US Visa

The most important visa categories at a glance

If you are planning to visit the United States, you will quickly notice that there are many different types of visa. There is no universal visa for all travelers. The following list contains the most common visa types. If you wish to have a consultation or assistance with your visa application, do not hesitate to contact us.

Image of a US visa in a passport

Passport with a U.S. visa

Nonimmigrant Visa for the USA

Nonimmigrant visas allow you to temporarily stay in the United States. Like the name suggests,  you cannot immigrate to the U.S. with this kind of visa. There are different nonimmigrant visas depending on the purpose of your stay.

Work Visa USA

There are many different work visas for the United States. If you want to legally work in the U.S., you have to choose a specific work visa first. All visas have different requirements, applications, costs, and processing times. The application for most work visas is a very complex and time-consuming process.

The main requirement is a concrete job offer by an U.S. employer. Please keep in mind that work visas are tied to that specific employer/company. That means the future employee is only allowed to work for the company that filed the visa application.

Visa Purpose of stay
C-1/D Visa (Combined Transit and Crewman) For crew members of international flights or ships
E-1 Visa (Treaty Trader) For managers/executives/specialists/supervisors of companies driving trade to the U.S.
E-2 Visa (Treaty Investor) For managers/executives/specialists/supervisors of companies investing in the U.S.
H-1B Visa (Specialty Occupation Workers) For highly qualified professionals and people with an academic degree
I Visa (Foreign News Media) For journalists and media representatives
L-1 Visa (Intracompany Transferee) For the internal transfer of employees of all nationalities
L-1 Blanket Visa / Registration For the internal transfer of employees with a simplified application process
O-1 Visa (Extraordinary Ability) For people with extraordinary skills and abilities
TN Visa For skilled workers from Canada and Mexico


US Visitor Visa (Business Visa USA and US Tourist Visa)

You should consider a US visitor visa if you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA), or if you want to stay in the U.S. for a longer period of time (up to 180 days) for restricted business or touristic purposes.

Visa Purpose of stay
B-1 Visa (Business Visitor) For business travelers who stay in the U.S. for up to 180 days
B-2 Visa (Tourist) For tourists who want to stay in the U.S. for up to 180 days


Internship and Student Visa USA

The following visa categories are as diverse as the education opportunities in the United States. Study, au pair, as well as work and travel are surely less important for companies, but internships and trainee programs present interesting possibilities.

Visa Purpose of stay
F-1 Visa (Student) For studying at an American university or college
J-1 Visa (Exchange Visitor) For people who participate in an exchange program in the U.S. (e.g. an internship or training)
M-1 Visa (Non-academic & Vocational) Für Personen, die in eine nicht-akademische oder berufsbezogene Bildungseinrichtung gehen


Immigrant Visa for the USA (Green Card)

An immigrant visa allows you to permanently stay in the United States. With such a visa, which is better know under the term Green Card, you can live and work in the U.S. for as long as you like. These are the different categories of U.S. immigrant visas:

Employment-based Immigration Family-based Immigration Diversity Visa Program
EB-1 (Priority Workers) Relatives/Spouses of U.S. citizens Participating in the yearly Green Card Lottery
EB-2 (Advanced Degrees/Exceptional Ability) Relatives/Spouses of permanent U.S. residents  
EB-3 (Skilled Workers, Professionals and other Workers)    
EB-4 (Special Immigrants including Religious Workers)    
EB-5 (Immigration Investor Program)    


If you are unsure about which visa might be the right one for you or your employees, you are welcome to arrange a visa consulting for you.

Frequently Asked Questions on U.S. Visas

What is the difference between visa and status?

Theoretically, a visa only entitles you to board a plane to the USA and formally ask for entry into the country. The duration of your stay is determined by the U.S. border official at the border (= residence status). There is no legal entitlement to entry, nor to a maximum period of stay, e.g. up to 180 days per entry for a B visa. The U.S. official has every possibility to limit your stay (especially if you have already entered the country frequently).

How much does a U.S. visa cost?

The fees for applying for a visa vary considerably depending on the category and may regularly increase or decrease, also as a result of exchange rate fluctuations. Therefore, every applicant should inform himself about the current fees before applying.

How do I apply for a U.S. visa?

The application for a U.S. visa must be made through the official U.S. authorities, e.g. the U.S. consulates and U.S. embassies. The actual visa application is placed online, but almost every applicant must go to the consulate in person for a visa interview. With some work visas, it is sometimes necessary to send extensive files by mail to the U.S. authorities in the USA prior to the consular application procedure.
We advise and support companies and private individuals in all matters relating to visa applications. Read more about the requirements, duration and costs of a visa application