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What are Visas? And Why Do I Need a Visa?

If you wish to come for a visit to the United States, you will need a visa. It is impossible to enter the United States legally without a visa. At all ports of entry such as airports, seaports or border crossings, you will be required to prove the purpose and nature of your visit, and whether you have proper documents that prove your identity, your ability to finance your visit or support yourself while in the United States, and your ties to your country of origin or residency.

A visa is a document issued by the US Department of State that proves legal entry into the United States. It also grants you legal stay in the United States. A visa will limit the activities you can engage in while in the United States, so it is important to apply for and obtain visa that suits your intended purpose of travel or visit.

Immigrant visas are for those who wish to establish permanent residency in the United States. A permanent legal residency in the United States will allow you to work and stay or set up your business in the country long-term. It will also allow you to leave and re-enter the United States without need for a new visa each time you re-enter.

Non-immigrant visas are also referred to as temporary visas. These visas are granted for various limited purposes and durations. Some types of non-immigrant or temporary visas allow you to work, engage in a profession, or engage in some business activities for a limited time or a limited duration while others do not. A fiancé or spouse of a US Citizen may apply for a visa that will allow them to stay and live with their fiancé or spouse in the United States but not work.

If the purpose of the visit is to go on holiday, a valid visa is all you will need to gain legal entry into the United States. If you plan to study or receive training in the United States, for example, you will need to prove a valid and approved course of study at a school, college, university or other training institution; as well as prove that you have been accepted into that valid course of study.

If you plan to work in the United States, however, a visa may be only one of several documents you may need to ensure a valid and legal entry and stay in the United States. You may need a work authorization as well. Even if you are self-employed and you do not work under an employment contract for an employer in the Unites States, if you provide services to persons in the United States as an independent contractor or as a professional, that is still considered work and you will need a work visa. Even if you intend to stay for one or six months, if you will do temporary or seasonal work or offer services, and if you will receive compensation in monetary on non-monetary compensation, you will still need a visa.

And as there are different types of visas for every imaginable purpose of entry and stay into the United States, you will need expert legal advice as to the type of visa you should apply for. The purpose and nature of your visit to the United States will determine what type of visa you need. Depending on the nature of your visit, if it be for pleasure (sightseeing or visiting relatives) or for work and business, there is an array of temporary visas that may suit your purpose. In the linked pages below, you will find a wealth of up-to-date and relevant information on visa requirements.

While on holiday, or while studying in the United States, you may also decide to change the nature and purpose of your stay in the United States and decide to enter employment, engage in business or offer professional services. You may be on holiday and you meet someone with whom you fell in love – it happens. You may opt to apply for a change of status while you are in the United States. Or, you may leave the United States, apply for a different visa from your home country or country of residency and re-enter the United States. You will still need to fulfill all the documentary requirements of each visa you apply for.

The information in these pages will be helpful to you but the information contained here are not meant to replace legal advice specific to your circumstances. To ensure that you apply for an appropriate visa, it is best to get advice from competent and experienced immigration lawyers. Lluis Law can help you. Talk to any of our lawyers for more information and advice.

What kinds of Temporary Visas are there?

There are different types of visas to the United States. There are visas for visiting diplomats or visiting officials of foreign governments. If you work on a cruise ship or a commercial aircraft or sea vessel, a crewman visa is available for you. If you are entering the United States to trade or to invest in a business and the trade or investment is under the terms of a treaty entered by the United States government with your own government, you can also apply for a temporary visa.

Students and trainees can apply for visas. Managers and executive officers of multinational companies and corporations which have business offices in the United States can also apply for temporary visas. Professionals, seasonal agricultural workers, skilled and unskilled workers can also apply for temporary visas. Persons of extraordinary ability, athletes, entertainers and even religious workers can enter the United States as well. Fiances and spouses of US Citizens can apply for a visa. Witnesses to a crime or informants to a crime and those victims of human trafficking can apply for a visa.

To know what each type of visa is suitable for your purpose, read on, our website is full of useful and relevant information. However, it will be most important to ask advice from an immigration lawyer. Visa requirements are strict and technical. Documents necessary to prove your intent and to support your visa application are varied. Most visas also require an interview or an appearance at a US Embassy or Consular Office. An immigration lawyer from Lluis Law can help you gather your documents, fill out your application forms and send them.  But they can help you more: they can help you evaluate the visa that is most suited for the purpose of your visa and they can help you prepare for appearing for interview before a consular officer who will ask you probing questions as to the nature of your visit and the activities you intend to engage in while in the United States. Contact Lluis law today and speak to our able and accommodating lawyers. Contact us through telephone or email. Our lawyers are ready, willing and able to answer your questions and help you.