Navigating the Complexities of the U.S. Visa Application Process

Obtaining a U.S. Visa is an extremely complex process that should not be undertaken without doing significant research or seeking the help of a legal professional who is knowledgeable about immigration law. There are several different types of visas, including for temporary and permanent stays, and a rigorous application process that can be confusing and frustrating.

The following information provides a brief overview:

If you are looking for a non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay, you may want one of the following:

  • B-1 visa for business purposes or B-2 visa for tourism, medical treatment, or family visits.
  • F-1 student visa
  • J-1 visa for those involved in an exchange program
  • H-1B visa for workers in specialty occupations requiring an advanced degree
  • L-1 visa for employees of international companies
  • O-visa for those with extraordinary abilities or talents
  • TN/TD visa for qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens engaging in prearranged business activities

If you are seeking permanent residence as an immigrant, there are three different types of visas:

  • Family-sponsored visas available for family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Employment-based visas for workers with extraordinary abilities, advanced degrees, special skills, religious workers, foreign service posts, or who are investing in new commercial enterprises that create jobs in the U.S.
  • Diversity visas for those from countries with historically low immigration rates to the U.S.

One of the most important aspects of applying for a visa is applying for the right type of visa. The U.S. Department of State’s website can help, or you can seek help from an immigration attorney who will also help you complete the correct application form and prepare for your interview. They will also make sure that you pay the necessary application fee, schedule your interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate, gather all of the appropriate documentation, and appear for your interview at the time scheduled and answer all questions completely and honestly.

Perhaps the most difficult part of applying for a visa is waiting for it to be processed. The wait will be longer if your answers or documentation been incomplete or incorrect if you haven’t provided proof of funding.

The best thing you can do to improve your chances of approval is to work with an experienced attorney who will help you navigate the process. For information on how we can help, contact us today to set up a time for us to talk.