If you intend to legally immigrate to the United States, or if you intend to study or work in the U.S. for a set period of time while maintaining permanent residence in another country, you will almost always need to apply for a visa and be approved for one prior to crossing the border. However, there are many different types of visas available through U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, each of which applies in different situations.
If you need help determining what type of visa you need and/or efficiently applying for one, you may benefit from the counsel of a Doraville visa lawyer. A seasoned immigration attorney could help you make sense of this often-complicated process and increase your odds of acquiring the visa you need to travel here legally.
What Type of Visas Are Available?
There are literally dozens of different visa categories that a foreign national traveling to the United States could possibly need to apply for entry through—in other words, too many to list in a comprehensive and useful way. Generally, though, visas can be sorted into the two broad groups of non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas, based on whether an applicant intends to establish permanent residence in the United States.
Non-immigrant visas allow foreign nationals to enter the U.S. legally and remain here for a specific period of time in order to hold employment, attend school, engage in international business or diplomacy, or perform in a show or sporting event. Importantly, individuals from certain countries may be eligible for a visa waiver if they only attend to travel to the U.S. for tourism, medical treatment, certain business activities, and certain other purposes.
Conversely, anyone seeking to immigrate to the U.S. on a permanent basis will almost always need a visa, unless they apply for asylum or seek protection as a refugee. A Doraville visa attorney could help identify exactly what type of visa an individual would need to pursue based on their unique circumstances.
The Visa Application Process
Each category of visa available through the Department of State has a different form associated with it—for example, Form DS-160 for most non-immigrant visas and Form DS-260 for most immigrant visas—which must be filled out and submitted by the party seeking a visa in order to begin the application process. In many cases, other forms may need to be filed by other parties associated with the prospective immigrant—for instance, a U.S. citizen sponsoring a family member’s immigration to the U.S. must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS before said family member can begin the application process themselves.
Once the appropriate forms are filed and documentation provided, most immigrant visas also require an interview to be conducted with the prospective immigrant at the U.S. consulate or embassy nearest to them in their country of origin. As circumstances demand, a visa attorney in Doraville could provide counsel to both a person seeking to sponsor an immigrant and an immigrant seeking to proceed through the application process efficiently.
A Doraville Visa Attorney Should Be Able to Help
With relatively few exceptions, you cannot legally enter the United States without a valid visa of some kind, and if you do enter the U.S. in some other way, you will definitely need a visa to reside here legally. Either way, the visa application process can be arduous and confusing, and failing to follow all the requisite procedures could put your future plans and prospects in serious jeopardy.
A Doraville visa lawyer could work tirelessly on your behalf to help you pursue an optimal outcome and get the visa you need. Schedule a consultation by calling today.