Unbeknownst to many - at least at the start of the immigration process - there are a wide range of visas available to potential visitors and citizens of the U.S. If you wish to immigrate to or visit the U.S., obtaining the correct type of visa is vital.
At Smith Law Offices, LLC, our team is here to ensure you take the correct steps forward in your immigration case. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (636) 400-1177.
If you want to visit the U.S. but have no intention of staying long-term, a visitor visa may be the best option for you.
Generally, visitor visas can be separated into one of two categories. B-2 tourist visas allow tourists to stay in the U.S. for up to 180 days, while B-1 business visitor visas allow business travelers to stay in the U.S. for the same amount of time.
It's important to note that the U.S. has a Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) that applies to several countries. If you are part of an ESTA country, you probably won't even need a visitor visa to stay in the U.S. for up to six months - you'll probably be able to visit as long as you have an international passport that permits you to travel from your country to the U.S.
Many people who immigrate to the U.S., whether for a limited amount of time or with the intent of becoming a full-fledged U.S. citizen, do so on work visas.
There are a few common types of work visas:
- O-1 visas, for individuals with extraordinary skills and abilities (this category often applies to individuals such as civil rights activists, artists, or others whose work cannot easily be categorized);
- H-1B visas, for highly qualified professionals or people with academic degrees (think doctors, scientists, lawyers, and other individuals who are highly educated);
- L-1 blanket and intracompany transferee visas, for the internal transfer of all or specified employees from a location outside the U.S. to a workplace within the U.S.;
- Foreign news visas, for individuals such as journalists and media representatives;
- E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor visas, for managers, executives, specialists, and supervisors of companies that are either driving trade to or investing in the U.S.; and
- C-1/D transit and crewmember visas, for crew members of international flights or ships that will be staying in the U.S.
Internship and Student Visas
Prospective interns or students who would like to spend time in the U.S can gain access to one of the following visas:
- F-1 student visas, for students from other countries who are enrolled in or studying at a U.S. university or college;
- J-1 exchange visitor visas, for individuals from another country who are attending a U.S. university or college for a limited amount of time as part of an exchange program; and
- M-1 non-academic and vocational visas, for individuals in industries such as the trades who are receiving training in the U.S.
Immigrant Visas (Green Card Visas)
For individuals who wish to permanently immigrate to the U.S., perhaps no option is as widely known or regarded as the following types of visas:
- EB-1 and EB-2 priority workers or those with advanced degrees and exceptional abilities, for individuals who have spouses in the U.S. or are highly trained and have exceptional training or skills;
- EB-3 visas for skilled workers and professionals who may not qualify for EB-2 visas;
- EB-4 visas for special immigrants, including religious workers;
- EB-5 visas for individuals who are sponsored through the Immigration Investor Program.
Regardless of the type of visa you wish to obtain, having a skilled immigration attorney by your side throughout the process is vital if you want to obtain the best outcome in your case.
At Smith Law Offices, LLC, our team will help you find the best path forward in your immigration case. Contact us online or via phone at (636) 400-1177 to schedule a consultation with our team.