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What is the Difference Between an Immigrant visa and Nonimmigrant Visa

People tend not to distinguish between a Nonimmigrant Visa and an immigrant visa, and subsequently get to confuse one for the other. This article will be an eye-opener to what they are and their differences.

What is a Visa

A visa is an endorsement that is put within the passport that grants the holder official have permission to enter, leave or stay in any country for a specific period of time.

It is not a sure plug for entry into the state, If a person is to gain entry to the state an immigration officer at the port of entry has to either grant or deny any admission and also decides the duration that the person can remain in the state.

There are just two categories of US Visa, they are the nonimmigrant visa and an immigrant visa.

Immigrant Visa

An immigrant visa is a visa that is given to a foreign national who wishes to live and work permanently in the United States

In some cases, a relative or Employer can decide to sponsor the person by filing an application in the US. Citizenship and immigration services (USCIS).

Some applicants like workers with amazing abilities, inventors, and special immigrants can ask on their own.

The application is then sent to the appropriate US consulate or embassy overseas in order for them to continue the process and issues an immigrant visa to the intending immigrant when found eligible.

The intending immigrant had to present the immigrant visa at the US Port of Entry prior to the day of expiration of the immigrant visa.

Also, the immigrant can be recognized as a permanent resident as oos as the immigrant visa and the complete paperwork is reviewed and signed by the CBP officer.

Non-Immigrant Visa

foreign workers who wish to enter the United States on a temporary basis either for business, medical treatment, tourism, and any other type of job have to seek a Nonimmigrant Visa to enable them to actualize their dreams.

The type of Nonimmigrant Visa that is needed is based on the immigration law as to how it relates to the purpose of travel.

An applicant applies directly to the US consulate when they want a tourist or business Nonimmigrant Visa.

But, foreign nationals who wish you come to the United States for the purpose of work or school will need some authorization and documentation prior to the application of the Nonimmigrant.

For an alphabetical listing of all of the nonimmigrant visa classifications and specific requirements refer to the USCIS website. or the U.S. Department of State website.

Giving of visa does not mean that you have entry to the United States. the Visa just shows that a US consular has seen the application and review it and through that knows if the applicant is eligible to enter the country for a period of time and this applies to both a nonimmigrant visa and an immigrant visa.

The CBP officers that stay at the port of entry will therefore conduct a good inspection to know if the individual is suitable for admission under the US immigration law irrespective of if you have a nonimmigrant visa and an immigrant visa.


The difference between the nonimmigrant visa and an immigrant visa can clearly be seen as one is temporary and the other is permanent. That been said, if you think there is a piece of information that this article is missing, please feel free to use the comment section.

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