Nonimmigrant visas are for person’s who want to live in the U.S. “temporarily.“ However, there are nonimmigrant visas, for example, the E-2 investor visa, that allow one to live and work in the U.S. for several years or even decades. There are also nonimmigrant visas, such as the L visa or the H-1B visa, which are often used as a "stepping stone" to apply for a green card after an extended stay in the US.
Some categories of nonimmigrant visas allow one to work in the U.S., for example, the E and L visas. Holders of other categories of nonimmigrant visas, for example the B visa for business travelers and tourists, are generally not allowed to work in the US. Other nonimmigrant visas, called derivative nonimmigrant visas, are for accompanying spouses and unmarried children under 21-years-old.
Perhaps the most important question when choosing the right U.S. visa is whether you want to work in the United States. Other factors that may be important in choosing the appropriate visa include the applicant's occupation, education, work experience, and current employment.
Some of the most important U.S. nonimmigrant visas are:
• B Visas for business travelers and tourists
• E Visas for treaty investors (E-2) and treaty traders (E-1).
• F Visas for students
• H-1B visas for persons in a "specialty occupation," i.e. persons with a university degree or equivalent professional experience, and fashion models
• Visas for journalists
• J Visas for exchange visitors (e.g. professors, teachers, scientists, and au pairs)
• L Visas for intra-company transferees
• O Visas for persons of extraordinary ability (e.g., in science, art, education, business, or sports) who wish to pursue their professional activities in the U.S.
• P Visas for entertainers, artists, athletes, and coaches (and their essential support staff) who, for example, perform in the U.S., participate in events such as competitions or gallery openings, or work as teachers or coaches