o you need an immigration lawyer for assistance with your U.S. visa application or petition? As anyone who has been through the process can attest, the assistance of an immigration lawyer to help with your visa or permanent residence can be very valuable. The difficulties are many and many employers are reluctant to employ due to the complexity of compliance.
There are literally dozens of different us visa categories to enter the United States. They can be broadly divided in two types of visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Immigrant visas are visas destined to people who will permanently live and work in the United States, and have secured the necessary permits. This normally requires a US Petitioner (be it a family member or a prospective employer) to file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of the alien beneficiary.
Once the immigrant visa petition is approved, if a visa number is immediately available the beneficiary can either proceed to request consular processing of his or her application for permanent residence (“green card”) or adjustment of his or her immigration status from within the United States. It is important to determine at the outset whether the applicant currently present in the United States is eligible for adjustment of status once a US visa becomes available to him.
The issues are too numerous and too important to be enumerated here, suffice it to say that we highly recommend consulting a skilled US immigration attorney early on before the whole process is commenced. For most applicants however, it will be necessary or desirable to obtain another category of US visa. These are called nonimmigant visas because they are to be used for visits of temporary nature. Some of these visas are for work, some other for leisure or business activities, but by and large an inquiry will be made as to the nature of the proposed visit, the temporariness of the same, and for many US visas, whether or not the applicant has sufficient ties to his or her home country to justify an assumption that he or she is likely to return home at the end of the authorized stay. A few US visas (such as H1-B, L-1, and others), allow the holder to enter the US in nonimmigrant status while at the same time legally pursue permanent residence in the US. This is the so called doctrine of dual intent, and is not applicable to all visa categories. Some visas in fact are expressly precluded by law or regulations to applicants who have manifested an intent to immigrate in the United States, even if such intent is merely prospective and in accordance to the lawful process to obtain an immigrant visa (“green card”). It is therefore paramount to structure the whole immigration strategy in a cohesive manner, so that steps undertaken early on do not jeopardize the visa applicant’s ultimate goals, whatever they may be.
Some popular visa categories carry work-authorization incident to their status: H1-B visas are very much sought after so much so that in recent years this visa type has been oversubscribed and subject to a much controversial process of selecting the applicants among the thousand who had filed.