Why do you want a visa to the United States? Is it to travel, study, or work? Maybe you have a loved one looking to immigrate and wish to sponsor their stay.
Whatever your reason, you should know a few things about how to qualify for a visa in the U.S. The truth is immigration law is confusing, and keeping up with it can be overwhelming.
But the Law of Lina Baroudi can help simplify things so that you can take advantage of a great opportunity.
Here’s how to know if you qualify for a visa to the U.S.
What is a Visa?
A U.S. visa allows a foreigner to enter the United States for a specific purpose, such as tourism or business travel. A U.S. visa is issued by an American Embassy or Consulate abroad after you have filed an application, been interviewed, and received approval from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Typically, you must use your visa within six months after issuance.
There are several different categories of visas specific to your purpose of travel. The Law of Lina Baroudi’s immigration attorney can help you determine the type of visa for which you might qualify.
Who Qualifies for a Visa?
Visa applicants must meet specific requirements to apply for a visa to the United States.
Here are a few basic visa requirements to consider:
- You must be a foreign national
- You must be a citizen of a country that has an agreement with the United States (some countries are currently under a visa sanction)
- You must be in good health and have no physical or mental conditions that would make it difficult to travel or work in the United States
- You must have a valid passport
- You must pass all security clearances required by the U.S. government
- You must show that you have adequate financial resources to support yourself during your stay in the United States
What are the Different Types of Visas?
There are two main types of visas: nonimmigrant and immigrant.
Nonimmigrant visas are temporary, with a limit on the length of stay. This can include a visitor visa, student visa, work visa, or exchange visitor visa. Immigrant visas are permanent and allow you to live and work in the United States indefinitely.
Immigrant visas differ from nonimmigrant (temporary) visas because they grant you legal permanent residence status in the United States once you arrive. There is no time limit on how long you can stay after obtaining an immigrant visa. However, you must meet some requirements—before becoming eligible for an immigrant visa.
Examples of immigrant visas include:
- Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored
- Diversity Immigrant Visa
As the name implies, nonimmigrant visas allow foreign nationals to temporarily visit the U.S. for business or pleasure, not for permanent residency or citizenship purposes.
There are several nonimmigrant visa categories, from student visas to exchange visitor visas, so the type you qualify for will depend primarily on the purpose of your stay.
What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
The visa waiver program allows citizens from certain countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for 90 days or less without a visa as long as they meet specific requirements. In return, these countries allow U.S. citizens and nationals to travel to their countries for a similar time frame without a visa.
Under the Immigration Nationality Act, the countries currently in this program are:
|Czech Republic||Italy||New Zealand||Switzerland|
|Estonia||Korea, Republic of||Poland||United Kingdom|
What is the Visa Application Process?
To apply for a visa, you must complete an online application form, pay the application fee, and submit documents. Once your application is accepted by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country, you will be informed of a date when you can attend an interview.
During this interview, you will have to answer questions about yourself and prove that you meet all requirements to receive a U.S. visa. You may also need to undergo fingerprinting and/or medical examinations. If your visa has been approved, it will be sent to your address by mail.
While the U.S. visa application process sounds simple on paper, the actual act can be time-consuming and frustrating. You should consider speaking with an experienced immigration attorney about your case.
How Can I Get Help With Applying for a U.S. Visa?
If you’re interested in applying for a U.S. visa, it is crucial to understand the process and what it requires of you. It can be overwhelming at first, but with time and research, you can figure out which type works best for your situation.
If you’re planning a trip and need help getting a visa, you can use the help of an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney’s job is to ensure your application is free of mistakes and can help you navigate the complicated process. When choosing a lawyer to assist you with your application, you’ll need an honest, experienced law firm that understands the urgency of getting your visa as soon as possible.
If you’re seeking an immigrant visa, you can rely on the Law Office of Lina Baroudi immigration attorneys to guide you through every step of the process.