Requirements for Nonimmigrant Visas

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Requirements for Nonimmigrant Visas

Immigration can be a complex process. Nonimmigrant visas are one of the most popular ways to temporarily secure legal residency in the United States. Students, tourists, business professionals and other individuals may only need to live in the U.S. for a short amount of time and therefore do not need permanent residency. Those seeking temporary residency have several options to select from.

Below, we delve into different types of non-immigrant visa and their requirements. If you need additional assistance choosing a visa, call our Chicago immigration attorney at  Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC Group to explore possible solutions.

Nonimmigrant Visa Requirements: Who Can Receive One?

A nonimmigrant visa is granted to noncitizen individuals looking to work, study or receive medical treatment in the United States. Immigration law determines the type of visa the person will need, depending on the reason for travel. Typically, the foreign national will apply directly to the embassy or consulate while abroad for a business nonimmigrant (B-1) or a tourist (B-2) visa. However, you will likely need to provide authorized documentation before applying.

Moreover, a visa does not guarantee you may travel freely to the United States. A consular at an embassy abroad will examine your intentions to enter the U.S. The inspection will reveal whether the applicant is eligible for a nonimmigrant visa based on the evidence procured.

In certain cases, it’s possible to stay in the U.S. temporarily without a visa. The Visa Waiver Program grants citizens from 40 designated countries the right to stay in the U.S. for tourism or business purposes for no longer than 90 days. In order to qualify, you must provide all of the necessary biometric data and documentation, which an attorney can help you prepare.

Types of Nonimmigrant Visas

Depending on your reason for travel, you may be eligible to apply for one of the three primary types of nonimmigrant visas: 

  • Visitor Visas. Those planning to temporarily stay in the U.S. for tourism purposes will need a B-1 or B-2 visa if the Visa Waiver Program does not cover their home country. The length of stay is indicated on the I-94 Form, although visitors are allowed to leave and return throughout the period the visa is valid.   
  • Study Visas. Students looking to study in the U.S. will also require a visa. Several options are available, including an F-1 visa, valid for full-time students at high schools, colleges, seminaries and other designated institutions. The spouse or child of an F-1 visa holder may be eligible for an F-2 visa.    
  • Employment Visas. An employment visa grants temporary entry. With an employment visa, you cannot work in the U.S. indefinitely. Your employer will need to petition with the USCIS so you can receive a nonimmigrant work visa. Typically, employees will also need at least a bachelor’s degree and an employer sponsor to obtain a visa for temporary work. 

Contact a Knowledgeable Immigration Attorney

If you are hoping to work or study in the U.S. but aren’t sure which visa is right for you, reach out to a Chicago immigration attorney.  Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC Group provides the insight needed to secure the right visa based on your specific circumstances. Call now for a consultation.