GUIDE TO IMMIGRATION LAW IN THE U.S.
Often times, when you or your loved one is seeking to visit the U.S. for the first time, or seeking to continue to stay in the U.S. legally, you may be confused at the many times of visas available and information available online. This article serves as a guide to the basics of Immigration Law so you can decide on the best visa options available to you. Our office has assisted hundreds of clients successfully visit the U.S. on temporary visas and gain permanent resident green card status and U.S. citizenship in the U.S.
Temporary Visa vs. Permanent Visa:
When you want to visit the U.S. the first inquiry is whether you are coming for a temporary stay or intend to permanently reside in the U.S. Therefore, there are generally two types of visas, either Temporary Visas or Permanent Visas. Temporary Visas are also known as non-immigrant Visas meaning that an applicant seeks to return back to their home country after a temporary period of authorized stay in the U.S. These type of visas do not grant permanent resident green card status and the visa holder must leave once their period of stay ends and their visa expires. Some common type of non-immigrant visas include K Visa, F-1 Visa, B-1/B-2 Visa, E-1 & E-2 Visa, L Visa, O Visa, and TN Visa.
A Permanent Visa is referred to as an Immigrant Visa, which is the equivalent of a green card. A green card holder may legally reside in the U.S. with the intent to stay in the U.S., so long as they are here for at least 6 months in a year. A green card holder typically can apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years (if married to U.S. citizen, after 3 years). The main ways to obtain permanent resident green card is through Employment Based, Family Based, Investment Based, Visa Lottery, and Asylum.
For either type of visa, certain ineligibility such as criminal history or previous immigration violations can lead to ineligibility for both types of visas. In certain circumstances, a waiver is often available to overcome one of these ineligibilities. Our Portland Immigration Lawyer can analyze your situation and determine if your visa application will need a waiver based on any potential inadmissibility. For more information call us today at 503-951-8209.