There are well over 20 types of visas, both non-immigrant/temporary visas, and immigrant/permanent resident visas. Some of these categories are also sub-divided into separate divisions under one visa type. Non-immigrant/temporary visas are literally an alphabet soup of visas, because they are loosely based on our English alphabet.
For instance, the B-1/B-2 visas are Visitor for Business/Visitor for Pleasure visas. We all know that many foreigners come to the US to visit New York City, Disneyworld, Hollywood, but not many Americans realize that there are other types of Visitor Visas available under our immigration system.
Foreign business people come to the US to learn how we conduct businesses in the US. A Business Visitor may come to the US to attend a conference on wine-growing in California, so that he can take that knowledge back to his country and build his wine business there. The Visitor for Business generally comes to the US for a short period of time, does not work in the US, and studies our business methods, or may develop contacts so that he can purchase goods from the US for export to his country, or establish contacts so that his foreign company can ship goods to the US.
A Visitor for Medical Purposes may be admitted to the US for a medical procedure not available in his or her country, or for dental procedures, or for medical treatment(s). The United States has some of the best medical treatment available in the world, and there is a type of visitor visa specifically designed for foreigners who want to come to the US for medical treatment.
When many Americans think of immigration, they think of the person who mows their lawn, or cleans their pool or builds their stone walls. However, there are many immigrants in the US who are here in a multitude of visa categories.
Some US citizens are surprised to learn that our immigration system has an Investor Visa category. In this category, a foreign national (person from another country) can invest a minimum of $1,000,000.00 into a new US business, or into a failing US business. If the Investor decides to start a new business in the US, then the new business must also create 10 new jobs for US citizens. This visa encourages foreign investment into our economy, encourages new business development and provides jobs for US citizens. If the Investor decides to invest in a failing US business, this may provide a safety net for the failing business and may save jobs for US citizens. Investment into a failing business must also provide at least 10 jobs for US citizens, and show that the jobs have been filled. In certain specially designated sections of our country, the investment can be a minimum of $500,000.00, but in most areas in the US, the required investment is at least $1,000,000.00 US.
After the supporting paperwork is provided to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and found to be satisfactory, a conditional permanent resident status (green card) is issued to the Investor and his/her family. There are only a limited number of Investor Visas available each fiscal year, however, many immigrants have invested thousands of dollars into our economy, saved jobs and businesses, and provided additional jobs to US citizens.
This is only one of the many immigrant visas that the general American public doesn’t know about, and which has existed for years.