your stay beyond 90 days.
It should be noted that the notion of “business trip” authorizes to stipulate contracts, organize meetings, attend seminars, provide after-sales service linked to a contract and take orders but does not include hiring. of a person in the United States.

The 2002 American law relating to the strengthening of border security and entry into the territory (“ Enhanced Security Border and Visa Entry Act ”) makes visa exemption conditional on the holding of a specific type of passport. . These provisions will come into force in two stages :

Requirement of a machine-readable passport from October 26, 2004 : From this date, French nationals carrying another type of passport (in particular an old model passport not machine-readable) or children (even infants) who do not hold an individual machine-readable passport will be subject to a visa. Any machine-readable passport, regardless of its date of issue, will then allow French nationals to continue to benefit from the visa waiver program.

Requirement of a passport with biometric data from October 26, 2005 : As of this date, French nationals holding the following types of passports will continue to be visa exempt :

– or a machine-readable passport (DELPHINE model) issued before October 26, 2005. ,

– or a passport with biometric data.

Consequently, the holders of old model passports (not machine-readable) will be subject to visa regardless of their date of issue or machine-readable passports (DELPHINE model) issued on October 26, 2005 or after this date. Until October 25, 2004 inclusive, the French will be able to enter, without a visa, on American territory for a tourist or business stay of up to 90 days, regardless of the type of passport they hold.


These are the B-1 and B-2 visas which allow temporary stay for a maximum period of 6 months.
Besides the valid passport, the candidate must be able to justify the reason why the VWPP of 90 days is not sufficient. _

An extension of a maximum of 6 months can be requested by the visa holder before the expiration of the visa to the immigration service (INS).

Tourist and business visas are considered by the US administration as “non-immigrant visas” and as such do not give the right to hold employment during the stay. But like the VWPP, the B-1 visa allows nonetheless the stay for business while the B-2 is only intended for tourists wishing to stay more than 90 days in the United States or those who only have one way. -simple.


The F, M and J visas allow French students to continue their studies in the United States depending on whether it is a course in a general education (F), technical or vocational (M) institution. or in a particular program called ” sponsorship ” (D-1).

Classified as “non-immigrants”, these visas do not normally allow you to work in the United States, except in exceptional and well-defined circumstances.

Regarding the F and M visas, the candidate must obtain from the American establishment, specially accredited by the Administration, an I-20 form describing the educational program and the estimated time to complete it. Similarly, some private or government organizations classified as “sponsor” issue the IAP-66 form with a view to obtaining the J-1 visa.


True temporary work permits, these visas are the only way to work legally in the United States for foreign nationals.

For all these visas, a job offer is required beforehand. The employer in the United States must complete and file an application (Form I-129) with the United States Immigration Service. Once the request is approved, the employer receives a work authorization called “Notice of Approval ” (form I-797). The applicant with this authorization can then apply for the visa.

Granted for an initial maximum period of three years, the H-1B visa can be renewed once for a total of six years and represents the bulk of work visas issued by the US administration. The ” Bachelor’s Degree ” or its equivalent in professional experience is nonetheless required to obtain the H-1B visa.

As for other visas : the H-2B visa corresponds to that of seasonal employees, the L-1 visa to that of employees transferred between affiliated companies, and the P-1, P-2 and P-3 visas are intended to artists, athletes and show business professionals .

As for O visas, they allow people of very high level in the fields of science, art, television, film production, education or sport to come to the United States for an event, a particular project or tournament.

The spouse and children of the holder of an H, L, O, and P visa can obtain visas of the same category to accompany their family. However, cohabitation is not recognized by US law, only married couples can claim the accompanying visa.


The American immigration service defines as an au pair the person who lives in the home of a family of American residents, with the aim of receiving remuneration in money or in kind by providing in return various services such as childcare. ‘children, housework, cooking or even language lessons.  

As for student sponsorship programs , the J-1 visa is required for an au pair stay in the United States using specialized organizations approved by the State Department. These organizations will then issue the IAP-66 form, which is essential to obtain the J-1 visa. Girls who want to work within the framework of these programs must be aged 18 to 27 years and be holders of a Bachelor or graduation certificate. The visa will then be issued for one year and not renewable.