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Non-Immigrant

Any person seeking to enter the United States must have the proper non-immigrant, or temporary visa issued for the specific purpose of travel. The only exception is a business or tourist traveler from a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which waives the visa requirement. All other travelers such as temporary workers, students and visitors from countries that do not have visa exemptions must obtain a visa in the classification for the activity they wish to engage in while within the U.S. A list of non-immigration visas options is located below.


Immigrant

The goal of many people entering the U.S. immigration process is to obtain permanent resident status, or the green card. The benefits of being a permanent resident include the legal right to live, work, and remain in the U.S. indefinitely, with very few restrictions and limitations. Whether you are just starting the immigrant process or have an immigrant petition pending, it is important to understand all of the legal obligations tied to the green card to avoid violations, which could compromise the ability to receive, maintain, or continue immigrant benefits.

An individual or a family could qualify for the green card through the following routes:

  • Qualifying Family-Based Petitions
  • Employment-Based Petitions
  • Asylum/Refugee Status
  • Diversity Visa Lottery

See below for additional information on the various types of Immigrant Visa Options.

Non-Immigration Visas

  • Visitor Visas
    • B-1: Visitors for Business
    • B-2: Visitors for Pleasure
  • Student Visas
    • F-1: Students Enrolled in Associate; Bachelor or Master Programs & English as a Foreign Language Programs
    • M-1: Students Enrolled in Vocational & Non-Academic Programs
  • Work Visas:
    • H Visa: Professional Workers (H-1B) and Certain Temporary Unskilled Workers (H-2B)
    • TN Visa: Professional Workers from Mexico and Canada
    • E Visa: Treaty-Traders or Investors from Qualifying Countries
    • L Visa: Intra-Company Transferees in Managerial/Executive Positions or Workers with Specialized Knowledge
    • O Visa: Persons with Extraordinary Skills that are Widely Recognized Nationally or Internationally
    • P Visa: Athletes & Entertainment Groups
    • R Visa: Religious Workers
    • J Visa: Trainees; Au Pairs; and Certain Students
  • Other Visas
    • A Visa: Diplomatic Employees & their household Workers
    • C Visa: Individuals in Transit by Air or Sea
    • G Visa: Employees of International Organizations
    • I Visa: Representatives of International Media
    • K Visa: Fiances/Fiancees & Spouses of U.S. citizens Outside of the U.S.
    • N Visa: NATO Employees
    • Q Visa: Cultural Exchange Visitors
    • S Visa: Criminal Informants
    • T Visa: Victims of International Trafficking of Persons
    • U Visa: Certain Victims of Crime
    • V Visa: Spouses & Minor Children of Permanent Residents who are Awaiting Green Cards

 

Immigrant Visas

Employment-Based

Individual workers may qualify for the green card through sponsorship by a U.S. employer. This is true of employees in professional capacities as well as unskilled workers. As long as the U.S. employer has a valid employment need and there are no U.S. workers available after a Department of Labor mandated recruitment process, an individual may be considered for the green card through an employment-based petition.

There are certain types of employment-based petitions that do not require a recruitment process such as individuals with extraordinary ability, certain health care professionals, and certain individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences and the arts.

Not only does the individual worker qualify for the green card as part of an employ-based petition, but the principal worker's immediate family members may receive immigrant benefits from the same petition as well.

Employment-based green card applications require advanced planning and a review of all available non-immigrant work visas in order to meet the short and long-term employment needs of the U.S. employer and intending immigrant worker. Please contact us for a complete consultation on employment-based immigration options.

Family-Based

A U.S. Citizen may sponsor the following family members for the green card: parents; spouse; fiance/fiancee, children and siblings.

A Permanent Resident may sponsor a spouse and minor, unmarried children.

Because visa wait times may vary significantly based upon which family classification a relative qualifies, it is important to know what is necessary for family-based green card petitions and how to prepare a complete application to minimize unnecessary delays. Please contact us to discuss your family-based immigration needs.

Asylum/Refugee-Based

Persons who have suffered persecution or fear persecution in their home countries may be able to seek asylum within the U.S. Successful asylum applicants will be given the right to remain in the U.S. and they will receive permanent resident status or the green card.

Those who have been persecuted on the account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion could qualify for asylum within the U.S. Please contact us for a full consultation about who may qualify for asylum and what the requirements are for such an application.

Diversity Lottery

The Diversity Lottery Program allows individuals from underrepresented countries to apply for permanent resident status through a lottery system. For additional information on this program, please contact us.

Naturalization

Naturalization or the ability to apply for U.S. Citizenship is often to ultimate goal of immigrants who start the permanent resident process. Most permanent residents will qualify for Naturalization within five (5) years of receiving the green card while spouses of U.S. Citizens qualify within three (3) years.

To qualify for Naturalization, a permanent resident must have lived within the U.S. for a significant amount of time and must have good moral character.

The Naturalization process requires an interview and a civics and English language exam. For additional information about applying for Naturalization, please contact us.