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Navigating the complex American immigration system can be stressful and confusing, especially when English is a second language. Besides the struggle of filling out forms correctly, there are also myriad visa types that all have different requirements, burdens of proof, and application processes. The hardest part can often be knowing how to start.

This is where legal counsel can be a huge help. Experienced immigration attorneys could help with selecting the right visa type, applying for a visa in Naperville, and dealing with a request for evidence. En Español.

How Do You Select the Correct Visa Category?

The first step of applying for a visa in Naperville is selecting the visa category for which an applicant qualifies. Many different visa types are available to individuals seeking entry into the United States. Some visa types are well-known, like the H1B for skilled workers, while others remain relatively unheard of, like an R visa for religious workers.

Every type of visa has different requirements. For example, an H1B work visa requires a sponsor to show that he or she is seeking to hire a foreign national for a job that requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent skills. U1 visas, meanwhile, require the applicant to prove that he or she was the victim of a qualifying crime.

Determining the appropriate visa category that applies to a given case requires both knowledge of an individual applicant’s life and intimate understanding of the Immigration code. Title 8 of the U.S. Code contains much of that law. A qualified immigration attorney should be able to help sift through these visa categories, select one that is appropriate for your particular situation, and then help you start applying for a visa in Naperville.

Immigrant Versus Nonimmigrant Visas and Dual Intent

Immigrant visas provide a pathway to citizenship for the visa holder and signify an applicant’s intent to remain in the United States. These visas often have a higher burden of proof and require a much more thorough documentary showing to the government. Some examples of immigrant visas include IR1 visas, CR1 visas, and K visas.

Nonimmigrant visas, on the other hand, do not indicate a foreign national’s intent to remain in the United States and therefore only allow for a temporary stay. The classic example is the B1 visa granted to business visitors entering the United States, which require the holder to leave the U.S. upon expiration of his or her visa.

How are Dual Intent Visas Different?

There is also a third category of visas known as “dual intent” visas. While these are technically nonimmigrant visas, they nonetheless allow the visa holder to apply for lawful permanent residency. H1B, L, O, P, K, and V visas are all dual intent visas.

While dual intent visas allow nonimmigrant visa holders to apply for lawful permanent residency, there is no guarantee that U.S. Customs and Immigration Services will grant such residency. The burden of proof applicants must meet is much higher for lawful permanent resident applications than for a nonimmigrant visa. Accordingly, an applicant may be accepted when applying for a nonimmigrant visa in Naperville but rejected when he or she tries to apply for lawful permanent residency—even when he or she does so on the same legal basis.

Contact an Attorney for Help with a Naperville Visa Application

Applying for a visa in Naperville does not need to be confusing and stressful, and you do not have to apply alone. Experienced legal counsel could help you navigate the complex codes, select an appropriate visa type, build a petition, and even see you through a request for evidence.

If you are thinking of hiring a foreign national, have been the victim of a serious crime, have married a U.S. citizen, or simply want to figure out how to obtain legal status now that you are in the United States, an immigration attorney could provide advice on your unique situation after a thorough consultation. In a complex and ever-changing immigration system, it is usually best to have an advocate on your side, so call today to schedule an initial consultation.

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