To enter or remain in the United States even for a limited period of time, many foreign citizens need a visa from the U.S. government. The steps necessary to apply for a visa depend to a certain extent on the type of visa required.
If you are applying for a visa in Bolingbrook, you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements and that you are prepared to document your qualifications. Because the process can be complex and mistakes can jeopardize your ability to obtain a visa, many people elect to work with an experienced immigration attorney during the visa application process.
Ascertain the Type of Visa Needed
The first step when applying for a visa is to determine what kind of visas is necessary and available under the particular circumstances. Permanent visas allow holders to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely with a green card. They are also known as immigrant visas. While they may be the preferred visa, however, they are only issued in limited quantities annually. Individuals sometimes apply for temporary visas while waiting for a permanent visa.
Both temporary and permanent visas are issued in a wide variety of types. Examples include:
- Temporary agricultural worker visas (H-2A)
- Employment-based immigrant visas (EB-1 through EB-5)
- Exchange visitor visas (J)
- Immediate relative immigrant visas (IR-1 through IR-5)
- Nonimmigrant visas for victims of criminal activity (U)
- Family preference immigrant visas (F1 through F4)
- Intracompany transferee visas (L)
- Fiancé visas (K)
Some temporary visas can be easily renewed and serve almost as permanent visas and others may allow the holder to eventually become eligible for an immigrant visa. At the opposite end of the spectrum, some temporary visas are very limited in duration and scope.
Filing a Petition for a Visa
Once the type of visa is known, the next step often involves filing a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For visas sought on the basis of employment, frequently the employer needs to obtain certification from the U.S. Department of Labor as a prerequisite to filing the petition.
Some visa types do not require a petition or allow people seeking the visa to petition on their own behalves. In most cases, however, the employer or family member providing eligibility for the visa needs to file the petition on behalf of the person seeking the visa.
The Visa Application
After USICS approves a petition, then the applicant may be invited to start the process of applying for a Bolingbrook visa. Because most permanent and even some temporary visas are limited in quantity, the applicant may need to wait for a visa to become available before an application may be submitted.
Applicants should take care in completing the visa application and other forms. Mistakes that could be interpreted as fraud could cause the application to be rejected and provide grounds for denying applications in the future.
Once the application has been reviewed and approved, the applicant may be scheduled for an interview. The wait time will vary depending on the type of visa involved. At the interview, the applicant needs to present original copies of many documents, even if copies of those documents have already been submitted along with the application.
Help Applying for a Visa in Bolingbrook
Requirements for visas are interpreted with more attention to detail than in the past, and regulations are subject to change at any time. To avoid delays and mistakes, many people find it advantageous to consult an immigration attorney when applying for a visa in Bolingbrook. Employers who petition on behalf of employees also may choose to talk to a lawyer before beginning the process or consult an attorney if a problem develops.
Once obtained, visas open the door to many possibilities, but the application process can be lengthy and frustrating. Perseverance and preparation often pay off in the long run.