Most foreign nationals must obtain visas to enter the United States for a specific purpose. The visa allows the foreign national to travel to a U.S. port of entry and ask for admission for the purposes stated on the visa. The border officer will then determine whether the person will be admitted to the United States.

Visa Waiver Program

Some foreign nationals can come to the United States without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program allows nationals of the following countries to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days for business or pleasure without seeking a visa. There are some restrictions on the Visa Waiver Program, so discuss your options with an experienced immigration attorney at the Immigration Law Group. Pre-registration for Electronic System Travel Authorization is required prior to any entry to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program ( The following countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • the Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Most Common Visas


Temporary Visitor for Business. Allows entry for short periods of business.


Visitor Visa for Tourists. Allows entry for short visits to the U.S. for pleasure.


Transit. Allows temporary entry for transit through the U.S. This visa is very restricted in what its holder can do.


Crew Member. Allows entry for transit out of U.S. This visa is very restricted in what its holder can do.


Treaty Trader. Foreign nationals may obtain an E-1 visa to remain in the United States for two-year periods for work at a company where the U.S. company trades goods or services with the country of origin. At least 50% of the U.S. company?s trade must be with the country of origin.


Treaty Investor. Foreign nationals may obtain an E-2 visa to remain in the United States for two-year periods for work where there is active and substantial investment in the U.S. company that creates some U.S. jobs and that the investor plays some essential role in the enterprise.


Student. Allows entry for study in the U.S. The visa holder may not work (except under limited circumstances) while on this visa.


Student Spouse/Family. Allows dependents of student visa holders to enter U.S.


Specialty Occupation. Allows those with a Bachelors degree filling specialty occupations to work in the U.S. temporarily.


Nurses. Allows nurses working in a health professional shortage area to work in the U.S.


Agricultural. Allows temporary agricultural workers to work in the U.S.


Temporary. Allows temporary and unskilled workers to enter the U.S. and work during peak seasons.


Trainee. Allows entry to the U.S. to work in a trainee program.


Spouse/Family. Allows the dependents of an H visa holder to live in the U.S. (but not work).


Exchange Visitor. Visitor participating in an approved program of study/training.


Dependents. Dependents of J-1 visa holders.


Fiancée. Fiancée of a U.S. citizen entering to marry U.S. citizen within 90 days.


Dependents. Child of a fiancée of a U.S. citizen.


Spouse. Spouse of a U.S. citizen entering in order to adjust to that of a permanent resident.


Dependents. Child of a spouse of a U.S. citizen.


Executives, managers. Executives and managers who are intracompany transferees.


Specialized knowledge. One with specialized knowledge who is transferred to a U.S. subsidiary.


Dependents. Dependents of a L visa holder.

These are some of the most commonly applied for visas. For additional information or to explore other options, call the Immigration Law Group to discuss your options with an experienced immigration attorney.

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Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C. represents clients throughout the Illinois, area, including the cities of Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Palatine, Mt Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Park Ridge, Oak Brook, Northbrook, Joliet, Naperville, Wheaton, Evanston, Des Plaines, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Skokie, Niles, Hoffman Estates, Elmhurst, Cicero, Downers Grove, and Hanover Park, as well as the communities in and around Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County and McHenry County.

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