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Wading into the United States immigration system can be intimidating. There is a web of sometimes contradictory and unclear laws governing immigration in the U.S. These laws have become even more complicated in recent years thanks to a series of executive orders and rule interpretations from regulatory bodies. There’s even additional chaos because many of these executive orders have been challenged in court. Some have been upheld, some have been struck down, and some are still pending.
The complexity of the immigration system makes an experienced immigration attorney essential. Even for nonimmigrant visas – student visas, H-1B visas, religious workers, etc. – the rules can be hard to understand.
If you need help with a nonimmigrant visa in Massachusetts, the Medford nonimmigrant visa lawyers at Brooks Law are here for you. We know the immigration laws inside and out, and we have the experience needed to navigate the most complicated immigration cases.
Call our office today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
What Is a Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Visa?
A temporary visa, also known as a nonimmigrant visa, is for anyone visiting the U.S. who isn’t intent on settling permanently. This covers everything from student visas and work visas to temporary visas for tourists or international athletes.
However, nonimmigrant visas are very specialized, and they each have their own set of rules if you wish to apply for one. It’s also important to note that a nonimmigrant visa is not a green card and does not put you on the path toward a green card or U.S. citizenship.
What Is the Difference Between an Immigrant and a Nonimmigrant Visa?
Immigrant visas are for people from abroad who wish to settle permanently in the U.S. Nonimmigrant visas are for those who wish to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis, such as for temporary work, business, tourism, or medical treatment.
What Are the Types of Nonimmigrant Visas?
There are dozens of categories of nonimmigrant visas, and you can view a complete list online from the State Department. Some nonimmigrant visa categories include:
- Tourism: Anyone who wants to visit the U.S. for vacation is required to have a visitor visa, known as a B-2 visa. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need visitor visas to enter the U.S. for short business trips, and there are another 39 countries from which you can visit for up to 90 days without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program has its own requirements, however, so be sure to take a look if you’re visiting from one of the qualifying countries.
- Business: Foreign nationals wishing to visit the U.S. for short business trips can apply for a B-1 visa, unless they live in one of the countries subject to the Visa Waiver Program.
- Employment: While B-1 visas are for short business trips, those wishing to stay in the U.S. for a while and work need a different visa. The specific category will depend on the nature of your employment. There are special visa categories for teachers, summer work travel, and similar situations; members of the media; executives of certain companies from trade treaty countries; and more.
- Students: Depending on the nature and length of the visit, students may choose to apply for a student visa, an exchange visa, or a general visit visa. Check out the different rules and stipulations for each visa to see which is best for your situation.
- Other: There are special situations that require their own temporary visa. This can include visits to the U.S. for medical treatment, passing through the U.S. on the way to another country, official government travel, religious work, events for athletes and entertainers, humanitarian situations (including refugees and asylum seekers), etc.
What Are the Requirements for a Nonimmigrant Visa?
Each category of nonimmigrant visa has its own rules, requirements, and necessary paperwork. You can read more about the requirements here, but most nonimmigrant visas that aren’t a tourist visa (B-2) or business visa (B-1) require some form of additional documentation. This may mean sponsorship paperwork from an employer, paperwork from the school in the case of exchange or study-abroad students, etc.
Because each category is unique, hiring an experienced nonimmigrant visa attorney is important. You don’t want to risk having your visa held up or denied because you forgot to fill out some form or didn’t correctly file your paperwork.
How to Get a Nonimmigrant Visa
While each nonimmigrant visa category has its own requirements, the general process for obtaining a visa is the same. The first step will be filling out the DS-160 form, which you can either do online or at a U.S. Embassy or consulate. You’ll also need to submit a photo, pay a visa application fee, and potentially schedule an interview. A temporary visa lawyer can advise you on the necessary procedures and help make sure you follow them correctly for the best chance at obtaining a visa.
How Our Nonimmigrant Visa Attorneys in Massachusetts Can Help You
There is a lot to know when it comes to navigating the U.S. immigration system. There are lots of potential headaches, and any misstep along the way may mean having to start the whole process all over again.
Don’t take the chance of trying to tackle this challenge yourself. Our dedicated nonimmigrant visa lawyers stay up to date on the latest immigration laws and rule changes, and we will work to make sure your visa application has the best chance possible.
Our staff is multilingual, so we can help you even if English isn’t your first language or your family’s. Whether you are visiting for fun, business, study, family, or some combination thereof, we want to make your experience visiting the U.S. as painless as possible. We will go through the entire application process with you, and we will be there at every step to answer your questions and guide you.
Because immigration proceedings can take a great deal of time, it’s best to get started on the application process as soon as possible. Call Brooks Law today to schedule a case consultation. We are ready to help and look forward to hearing from you.