Immigrant & Non-Immigrant Visas Lawyer in Seattle
Immigration law can change dramatically from year to year depending on the current state of U.S. politics and worldwide economic issues. This can make entering the United States confusing and frustrating for immigrants, and new laws or updates to regulations can significantly impact your application status. Understanding how new rules could affect your ability to come to the U.S. for work or to reunite with a loved one will also rely on the type of visa you qualify to receive.
Currently, there are two primary visa categories that you will fall under: immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas. Knowing what these mean for your situation and the differences between them is critical when beginning the immigration process. Trust Seattle-based firm ZafiroLaw to advise you on which option is best for your situation and help you successfully obtain your visa.
What’s the Difference Between Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas?
Under U.S. immigration law the difference between immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in meaning and process are specific. For those planning on coming to the United States on a temporary basis, a nonimmigrant visa is the best option, but for those planning to stay and live here permanently, an immigrant visa is the correct option.
How to Apply for an Immigrant or Non-Immigrant Visa in Washington State
If you are a foreign national planning to live and work in the U.S.for an extended period of time, an immigrant visa is necessary to make this a reality. To obtain it, most petitioners need sponsorship through an employer or a natural citizen, and that individual will need to fill out a petition on your behalf. Once complete, they will send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service for approval. There are occasions where an individual could petition without a sponsor, but this typically requires possessing an extraordinary skill or product to be eligible.
Afterward, your application for an immigrant visa goes to the appropriate United States Consulate in your country to get processed. Upon approval, you must travel to a U.S. port-of-entry, like the location in Seattle, before its expiration date so that it can receive an endorsement by a customs officer.
It is important to understand that this is a brief overview of the process and there will be several steps involved between submitting a petition and receiving your immigrant visa. To gain a better understanding of what to expect when applying for an immigrant visa, you should speak with the immigration attorneys of ZafiroLaw. As immigrants ourselves, we have firsthand experience and concern for your situation that other law firms providing these services do not.
How Do I Apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa?
If you are wanting to come to the U.S. for schooling at colleges like University of Washington, in Seattle, or other temporary purposes, you need a nonimmigrant visa. There are many types of these visas available and the reason you are visiting will determine which you need.
Below are just a few of countless reasons you should apply for a non-immigrant visa to temporarily visit the United States:
- Temporary work
- Medical treatment
- Future spouse meeting their fiance(e)
Non-immigrant visas often have imposed restrictions on your activities based on the purpose of your visit. Since these are temporary visas, you can expect a time limit of 6 months to a few years for your stay. With over 25 different types of non-immigrant visas available, deciding which is best for your circumstance is exceedingly difficult. To learn more about nonimmigrant visa classifications and requirements you should speak with a qualified Washington visa attorney to find out more.
Can I Obtain a Green Card with a Non-Immigrant Status?
If you intend to apply for an immigrant visa, also called a green card, you may not be eligible for a non-immigrant status. You must understand that if you intend to come to the United States to stay, using a non-immigrant visa with the intention of applying for permanent resident status may cause your application to be denied. Currently, only E, H-1, and L nonimmigrant status categories can come to the U.S. with the “dual intention” of applying for permanent residency.
ZafiroLaw Can Help
Whether you want to come to the United States to further your education at a prestigious university in Washington, or your loved ones are trying to get you permanent residency so that you are all reunited under one roof, the approach you take in the application process is crucial.
At ZafiroLaw, our Snohomish and King County visa lawyers are your trusted source of guidance and representation services when navigating this complex process. Simple mistakes or applying for the wrong visa type can cost you a significant amount of time and money without knowledgeable legal advice. To learn more about how I can help your particular immigration law matter, please call us at 206-547-9906 or contact us today!