A visa is an important first step toward living in the United States. A visa allows you to reside and work here lawfully, and it can also be an important stepping stone toward more permanent immigration statuses, such as a Green Card or citizenship. Having a visa prevents other immigration complications as well. For example: if you are in the United States unlawfully, this can make it more difficult to obtain a visa, Green Card, or citizenship in the future. This is why it is so important to consult with a nearby visa lawyer before you come to the United States and establish your lawful immigration status as soon as possible.
The visa you apply for will be determined by your legal grounds for immigration. This is usually a family member or employer who acts as your immigration sponsor. There are also humanitarian visas available to refugees and victims of human rights violations. There are different visas available within each category, so be sure to consult with an immigration lawyer before filling out your application. Applying for the wrong type of visa can cost you time and money that could endanger your right to be in the United States.
The visa process starts by filing an application and paying the required fee. Once these have been received, you can schedule an interview at the local immigration office. It is important to note that the USCIS offices are currently closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. When they do reopen, there will likely be a significant backlog in cases to be processed and interviews to be conducted. Do not get discouraged! It might take longer to obtain a visa, but you will eventually be able to exercise your legal rights.
Different visas have different sponsor requirements. Family and employment visas generally require a sponsor to support the visa application. Humanitarian visas may not require a formal sponsor, but they do require evidence to support your case. For example, refugees must offer evidence that they will be persecuted if they return to their home country. Victims of crimes or human rights violations must offer testimony, documentation, or photographs as proof of what happened in their home country. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you determine what evidence will best support your case. If you have legal grounds for obtaining lawful immigration status, it is important to support your case with strong evidence so you can exercise this right.
The experienced Chicago immigration lawyers at Minsky McCormick & Hallagan have helped Chicagoans successfully obtain the proper type of visa. Don’t face the full force of the U.S. government alone – an experienced immigration attorney will fight to protect your legal right to remain in the United States and ensure that the process is done correctly. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as possible.