Nonimmigrant visas are temporary visas, and are issued at U.S. embassies and consulates. In order to qualify for a non-immigrant visa, the applicant must convince the consulate or embassy that he or she will not remain in the United States following the expiration of the authorized stay. Although most categories of nonimmigrant visas are not subject to annual quotas, some categories (including the H-1B visa) are limited.
Possession of a valid visa does not guarantee entrance into the United States. An immigration officer at the U.S. point of entry will make the final determination as to entrance.
Nonimmigrant visas are usually issued relatively quickly after application.
Foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States for reasons other than employment may qualify for a range of non-immigrant visas, including:
Tourist visas (B-2);
Business visitor visas (B-1);
Student visas (F-1, M-1)
Additionally, the visas issued to certain workers such as holders of H-1B visas (for skilled professionals) or L-1 visas (for intracompany transfers), are non-immigrant visas. An H-1B visa is a dual intent visa, meaning that you can seek permanent residency in the United States while present on a H-1B visa without jeopardizing your status or ability to leave and re-enter the United States.