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U.S. Visa Applications, Explained

Everything you need to know about the various applications for U.S. visas

There are many different ways to come to the United States, whether to work, study, or live in the country long-term as a permanent resident. Depending on your U.S. immigration goals, certain visa application types may be right for you. It’s important to note that under the U.S. immigration system, there is no single visa application and which application you fill out depends on the process you’re applying for.

Each visa process is slightly different and includes different application questions, designed to prove to the U.S. government that you’re eligible for the specific type of visa you’re applying for.

Boundless has helped more than 100,000 people navigate the immigration process and we can help you too.

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Travel Visa Applications

If you’re looking to travel to the U.S. for a temporary trip, you might be interested in applying for a B-1/B-2 tourist visa.

A B-1/B-2 visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. temporarily for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2) purposes.

A B-1 visa is intended for individuals traveling to the U.S. for business purposes, such as attending conferences, negotiating contracts, or conducting research. A B-2 visa is intended for individuals traveling to the U.S. for tourism purposes, such as visiting family or friends, sightseeing, or receiving medical treatment.

Here are some of the types of application questions you can expect when applying for a B1/B2 visa:

  1. Personal Information: This includes full name, date and place of birth, gender, marital status, and contact information.
  2. Passport Information: This includes passport number, issue and expiration dates, and country of issuance.
  3. Travel Information: This includes intended dates of travel, purpose of travel, and details of any previous visits to the U.S.
  4. Employment Information: This includes current employment status, employer’s name and address, and job title.
  5. Family Information: This includes information about the applicant’s spouse, children, and parents.
  6. Security and Background Information: This includes questions about criminal history, previous visa denials, and any other relevant security information.
  7. Additional Information: Applicants may be asked to provide additional information depending on their individual circumstances, such as previous travel to other countries, details of their itinerary in the U.S., or proof of financial support for their trip.

Overall, the purpose of the U.S. tourist visa application is to gather information about the applicant’s personal, employment, and travel history to determine their eligibility.

You can learn more about the cost, timeline, and application process for U.S. tourist visas in Boundless’ guide.


Work Visa Applications

For those looking to work in the U.S. for a U.S.-based employer, it may be possible to apply for a temporary work visa. There are many different kinds of work visas, each with their own application process and eligibility requirements.

Although questions may differ based on which work visa you’re applying for, here are some common questions you can expect on work visa applications:

  1. Personal Information: This includes full name, date and place of birth, gender, marital status, and contact information for both the foreign worker and any family members who will be accompanying them to the U.S.
  2. Employment Information: This includes the name and address of the employer, job title, job description, salary, and start and end dates of the proposed employment.
  3. Education and Work Experience: This includes information about the foreign worker’s education and work experience, including degrees earned, schools attended, and previous employers.
  4. Immigration History: The foreign worker must provide information about any previous visits to the U.S. and any previous visa applications or petitions.
  5. Additional Information: The application may require additional documentation, such as educational transcripts, professional licenses, or letters of recommendation, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

Overall, the purpose of any work visa application is to determine whether the foreign worker meets the qualifications for the occupation and whether the employer can demonstrate that they will sponsor the foreign worker for the job in question.

Learn more about work visas here!


Student/Exchange Visa Applications

If you’d like to attend an educational or exchange program in the U.S., the F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visa may be right for you.

An F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign students to pursue academic studies in the U.S. at an accredited institution, such as a college, university, or vocational school. To obtain an F-1 visa, students must first apply and be accepted to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school in the U.S.

A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows individuals to participate in a variety of educational and cultural exchange programs in the U.S. The J-1 visa is designed to promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries by providing opportunities for foreign nationals to participate in cultural, educational, and professional exchange programs.

Here are some questions you can expect on a student or exchange visa application:

  1. Personal Information: This includes full name, date and place of birth, gender, and contact information for the student.
  2. Educational Background: This includes information about the student’s academic background, such as the schools they have attended, degrees earned, and fields of study.
  3. Intentions for Studying or Exchange Program in the U.S.: This includes information about the student’s proposed program of study or exchange in the U.S., including the school or program they plan to attend, the degree they will pursue, if applicable, and the expected length of their program.
  4. Financial Support: This includes information about the student’s financial resources and the means by which they will support themselves while studying in the U.S.
  5. Immigration History: This includes information about any previous visits to the U.S. and any previous visa applications or petitions.
  6. Family Information: This includes information about the student’s family members, including their names, ages, and occupations.
  7. Health Information: This includes information about the student’s health, including any medical conditions or disabilities.

Overall, the purpose of the student or exchange visa application is to ensure that the individual is coming to the U.S. for legitimate academic purposes or for a specific program and that they have the financial means to support themselves during their time in the U.S.

More information about the F-1 and J-1 processes can be found in our detailed guides.


K-1 Fiance Visa Applications

A K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the foreign fiancé of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married.

The K-1 visa application process involves several forms and documents, including the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) and the K-1 visa application (Form DS-160). Some of the questions that may be asked on these forms include:

  1. Personal Information: This includes the full name, date and place of birth, and contact information for both the U.S. citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé.
  2. Relationship Information: This includes information about how the couple met, when they first met in person, and details about their relationship.
  3. Intentions for Marrying in the U.S.: This includes information about the couple’s plans for getting married in the U.S. and whether they have made any arrangements for the wedding.
  4. Immigration History: This includes information about the foreign fiancé’s previous visits to the U.S., any previous visa applications or petitions, and any past criminal convictions or immigration violations.
  5. Health Information: This includes information about the foreign fiancé’s health, including any medical conditions or disabilities.
  6. Financial Support: This includes information about the U.S. citizen petitioner’s financial resources and their ability to support the foreign fiancé during their stay in the U.S.

The purpose of the K-1 visa application is to establish that the couple has a “bona fide” relationship and that they meet the eligibility requirements for the K-1 visa. The U.S. government wants to ensure that the couple is entering into a genuine relationship and that the foreign fiancé is not using the K-1 visa solely for the purpose of entering the U.S.

For more information on cost, timeline, and how to apply, visit Boundless’ K-1 guide.

Boundless can help you avoid common pitfalls in the immigration process with unlimited support from our team of immigration experts. Learn more.


Green Card Applications

If you want to live permanently in the U.S., you’ll need to apply for a green card. There are several different types of green cards, which you may be eligible for if you have a spouse, family member, or employer in the U.S. willing to sponsor you.

This is not an exhaustive list, but popular types of green cards include marriage green cards, employment-based green cards, and family-based green cards for parents, children, and other immediate family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Green card application questions will vary depending on the specific type of green card you’re applying for and your relationship to your sponsor (if any). Some of the questions that may be asked on the green card application include:

  1. Personal Information: This includes the full name, date and place of birth, and contact information for the applicant. If applying with a sponsor, the sponsor may be required to provide basic information as well.
  2. Immigration History: This includes information about the applicant’s previous visits to the U.S., any previous visa applications or petitions, and any past criminal convictions or immigration violations.
  3. Family Information: This includes information about the applicant’s family members, including their names, ages, and immigration status.
  4. Employment Information: This includes information about the applicant’s current and previous employers, including the dates of employment, job titles, and salary information.
  5. Education Information: This includes information about the applicant’s education, including the names of schools attended and degrees earned.
  6. Health Information: This includes information about the applicant’s health, including any medical conditions or disabilities.
  7. Financial Information: This includes information about the applicant’s financial resources and their ability to support themselves in the U.S. If applying with a sponsor, the sponsor may be required to provide proof that they are able to financially support the green card applicant.
  8. Criminal History: This includes information about any criminal convictions or charges the applicant has faced.

The purpose of the green card application is to establish that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for lawful permanent residence, including that they are admissible to the U.S. and that they have a qualifying family relationship, employment offer, or other basis for obtaining a green card.

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