- What types of visas are available if I want to come to the US for a visit or a temporary stay?
If you wish to visit or need to stay temporarily in the United States, you will need to obtain a nonimmigrant visa. Nonimmigrant visas can be for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure, or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2). Nonimmigrant visas are granted to those who wish to enter to vacation, visit with friends or relatives, receive medical treatment, enroll in a short-term course of study, or participate in an event or other temporary situation.
- What type of visa should I get to become a permanent US resident?
Someone not from the United States who wishes to enter the country with the intention of becoming a resident needs to obtain an immigrant visa. In order to obtain a visa that permits permanent residency, the applicant must be sponsored by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident who is an immediate relative(s), or prospective employer, and have an approved petition before applying. Visas might also be granted to aliens of extraordinary ability, religious workers, translators, federal government employees, and other special immigrants.
- How long will my green card remain valid?
A green card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is the document granted to immigrants to show he or she has the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. People with green cards are lawful permanent residents of the United States. Green cards are generally valid for 10 years and can be renewed within three months of the expiration date. Conditional permanent resident green cards are valid for only two years and cannot be renewed. Green cards issued within 2 years of a marriage to a permanent resident or US citizen are valid for 2 years and must be renewed.
- My visa has expired. What can I do?
Remaining in the country after your visa has expired is illegal. Overstaying your visa by just one-day voids it. This means that if you had intended to apply for an extension or change your status without leaving the country, you will not be able to do so. Instead, you will be forced to visit a US embassy or consulate outside the United States and apply for a new visa. If you stay for six months or more on an expired visa, you will be denied re-entry for an extended period of time-based on how long you overstayed.
- If I received a deportation order- is there anything I can to do to avoid being deported?
If you did not go to court and were ordered removed (deported) in your absence, you must file a motion to reopen the proceedings, which must be based upon a valid reason for your failure to appear in court, such as you were unaware of the court date. If you did go to court, you may appeal or apply for a stay of removal. Stays are sometimes granted when someone is too sick to travel and leave the country or has another valid reason for not being able to leave. The best thing you can do if you are concerned at all about your legal immigration status is to speak to an experienced immigration lawyer.
- Does marriage to a US citizen automatically confer a green card on a foreign national?
No. Marrying a US Citizen does not automatically result in being granted a green card. Instead, your spouse will need to file a petition for alien relative processing and your green card application, which may be filed simultaneously if you entered the country legally. At your green card interview you must be prepared to submit evidence to establish the validity of the marriage. Evidence might include proof that you are actually married, such as joint bank accounts and insurance records, joint cell phone contract, matching keys to the marital residence, and other records. You will also have to present evidence that your spouse is a US resident or citizen, that neither of you is married to anyone else, and your marriage is not a sham.
- Can I get a green card by investing in a U.S. company?
Yes, it is an investment-based green card. The requirements vary, depending on the location of the business. The required investment may be more than $1,000,000.00.
- What are the different categories of student visas?
There are three different types of student visas available to those who want to attend an educational institution in the United States. The F1 visa is for students attending an academic program or the English Language Program. A J1 visa is for students who need to obtain practical training to complete their academic program and that training is not available in their home country. An M1 visa is for students attending a non-academic or vocational school. M-1 visa holders are not permitted to work during the course of their studies.
- Can my employer sponsor me for a visa?
Yes, employer-sponsored visas are one of the most commonly used options among US immigrants. This type of visa means the employer is guaranteeing to the visa authorities that you will be a legal working resident. You may also be sponsored even if you are out of the United States, or if you are here legally. With rare exceptions, if you overstayed your visa, you will not be able to receive employee sponsorship without updating your status or leaving the country first. Contact an attorney to learn about whether you qualify for one of the exceptions which will allow you to get your green card without leaving the US."