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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
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:
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.
Affidavit - A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.