Immigrant & nonimmigrant visas

Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas

With very few exceptions, visitors to the United States must obtain a visa in order to enter the country.  There are two main types of visas: immigrant visas, for those who wish to remain permanently in the U.S., and non-immigrant visas, for those who will stay in the U.S. only temporarily.

IMMIGRANT VISAS

There are two main ways to obtain an immigrant visa.  The first way is to be sponsored by an employer or by someone already legally residing in the U.S., such as a relative, spouse, or fiancé. Most people who obtain an immigrant visa do so through this type of “sponsorship” process.  However, there are certain exceptional situations in which sponsorship is not necessary, so it is important to investigate all of the possible options that may be available in particular cases. The second way to obtain an immigrant visa is through the Diversity Visa Program, better known as the “Green Card Lottery.”  This program awards up to 55,000 visas annually to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.  Unlike the other categories of immigrant visas, the Diversity Visa Program awards visas on a random basis, country by country, to applicants who meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

NONIMMIGRANT VISAS

For visitors who do not necessarily wish to remain in the United States permanently, a non-immigrant visa will provide authorization to enter and stay in the U.S. for a fixed period of time.  There are many different types of non-immigrant visas, covering various purposes of travel such as tourism, study, business, and exchange.  Although non-immigrant visas do not authorize permanent residence in the U.S., many such visas can be renewed successively.

Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me by submitting the form or by calling me at (917) 426-8227 or (248) 979-5390.  I accept clients from across the U.S. and around the world.  My law offices are conveniently located in Lower Manhattan, New York and in Troy, Michigan for in-person meetings.  For phone consultation, you can reach me from any part of the United States or abroad.