Options for Getting an US Visa
Non-Immigrant Visas for Temporary Visits
- B-1 Visa for Business Visitors
The B-1 visa is issued to foreign nationals who have a legitimate business purpose for entering the United States. Generally, the applicant’s employer must execute a letter stating the applicant’s business purpose for visiting the U.S. The B-1 visa will allow the applicant to apply for entry into the United States, and B-1 visa holders are generally given 1 to 3 months of allowed stay in the United States depending on how long the business trip lasts. Once the applicant is admitted into the U.S. under the B-1 visa, the applicant can still get married and apply for adjustment of status (green card within the U.S.).
- B-2 Visa for Visitors for Pleasure
The B-2 visa is issued to foreign nationals who wish to visit the U.S. for pleasure. Generally, the applicant must prove that the visit is temporary and that the applicant has enough financial resources for his or her stay in the U.S. If friends or family in the U.S. can submit an invitation packet, this would greatly increase the applicant’s chance of getting a B-2 visa.
And, once the applicant is admitted into the U.S. under the B-2 visa, the applicant can still get married and apply for adjustment of status (green card within the U.S.)
- F-1 Student Visa (Spouse and Children may receive F-2 and F-4 Visa)
The F-1 visa is issued to foreign nationals who have been accepted into an academic institution that is authorized to host international students. Generally, the applicant must prove that he or she has been accepted by a school and has enough financial resources to complete one academic year, including living expenses. If the applicant does not have a lot of money in the bank, a financial sponsor can execute a notarized financial support document to help the applicant prove financial ability to finish school. The applicant should also prepare a declaration stating his or her intent to return to home country after completing the academic program. Once admitted under the F-1 visa, the applicant can get married and apply for adjustment of status (green card within the U.S.)
Foreign nationals under the F-1 status in the United States can also work for less than 20 hours on campus. They will also receive one year of time at the end of the academic program to work for training for one year.
- J-1 Exchange Visitor’s Visa
The J-1 visa is issued to foreign nationals who have been accepted into an authorized exchange visitor program and who are entering the U.S. to receive training. The general application procedure is similar to the F-1 visa application. The applicant must first research for an authorized program and be accepted by the program and issued a certificate of eligibility.
Short-Term Work Visa
- H-1B Visa for Professional Worker
The H-1B visa is issued to foreign nationals who have at least a Bachelor’s Degree (B.A. or B.S.) or equivalent work experience (2 years work experience = 1 year of academic study). The applicant for H-1B visa must have a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor the applicant for the H-1B. The application deadline is April 1 of every year. Since 2005, all H-1B applications are subject to a lottery system due to the overwhelming number of applications received by USCIS. Unless the employer is exempt under the lottery system, there is a chance that the H-1B application, even if filed on time, would not be selected. H-1B status, if granted, will last 6 years, and spouse and children can receive H-4 status.
- L-1A Visa for Managers
The L-1A visa is issued to foreign nationals who have worked as managers for their foreign employer for at least one year in the past 3 years. The foreign employer must have an existing subsidiary or affiliate in the United States, and the applicant must have been offered a job position at the subsidiary or affiliate company in the United States. The L-1A status, if granted, will last 6 years, and spouse and children can receive derivative status under the L-1A status holder.
- L-1B Visa for Essential Skills Worker
The L-1B visa is issued to foreign nationals who possess specialized or proprietary knowledge within a company and the company is sending the applicant to the U.S. to work for a new or existing subsidiary or affiliate corporation. The L1-B status, if granted, will last 6 years, and spouse and children can receive derivative status under the L-1B status holder.
For more information on L1B Visa for Specialized Knowledge Worker, Please click here to learn more
- E1 trader Visa & E2 investor’s Visa
E1 and E2 visa are issued to foreign nationals whose government has a treaty with United States. E-1 visa allows applicant to start or buy a company in the U.S. for purposes of conducting trade. E-2 visa allows applicant to start or buy a company in the U.S. for purpose of investing in the U.S. economy. For a list of countries that have the E1/E2 treaty with the United States, please contact my office.
- K-1 U.S. Citizen’s Fiancé Visa
K-1 visa is issued to foreign nationals who are coming into the United States for the purpose of getting married to a U.S. citizen. The marrying parties must have met in person in the last 2 years to be eligible for the K-1 visa. The marrying parties must also demonstrate that parties have been communicating consistently since falling in love and be able to produce documents relating to any visit (airline tickets, hotel reservation, itinerary, family photos) or communication (letter, faxes, phone bills, money wire receipt). The U.S. citizen must submit a petition with USCIS to start the process. The petition, once filed, will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the beneficiary’s country, and the beneficiary will be interviewed there 4-6 months after filing. If the interview went well, the beneficiary will be able to apply for admission into the U.S. with the K-1 visa. The beneficiary must get married to the sponsoring U.S. citizen within 90 days and proceed with adjustment of status (green card application within the U.S.). Beneficiary’s children may enter the U.S. under the K-2 status.
- K-3 U.S. Citizen’s Spouse Visa
K-3 visa is issued to foreign nationals who are married to a U.S. citizen. The applicant must prove that the marriage is real and not for the purpose of getting a visa. The U.S. citizen must submit a petition with USCIS to start the process. The petition, once filed, will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the beneficiary’s country, and the beneficiary will be interviewed there 4-6 months after filing. If the interview went well, the beneficiary will be able to apply for admission into the U.S. with the K-3 visa. Once admitted into the U.S., the beneficiary can apply for adjustment of status (green card application within the U.S.). The K-3 status holder can work or go to school in the U.S. and children can enter under the K-4 status.
- Adjustment of Status – Green Card Application Within the U.S.
You may apply for adjustment of status if the following conditions are met: (1) you entered the U.S. under a valid visa, (2) you married a U.S. citizen or have a I-130 approval notice with current priority date, (3) that you are not otherwise inadmissible or deportable from the United States. If you are a spouse of a U.S. citizen and both spouses are currently in the United States, please contact my office to determine whether you are eligible to file for adjustment of status.
- Consulate Process (Green Card Application through U.S. Consulate abroad)
If the beneficiary spouse is outside of the United States and has not been able to obtain a non-immigrant visa to enter the United States, the U.S. citizen spouse may initiate the consulate processing procedure to apply for a green card for the beneficiary spouse abroad. This also applies to beneficiary spouses who are currently in the United States, but because they entered the U.S. without a visa (entry without inspection, illegal entry), they must have their interview abroad and submit an I-601 waiver. The interview generally will be scheduled at the beneficiary’s country or origin approximately 4 to 6 months after the petition packet is filed.
- Green Card through U.S. Employer’s Sponsorship
Foreign nationals can also apply for a green card under the sponsorship of a U.S. employer. If the foreign national has found employer who is willing to sponsor him or her for the green card (generally called the PERM process), please contact my office to start the process. We will be coordinating with the employer throughout the filing stages. The best types of occupations that will help the green card process are professional and specialized areas of employment.
- Green Card through Investment
Foreign nationals can apply for a green card through 2 types of investment plan: (1) the 1 million dollar investment and (2) the $500,000 investment under a Regional Center. The 1 million dollar investment can be made to start a new business or take over an existing business; whereas, the $500,000 Regional Center investment must be done at a specified regional center. The investor will first receive a temporary green card for 2 years, and upon proving that the investment has generated 10 full-time employment opportunities, our office will help the investor obtain a permanent green card.
For more information regarding the Regional Center, please contact my office.
- Green Card through Asylum
An asylum application is generally the last resort for clients who have suffered persecution in his or her home country. To qualify for asylum, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she suffered persecution on the account of: (1) race, (2) gender, (3) religion, (4) social group, OR (5) political opinion. The applicant must also produce credible evidence of persecution.
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JCS Immigration office is located at
2975 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 352 in Los Angeles, California 90010
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