Family Law & Immigration Attorneys
How Do I Know Which Visa I Need?

How Do I Know Which Visa I Need?

With so many different types of visas available, it can be difficult to discern which type of visa you need. The type of visa you require depends on several different factors, including whether or not you are already in the United States, your reason for immigrating, and the duration of your stay. You may need a specific type of visa to legally work within the U.S., or you might need to apply for family-based immigration if you have immediate relatives already in the United States. Whatever the case, if you need to acquire a visa, make sure you know which one meets your needs.

Who Needs a Visa?

If someone is coming to the United States to live permanently, they will need to acquire an immigrant visa. However, if they only wish to come to the U.S. temporarily, but for longer than a short vacation, they must have a nonimmigrant visa. According to the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there are several different types of requirements for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Depending on your goals within the U.S. and the term of your stay, you may need any one of several different types of visas.

Immigrant Visas

Any foreign national who wishes to live and work within the United States permanently will need to apply for an immigrant visa. Some of the individuals who apply for immigrant visas are those looking to move closer to family members who already live within the United States. For example, if you are the spouse, fiancé, or child of a U.S. citizen, you may apply for an immigrant visa. These types of visas are family-based and also incorporates other types of familial relationships, but not always.

Immigrant visas can also be utilized by individuals who wish to live in the United States for employment purposes. This can include priority workers with exceptional abilities or those who work in professions with advanced degrees. Investors, religious workers, foreign translators, and those who work for the U.S. government are also included in this category.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant visas are for individuals who wish to reside in the United States for an extended period of time, but not permanently.

Someone applying for a nonimmigrant visa may have the following qualifications/characteristics:

  • Professional athlete
  • Business visitor
  • Foreign government official
  • Domestic employee, such as a nanny
  • Foreign military personnel stationed in the U.S.
  • Journalist
  • Physician
  • Performer/ Entertainer
  • Student
  • Victim of human trafficking
  • Scholar
  • Visitor for medical treatment

Ready To Get Started?

Determining which type of visa you need will depend on several factors, which is why it’s always best to discuss your options with an experienced St. Charles immigration attorney. Wherever you’re located, our experienced lawyers can work with you to find out what type of visa you need, whether you are an immigrant or a nonimmigrant. We can work with you to determine the best course of action, help you through the application process, and provide any additional legal guidance necessary until you obtain the paperwork and permits you need.

Contact Smith Law Offices, LLC to discuss your immigration case with our skilled St. Charles immigration lawyers.

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