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The only way that a person without United States citizenship or legal permanent resident status could legally enter the United States is to obtain a visa. These visas come in many forms and last for varying lengths of time. Many visas allow entry for a specific purpose, such as to take on a job. Others grant permanent legal residency.

One thing that all visa seekers must do is navigate the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) process. The exact steps that people must take vary depending upon the type of visa for which they are applying. However, all visa applications require immigrants to provide accurate information about themselves and their past.

Potential visa seekers may wish to enlist the help of a lawyer to apply for a visa in Wheaton. A lawyer could help to determine an individual’s eligibility for a visa and to identify the necessary steps to begin the application process.

Potentially Available Visas

The first step to applying for a Visa in Wheaton is choosing the proper visa. There are dozens of available visas in United States immigration law. Furthermore, each of these visas confers differing rights to holders and come with their own eligibility requirements.

A good first question to ask is why a person is looking to obtain a visa. Do applicants want to come to the United States to perform a job, or do they want to reunite with their family? Employment visas and family-based visas are two major categories for which a person may qualify. However, it is also possible to obtain a visa after being the victim of a violent crime, after seeking asylum, to get married, or to perform charity work. Consulting with a Wheaton lawyer could provide more information about the types of visas and how they may fit an individual’s needs.

Common Steps Necessary to Apply for a Visa

Regardless of the type of visa that people are seeking, they need to interact with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS oversees the initial processing of all visa petitions, and the website contains copies of all forms that a visa seeker may need to submit.

Most visa applications demand the same basic data. This includes:

  • Personally identifying information
  • Native country passport information
  • Criminal history and political affiliations
  • Names and addresses of relatives

Where the process could become difficult is in supplying the information requires for a specific visa. For example, people seeking to enter the country on a work visa may need employer sponsorship and proof of professional achievement. Similarly, those seeking entry to get married need to establish proof of a relationship and evidence of getting married soon after entry.

Once the USCIS accepts an application, it forwards the information to the U.S. consulate in an applicant’s home country. That consulate then reevaluates the case and schedule an interview to conduct its own investigation. Ultimately, that consulate has the final say on whether to issue the visa. Applying for a visa in Wheaton is, therefore, a multi-step process that could cross international borders.

A Lawyer Could Help People Applying for a Visa in Wheaton

Applying for a visa in Wheaton is the first step to gaining legal entry into the United States. These visas can grant entry on either a temporary or permanent basis. Additionally, the functions of these visas could vary from seeking work, to visiting family, to making a new home as a refugee.

Needless to say, choosing the proper visa program and submitting an accurate application is an essential first step. A lawyer in Wheaton could provide more information about what visa program may be right for you and to take the first steps towards submitting an application with the USCIS. Finally, an attorney could provide guidance as to what to expect during a consulate interview. Contact a Wheaton lawyer today to discuss your options concerning applying for a visa in Wheaton.

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