H-1B Visas

Category • Immigration Law Blog

Types of Visas Available to Immigrants in Los Angeles

There are many different types of visa available to individuals who are considering emigrating to the United States. If you are considering making this move, it is important that you apply for the correct visa for your circumstance. Otherwise, you can face problems entering and remaining in the United States.

Determining the correct type of visa for you can be difficult and confusing. Make it easier for yourself by consulting with an experienced immigration attorney about which type of visa is right for you. By working with a lawyer who has experience handling the various legal difficulties that new immigrants to the United States can face, you can avoid many of these problems yourself and have an easier time overcoming them if you do find yourself facing one.

There are two types of visas that foreigners can use to gain entry to the United States: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas allow individuals to reside in the country temporarily to vacation, attend school, and work. Below are the types of visas available to immigrants entering the United States to live permanently.

I-129F Fiance Visa and Related Visas

This visa is used to bring one’s fiance and the fiance’s children to the United States so the individual and the fiance can marry. It can also be used to bring a spouse and the spouse’s children into the country. A fiance must use a K-1 visa to enter the United States, a spouse must use a K-3, and the fiance/spouse’s children must enter using K-4 visas.

Visas that start with the letter K are meant for spouses and children of United States citizens. When an individual who is not yet a United States citizen but instead a lawful permanent resident wants to bring his or her loved ones into the country to reside, his or her loved ones must use visas that begin with the letter V. A V-1 visa is for the spouse of a lawful permanent resident and a V-2 visa is for his or her child.

H-1B Visa

This type of visa is a visa for professionals in specialty professions who come to the United States to do work for up to three years. Although this is not an immigrant visa per se, an employer may opt to sponsor an employee who is in the country on an H-1B visa for a green card if it feels the individual should continue to reside in the United States permanently.

T-1 Visa

This type of visa is a temporary visa for individuals who are victims of human trafficking. As long as the holder complies with law enforcement in prosecuting the suspects charged with trafficking him or her, the holder may remain and work in the United States. The holder may also apply to become a lawful permanent resident and eventually complete the naturalization process to become a citizen. Children, spouses, parents, and minor siblings of a T-1 holder may also apply for other types of T visa.

Other Visa Types

The other types of visa that are available to immigrants entering the United States are divided into multiple categories. The type an individual may obtain depends on his or her relation to a United States citizen or reason for entering the country. For example, visas numbered IR-1 through IR-5 are for immediate family members of United States citizens, such as their parents and children. SB-1 visas are for permanent resident aliens who left the country and failed to return while their green cards remained viable for reasons they could not control. Certain types of visa are only for individuals coming from certain countries, such as visas numbered F-21 through F-25, those numbered B-21 through B-25, and those numbered FX-1 through FX-3 and BX-1 through BX-3. There are 185 types of visas available to individuals seeking entry to the United States, many of which are only for individuals coming to the country for temporary reasons.

Work with an Experienced Immigration Attorney

You might not know which type of visa you need or how you can obtain it to take the next step toward becoming an American citizen. Determine what you need to do by seeking guidance from an experienced visa lawyer. At The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we are dedicated to working with recent immigrants and can help make the visa procurement and immigration processes easier for you. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation with Mr. Goldstein to learn more about the right type of visa for you.

H-1B Visa Update

In years past, the problem with H-1B visas was scarcity–too many visa applicants going after too few H-1B visas. Congress capped the annual number of available H-1B visas at 65,000. Although exceptions to the H-1B cap exist, this general restriction had a devastating effect on companies that depend on recruiting talented, educated foreign professionals with advanced degrees.

With the H-1B visa limits in mind, during immigration consultations in my Boston office, I’d typically advise immigration clients that if they didn’t submit their H-1B visa petition on the earliest possible moment–April 1–their prospects for success were subject to chance. I described the H-1B visa application as sort of like a lottery. An element of luck existed because even if your H-1B visa application was valid and deserved to be approved, who knew whether your petition would be fortunate enough to be selected? And in years past, H-1B visas were gone within days of becoming available.

But now that the economy has cratered and unemployment has shot up to nearly 10%, something astonishing has happened–H-1B visas are sitting on the shelf, there for the asking! As of May 18, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that 20,000 H-1B visas were still available. And today USCIS continues to accept H-1B visas petitions. USCIS will be posting updates periodically on visa availability. Who know when or even if the H-1B visas cap will be met?

So from these bad economic times comes some good news: H-1B visas appear to be still available. If you need a work visa either as an employer or an employee, give me a call in my Boston office at 617-722-0005. We can evaluate your immigration options and determine if an H-1B visa is appropriate for your case.