Anyone wishing to live in or visit the United States from a foreign country may need to acquire a visa. The visa itself will not guarantee that you have the right to enter the country, since an immigration officer can deny entry to someone in their own discretion. However, if officers do not believe an individual presents any form of a threat or has other discretionary issues, they will permit that person to enter the country with a valid visa. If you are applying for a visa in Marietta, you may wish to consider speaking to an experienced visa attorney about the process.
Immigration Visas and Nonimmigration Visas
Many different types of visas will allow a person to enter the United States. However, there are two main categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. A U.S. nonimmigrant visa does not allow a person to remain in the country permanently. Some examples of nonimmigrant visas will include those for temporary business or work purposes, tourism, training opportunities, journalists, exchange students, professors, athletes, artists, and entertainers.
Immigrant visas are different because an individual who holds one will be able to stay in the country indefinitely, barring certain events and exceptions. Individuals with immigrant visas can also leave the country without fear of losing that visa or being denied entry when they return. An immigration visa also offers an individual the opportunity to apply for United States citizenship down the road.
Immigrant visas involve stricter and more limited qualifications. Anyone who is applying for an immigrant visa should contact a local attorney.
Qualifying for an Immigration Visa
There are many ways to obtain an immigration visa but most immigrants qualify based on two main categories. The first category is for immediate relatives and family members of United States citizens or legal permanent residents. Immediate family members account for the majority of individuals able to acquire immigrant visas each year.
Other family immigrant visas are more limited, and the country will only issue a finite amount of these every year. Immediate relative visas are for:
- A spouse of a citizen
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 whose parent(s) are U.S. citizen(s)
- Parents of a U.S. citizen over 21 years old
- Children adopted abroad by U.S. citizens
Other relatives can qualify in certain circumstances, including parents, married children over the age of 21, and siblings of U.S. citizens.
The second main category is individuals who qualify for visas based on their employment status. In order to be eligible for any of these visas, an individual must work for an employer who sponsors their visa application. In Marietta, employment visas will typically go to those workers who have particular skill sets that will benefit the United States economy.
Rights and Responsibilities of Immigrant Visa Holders
Individuals in Marietta who apply for an immigrant visa that grants them the right to reside in the United States will have certain rights. These individuals can live and work permanently in the country. However, they must also meet certain obligations.
Permanent residents must follow United States law, file taxes, support democracy, and register for the selective service if they are male and between 18 and 25 years old.
Although permanent residents must follow the law, they do not have the right to vote in elections. Also, these individuals may lose their immigration status if they commit certain criminal acts.
Speak to a Marietta Lawyer About Applying for a Visa
Applying for a visa can be stressful, time-consuming, and confusing. There are many technical requirements involved in the process, and you might worry about properly completing each form and other steps involved.
If you or a family member are applying for a visa in Marietta, speak to a lawyer. They might be able to advise you on the steps you can take to obtain a visa without issue.