If you are a foreign national and want to visit or immigrate to the United States, you will need a visa. Visas for temporary stays are easier to obtain than immigrant visas, but both require applicants to submit documents supporting their application, undergo a medical exam, and complete a personal interview.

If you are applying for a visa in Groveland, speak with a local immigration attorney first. Our visa attorneys could help you understand the type of visa you should apply for and walk you through the application process.

Eligibility for a Visa

When someone seeks a visa to enter the U.S. temporarily, such as to study, work at a seasonal job, or for pleasure, the applicant must show significant ties to their home country to guarantee their return. An applicant must also prove they have enough money to meet their basic needs while in the United States. Foreign nationals may also enter the country to seek medical treatment.

Some people are eligible to seek visas that lead to a green card and, eventually, citizenship. Certain family members of U.S. citizens and green card holders are eligible for immigration visas. People with verified permanent job offers could apply for an immigration visa, as could people of extraordinary ability and people willing to invest a significant sum in a U.S. business.

Reasons for Visa Denials

The government can deny a visa application for a range of reasons. A criminal record or any suspicion that an applicant has ties to terrorism could result in a denial. A person who has been removed from the U.S. or overstayed a visa in the past could also face a denial. Lying on a visa application or misstating the reasons for entry to the U.S. are grounds for denial. Consulting an attorney in Groveland before submitting your application could reduce the possibility of a visa denial.

Process for Obtaining a Visa

Most people applying for visas to enter the U.S. apply from abroad. The process differs depending on whether they are applying for a visitor visa, a visa that allows them to work or study in the U.S., or an immigration visa.

Visitor Visa

Someone seeking to enter the U.S. for business, tourism, or medical care must complete a Form DS-160. The applicant should contact the Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence to schedule an interview as soon as they submit their application. Interview wait times vary from a few weeks to several months.

Student/Temporary Employment Visa

Someone applying for a visa to study for credit at a U.S. educational institution must first be accepted into an accredited program. The school will then register the applicant in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System and send them a Form I-20. The applicant must submit a Form DS-160 and request an interview at the Embassy or Consulate where they live. The applicant must bring the Form I-20 to the interview.

Many employers seek temporary workers to fill vacant positions in the U.S. An employer typically must apply for a certification from the Department of Labor and, once it is received, submit Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, Form I-129. An attorney could help a prospective employer complete their labor certification request and the petition. Once the petition is approved, the worker submits Form DS-160 and has an interview at their local Embassy or Consulate.

Immigration Visas

The U.S. offers foreign nationals the opportunity to immigrate on the basis of their family relationships, permanent employment, or other specified circumstances. U.S. citizens’ spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of citizens over 21 have the right to immigrate, and there is no limit on the number of these visas the government will issue.

The U.S. limits the number of immigrant visas in most other categories. An applicant’s country of origin and the type of immigrant visa they request impact the waiting times, which range from approximately 18 months to over 20 years. A Groveland attorney could further explain these categories to help someone decide what type of visa for which to apply.

Contact a Groveland Attorney for Help With a Visa Application

Immigration law is complex, and it can be difficult to secure a visa without the advice of an experienced professional. If you are considering applying for a visa in Groveland, an immigration attorney could be your strongest ally. They could explain how you must proceed and set reasonable expectations for the process. Call today to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer.