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Nonimmigrant Visas

Visas for a Temporary Stay in the United States

For international travelers (citizens of other countries), coming to the United States temporarily, there are various nonimmigrant visas. The type of visa you will need is based on the purpose of your travel.

Nonimmigrant Visa Categories

Visitor Visa - The "visitor" visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for tourism (vacation, holiday), visiting family or friends, or medical treatment (B-2), or combination of both (B-1/B-2) purposes. Business Visitor Visa (B-1) travel generally includes activities such as travel to consult with business associates, for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, trade show, or conference on specific dates, or to negotiate a contract. (This is not a complete listing.) Visitor visas do not permit study or work in the United States.

Student Visa – If you are traveling for study leading to a degree or certificate, a student (F) visa is required, or a student (M) visa for vocational or certain nonacademic study in the United States. Before you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for an F or M student visa, you must first be accepted by an approved school. Schools will provide accepted students with a Form I-20 to be presented with the visa application. Learn more by selecting Study in the U.S. on this website. 

Other Visas Different travel purposes require a different type of visa. As examples, if you are traveling to participate in an approved exchange program, an exchange visitor (J) visa is required. Exchange visitors must be accepted into the exchange program before applying for a visa. The program will issue a Form DS-2019 to be presented with the visa application.  Review Study in the U.S. for more. 

For temporary employment, paid appearances as an artist, or work as a professional athlete or entertainer in the United States, a temporary worker visa (H,L,O,P,Q or R), as appropriate is required. Before you can apply for your visa, your prospective employer in the United States must file a Form I-129 petition, which must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Review information about all nonimmigrant Visa Types on the (TSG) website and on U.S. Embassy or Consulate websites under Government Agencies” on the right.

How to Apply – Nonimmigrant Visa

Iranian citizens seeking a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay in the United States may apply for a visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate. We strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible in advance of your trip. If you live outside of Iran, we recommend that you apply in your country of residence. As part of the visa application process, most applicants require an interview at the embassy consular section. During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer. Visa interviews conducted in Farsi can be arranged at several locations, including:

Applicant Next Steps

  • Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
  • Schedule an interview – Refer to Visa Wait Times information
  • Prepare for your interview – Pay application processing fee and gather required documentation

For more detailed information: Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review documentation requirements, embassy specific instruction, and more. See the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply: