The reasons a person from a foreign country could be coming to the U.S. temporarily can vary greatly. Some examples include reasons related to employment, business, pleasure, travel, school or family. So, there are many different types of nonimmigrant (temporary) admissions here in America.
Which type are the most common? Some federal immigration statistics speak to this question. These statistics are on I-94 admissions. An I-94 admission is a nonimmigrant admission to the U.S. in which there is an I-94 record. Now, I-94 admissions do not make up all nonimmigrant admissions, as there are a couple major groups that are exempt from the I-94 process. These are certain Canadian travelers and certain Mexican travelers.
According to the data, in 2014 (the most recent year the data covers), there were nearly 75 million I-94 nonimmigrant admissions to the United States.
That year, the category that by far made up the most of these admissions were admissions of visitors for pleasure. Nearly 60 million of the I-94 admissions for 2014 fell into this category.
In a distant second were admissions of visitors for business. This category made up about 7.7 million of the I-94 admissions from 2014.
Taking the third spot were admissions of temporary workers and their families. Of the 2014 I-94 admissions, nearly 3.4 million were from this category.
Visitors for pleasure, visitors for business and temporary workers and their families holding the one, two and three spots for I-95 admissions respectively was also the case in 2013 and 2012.
As a note, there were changes in practices regarding the I-94 process that occurred over the 2012-2014 stretch that may have had impacts on the data.
Different temporary admissions cannot only vary in how common they are but in how complicated the processes for getting authorized for such an admission are. Individuals looking to temporarily stay in the U.S. who have questions regarding what processes are involved in the admission routes they are looking at and what navigating these processes involves should consider taking these questions to a skilled immigration lawyer.