A citizen of a foreign country, who wishes to enter the United States, generally must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The type of visa you must have is defined by immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the United States port-of-entry, and request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the U.S.
An applicant for a temporary visa must also have a foreign residence that he or she does not intend to abandon. The exact length of time a person can stay depends on the status under which he or she enters. A person admitted under one status may be eligible to change his or her status to stay longer or to change the purpose for which he or she is remaining.
The process for obtaining a non-immigrant visa varies greatly depending on the type of visa. This process is complicated. An improperly completed application or one without the correct supporting evidence can result in a denial for a person who should be allowed to enter.
Fortunately, we are here to help. We realize that each and every visa application is important. We know how to best present a visa application to maximize your chance of approval. An immigration attorney will help determine the appropriate category and help obtain the proper non-immigrant visa.
We can also help to extend a visa that is about to expire if possible, change status to a new category, and obtain legal status and work authorization for immediate family members (if they are eligible). Properly positioning a non-immigrant case is crucial if the applicant later decides to apply for permanent residency (green card).
Below are brief descriptions of the most commonly sought-after non-immigrant visa categories.