10 Things You Need to Know About US Visa Law

10 Things You Need to Know About US Visa Law

1. There isn’t a one-size fits all US visa. Get good advice on which is the best US visa for what you want to do in the US and your personal circumstances as early as possible to avoid delays.

2. Plan your strategy for your application to make it go as smoothly as possible. Also, you most likely won’t be able to get a visa as an individual and will need a basis to apply such as a job offer and there has to be a visa available.

3. No matter what visa you apply for, know that it will take longer than you expect. A good US visa lawyer will be able to map out potential timelines that are always subject to change.

4. Most US work visas require that you have a petition approved first at a US Citizenship & Immigration Services service center in the US before you can apply for a visa at the Embassy.

5. A visa or ESTA approval just gives you permission to ask for entry into the US. When you enter the US on a visa the US Customs & Border Protection Officer will determine whether you will be admitted to the US and how long you can stay in the US.

6. If you have an investor or professional work visa your children can accompany you on dependent visas until they turn 21 but they can’t work in the US, unless it’s university on-campus employment.

7. A temporary work visa does not automatically lead to permanent residency (aka the green card).

8. Unmarried partners aren’t eligible for a dependent work visa but may qualify for a B-2 visitor visa as long as they can prove they have an established relationship but entering the US for long periods can cause problems at the border.

9. If you have a green card you can live in the US permanently but if you aren’t living in the US for more than a year, you can lose your green card. To avoid this you need to apply for a Re-entry Permit if you plan to return to the US.

10. The earliest you can apply to naturalize as a US citizen is after you have had a green card for three years if you got your green card through marriage or five years if you received your green card through work or investment.

Please note that this posting is for informational purposes and is not advice to be relied on. If you require specific advice from a lawyer, please contact our office at info@flynnhodkinson.com