Short-Stay vs Long-Stay Travel Documents | What to Know

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Short-Stay vs Long-Stay Travel Documents | What to Know

There are multiple different ways to enter the United States. The visa you apply for will depend upon the situation and your reason for entering. It is important to understand the difference between short-stay and long-stay visas. Read on to learn more.

What is a Short-Stay Visa?

If you are looking to stay in the United States, even for a short period of time, you still need a visa. Some common short-stay visas include:

  • Business visa: This allows foreign nationals to engage in commerce in the U.S.
  • Working holiday visa: This allows individuals to temporarily work in the U.S. while they travel.
  • Transit visa: This allows you to pass through the United States to reach a destination outside of the country. 
  • Private visa: This allows you to come to the U.S. if you were invited by a resident for a private visit. 
  • Medical visa: This allows you to come to the U.S. if you require medical treatment from a specific medical professional in the country.
  • Tourist visa: These visas are for a short period of leisure/tourist travel.
  • Athletic or artistic visa: These are for competing athletes, performing artists, and the like.
  • Cultural exchange visa: There are generally for athletes/artists participating in cultural exchange programs.

What are Long-Stay Visas?

If you are looking to come to the United States for an elongated period of time, you need to obtain one of the following visas:

  • Refugee visa: If you are a foreign national seeking to flee significant danger in your country, such as persecution, natural disaster, or otherwise.
  • Student visa: This allows foreign nationals to receive higher education in the U.S.
  • Asylum visa: These are granted to those who fear persecution in their country due to race, beliefs, associations with a particular group, etc.
  • Temporary worker visa for approved employment: The most common type of worker visa is the H-1B visa.
  • Journalist visa: For journalists who want to report for their news organizations in the U.S.

If you have any questions or concerns about which visa to apply for or the process of obtaining a visa, contact our firm today.


Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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