Non-immigrant visas are for someone coming to the U.S. who will not be staying here or trying to seek citizenship. They are visiting, usually for a specific reason.
The U.S. Department of State explains there are various categories of non-immigrant visas. If you wish to secure one, you need to determine which category best matches your intended purposes for the visit.
Some non-immigrant visas are for employment or professional purposes. These include athletes, domestic employees, journalists, religious workers and doctors. It also includes agricultural workers who will be here for a temporary job and business visitors.
There are also visas for Australian professionals in a specialty field and foreign nationals with some type of extraordinary ability. A teacher or scholar here on exchange also may get a visa for professional reasons.
There are also non-immigrant visas for government-related situations. Officials from a foreign government or organization, such as NATO, qualify for this category. This also covers members of the military from other countries here for work.
Non-immigrant visas also may be available for non-employment reasons. For example, someone coming to the U.S. for medical treatment would get this type of visa. Students or exchange visitors also fall into this category.
Non-immigrant visas also apply for victims of human trafficking and other criminal activities.
This type of visa also may be available for other reasons no directly associated with a specific purpose. For example, if you want to cross the border from Mexico, there is a non-immigrant visa for that. Anyone visiting here for tourism or pleasure will need this type of visa.
You should note these are not the only situations in which non-immigrant visas are available. If you want a non-immigrant visa and think you qualify because of the temporary nature of your visit, you should check official immigration sources.