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Nonimmigrant Visas

Non-Immigrant Visas 

If you’re a non-U.S. citizen who wants to come here to work, study, travel, receive medical treatment or other reasons, the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a number of different non-immigrant classifications for individuals to enter the United States for a specific temporary basis. 

There are two primary categories of visas in the United States; non-immigrant and immigrant. While immigrant visas are provided to those foreign nationals with the intention of living permanently in the United States, those who are looking to come into the United States on a more temporary basis might sit down to discuss with a Chicago non-immigrant visa attorney the reasons for which they can obtain a visa. Non-immigrant visas can support medical treatment, temporary work, business, study, tourism or other similar reasons.

What is a nonimmigrant visa?

  • Immigrant visas are specifically intended for those who have a goal of eventually making the U.S. their permanent residence. There’s a limited number of immigrant visas and the wait time can be substantial.
  • Nonimmigrant visas, on the other hand, typically do not have associated waiting lists and are a bit easier to secure. While a nonimmigrant visa limits your stay in the U.S. to a defined temporary basis, you may be able to secure an extension.

Kinds of Visas: Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer?

The type of immigration visa is defined by immigration law and this can be something you discuss directly with your experienced immigration lawyer. In general, a non-immigrant visa lawyer in Chicago will explain to you that the type of visa provided to you will be related to the purpose of travel. An individual will likely apply directly to the Embassy abroad or to the US Consulate for a non-immigrant B-1 visa or for a tourist B-2 visa.

Those individuals who are looking to enter the United States for the purposes of work or study, however, might need additional documentation and authorization prior to coming in and should discuss with their Chicago non-immigrant visa lawyer these specific purposes. There are many different types of non-immigrant visa classifications and deciding which of these is the most appropriate based on your current status and the intention of your trip can be confusing.

A Chicago non-immigrant visa lawyer, however, can sit down with you and discuss your individual case and help point you in the right direction when it comes to your non-immigrant visa. The issuance of a visa in and of itself does not necessarily guarantee that you will get approved entry into the United States. Instead this simply means that a consulate or US Embassy has reviewed the application and has determined that for the purposes identified in the application, the individual is eligible to enter the United States. The officer at the port of entry will conduct a further inspection to identify whether or not the person should be eligible under US immigration law.

Is There Any Travel Allowed Which Is Visa Free?

Certain countries may be eligible under US policy to come to the United States without a visa. This is through the established visa waiver program which enables nationals from different countries to apply for admission to the United States if they intend to be in the country for 90 days or less, for pleasure or business as non-immigrant visas without first going through the process of getting a non-immigrant visa. However, there are specific requirements in order to receive to apply visa free travel. Your Chicago non-immigrant visa lawyer will discuss these opportunities with you and identify whether or not you meet the grounds for eligibility. In order to apply for the visa waiver program and submit an application of admission, the party in question must;

  •               Complete an arrival/departure form known as I-94.
  •               Have a passport that is capable of being read by a machine; that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the period of intended stay.
  •               Be arriving on a carrier that is designated as signatory to the visa waiver program agreement.

If you have questions about obtaining a non-immigrant visa, scheduling a consultation with an attorney can help to clarify many of the most common questions and set you up for success. The support of an attorney can help you when you are looking to come to the United States on a temporary basis.

The various visa types for non-immigrant visas are classified by letter and number and selecting a visa type, preparing the required documents and submitting an online DS-160 form, creating a profile, paying the visa application fee, and scheduling an interview appointment are some of the most common steps involved in the non-immigrant visa application process.       

What Types of Nonimmigrant Visas Are There?

There are a host of categories of nonimmigrant visas that essentially fall into four (4) main categories:

  • business
  • tourism
  • medical treatment; and
  • certain types of temporary work

The specific types of nonimmigrant visas include:

  • student
  • traveling as a tourist
  • NAFTA professional worker from Canada or Mexico
  • physician
  • religious worker
  • temporary agricultural worker
  • temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature
  • athlete (amateur or professional)
  • au pair (exchange visitor)
  • border crossing guard
  • crewmember
  • diplomat or foreign government officials
  • domestic employee or nanny
  • exchange visitor
  • employee of a designated international or organization or NATO
  • foreign military personnel stationed in the U.S.
  • foreign national with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • international cultural exchange visitor
  • visitor seeking medical treatment
  • member of the media (journalist)
  • victim of criminal activity; and
  • spouse or child of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

Consultations for Nonimmigrant Visas

Get started today by contacting the Sverdloff Law Group at 312-238-9090 to schedule a consultation about your immigrant and nonimmigrant visa needs. Our Chicago immigration lawyers are here to help you navigate the process. 

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