Applying for a visa is an exciting prospect, but for many people, the process is also filled with worry and uncertainty. With limits on many visa categories and stringent requirements, there is a reason for concern that one mistake can ruin your chances. Working with an experienced St. Louis, MO visa lawyer who understands the requirements and the process can often be very beneficial.

Our attorneys at the Hacking Law Practice, LLC want to help you succeed. A knowledgeable immigration attorney could give you peace of mind knowing that you are taking the right steps to increase your chances of a visa approval in the shortest possible time frame.

Understanding Different Types of Visas

The United States government issues many different types of visas, but there are two main categories — temporary visas issued for a particular purpose and immigration visas that give applicants status as lawful permanent residents of the United States. Those with immigration visas are often said to “have a green card” or are referred to by the acronym “LPR” for lawful permanent resident.

Temporary visas may be issued for purposes such as travel, visiting family, receiving medical care, study, or employment. Permanent visas are most often granted on the basis of a family or employment relationship but may be granted on other grounds such as refugee status. Immigration visas are subject to numerical limits in most categories, but temporary visas are not currently limited.

Visas Based on Family Relationships

Certain relatives of U.S. citizens and LPRs are eligible to apply for immigrant visas based on their relationship. In addition, some relationships qualify foreign nationals for temporary visas, such as a fiancé visa for those who are engaged to marry U.S. citizens.

Both the closeness of the relationship and the status of the person petitioning for a family member affect the type and status of a visa application. Immediate family members of a U.S. citizen stand in the best situation to obtain a visa because they are not subject to any quotas or numerical limits. Immediate family members are spouses, children under the age of 21 who are unmarried, orphans who are to be adopted, and parents.

Other family members may apply for a family preference visa based on their relationship. A U.S. citizen may petition for adult children (and any minor children that they have) and brothers and sisters, as well as their spouses and children. LPRs, by contrast, may only petition for spouses and children, with a preference toward unmarried children under the age of 21. However, these cases can take years and years to be finally approved.

Obtaining Employment Visas in St. Louis, MO

Employers may petition for immigrant or temporary visas for employees, and in some instances, highly-qualified professionals may file a petition on their own behalf. In most cases, an employee must have a job offer and prove that they meet the qualifications for a particular visa preference category. The more skill, education, experience, and recognition an employee has received, the higher the preference accorded to the visa application.

The U.S. government has established numerous categories of employment-based visas, both temporary and permanent. Before an employer may file a petition on behalf of an employee for either a temporary or immigrant visa, the employer must generally obtain a labor certification approval from the U.S. Department of Labor to establish that qualified U.S. citizens are not available to fill the position at issue. To learn more about obtaining employment visas, speak with a seasoned St. Louis, MO visa lawyer.

How a St. Louis, MO Visa Attorney Could Help

In some cases, it can be difficult to determine which type of visa you should apply for and how to best establish the qualifications for that visa so that the petition and application are likely to be approved. An experienced St. Louis, MO visa lawyer could evaluate your situation and devise a strategy based on the unique circumstances involved and help ensure that requirements are met.

In addition, a visa attorney could serve as an advocate and fight to help you obtain the visa you need. To learn more about how a St. Louis, MO attorney could assist with your immigration needs, contact our office for a consultation today.