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New York Immigrant Visa Attorney

What is an Immigrant Visa?

You might think that all visas are the same, or that it should be easy to obtain a visa or you might just not know under what visa to apply for. There are two categories of U.S. Visas: Immigrant Visa and Nonimmigrant Visa.

A visa is for a citizen of a foreign country (not the U.S.) and it’s important to remember that the visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed by an U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate and the consular officer has determined that you’re eligible to enter the U.S. for a specific purpose. The Consular affairs are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State.

Remember that a visa is not a guarantee that you will be allowed to enter. It gets you to the port of entry which may be a border crossing or the airport. You will then have the chance to request the ability to enter from an immigration officer. It is up to them whether or not they will allow you access to the country, and they will also be in charge of determining the length of time you are approved to stay based on the situation for which you wish to enter in the first place. The immigration officer is the one who has the authority to permit you to enter the United States. Obtaining a visa is very delicate immigration matter that is manages by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Nonimmigrant Visas and Immigrant Visas

U.S. visas have two categories which are the nonimmigrant visas and the immigrant visas. An immigrant visa is for an individual who plans on living in the U.S. on a permanent basis. A nonimmigrant visa is for those people who have permanent residence outside the United States, but want to enter the country temporarily. This may be for a number of reasons, including for studies, short term work, healthcare touring and business.

In the end, the law in the country mandates that individuals that apply for the nonimmigrant visa have some type of evidence that they are not intending to enter the country and remain here illegally once the visa has expired. The consular officer at the U.S. embassies and consulates will be the ones to determine if a personal is eligible and this will be dependent on each individual case. Each case is reviewed since visas are not automatically. Having the right documents does not mean that they will be given each time.

Also factoring in that no two situations are identical, the questions that are asked can differ and some individuals can be requested to present different documents. This information will be reviewed by consular officers and they will make the decision if they find enough evidence. They are given the sole ability to approve or refuse issuing a visa. If they do not believe that enough information has been given then they can make a request for additional documents that will be decided upon based on the need.

Not all visa application cases are the same because each person’s personal situation is different; people applying for the same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. U.S. Law states that the authority to issue or refuse visas is vested solely in consular offices abroad. Consular officers have the authority to decide whether the evidence submitted in support of an application is sufficient to establish an applicant’s eligibility for a visa. Consular officers may request additional information or documentation depending on their assessment of each person’s situation.

Immigrant Visas

In order for an immigrant to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative(s) or by a prospective employer. Immediate Relatives are not subject to numerical limits under immigration law. For an overview of the types of immigrant visas available under immigration law.

Immigrant visas are drawn from countries with low rates of immigration to the US.

Visa Types for Immigrants:
Family Immigration
Adopting a Child
Marriage to a Foreign National
Diversity Visa Program
Employment Visas


Thinking of applying for a U.S. visa?

Don’t wait long to apply…

Recently, there have been changes in the U.S. visa laws and regulations; the amount of time to obtain a visa has increased. From the recent hard times that the country has faced and is facing the security measures are being improved and getting stricter, more background checks are being required that lengthen the visa application process but ensure the safety of visitors and of U.S. citizens.

There are significant improvements being made on the time it takes to obtain a visa but it is inevitable the delays will sometimes occur. Processing times will vary. Your best option is to contact your nearest embassy and or consulate for the current time estimate and planning recommendations.

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