Applying For Nonimmigrant Visas
Nonimmigrant visas allow foreign nationals who are not seeking citizenship to enter the United States for a limited period of time. Nonimmigrant visas are issued to tourists, students and temporary workers among others. In all, there are 20 categories of nonimmigrant visas, most of which fall under one of five general areas:
- Temporary employment
- Business and tourism
- Religious workers
Securing a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States, it only verifies that the recipient qualifies for a visa. When a visa holder reaches a port of entry, border patrol officers will review documents and ask a series of questions and determine whether to grant admission into the United States. This screening process is designed to prevent criminals, terrorists and other ineligible aliens from entering the country.
Nonimmigrant Family Visas Overview
The application process for family-sponsored visas is a complicated process involving the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are two types of family visas: Immediate Relative visas and Family Preference visas.
Immediate Relative visas include the following relatives:
- Minor children
- Adopted minors
Family Preference visas include the following relatives:
- The unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21 and their minor children
- The spouses of Legal Permanent Residents, their minor children and unmarried older children
- The married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and minor children
- The siblings of U.S. citizens (21 years and older) and their minor children
There are age and residency requirements for the U.S. citizen who sponsors the family visa. The process also requires a large number of forms and documents to be filed with the USCIS along with proof that the sponsor has the financial means to support additional family members. Once the paperwork is filed and accepted, the sponsor must then pass an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
At John W. Lawit, we help families with every step of the visa application process. Our immigration attorneys can help make sure your application is completed correctly and filed on time with the appropriate agencies. We can also help prepare you for your interview.
Nonimmigrant Work Visas Overview
In the United States, the majority of work visas are granted for specific offers of employment, not for an industry or skill set. Depending on the category your work visa falls under, you may also need your prospective employer to get approval from the Department of Labor on your behalf. In addition, most petitions must be approved by the USCIS before a U.S. Embassy or Consulate accepts the work visa application.
Nonimmigrant Investment Visas Overview
Investment visas are designed to allow foreign nationals to invest a substantial amount of money in a U.S. company. To qualify for the visa, the applicant must reside in one of the 138 countries that have trade treaties with the U.S. Unlike work visas, investment visas do not require advance approval from USCIS; applications can be submitted directly to the U.S. Consulate in their home country.