Applying for a Visa in Tuscaloosa
Whether you want to study at a university, work here temporarily, join a fiancé or family member, or immigrate, you will need a visa. Deciding which permit is right for your situation can be challenging.
A local visa attorney could help if you are applying for a visa in Tuscaloosa. They know how the complicated immigration process works and could advise you every step of the way.
What Type of Visa Should an Individual Apply For?
A person in Tuscaloosa must apply for a visa that reflects the purpose of their entry into the U.S. Different visa categories exist depending on whether the stay is temporary or the applicant plans to immigrate. The U.S. puts an annual limit on the number of visas it issues in most categories, meaning processing times vary widely depending on the limit for the specific type.
Foreign nationals wishing to study in the U.S. must apply for admission to a Student Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) approved school. Once a school accepts the student, they will send a Form I-20. An individual will register online with SEVIS and pay the fee. The student then requests a visa interview at the American Consulate in their country of residence.
Temporary Work Visa
Some industries in the U.S., such as agriculture, tourism, nursing, and fishing, are often short of workers. Employers in these industries who cannot fill available positions can sponsor foreign nationals for temporary worker visas. The employer typically must get a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor indicating they cannot fill the job with a U.S. citizen. Once the employer has the certification, they file documents sponsoring the foreign national for a temporary worker visa.
Athletes, performers, and individuals with special skills are also eligible for a non-immigrant visa. Only some people in this category require an employer sponsor, but they will need some evidence of their entry qualifications. Legal representation could explain the documentation requirements for a specific permit.
Employer-Sponsored Immigration Visa
Employers can sponsor foreign nationals to work in permanent positions in the companies. These visas can qualify the holder for a Green Card and eventually lead to U.S. citizenship.
Several categories of employment-sponsored visas are available. Most, but not all, require the employer to certify they cannot find a qualified U.S. citizen willing to take the job.
To be eligible for these visas, applicants must have a specific combination of education, training, and skills that vary by visa category. Recipients of immigration permits may bring their immediate family members—spouse and unmarried children under 21—with them when they immigrate.
Family-Sponsored Immigration Visa
Family members of U.S. citizens and LPRs can apply for a family-sponsored immigration visa. There is no annual permit limit for a citizen’s spouse, parents, or unmarried children under 21. Visas for the spouse and children under 21 of LPRs and the siblings, married children, and children over 21 of citizens are subject to annual limits. Sometimes obtaining a permit takes several years.
A citizen or Green Card holder must file a petition sponsoring their relative for immigration. Once the Immigration and Citizenship Services (ICS) office approves the petition, an applicant must file a visa application and undergo an interview at the consular office of their country of residence.
Accuracy and Preparation are Essential for Successful Visa Applications
A limited number of visa applications get processed yearly, and the government will usually return an application with errors or missing documentation to an individual for correction. When an applicant resubmits, it goes to the back of the line, potentially delaying processing for many months.
A lawyer in Tuscaloosa could ensure a sponsor or applicant has completed their visa paperwork correctly and provided all necessary documentation. Working with a knowledgeable professional reduces unnecessary delays.
Preparing for the consular or ICS interview is stressful for applicants. A legal advocate could explain what the interviewer looks for and help an applicant avoid missteps during the interview process.
Get Help Applying for a Visa in Tuscaloosa from an Experienced Attorney
The visa application process is complicated, stressful, and often expensive. Working with a local legal representative could make the process smoother. When applying for a visa in Tuscaloosa, do not navigate the immigration system without guidance from a seasoned professional. Contact our office today to learn more.