Updated on 20.01.2020

US visa statistics show the most popular US visa categories for companies

How many visas for the USA were applied for via the US Visa Service within one year? The US visa statistics answer this question and show companies and their employees important trends.
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Visa Service

At the beginning of the year, we traditionally look back on the visa specials and highlights of the past twelve months. We have evaluated all relevant data and figures from the past visa year and publish our US visa statistics 2019 with the most significant findings on the topic of US visas.


European companies in the USA

Last year, our visa consultants assisted around 480 companies with visa applications and got to know a wide range of different company constellations in the process. At the same time, we have advised more than 250 private individuals or helped them with visa applications.

As in previous years, we were again commissioned in 2019 primarily by medium-sized companies and groups from Germany, the USA, Austria and Switzerland. We have always had a strong presence in the DACH region due to our proximity to our customers and to the US consulates. In addition, we work closely with the subsidiaries of numerous European companies in the USA. The visa applications processed by us last year were for the following top 5 countries:

  1. Germany (89%)
  2. USA (5%)
  3. Austria (3%)
  4. Switzerland (1%)
  5. France (1%)

Popular US states for companies

Companies planning to enter or expand their market in the USA are spoilt for choice between 50 states with very different locational advantages. The decisive factor is primarily the product or service and the desired market coverage. Depending on the industry, certain conurbations also exist, such as the high-tech cluster in Silicon Valley in California or the automotive cluster in parts of the Great Lakes region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana). In the past year, we served US locations in the following top 5 US states:

  1. Michigan
  2. Florida
  3. New York
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut

Development of US visa categories

Decisive factors for the choice of visa category

In addition to the many location options, the United States also offers a wide range of visa categories. Which visa is suitable for you or your staff depends on several factors - e.g.

  • Qualification of the employee,
  • Company constellation and
  • Purpose of stay.

This is why an initial consultation by our trained visa team is so important. In the best case, we will find a cost-effective and fast visa solution for you and your employees. In the worst case, a more complex and therefore more time-consuming and costly visa procedure may have to be used or no visa category may be considered at all. Contact us now to check your individual visa options.

Which visa is issued by the US consulates and how often also depends on various factors - such as

  • Economy and
  • currently applicable visa regulations.

As soon as the entry requirements for a particular visa change, foreign employees may have to apply for alternative visa categories.

Main US visa categories 2019

In the past year 2019 we have processed about [contentshortcode,ShortCode="Applications"] visa applications. This means that the absolute figures have fallen slightly compared with previous years. The fact that no increase was recorded reflects current visa practice. The US authorities have increasingly started to scrutinise visa applications and application documents. Against this background, we are preparing all applications even more comprehensively together with our customers and are thus spending significantly more time per visa than a few years ago, with the top 5 visa categories in 2019 being

  1. E-Visa Treater Trader / Treaty Investor (40.5%)
  2. B-Visa Business Visitor / Tourist (39%)
  3. L-Visa Intracompany Transferee (12%)
  4. J-Visa Exchange Visitor (6%)
  5. P-Visa Internationally Recognized Athlete / Entertainment Group / Artist (1.5%)

By focusing on the business customer segment, the various categories of work and business visas continue to be our main focus. Anyone wishing to take up employment in the United States requires a work visa as a residence permit and work permit. Provided the conditions are met, European companies often find it useful to apply for an E-1 visa or an E-2 visa. Alternatively, the application for an L-1 visa could be considered. The B visa is used for business trips, assembly work or project assignments and offers many possibilities here.

E-Visa take over leading position

With 40.5 % of all visa transactions in 2019, the e-visa has established itself as the largest visa category. 450 applications were submitted for the e-category "Treaty Trader / Treaty Investor", including 50 registration procedures for US branches.

An e-registration is based on trade (E-1) or investment (E-2) between the United States and the respective treaty country and allows companies to relatively quickly and easily recruit qualified personnel such as

  • Managers,
  • Executives,
  • Specialists or
  • Supervisors

to the United States. A further advantage is that, unlike other work visa categories (e.g. L visas), no minimum periods of employment with the foreign company are required, which means that employees can be deployed even if they are newly hired.

B-Visa almost equal

The fact that we processed nearly 440 B-visa applications is partly explained by the fact that this US visa category allows for a wide variety of residence purposes. Visitor visas include the following categories:

  • B-1 Visa for business travel
  • B-1 After-sales visa for employees entering for the provision of services (e.g. in connection with the supply of machinery and products)
  • B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa for temporary project assignments
  • B-2 Tourist visa

L-Visa remains among the top 3

Furthermore, L category work visas are still very popular. L-Visa are often applied for in the context of classic employee assignments and therefore make up a large proportion of the visa cases we handle. Last year, 12% of all visa applications, i.e. about 130 applications, were L-working visas.

Visas for business trips and secondments to the USA (work assignments) are therefore our most important pillar. However, J-Visa of the category "Internal" and "Trainee" are also of great importance for companies and therefore also for us.

Success rate at 97.6

We are very pleased that we were able to successfully process 97.6% of all visa applications last year despite the noticeable changes under the Trump administration and against the general trend.

The visa guidelines are still very strict and every visa application is subjected to a thorough examination by the officials. For this reason a thorough preparation and compilation of the visa application is very important. Due to the obligatory initial consultation and honest assessment of the visa case, we were able to carry out almost all visa processing successfully in 2019.

We would like to make our future cooperation with you at least as successful. Our goal is to further consolidate our strong position in the field of work visas and to ensure that you and your employees can enter the USA safely.
We hope that you have started the new decade full of plans and projects. If you have questions or suggestions, we would be pleased to receive your feedback.

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Development of US visa categories at US consulates

A similar picture emerges in the diplomatic missions of the United States with regard to visa issuance:

  1. Visitor visas
    In the three US consulates in Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt / Main, Munich), the B visa category accounted for the most processed US visas in the US tax year 2018, with around 31%. The background is that the visitor visa is applied for for business and tourist stays, which includes the broad mass of USA travellers. Although there are various B subcategories, 97% of all visitor visas are issued as combined B-1 / B-2 visas.
  2. Exchange Visas
    The second most important visa category are the J-1 and J-2 visas for exchange visitors and their relatives. The J-Visa covers a total of 14 different categories, including "Internal" for internships and "Trainee" for training. In Germany, approximately 27% of all US visas issued were in the J-category.
  3. L-working
    As in our internal US visa statistics, L-visa for internal employee transfers rank third in terms of the number of exhibitions by US consulates, at just under 7%.


Updated on 20.01.2020