The immigration process is hard and filled with paperwork. Visas add to the difficulty and confusion, but you can’t come to the United States legally or stay here legally without some kind of visa, so you will need to get some kind of visa sooner or later. But even that process is tricky. There’s a visa for every need and situation, but some of them are very similar to each other, so you don’t know which one you need. Also, most of the visa names sound alike, those names don’t have clear meanings, and it’s almost impossible to keep them all straight.
If you spend enough time on it, you can probably figure out what visa you need and how to get it. Or you can work with Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez. Giselle helps clients with the full range of immigration challenges, including obtaining, renewing, or extending visas of all kinds. She is bilingual (English & Spanish), and works with clients throughout Greater Boston and Massachusetts. Contact Giselle today to discuss your case, or read on to find out more about the different kinds of visas, which one you need now, and how to get the visa you need.
You may want or need to stay in the United States longer than your visa allows. A visa extension can allow you to do that, but you will need to apply with the correct form, fill out the application with care, and meet the necessary deadlines. If your extension isn’t handled correctly you may lose your current status and be at risk of deportation. If you are deported you may be barred from re-entering the United States again for up to 10 years. (Read more about visa extensions.)
An expiring green card is a problem. Without a green card you’ll have little or no income, and without income daily life here is less enjoyable, less meaningful, and unsustainable. If your green card expires it will be illegal for you to work or to obtain a professional license for certain jobs until you renew it. You also won’t be able to get credit or renew your driver’s license. Green cards are valid for up to 10 years, and conditional permanent resident status on green cards lasts for 2 years. It can take ten to twelve months to renew a green card. (Read more about green card renewals and extensions.)
“B” visas allow foreign visitors to visit the United States for a short trip. The USCIS issues two types of B-visas. B-1 visa is for people visiting on business, and a B-2 visa is for tourists. B-visas are the most common type of visas that USCIS issues. (Read more about B-visas.)
Few places have more international students than the Boston area. Accordingly, international students’ immigration situations come in all shapes and sizes. Immigration-related challenges can complicate one’s studies and lifestyle, or prevent an international student from studying here at all. The first, often most-important step is to get an F-1 visa. (Read more about F-1 visas.)
A J-1 Visa is known as an exchange visitor visa. These visas are for a specific category of traveler to the United States, one who is here for a short-term purpose and who does not intend to apply for permanent residency. (Read more about J-1 visas.)
U-visas are for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence that occurred in the US.If you’re the victim of a crime, or have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse while in the United States, you may qualify for a U-visa. (Read more about u-visas.)
Temporary (non-immigrant) visas are exactly what they sound like: temporary. A temporary visa by itself does not create a pathway to legal permanent residency or US citizenship. Still, temporary visas serve many purposes, including for work in, study in, or visits to the United States. (Read more about temporary visas.)
If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you may enter and leave the US multiple times, as long as you don’t stay outside of the United States for more than 1 year. If you plan to stay outside of the US for longer, you must apply for a re-entry permit. That requires you to file an I-131 application for USCIS. (Read more about reentry permits.)
Get an Attorney’s Help On Your Visa Today
If you need help to get, renew, or extend your visa, contact Giselle M. Rodriguez in Boston today.