• December 4, 2023

Ask the U.S Consular Conner

Ask the U.S Consular Conner
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This column will help to sensitize Sierra Leoneans who may want to travel to the United States of America to better understand the immigration processes and also discourage irregular migration, human trafficking, and visa scammers/fraudsters.

It will also serve as an eye-opener for Sierra Leoneans and bring the consular office closer to the people.

Lastly, it will also complement the U.S Embassy’s effort in their drive to sensitize Sierra Leone

In this Edition we are looking at Non-Immigrant Visas and the various classes of Non-Immigrant Visas. If you have any questions send it to consularfreetown@state.gov

1) What is a non-immigrant visa? A non-immigrant visa is a document that a citizen of a foreign country obtains to request entry into the United States for a temporary visit. The document is traditionally placed inside the foreign citizen’s passport.

2) What are the types of non-immigrant visas? There are a number of non-immigrant visa categories. The most common visa type is B1/B2 which is primarily for tourism and general business travel. F visas are for students seeking admission to complete studies in the United States. J visas are for individuals going on cultural exchanges to the United States and can include a number of different purposes of travel. C1/D visas are for flight crew and individuals who are seeking to transit through the United States to go to an onward destination outside of the United States. H, L, O, and P visas are petition-based visas for individuals who are seeking to work in the United States temporarily. These are just a few of the non-immigrant visa categories available for applicants. More information on non-immigrant visas categories can be found at travel.state.gov

3) Who is qualified for these visas? Qualifications for a particular visa class depends on the purpose of travel. Generally, a B1/B2 visa is sufficient for most applicants seeking short-term visits to the United States for sightseeing or to visit relatives. A B1/B2 visa would not be appropriate for someone seeking to study or work in the United States.

4) What are the documents needed to apply for non-immigrant Visas? Documents are generally not required for B1/B2 visa applicants. However, other visa categories do require documents depending on the visa type. For example, F1 visa applicants are required to submit an I-20 with their visa application which details information about their school and course of study in the United States. J1 visa applicants are required to submit a DS-2019 which provides information on their particular exchange program.

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