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Student and tourist visas


The United States welcomes thousands of foreign students and exchange visitors every year. If you wish to pursue full-time academic or vocational studies in the United States you may be eligible for one of two nonimmigrant student categories the �F� category is for academic students and �M� is for vocational students.

If you wish to participate in an exchange program you may be eligible for the �J� category for exchange visitors. The J visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Visiting the US

There are two types of nonimmigrant visas available for people who want to visit the United States.

Visitor for business (B-1)
Visitor for pleasure (B-2)

The B-1 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for business purposes, (e.g. conferences) or for medical treatment, or to accompany a family member who is requires medical treatment. The B-2 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily or to visit family or friends.

If you are planning to visit the United States, you should be prepared to demonstrate the following:

  • Your visit will be temporary
  • You will depart at the end of your authorized stay or any extension granted by USCIS
  • You are in possession of a valid passport
  • You maintain a foreign residence that you have no intention of abandoning
  • You are able to support yourself financially while in the United States
  • You are admissible to the United States or have obtained a waiver for any ground of inadmissibility. For more information on this topic, see section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in the link to the right.

Generally, if you want to visit the United States you must first obtain a nonimmigrant visitor visa. Travelers from certain countries may be exempt from this requirement. For more information about visa requirements and procedures, see the U.S. Department of State and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) links to the right.

If you want to travel to the United States for reasons other than business or pleasure, you must apply for a visa in the appropriate category. This includes if you want to study, work as a crew member or journalist, etc.

Passing through a U.S. Port of Entry
You should be aware that a visa does not guarantee admission into the United States. CBP may deny your admission, and also limit the period of time you are authorized to remain in the United States. For more information about the requirements for visiting the United States, go to the CBP link to the right.

If CBP authorizes your admission to the United Statesat the designated port of entry, you will receive a stamped Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure. If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94, you may apply for an extension by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

If you lose your Form I-94, you may apply for a replacement by filing a Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record.

Kingston, Martinez & Hogan immigration represents clients throughout the United States and California, Ca, Southern California, santa barbara, goleta, santa ynez, goleta valley, ventura, oxnard, camarillo, los angeles, and Los angeles county. nationally, many clients come from Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, new mexico, colorado, detroit, chicago, dallas, new york city, boston, philadelphia, and washington d.c. Internationally, we work with companies and individuals all over world, including mexico and canada.