Immigration Visas to America

Welcome to another edition of the Legal Zone, the podcast where we tackle injustice. We have another great show with 2 Bob Babanian and Joseph Barr joining us to discuss immigrant visas & non-immigrant visas, and immigration laws.

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Welcome to another edition of the Legal Zone, the podcast where we tackle injustice. We have another great show with 2 Bob Babanian and Joseph Barr joining us to discuss immigrant visas & non-immigrant visas, and immigration laws.

What is immigration law?

Immigration law is simply the rules and regulations established by the U.S. government for determining who is allowed to enter the country and for how long they stay in the country.


What is a visa?

A visa is an official document that allows the holder to legally enter a country.  It’s a pass, so to speak.  It’s a pass that says, “you’re okay to enter.”  


What is a passport?

A passport, on the other hand, a document that is issued by your own country, and it gives you permission to travel in and out of your own country.

So, you get a passport from your country to travel outside of your country and back.

Then you get a visa from a foreign country to travel to that country legally.  

There are a number of visa types that the United States issues that will give permission to foreigner to enter.

Types of Visas

Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant issued for temporary visits to the US—they expire.

Immigrant visas issued to people who will move permanently to the US—never expire.

Some Nonimmigrant Visas (Temporary visits)

  • A Visa—diplomats and foreign government officials
  • A-2 NATO1-g for foreign military
  • B-1 Visa -temporary business visa
  • B-2 Visa for tourism, includes visiting friends, pleasure, vacations
  • BCC Visa, Border Crossing Card, only applies to Mexican citizens
  • C Visa—a passing through visa, you’re passing through the US but it is not your final destination—for crew members
  • E1 and E2 visas are treaty trader and treaty investor visas
  • F and M visas are for academic and vocational purposes
  • H-1B visas are for employees in highly specialized fields
  • H-2B visa for temporary non-agricultural workers
  • H-3 visas for training opportunities
  • J visas exchange visitors, i.e., exchange students
  • L Visas—intracompany transferee visa
  • O Visa for people with extraordinary abilities and want to temporarily work in their field of expertise
  • P Visa for athletes, entertainers, and artists
  • R Visa for temporary religious workers
  • T Visas for victims of human trafficking
  • V Visa for family unity.  The V visa allows families who are in the process of waiting for the completion of their immigration process to be reunited with their family in the US.
  • U Visa for crime victims.

Permanent Immigrant Visas

Two main categories:  

Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored  

  • IR visa is the immediate relative visa—after being married for 2 years, you gain permanent status
  • CR-1 Visas—you have just been married and for 2 years you will maintain conditional status.  This is to prevent marriages from happening only for obtaining permanent residence in the US.
  • K-1 Visa, the fiancé visa—allows stay in the US for up to 90 days.  Expected to be be married during that time.
  • K-2 is for the unmarried children under 21 of K-1 holders
  • K-3 visa was created to shorten the time that the married couple is away from each other while one of them is waiting for their petition to be approved.
  • F-2 visa is for minor children, spouses, and unmarried children of those who have immigrant visas

Employer Sponsored Visas

  • EB-1 visa is for first priority workers, i.e., professors, researchers, multinational managers, etc.
  • EB-2 visa is for second priority workers, professionals holding an advanced degree, who either have a Bachelor’s Degree and five years of work experience in that profession
  • EB-3 visa for third priority workers, these are skilled workers who have at least two years of experience or training in that particular profession  
  • EB-4 visas are certain special immigrants
  • EB-5 visas are targeted at investors.  Four types of investor immigrant visas
  1. C-5 investors who create jobs outside of “targeted” areas
  1. T-5 investors who create jobs in targeted rural or high unemployment areas
  1. R-5 for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program not in a target area
  1. I-5 for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program in targeted area


Our Panel:

Attorney John Salatti

Dr. Arlena Cheney

Attorney Solon Phillips


Bob Babanian and Joseph Barr


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