Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

A nonimmigrant is a noncitizen who is admitted to the United States for a specific temporary period of time. Section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) lists most categories of nonimmigrants; additionally, nonimmigrant categories may be authorized in legislation other than the INA.[1] In order to be admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant, the noncitizen must generally have a permanent residence abroad and qualify for the nonimmigrant classification sought.

B. Background

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) issues nonimmigrant visas at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. Background and history specific to each nonimmigrant visa is discussed in the category-specific parts of the Policy Manual.

C. Legal Authorities


[^ 1] For example, certain professional nonimmigrants are authorized under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and implementing legislation and regulations. See 8 CFR 214.6.

Current as of July 26, 2021