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Whether you intend to enter the United States for only a short time or move here permanently, you will need a valid visa to be allowed into the country. Depending on your unique circumstances, though, the specific procedures you must follow to obtain a visa may vary substantially.

Having assistance from a knowledgeable immigration attorney can make a huge difference when applying for a visa in St. Louis. Once retained, dedicated legal counsel could provide the information and custom-tailored guidance you may need to ensure you apply for the right visa, submit a comprehensive and accurate application packet, and can proactively address any issues that may arise with your petition.

Application Procedures for Nonimmigrant Visas

Certain individuals do not need visas to enter the United States on a temporary basis. Specifically, travelers from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may be eligible to visit the U.S. for a maximum of 90 consecutive days for business or leisure without needing to apply for a visa. Everyone else must apply for a specific type of visa through Form DS-160, which can be filed and submitted online.

Travelers from non-VWP countries who intend to come here for business purposes may apply for a B-1 visitor visas, while non-VWP travelers whose purpose for visiting is tourism, seeing family or friends, medical treatment, or participation in a social or unpaid competitive event may be eligible for B-2 visitor visas. All other temporary travelers must apply for more specific visas based on their purpose for visiting. For example, temporary and seasonal workers must apply for H-2A or H-2B visas depending on whether the work they will perform is agricultural or not, and students studying abroad generally must apply for J visas.

With limited exceptions for travelers under 13 and over 80 years old, all nonimmigrant visa applicants must complete an interview process at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before their petition will be approved. A St. Louis attorney could provide crucial assistance with applying for the right visa and streamlining the application process.

Additional Steps for Immigrant Visa Applications

Unlike nonimmigrant visa applicants, individuals applying for immigrant visas to usually cannot begin the application process on their own. Instead, most such petitioners must have a sponsor start the process on their behalf. For instance, lawful U.S. resident family members of prospective immigrants can begin a visa petition by filing Form I-130, while prospective employers would need to file Form I-140.

These sponsoring parties generally must also submit an affidavit of support indicating that they accept financial liability for the immigrant they are sponsoring to ensure that this person does not become dependent on state or federal benefits. Once again, guidance from professional legal counsel is often essential to understanding and progressing efficiently through these early stages of the St. Louis visa application process.

A St. Louis Attorney Could Help with Applying for a Visa

Depending on where you are coming from and the reason for your upcoming travel, the process of applying for a U.S. visa can change substantially. Making sense of the confusing procedures and regulations enforced by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services can be much more trouble than many people expect.

Retaining an experienced lawyer from Hacking Immigration Law, LLC is a small step that could have a big impact on how the process of applying for a visa in St. Louis goes for you. Call today to learn more.

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