The application process for US visas depend on the type of visa that you are applying for due to the fact that there are so many different types of visas. For example, if you’re applying for an investor visa, there is a huge list of documents that you need to submit to show that your investment is going to meet all of the criteria. This is completely different from something like a visitor visa, where the process is much simpler.
For this reason it is important you consult with a DC immigration lawyer who can advise you on the steps you need to give yourself the best chance at obtaining a visa. To learn more specifically what an attorney can do for you, call and schedule a consultation today.
Common Types of Visas
There are a number of different types of visas that are available to individuals who would like to enter the United States. One very common type is the B1 or B2 visitor visa, which is for a person who wants to visit on a tourist visa or for a temporary period of time, such as to attend a business conference. In these situations, a person can apply for a B1/B2 visa, which is basically for business or pleasure.
Another common type of visa is an S student visa which is for individuals who want to come here and study. Other types of visas are employment-based visas like H-1B and H-2Bs, which people can use to enter for certain types of jobs. You can also enter as a fiancée, a performer, or a long list of other capacities.
Applying for a Visa
You can apply to change your status from one temporary status to another from inside the United States, but generally when people are applying for an initial entry into the United States, they will apply by submitting documents through the National Visa Center and then applying for admission at one of the consular posts or embassies throughout the world. So, you’ll actually go to the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country to have an interview in most cases.
Are Visa Applications Easy?
In some cases they can be easy, and in some cases they can be one of the most complicated and frustrating parts of immigration law. Sometimes you have a very straightforward case, such as for a marriage or fiancée visas where the interview will last just a couple of minutes in some cases.
Conversely, in other cases they can really turn into nightmares. It’s not uncommon for them to lose documents in transit, and it’s not uncommon to, for instance, receive some really intense scrutiny into your case. I’ve had applicants who have had very clear and clearly documented relationships that go back years, and consular officers have looked at their Facebook pages and determined that their relationship was not bona fide because of certain things that were said on the individual’s Facebook accounts. It’s highly discretionary and therefore highly unpredictable.
Visa Applications for Family in Other Countries
One of the most common types of visa applications that I deal with is people who are applying for family members from abroad. For instance, they could be applying for a spouse or a fiancée.
In these cases it can be very helpful to have an attorney because the documentary requirements can be very rigorous and you have to submit the documents in a timely manner to the National Visa Center who will forward them along to the consular post. Attorneys can also help people prepare for the interviews that they’re going to attend and respond to requests for evidence which are common in these cases.
Interviews for Visa Applicants
For most of them you do have to attend an interview. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you have a straightforward case, like you’re just applying to renew an H-1B, but you’ve gotten, for example, a DUI while you’re in the United States, you may be required to go see a doctor and get a medical examination to prove that you’re not an alcoholic and therefore inadmissible. All the grounds of inadmissibility come up each time you leave and attempt to enter the U.S., even if you were in lawful status when you left.
Expect to comply with every request even if it may be redundant or repetitive or you’re asked to submit documents that you’ve already submitted. Don’t get frustrated and pay attention to deadlines and details.
There is no “prosecutor” in these interviews. It’s just the applicant and the consular officer or adjudicator.
Documents Needed for Visa Applications
The type of documentation you need for the application depends on the type of visa you’re applying for, but also on the country that you’re applying from. For instance, if you’re applying for a tourist visa from El Salvador, we have many, many people who are trying to emigrate from Central American countries, so it’s really hard to get a tourist visa from there. You have to submit extensive evidence that you have, ties in your home country that you’re not going to abandon. Basically, you have to prove to the U.S. government that you’re not planning on coming permanently.
However, in other countries it’s much easier. In some countries there’s actually something called a visa waiver program which allows you to enter for a temporary period for business or pleasure without even applying for a visa. So, it really depends on the country that you’re from.
Make Sure the Documents Are Original and Authentic
A lot of times the mistakes are made in providing authentic documents. Especially in family-based cases, you need to submit a number of original documents which in some countries may be difficult to obtain.
Finding a Visa Lawyer
The process for obtaining a visa can be complicated, and requires a lot of paperwork and original documents. An attorney can help you put together a visa application. Some people choose to retain an attorney for convenience, so that the lawyer can take care of the paperwork. Other times, individuals or their families can be in high-stakes situations where it is very important to make sure the visa applications are done correctly. What is most important is for you to find an attorney you can trust and who can help you with the process.
Immigration Attorneys For Individuals Sponsored For An Employment Visa
Many people who are being sponsored for an employment visa ask whether they should retain an attorney. The answer to this question depends on whether or not your employer has an attorney that they want to retain already. In most employment visa cases the employer is responsible for paying the fees. So, it’s really the employer who is hiring the attorney and who will actually be the client. In many cases, the employer will delegate the responsibility to finding an attorney to the employee, in which case you might be responsible for finding your own lawyer, but in some cases the employer will do it for you.