US Immigration Visa Types

Are you interested in applying for a visa to the United States? You can learn more about the different visa types here.

The United States is one of the most progressive countries in the world. Because of this, many wish and choose to live there permanently as residents and citizens of the country. In order to do so, individuals are required to have immigrant visas or dual intent visas.

There are different US immigration visa types that you can apply for. These visa types are explained briefly below.

Diversity Immigrant Visa

This program is mandated by the United States congress as a lottery program for the granting of a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery. The program results in a new class of immigrants that are known as “diversity immigrants” or DV immigrants. About 55,000 permanent resident visas are given annually to countries that are deemed to have low immigration rates to the US.


Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 visa is a visa for Immigrant Investors in the United States. This visa is an avenue that allows foreign nationals who invest money in the United States to obtain a green card. In order to get the visa, an individual should invest $1,000,000 or at least $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” (or a rural area of low employment) and must create or preserve a minimum of 10 jobs for U.S. workers not including the investor and his or her immediate family.

IH-3 and IH-4

These immigrant visas are granted to children that are adopted from Hague convention countries. IH-3 is for children who are under 18 years of age and require U.S. citizenship upon entry into the U.S. The USCIS sends Certificates of Citizenship automatically in these cases. The IH-4 visas are for children who are from a Hague convention country. The adoption, however, will be completed in the U.S. This means that IH-4 visa recipients are not automatically given Certificates of Citizenship upon their entry but are lawful permanent residents until the completion of the adoption.

IR-1, IR-2, IR-3, IR-4 and IR-5

These visa types are immigration visas granted to “immediate relatives” which include the spouse, the widow(er), the parents of a U.S. citizen over 21 years of age and the unmarried children under 21 years of age. There is no existent annual limit to the number of immigrants in these categories. These visa types are based on the close family relationship of immigrants with a U.S. citizen. Below are the differences between the 5 types:

IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
IR-2: Unmarried child, under the age of 21, of a U.S. Citizen
IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the United States by a U.S. Citizen
IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is of at least 21 years of age