Advancing Clients’ Immigration Cases
Many people dream of living in the United States, and the country has a huge variety to offer, whether you prefer the warm winters in Texas or want to be close to the coast. But moving to the United States from another country means you also have to go through the legal procedures for immigration. Immigration laws in the United States are complex, and it’s best to have assistance from an attorney to ensure that you understand which laws apply to you and what your first steps should be.
When you need an advocate to help you navigate an immigration case, the team at Badmus & Associates is here to help. Whether you are applying for a visa or need help understanding why your application was rejected, we can outline your options and provide legal counsel.
How Do I Know What Visa to Apply For?
There are almost 200 different types of visas in the United States, and it can be confusing to understand which one is the best option for your situation. An immigration attorney can provide guidance on which visa is the right fit, but there are some general guidelines that can help you narrow your options down. The first is to decide whether you need an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa. If you are planning on staying in the United States permanently, you would want to look for an immigrant visa type. If you plan on only being in the country for a specific period of time and then returning to your country of origin, you would need to get a nonimmigrant visa.
The next big filter will be whether you are being sponsored by an employer or family member or whether you are filing a self-petition on other grounds, such as if you are seeking asylum or refugee status. Once you have this information, you can decide which visa is the right one to apply for.
What Is Family-Based Immigration?
Family-based immigration refers to a family member being the one to sponsor your immigration petition. Family-based immigration is generally for spouses, children, parents, and siblings, depending on whether you are a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder. There may also be other restrictions, such as age restrictions on how old your children can be to qualify or whether they must be unmarried. Family-based immigration also includes fiancé visas and visas related to international adoption.
There are also requirements for the sponsor. They generally need to be at least 21 years old to sponsor parents or siblings, and they may need to be able to show that they are financially stable enough to support their family members.
What Is Employer-Sponsored Immigration?
Employer-sponsored immigration is when the company you work for — or are planning to work for — sponsors you for immigration. This can be on an immigrant or nonimmigrant basis. Immigrant visas that are employer-based are for priority workers, professionals holding advanced degrees, persons of exceptional ability, other professional workers, investors, and certain special cases, such as broadcasters, ministers of religion, or Iraqi interpreters.
If a business is planning on sponsoring an employee for immigration, the employer must apply for a permanent labor certification and have it approved by the U.S. Department of Labor before moving forward. Once this is approved, the employer can file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140). Any filing fees also have to be submitted at the time of the petition.
How Long Does It Take for a Visa Application to Be Processed?
How long a visa application takes to be processed varies by visa type. Many visa types, such as E1 and E2 visas, take only a few weeks to process. Others, such as a U visa for victims of criminal activity, can take more than a year to process.
Ensuring that you are eligible for the visa you’re applying for, accurately filling out all of the forms, and including any supporting documentation can speed up the process by decreasing the chances that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office will ask for more information. You can also check the U.S. Department of State website to get an up-to-date estimate of visa appointment wait times depending on your visa type and field office.
Keep in mind that not all of these processing times include the waiting period to schedule an interview or requests for additional paperwork. Any visa application processing time is always an estimate. If you have questions about how long it will take for your visa to be processed or aren’t sure what the status of your application is, talk to your attorney.
What Are My Options If My Application Is Denied?
If your visa application has been denied, there are options for appeal in some cases. Whether you can appeal your denial will depend on the reasons for denial. For example, if you were deemed inadmissible, there may be an option for applying for a visa waiver. If the visa was denied on a technicality, you may be able to resubmit your application. However, there is a waiting period in some cases before you can refile.
If you get a letter of denial for your visa application, it’s important to speak with an immigration attorney as soon as possible. You may have a specific timeframe that an appeal has to be filed in order to be valid.
Immigration is one of the most challenging law issues, and it’s important to have someone in your corner who understands the laws and procedures. If you’re facing immigration issues or have specific questions, contact Badmus & Associates. Call our Dallas office at 214-393-4917 to learn more or schedule your appointment.