You’ll need a visa document if you plan on legally staying in the United States. There are two main types of visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant.
If you’re traveling to the U.S. for reasons such as work, to visit family, or for school, you’ll need a nonimmigrant visa. Having a nonimmigrant visa lawyer in Chicago will help you obtain the correct nonimmigrant visa for you to travel to the U.S. With their help, you can fill out all necessary forms with confidence and complete the visa application process efficiently.
Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. is a renowned Chicago immigration law firm. Our attorneys are highly skilled and knowledgeable in the nuanced legal requirements of obtaining a nonimmigrant visa. We understand each case is unique, so we’ll tailor our services to meet your needs.
You can apply for a nonimmigrant visa for various purposes, such as tourism, academic study, or temporary work. Each type of visa has different requirements and limitations. It’s essential to apply for the correct visa that fits the purpose of your visit.
If the U.S. government determines that you’re using a nonimmigrant visa as an avenue to live in the country permanently, they may deny your application. You must be honest and accurate about the purpose and duration of your stay when applying for a nonimmigrant visa.
Individuals who plan to permanently live and work in the U.S. must apply for an immigrant visa. These visas are also known as green cards. Green card holders also have the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting specific requirements.
On the other hand, individuals who plan to visit the U.S. for a specific purpose and duration can apply for nonimmigrant visas. For example, if you have a student visa, you must stay enrolled in school to maintain its validity.
Nonimmigrant visas have an expiration date, and once it expires, the individual must leave the U.S. unless they have applied for and received an extension or another type of visa. For example, some students might apply for a temporary work visa if they pursue career opportunities in the U.S. after completing their studies.
If you intend to live in the U.S. permanently, you’ll require an immigrant visa or green card. However, a nonimmigrant visa will suffice if you only plan to visit the U.S. temporarily. Regardless of the type of visa you require, it’s always advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for your visa application.
Which nonimmigrant visa you apply for with help from a nonimmigrant visa lawyer depends on your reason for coming to the United States. You must apply for the appropriate subcategory within each temporary visa category depending on your qualifications. Your nonimmigrant visa lawyer in Chicago can help determine which visa is right for you.
Temporary visas require specific qualifications, evidence, forms, and costs. A nonimmigrant visa lawyer will help you to file paperwork, gather information, and work closely with you to help you get the nonimmigrant visa you need.
If you’re seeking a nonimmigrant visa, the seasoned attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. will assist you at every stage of the process. Each temporary visa attorney at our office specializes in visas specific to your case. Also, while we are located in Chicago, we assist people worldwide.
B visas are intended for people who are only visiting the U.S. The B-1 category is for business visitors, and B-2 visas are for non-business visitors. To be eligible, a foreign national must show why they are staying in the U.S. and prove their stay will be temporary. These visas can be obtained more quickly than any other type.
E-1 visas, the treaty trader visas, are for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade between the U.S. and their home country. Similarly, E-2 visas are for foreign nationals looking to invest substantial capital in an enterprise.
Some advantages of E visas over others are that they do not require any specific educational background, they can be extended indefinitely, and a person can travel in and out of the U.S. freely until the visa expires. However, the applications for E-1 and E-2 visas are complicated and time intensive.
Australian nationals in special occupations can take advantage of a treaty between the U.S. and Australia that allows them to apply for a temporary visa to work and live in America. The E-3 visa stipulates that a person is applying to work in an occupation that requires specialized knowledge and training. E-3 visas are open to Australian nationals only and applicants have the distinct advantage of not being subject to the H-1B visa cap.
International students can apply for F or M visas to study in the U.S. F-1 visas allow foreign nationals to come to the U.S. as full-time academic or language students. Before applying, they must be accepted to an approved institution.
M-1 visas are for foreign nationals pursuing a vocational, non-academic program in an established U.S. institution. Examples of such programs include dental hygienists, mechanists, and healthcare technicians. Like F-1 visas, M-1 visa applicants must be accepted to an established program before obtaining a visa.
H-1 visas are for workers in special professions and are the most popular H visas. These visas are intended for foreign workers who want to work temporarily in a specialty occupation for a U.S. employer. Applicants must meet educational requirements in their discipline and be established experts in their field.
Petitions for H-1 visas are made by U.S. employers interested in hiring foreign nationals, but there are limits to the number of H-1 visas the U.S. will approve every year.
H-2 visas are for unskilled or job-trained workers. They allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to fill temporary positions in various non-agricultural industries, including seasonal, intermittent, or one-time occurrences.
As with H-1 visas, H-2 visa petitions fall under caps, and the waiting lists can be extremely long. Employers must prove their need for a foreign national’s services is temporary.
H-3 visas temporarily allow foreign nationals to come to the U.S. as trainees or special education exchange visitors. Typical fields of study include agriculture, finance, transportation, and communications.
These visas are not designed for employment in the U.S.; instead, they are intended to provide training for jobs performed in foreign countries.
There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for foreign nationals who want to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S. J-1 visas are for educational and cultural programs, and Q-1 visas are for specific international cultural exchange programs.
J and Q visas are meant to promote the exchange of people, talent, ideas, culture, and history between the U.S. and the visa holder’s home country.
K-1 visas are specifically for the fiancées of citizens who want to get married in the U.S. Obtaining a K-1 visa is often quicker than traveling overseas, getting married, and then applying for legal permanent resident status. It is ideal for citizens who want to marry their foreign-born fiancé in the U.S.
Intracompany transferees fall under the L-1 visa category. These visas are for foreign workers coming to the U.S. branch of their company to perform services in a managerial, executive, or specialized capacity. L-visas have one of the most complex application processes.
The U.S. government may deny Foreign nationals admission for various reasons, including criminal grounds, medical reasons, or immigration violations. However, with a few exceptions, the U.S. government will waive some grounds of inadmissibility.
A person applying for a non-immigrant waiver of inadmissibility will usually do so at a U.S. consulate or embassy. The application package will include a letter detailing the request, ideally supported by evidence.
Foreign nationals who sustain national or international acclaim in their profession may be qualified for an O-1 visa. These workers with extraordinary abilities must document their expertise in their O-1 visa application.
There are three classifications of P visas for performing entertainers and athletes.
P-1 visas are for athletes or entertainers visiting the U.S. to perform in a competition or with a foreign-based entertainment group. P-2 visas are for foreign artists or entertainers coming to the U.S. to perform as part of a reciprocal exchange program between an American organization and one in another country. P-3 visas are for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to teach, coach, or perform in a culturally unique program.
Foreign entertainers or athletes on these visas can renew their stay indefinitely and there is no quota.
Foreign religious workers—ministers, priests, religious educators, translators, missionaries, and others—may apply for an R-1 visa to work temporarily in the U.S. To be eligible for an R-1 visa, a foreign national must be a member of a specific religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years. These visas are tied to a religious organization and are only available for applicants who meet this requirement.
The U.S. government created T visas to provide temporary U.S. residence for victims of human trafficking. These visas enable certain human trafficking victims to remain in the U.S. for up to four years to recover and assist law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting traffickers.
T visa holders may be able to adjust their status to become LPRs.
TN visas allow Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily work in the U.S. in more than 60 professional occupations, including accounting, architecture, graphic design, social work, chemistry, engineering, and analytics. The challenge of applying for a TN visa is proving that the U.S. job is temporary and legitimate.
U visas allow victims of certain types of criminal activity to live and work in the U.S. temporarily. U visas intend to assist law enforcement in criminal investigations and support humanitarian efforts.
Nonimmigrant visas are temporary. However, in some circumstances, foreign nationals may want to extend their stay in the U.S. To do so, they must apply to extend/change their nonimmigrant status (Form I-539) with U.S. Customs and Immigrant Services (USCIS).
Not all nonimmigrant visa holders are eligible to extend their stay.
At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we provide individuals, families, and employers with the legal representation they need to navigate the complex legal issues surrounding nonimmigrant visas.
Our attorneys have over seven decades of combined experience in U.S. immigration law. We’ve helped guide numerous clients through the complicated process of gaining nonimmigrant visas in the U.S.
Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.