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Bellerose U.S. Visa Information

Do I Need a U.S. Visa Lawyer?

There are roughly 185 different types of entry visas into the United States. A U.S. visa attorney can help you understand your options in deciding which visa best fits your specific situation, whether it be visa eligibility, bringing over family members, visa extensions, etc.

Do I need a visa to come to the United States?

In general, foreign nationals who are visiting in the United States will need to obtain a visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate prior to entry. You do not need an entry visa if you are:

  • A permanent resident of the U.S.
  • A citizen of Canada.
  • A citizen of one of the 38 countries in the Visa Waiver Program.
  • A Mexican citizen with a Border Crossing Card staying less than 72 hours and remaining in the "border zone."

There are several other entry visa exemptions. U.S. visa policy can get complicated quickly. You should speak with a U.S. visa lawyer to better understand whether a visa exemption or other visa scenario applies to your situation.

What are the different types of visas to the U.S.?

There are two main U.S. visa categories: immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas are issued to those coming to the U.S. with the purpose of gaining permanent residency to live and work here. Immigrant visas usually require sponsorship from a U.S. citizen relative, U.S. lawful permanent resident, or prospective employer. Non-immigrant visas include visitor visas for tourism and business, student visas for international students, and temporary worker visas.

How can I get a tourist visa?

You'll need to complete Form DS-160, pay the visa application fee, and schedule an appointment for visa application interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. The form and additional application details are available on the U.S. Department of State website. A visitor visa is typically issued for 6 months and precludes visitors from working and conducting business, which would require a separate visa. A U.S. visa lawyer can help determine which type of visa suits your needs.

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

What to Expect from an Initial Consultation

  • Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
  • It's important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
  • Discuss how the practice's billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.

An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se - This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute - Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction - Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

Lead Counsel Rated Attorneys

Lead Counsel's objective process independently verifies attorney records, conferring with state bars across the country and conducting annual reviews to confirm that the attorney practices in the legal categories as indicated, possesses a valid bar license, and is eligible to practice in the specific jurisdiction.