Houston Visa Attorney Helps Clients Looking to Enter the United States
Texas immigration firm helps clients obtain immigrant and nonimmigrant visas
If you seek authorization to enter the United States, it is crucial that you obtain the right visa for your needs, and that you do not violate the terms set forth by the government. Anne E. Kennedy, Attorney at Law provides legal guidance during all steps of the U.S. visa application process. From her office in Houston, Anne helps clients put together the evidence and paperwork needed for nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions. With more than 15 years of experience in immigration law, Anne is trusted by sponsoring employers and visa applicants throughout Texas and elsewhere.
What is a visa?
A visa gives a citizen of a foreign country permission to enter the United States for a specified period of time. Unless a specific exception exists, you will need a visa whether you are coming to the United States for work, education, tourism or a personal visit.
What is a nonimmigrant visa?
A person with a nonimmigrant visa is allowed to stay in the United States temporarily. Nonimmigrant visas are granted for many reasons, including:
- Work — An employer or agent will need to sponsor your visa application and provide evidence that you will be employed in the United States. Your visa sponsor will submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are several categories of work visas geared toward different employer needs, including the H-1B visa, O visa and TN visa.
- Education — The F visa and M visa are for students. You will need to be admitted to a school before you can obtain an education-based visa. The school that accepted you will submit Form I-20 to the USCIS. You will need to present evidence that you can afford to pay your school fees and living expenses.
- Exchange visit — The J visa is for people who come to the United States to participate in exchange visitor programs as interns, teachers, trainees, au pairs, physicians, professors and research scholars.
- Short visit — If you intend to come to the United States for tourism, medical treatment, a conference or a business consultation, you can apply for a B visa. The B visa allows a visitor to remain in the U.S. for up to 90 days. Citizens of Visa Waiver Program Designated Countries do not need a B visa for these types of short visits.
Visa applicants need to file the correct forms with the U.S. Department of State, submit evidence, pay fees and attend a visa interview at a U.S. consulate office before a visa can be granted.
A small mistake on a visa application can result in delays to the process, and may cause a denial. It is best to consult an immigration attorney before submitting an application.
What is an immigrant visa?
If you live outside the United States and want to become a permanent resident, you will need to first obtain an immigrant visa. The immigrant visa allows you to enter the United States. Once you are in the United States, you can be granted permanent resident status.
Immigrant visas are granted for limited reasons. You may be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa if you are an immediate family member of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or if you are engaged to a U.S. citizen. Employment-based immigrant visas are available to highly qualified professionals and to certain skilled and unskilled workers.
It is crucial that you understand your rights to work and travel based on the visa you receive. A visa violation can be grounds for deportation. Anne can advise you on how to follow the requirements of your visa or sponsorship so you do not risk becoming the subject of a removal proceeding.
Contact an experienced Houston immigration visa attorney to schedule your consultation
Anne E. Kennedy, Attorney at Law in Houston, Texas prepares and files visa applications on behalf of foreign nationals, their loved ones and employers. To schedule a consultation with Anne, call 713-862-8110 or contact her online.