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No matter what your reason for arriving at a port in the US, you will likely need a visa before you can enter lawfully. This is especially true if you intend to live and work here on a permanent basis.

Applying for a visa in Washington, DC can be a complex process under any circumstances, which is why seeking guidance from a legal professional can be so critical to increasing the chances of a positive outcome. A knowledgeable visa attorney who has helped people like you before could work diligently on your behalf to ensure compliance with all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations and get you the authorization you need to start a life in the US.

What is the Visa Application Process?

With a few exceptions, prospective recipients of visas generally must have a party sponsoring their immigration to start the visa application process. This involves the sponsor filing either Form I-130 or Form I-140, depending on whether they are a family member or future employer of the applicant. Immigrants who do not need a sponsor to start this process include individuals who are seeking asylum and those in the first priority category for employment-based visas.

Once USCIS approves this initial petition, the agency will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC). At this point, either the sponsor or the applicant will need to pay processing fees. Then the sponsor must submit Form I-864 and any associated financial documents to affirm their willingness to act as the applicant’s sponsor. Following this, the applicant must file Form DS-260 online using the case number provided to them by the NVC and submit civil documents for themselves and any family members they want to bring with them.

Finally, the NVC will schedule a visa interview at either a USCIS field office or the closest U.S. Consulate or Embassy, depending on whether the applicant is inside or outside U.S. borders at the time. Attending this interview is the last step to applying for a visa in Washington, DC. After the interview, the involved parties just have to wait for USCIS to make a final decision.

Do Short-Term Visitors Need to Apply for a Visa?

Citizens and nationals of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program do not need visas to enter the United States for business or tourism for a period of less than 90 days. Anyone else who wishes to visit the U.S. on a short-term basis, including students studying abroad, must apply for and receive a nonimmigrant visa prior to arriving at a port of entry.

Nonimmigrant visa applicants must file Form DS-160 online, and there are usually no legal restrictions on them applying for a visa by themselves without the need for a third-party sponsor. However, applying for this type of visa in Washington, DC can still be challenging, so working with a seasoned legal professional is an important part of this process.

Seek Help from a Washington, DC Attorney When Applying for a Visa

The application process for any type of U.S. visa requires a thorough understanding of immigration law as well as a great deal of patience. Because of this, seeking professional help with this process is wise for anyone seeking a visa, whether they want to stay in the U.S. for a long time or just visit for a short period.

Our attorneys could walk you through every step you must take to get the result you want. Call today to learn how an immigration attorney from Hacking Immigration Law, LLC could help you with applying for a visa in Washington, DC.

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