Lexington, KY, Visa Lawyer
If you or a family member is not a U.S. citizen but want to come here legally for a long period of time, a Lexington, KY, visa lawyer can help. There are many types of visas for those who want to immigrate or to just stay temporarily. Which one is right for you depends on who you are, why you want to be in the U.S., and for how long.
An experienced Kentucky immigration lawyer can help you and your family through the visa process. Immigration law is very complex and technical. You probably face many challenges and have questions. You need a trusted advisor who can explain the process, speak truthfully about your chances of success, and defend your legal rights. If you’re thinking about getting a visa, or have already started applying, you have a Spanish-speaking friend in Carman Fullerton law firm.
A Visa Lawyer Can Help You Decide Which One is Right for You
Why Do You Want to Come to the U.S.? What Will You Do When You Get Here?
In most cases, a U.S. Embassy or Consulate issues the visa (the full name for a visa is Visitors International Stay Admission). Having one doesn’t guarantee you’ll be allowed to enter. An immigration official at the port of entry decides your eligibility for admission.
There are about 185 different kinds of visas (the Department of State has an online visa directory). A foreign national seeking U.S. entry needs one in most cases. Who must have a visa, how they qualify, and what it allows holders to do is defined by immigration law.
The purpose of your trip and other issues determines what visa you need. You must show that you meet all the requirements to receive it. You’ll need a visa if you’re ineligible to enter the U.S. without one under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or if you’re not a citizen of Bermuda or Canada.
There are visas for those who want to immigrate (which means you want to enter and reside in the U.S. indefinitely) and for those who do not. No matter which visa you need, a Lexington, KY, visa lawyer at Carman Fullerton can help with all the necessary forms, communications, and issues that may come up.
Our Visa Lawyers Work on Immigrant Visas for Those Who Want to Live in the U.S.
To apply for an immigrant visa, generally, you’ll need a sponsor. It can be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident who’s an immediate relative, or a prospective U.S. employer. Your visa petition must be approved before you can apply. The sponsor starts the petition process by completing it with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A visa lawyer may help you avoid mistakes and speed up the approval process.
A family immigration petition can be filled out for a spouse, unmarried child, parent, brother, or sister if you’re a U.S. citizen. If you’re a lawful permanent resident (you have your green card), you can fill it out for a spouse, an unmarried son, or a daughter.
Fiancé immigration applies if you plan to marry a U.S. citizen in the U.S. and reside here after your marriage. You’re eligible to apply if:
- The two of you can legally marry.
- You’ll do so within 90 days of entering the country.
The Employment Visa Process is Very Technical. A Knowledgeable Visa Attorney Can Guide You Through.
If Your Petition is Denied, You or Your Employer May Submit Another or Appeal the Decision
If you’re seeking an employment immigration visa, you’ve got a lot at stake. It can mean a better job, career advancement, and a possible path to permanent residency or citizenship. You and your future employer should work with visa lawyers in Lexington, KY, to increase your chances of success.
This visa usually requires a job offer from a U.S.-based employer. The employer files a petition and gets certification from the U.S. Department of Labor stating that there are no qualified workers available for your proposed job. There are five categories for permanent workers:
- First preference (EB-1): You have extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, arts, business, or athletics. You are an outstanding professor or researcher. You may also qualify as a multinational executive or manager.
- Second preference (EB-2): This covers members of professions and those with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, and business. You have an advanced degree or equivalent, or a baccalaureate degree plus at least five years of progressive experience in your specialty. You may also have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, and business.
- Third preference (EB-3): You’re a member of a profession and have a baccalaureate degree. This includes architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers in schools, colleges, academies, or seminaries. You can be a skilled worker. You can perform skilled work that requires at least two years of training or experience. The labor isn’t temporary or seasonal and there are no qualified workers available in the U.S. You can also be an unskilled worker if what you do requires less than two years of training, it’s not temporary or seasonal, and qualified workers are unavailable in the U.S.
- Fourth preference (EB-4): This covers a wide range of people and work: religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, some U.S. government employees and their family members, and members of the U.S. armed forces. Afghan or Iraqi translators, interpreters, and others employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government may also qualify.
- Fifth preference (EB-5): This is for investors who want to enter the U.S. to start a new business or invest in an existing one. You must be able to spend, without borrowing, in a qualifying commercial enterprise, $1,000,000 or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area. This investment must create or maintain jobs.
A Lexington, KY, Visa Lawyer Can Help If Your Petition Is Denied
Your petition can be rejected for many reasons. You must have specific qualifications to get certain work visas. If you lack them, your petition will be denied. The USCIS may decide your employer won’t be controlling your work, there isn’t a bona fide position you’ll fill, or you won’t work if you’re in the U.S.
If you received a denial, the given reasons must be understood if your employer wants to file a second petition, which may or may not be practical. With a second petition, missing information or documentation could be added, but if there’s a limit on petitions from your country and that’s been reached, there may not be another petition. Your employer, with the help of a Carman Fullerton visa attorney, can also appeal the denial.
Visa Attorneys in Lexington Can Help Those Who Don’t Intend to Stay in the U.S.
You Must Show You Qualify for the Visa and Won’t Abuse It by Illegally Remaining in the U.S.
A foreign citizen who wants to enter the country temporarily must first get a nonimmigrant visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport. They include:
- Tourism and visiting (B-1)
- Business (B-2): You’re traveling to the U.S. temporarily to engage in business activities. This includes negotiating contracts, meeting with business associates, litigation, and attending conventions, conferences, or seminars. This type of visa also covers medical treatment.
- Temporary employment: This covers a wide range of work, including agriculture, media, investors, executives, artists, performers, and religious workers.
- Study and exchange (F-1, M-1, J-1): You want to study in a U.S. academic or vocational program. You’ll need a visa if you’re in an exchange program. This also covers employment, training, or research under an approved program by an educational or nonprofit institution.
- Human trafficking (T): Victims of severe human trafficking may get relief because of the Victims of Trafficking in Persons (T) visa. If it’s granted, victims can stay in the U.S. to help investigate or prosecute human traffickers.
- Victims of criminal activity (U): Those victimized by certain criminal activities that either happened in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws may be able to petition for U nonimmigrant status. You must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and have information about it. Law enforcement must certify that you have been, are now, or are likely to be helpful in a future investigation or prosecution.
- Spouse and children of a lawful permanent resident (V): These visas reunite families who have been or could be separated for a long time while the lawful permanent resident is in the process of immigrating to the U.S.
Why are Nonimmigrant Visas Denied? What Can I Do to Improve My Chances?
Some factors are beyond your control, but being prepared, honest, and consistent will help.
If you’re applying for one of these visas, submit the application to the U.S. consulate in your country. They will review it, interview you, and possibly ask for additional information. Even if you meet all the requirements, the consulate can still reject your application.
The most common reason a visa application is rejected is that the potential visitor or student must have a residence in their country they have no intention of abandoning. You must prove you have this residence by showing your ties to your home country, which compel you to return by end of your temporary stay. You have the burden of proving this.
There are many reasons why this might happen:
- Many of those from your country may have abused their visas, overstayed their allotted time, and now be undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
- Your country’s economy may be doing poorly, and/or the political situation may be unstable. This may make it more likely you’ll use the visa to get to the U.S. and try to stay.
- Due to government policies or criminal activity, those who share your profession, ethnic group, location, or religion may have a tough time politically, economically, or staying safe, increasing the chances you’ll overstay your visa.
If you’re in this situation, a Carman Fullerton visa lawyer will do all they can to increase the chances you’ll get the visa you seek. You can also improve your odds:
- If you can, show you have a steady job, a decent salary and savings showing you can afford to spend time in the U.S., and that you have strong ties to your community. This will help show there are “ties that bind” you to your country and you have a lot to lose by illegally emigrating to the U.S., reducing the chances you’ll abuse the visa.
- If you know anyone recently interviewed by the consulate for a visa, find out what they were asked so you can prepare.
- Be honest and consistent in your application and interview. The consulate has access to a lot of information about you. If you’re caught lying, you won’t get a visa. Don’t state something in the application and then deny it in the interview.
- If the interviewer doesn’t ask about things in your background that help your application, at the end, politely bring them up.
- Be prepared for the interview, but don’t sound like you’re reading a script. Despite the stress, try to relax, communicate openly, and have a conversation.
Carman Fullerton Visa Attorneys in Lexington Understand Your Situation and Are Here for You
A Kentucky visa attorney at Carman Fullerton can work with you on any visa you may seek. We understand that you may feel vulnerable and confused, and that the law is a deck of cards stacked against you. It’s important for you to feel safe, respected, and understood. We understand that your future is at stake. It’s critical for you to receive skilled and effective legal representation. You can trust us. We speak your language.
We have helped hundreds of immigrants resolve complicated immigration legal matters. We can help you and your family, too. Contact a Carman Fullerton visa attorney at (859) 971-0060 for an initial consultation so we can talk about your situation. We value immigrants, and we are here to serve you.