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US Nonimmigrant Visas


A visa is a document, usually placed on a page of your passport, which allows you to travel to a US Port of Entry and request permission to enter the country in a certain immigration status. The category (F-1, H-1B, B-2, etc.) of your visa relates to the purpose of your travel (study, work, tourism, etc.) and often requires supporting documentation. The valid visa does not guarantee your entry, but shows that you are currently eligible for that status.

When you are admitted to the United States, a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record will be created for you, annotated with the category and expiration of your status.

Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website to see frequently asked questions about visas and a sample image of the US visa.

Visa Validity

The visa is only required when you are entering the United States. It may expire while you are in the country without any impact to your US immigration status or permissions.

If your visa stamp expires, you need to plan enough time during your next trip abroad to apply for a renewed visa stamp prior to your return (excluding re-entry using Automatic Revalidation for eligible travelers).

It is NOT possible to apply for or renew your US visa while you are in the United States. Visit the US Department of State website for more visa information and up-to-date requirements.

Visa Procedures and Information

The International Services Office (ISO) has additional information on the following visa procedures and related topics: