A travel document is an identity document issued by a government to enable the movement of individuals across international boundaries. Travel documents serve the purpose of assuring other governments that the bearer can return to the issuing country. They are commonly issued in booklet form to allow other governments to enter visas and entry and exit stamps. A visa is a document issued allowing the holder to enter or leave a specific country. The most common travel document is a passport. Travel documents are necessary for all temporary travel into the United States. There are several categories of travel into the United States such as:
- Transit visa for passing through the country to a destination outside of the country. Transit visas are usually limited to short terms such as several hours to up to 10 days.
- Short-stay or visitor visa, for short visits to the host country.
- Private visa for private visits by invitation of residents of the country.
- Tourist visa for a limited period of leisure travel.
- Medical visa for diagnostics or a course of treatment.
- Business visa for engaging in commerce in the country.
- Working holiday visa, for individuals traveling between nations offering a working holiday program which usually allows young people to engage in temporary work while traveling.
- Athletic or artistic visa issued to athletes and performing artists performing at competitions, concerts, shows and other events.
- Cultural exchange visa usually issued to athletes and performing artists participating in a cultural exchange program.
- Refugee visa issued to persons fleeing the dangers of persecution, a war or a natural disaster.
- Long-stay visa, valid for longer but still limited stays:
- Student visa which allows its holder to study at an institution of higher learning in the issuing country.
- Temporary worker visa for approved employment. These are generally more difficult to obtain but valid for longer periods of time than a business visa. One common such visa is the H-1B visa.
- Journalist visa for journalists traveling for their news organizations.
- Asylum visa issued to people who have suffered or reasonably fear persecution in their own country due to their political activities or opinion, association with a particular group; or who were exiled from their own country.
One common type of temporary visa in the New York area requiring travel documents is the HB-1 employment visa. The H-1B is a nonimmigrant temporary work visa that allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. A “specialty occupation” requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a certain technical field. The H-1B visa requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in work experience as a minimum. The job offered must require a bachelor’s degree to qualify.
Contact Our New York City Immigration Lawyers
Our law firm can explain all of the opportunities associated with travel documents and help you through the entire process as well as discussing options. For an initial consultation with a skilled immigration lawyer, contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David in New York.