Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Categories: Data Brief Updated [January 26, 2021]   [open pdf - 914KB]

From the Introduction: "Congress has expressed interest in the visa categories by which foreign nationals may enter or be present in the United States. U.S. immigration policy is governed largely by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which was first codified in 1952 and has been amended significantly several times since. The United States has long distinguished temporary immigration from permanent immigration. Temporary immigration occurs through the admission of visitors for specific purposes and limited periods of time, and encompasses two dozen categories (which are commonly referred to by the letter and numeral that denote their subparagraph in the INA). Permanent immigration occurs through family- and employer -sponsored categories, the diversity immigrant visa lottery, and refugee and asylee admissions. This brief report provides the following information: [1] a list of nonimmigrant (i.e., temporary) visa categories and lawful permanent resident (LPR) categories, [2] a description of each category, [3] the allowed duration of stay in the United States for each nonimmigrant visa category, [4] the annual numeric limit (or 'cap') for each nonimmigrant and LPR category, and [5] the number of visas that were issued/individuals obtaining LPR status for each category in the most recent year for which data are available."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R45938
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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