Are You Interested in a US Non-Immigrant Visa? (A Miami, Florida Guide) Introduction
From temporary workers needing temporary residency to exchange students to family visits to medical treatment, there are lots of different reasons why people may need to access non-immigrant US visas to visit Miami and cities in the U.S.
While the policies outlined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are well organized, navigating them can be difficult.
One area of complexity is the different classes of visas under immigration law. Different types are aimed at different people with different objectives in different circumstances.
In any case, people needing any such documentation will ultimately be seeking nonimmigrant visas, which allow people to legally visit the United States temporarily. This could be for vacation, work, studying, etc.
Immigrant Visa Vs. Nonimmigrant Visa
To make the distinction, a US visa can fall under two classes, which are immigrant and nonimmigrant. The former is issued to foreign nationals who want to live in the USA permanently. In this case, there will usually be an employer or relative sponsor who will apply with the USCIS.
Not everyone has to go this route, though, as certain classes of people, such as special immigrants, investors, and those with extraordinary ability, can petition for themselves.
The application will then be forwarded to an overseas US Embassy or Consulate for further review. Once eligible, the processing will lead to the issuance of an immigrant visa. Once it and the associated paperwork are approved by a CBP Officer, the applicant becomes a permanent resident.
Nonimmigrant visas, on the other hand, as indicated before, are for those who wish to visit the United States temporarily. Religious workers, those requiring medical treatment, students, or tourists, are examples of individuals who would fall under this category.
The type of nonimmigrant visa needed will be outlined by immigration law and will specifically relate to the purpose of the visit. The nuances of the application process can differ from one applicant to the next. For example, a student or temporary worker set on obtaining a nonimmigrant visa may need additional documentation and authorization when compared to someone who is a tourist and on vacation.
It’s essential to note that the issuance of a visa is not synonymous with guaranteed entry to the USA. It’s simply an acknowledgment of the fact that a US consular officer reviewed the application and deemed the applicant eligible to enter. There will be a CBP officer at the port of entry who will do a subsequent inspection to determine that U.S. immigration law deems the individual eligible for admission.
What Are the Different Nonimmigrant Visa Types for the USA?
There are over 20 different nonimmigrant visa types that have been issued by USCIS. Of course, the type depends on the intention of the visa holder. Here’s a quick look at the more common ones that will cover most people:
- Any officials of the UN or diplomatic workers and their family members and domestic workers will use the A-class visa.
- The B1 visa is issued to foreign nationals who want to visit the USA to conduct temporary business. General reasons such as medical treatment, tourism, and family visits are covered under the B2 visa.
- If a ship crew needs to stay in the USA for a period of time, they will be issued a C visa.
- Individuals who will be temporarily traveling to another country will need a D visa.
- The E-class visas are reserved for investors and have three different categories. Traders will use the E1 visa, with the E2 being used for investors from countries that have existing free trade agreements with the USA. There are also the EB 5 visas that are for foreigners who wish to invest in American companies. Note, however, that this investment must be at least $1,000,000, which is reduced to $500,000 if the investment is in rural areas or those with a high unemployment rate.
- Exchange students or those who have aspirations of studying in the United States must apply for F or M-class visas. F1 visas are issued to students journeying to the USA for full-time study.
- There is also the G class, which is another special type specifically aimed at government officials. It has different categories. The G1 is for members of recognized international institutions, with the G2 being for those traveling to the USA for state meetings. Finally, there are the G3 and G4 visas, which are for agents of non-recognized countries and those visiting to run a UN or international organization position, respectively.
- Depending on the specific employment situation, temporary workers will need either the H, L, O, or P visa.
- The I visa is for journalists from various media outlets such as radio, television, and more.
- Another special class is the J1 visa waiver. This is only eligible for 36 countries specifically selected for their low illegal immigration probability. These people are usually traders or visitors who get passage without having requested a legal visa at their home country’s US consulate.
- Next, there are K visas, which are also known as fiancée visas. The K1 variant applies to couples who are engaged but live in different countries. On the other hand, there is the K2 visa, which is specially created for any minor children a fiancée may have.
- The R visa is for religious workers. These religious professionals have the authorization of some recognized organization, which gives them the ability to work in the USA with any tax-free religious entity.
- There is also a humanitarian class that is provided to people who need to urgently visit the United States for humanitarian issues. While temporary residency applications are not allowed under this class, the period that the visas are granted can be renewed.
The DS-160 Form for Nonimmigrant Visas
If the intention is to temporarily travel to Miami or any other place in the U.S. and a nonimmigrant visa is needed, an applicant will need to fill out a form known as the DS-160. Upon completion, the document will be sent online to the Department of State website. With that completed, an interview will be conducted at the Consulate in the country of origin.
After completing the form, it’s recommended to print and keep the bar code. Note that the appointments for interviews are not automatically scheduled. Therefore, the onus is on the applicant to ensure that the scheduling takes place. A fee for visa application processing will also be needed.
How Does an Immigration Lawyer Influence the Process of Getting Non-immigrant Visas in the United States?
Prospective applicants can benefit greatly from the services of an experienced and competent immigration lawyer, especially if the aim is to ensure that the visa application process goes as smoothly as possible.
An attorney will ensure that the client has all the additional information that may not be immediately clear from the basic list of requirements. This is complemented by an intimate knowledge of immigration law, which is needed to maximize the chances of a successful application process. Displaying inappropriate behavior could be enough to derail the process, and an immigration lawyer helps to prevent this by outlining the series of steps to follow and which ones to avoid.
Additionally, there is the fact that visa renewal requirements are not necessarily static. Even so, applicants are expected to meet them. Thankfully, one of the functions of an immigration lawyer is to keep abreast of these changes and assist clients in ensuring that they meet them.
What if Permanent Residency Is Your Ultimate Goal?
If permanent residency is the goal, then there needs to be a solid strategy established to get there. This is arguably the kind of situation in which an immigration lawyer will be needed the most.
A well-executed strategy could lead to a petition approval for an immigrant visa by the time the temporary one has expired. The alternative is to return home upon the visa expiry because the petition is not approved.
While no guarantees can be made, attempting to navigate the process with the assistance of an immigration lawyer is the best way to go.
Retain the Services of an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today!
At #LiveintheUS, our team is dedicated to helping its clients with all the ins and outs of the nonimmigrant visa application process to make it that much easier for them as they apply for their approval to visit Miami.
Tailored attention, combined with professional services, is used to guide you through an otherwise complex legal system.