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May 22, 2024

Embarking on the journey to obtain an E-2 non-immigrant visa marks a significant step toward realizing your entrepreneurial aspirations in the United States. 

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur seeking to establish a startup or an established business owner looking to expand your operations, understanding the intricacies of the E-2 non-immigrant visa process is paramount.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the nuances of E-2 visas, offering a roadmap to navigate through the intricate labyrinth of requirements, procedures, and considerations. 

From deciphering eligibility criteria to unraveling the intricacies of investment and business requirements, we leave no stone unturned in equipping you with the knowledge and insights necessary to embark on your E-2 visa journey confidently.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a first-time entrepreneur, this guide is your indispensable companion on the path to E-2 visa success.

What is an E-2 Visa?

An E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows individuals from treaty countries to enter, work, and live in the United States based on a substantial investment they have made in a U.S. business. 

This visa is particularly aimed at entrepreneurs, managers, and key employees who must hold citizenship from a country with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation.

To qualify for the E-2 visa, the investor must contribute a significant amount of capital to a new or existing enterprise, ensuring their stake is more than marginal. There is no minimum investment amount specified, but it must be substantial relative to the total cost of either purchasing or establishing the enterprise.

The E-2 visa is valid for up to two years. The visa holder has the option to indefinitely extend the visa in two-year increments as long as the business continues to operate and comply with E-2 visa regulations. 

This visa does not directly lead to a green card but can offer a pathway to other visa categories that do. It is essential for the investor and their business to show that the investment is not marginal and that the business is creating jobs or providing some economic benefit to the United States.

Application process

Applying for an E-2 visa involves multiple steps that you’ll need to carefully follow to ensure a successful application process. Here’s a guide to steer you through:

Determine eligibility

Ensure you meet the key criteria, such as being a national from a treaty country and having made a substantial investment in a U.S. business. 

Collect documentation

Gather necessary documents, including proof of investment, business plans, ownership documents, and personal identification.

Complete Form DS-160

Fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and print the confirmation page to bring to your interview.

Pay the Visa fee

Submit the required visa application fee. Retain the receipt as evidence of payment.

Schedule and attend your interview

Depending on your age and location, you may be required to interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you reside. Be prepared to discuss your business plans and investment, and provide all requested documentation.

Wait for a decision

After the interview, they will process your application, and you will be informed about the decision.

Remember, the wait times for visa processing vary by location, season, and individual case, so plan the application well in advance of your intended travel date. If you are unsure about any part of the E-2 Visa application process, a business immigration lawyer can help you through a visa consultation. 

A man and woman at a table with a laptop and papers, discussing E-2 non-immigrant visa with a business immigration lawyer.

Investment requirements

As we mentioned earlier, applicants must make a substantial investment in a bonafide enterprise in the United States to qualify for an E-2 visa. 

Key considerations for the investment include:

  • Sufficiency: The amount should ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise. 
  • Risk: The capital must be at risk for the purpose of generating a return on the investment; merely having funds sitting in a bank account or similar security does not qualify.
  • Source: The investor must demonstrate that the funds come from a legitimate source.
  • Active Investment: The investor must have control over the funds and the investment must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.

It is crucial to document the investment process meticulously and provide evidence such as bank statements, itemized lists of goods and materials purchased for the business, lease agreements, and other relevant financial documents.

Maintaining E-2 Visa Status

Maintaining E-2 Visa status requires adherence to specific rules and conditions. It’s crucial to ensure that the business through which the E-2 visa was obtained remains operational and engages in substantial trade or services. The visa holder must also continue to direct and develop the enterprise.

Here’s what E-2 visa holders should do to maintain their status:

  1. Keep your investment substantial and at risk.
  2. Ensure the business is not marginal and has the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living or has a significant economic impact.
  3. Engage hands-on in the business operations, showing control and decision-making responsibilities.
  4. Despite the visa being renewable indefinitely, you should retain the intention to depart the U.S. once your business dealings are complete.
  5. Reinvest profits to grow the business further or to maintain its position in the market.

Failure to adhere to these conditions may result in the termination of E-2 status. Routinely documenting business activities and financials is wise, as immigration officials may request this information when extending or renewing your E-2 visa.

Alternatives to E-2 Visas

When considering immigration and business options in the United States, the E-2 visa is a popular choice. However, there are alternative visas that might align better with different individual circumstances. Here are some noteworthy alternatives:

L-1 Visas

The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for transferring managers, executives, or specialized knowledge employees from an overseas office to one of its offices in the United States. This visa is particularly useful for multinational companies looking to expand their operations or enhance their team’s capabilities in the U.S. 

The L-1 visa facilitates the temporary transfer of a qualified employee who has worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate, or branch office of the company outside the U.S. for at least one continuous year within the three years preceding the application. 

There are two types of L-1 visas: L-1A for executives and managers, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.

H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Typically, roles in fields such as IT, finance, engineering, architecture, and more qualify for this visa. 

To obtain an H-1B visa, both the employer and the employee must fulfill specific requirements. The employer must demonstrate that the position requires specialized knowledge and that the wage offered meets or exceeds the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of employment. 

The visa has a cap each year, making the process competitive, with applications often exceeding the available visas quickly. This visa also allows the holder to work in the U.S. for three years, with the possibility of extending it for a total of six years.

O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa reserved for individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements in the fields of science, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. 

To qualify for an O-1 visa, applicants must provide evidence of their extraordinary abilities, such as awards, significant contributions to their field, published material, or a high salary due to their achievements. 

The visa is particularly appealing because it does not have an annual cap and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments as long as the individual continues to meet the visa requirements. This flexibility makes the O-1 visa a preferred choice for top-tier professionals seeking to work in the United States.

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 Investor Visa is a U.S. visa option designed for foreign investors who are willing to make a substantial financial investment in a U.S. business that will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers. 

Typically, the minimum investment required is $1.05 million, but this amount can drop to $800,000 if the investment is made in a rural or high-unemployment area. In return for their investment and the economic benefits it generates, investors and their immediate family members (spouses and unmarried children under 21) can become eligible for permanent residency in the United States. 

The EB-5 program is a popular route for investors seeking not only a return on investment but also a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

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Budgeting for E-2 Visa expenses

Embarking on the journey to obtain an E-2 visa entails various financial considerations. It’s essential to budget for the visa application fees and the associated expenses throughout the process. Here’s a breakdown of the key financial aspects to consider:

Application fees

The E-2 visa application process involves various fees, including the filing fee for Form DS-160, the visa application fee (MRV fee), and any applicable fees for dependents.

Legal fees

Hiring a business immigration lawyer or consultant to assist with your E-2 visa application can incur additional costs. However, professional guidance will streamline the process and increase the likelihood of success.

Business investment costs

The core requirement of the E-2 visa is a substantial investment in a U.S. business. Budgeting for the initial investment amount is crucial, considering factors such as business acquisition costs, startup expenses, and operational capital.

Living expenses

During the visa process, applicants may need to reside in the United States temporarily. Budgeting for living expenses, including accommodation, transportation, and daily necessities, is essential to sustain yourself and your family during this period.

Financial planning for the future

Securing an E-2 visa is only the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur in the United States. As you plan for your future in the country, it’s crucial to consider various financial aspects:

Managing personal finances

Transitioning to a new country involves financial adjustments. When managing your personal finances in the United States, consider factors such as currency exchange rates, cost of living differences, and taxation implications.

Tax considerations

E-2 visa holders are subject to U.S. taxation on their worldwide income. Understanding your tax obligations and planning accordingly can help you minimize tax liabilities and ensure compliance with IRS regulations.

Financial goals for the business

Set clear financial goals and projections for your business in the United States. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines revenue targets, expense forecasts, and strategies for growth and profitability.

Cultural and social integration

Adapting to American business culture

Navigating the intricacies of American business culture is essential for E-2 visa holders seeking success in the U.S. market. Here are some tips for adapting to American business norms:

Understanding business etiquette

Familiarize yourself with common business practices, such as punctuality, professionalism, and effective communication. Building rapport with colleagues, clients, and business partners is essential for establishing credibility and trust.

Networking skills

Networking plays a significant role in American business culture. Attend industry events, seminars, and conferences to expand your professional network and foster valuable connections. Utilize online platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with industry peers and potential collaborators.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I buy a franchise to qualify for an E-2 visa?

Yes, purchasing a franchise is a common way to qualify for an E-2 visa. The investment must be substantial, and the franchise must meet the same requirements as any other business in terms of job creation and contribution to the economy.

2. What happens to my E-2 visa if my business fails?

If your E-2 business fails, you must either adjust your status in the United States by applying for a different type of visa or leave the U.S. Your E-2 visa is dependent on the continued operation of your business.

3. Can I switch from an E-2 visa to another visa type, such as an H-1B or a green card?

Yes, it is possible to switch from an E-2 visa to another visa type or even apply for a green card. Each option has specific requirements, such as finding a sponsoring employer for an H-1B visa or meeting eligibility criteria for a green card through investment, marriage, or employment.

4. How long can I stay in the U.S. on an E-2 visa if my business is successful?

The E-2 visa typically allows a stay of up to two years per entry, but it can be extended indefinitely in two-year increments as long as the business continues to operate and comply with all visa regulations.

5. Are there any restrictions on the type of business I can start with an E-2 visa?

Generally, there are no restrictions on the type of business you can start; however, the business must be legitimate and capable of generating more than enough income to support you and your family, and potentially create jobs.

6. Can I travel outside the U.S. with an E-2 visa?

Yes, E-2 visa holders can travel outside the U.S. and should be granted re-entry as long as the visa remains valid and the business is still operational.

7. How does a change in my business affect my E-2 visa?

Significant changes in your business, such as a merger, sale, or major shift in business model, must be reported to USCIS and may require a new E-2 visa application or amendment, depending on the nature of the change.

9. Can my children attend school in the U.S. while I’m on an E-2 visa?

Yes, your dependent children under 21 can attend U.S. schools, from elementary to high school, and they can apply for college as international students.

A man and woman at a table with a laptop and papers, discussing E-2 non-immigrant visa with a business immigration lawyer.

Partner with ImmiVisa for your E-2 Visa journey

Embarking on the E-2 visa process can be a daunting task, fraught with complexities and uncertainties. However, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. ImmiVisa stands ready to be your trusted ally and guide, offering unparalleled expertise and support every step of the way.

Our team of seasoned immigration professionals specializes in E-2 visas and visa consultations, possessing the knowledge and experience to navigate even the most intricate aspects of the application process. 

From meticulously preparing your documentation to providing invaluable guidance during USCIS interviews, we’re committed to ensuring a smooth and successful E-2 visa experience for you.

Don’t let uncertainty and anxiety hinder your entrepreneurial ambitions. Partner with ImmiVisa today, and embark on your E-2 visa journey with confidence. Contact ImmiVisa for a visa consultation to learn more about our comprehensive suite of E-2 visa services, and discover how we can help turn your American dream into a reality.

May 8, 2024

Securing an EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa is a coveted achievement that opens doors to immense opportunities in the United States for individuals recognized at the top of their fields. 

Whether you’re a technology innovator, a leading researcher in science, a celebrated artist, or a sports star, this visa category is designed to facilitate your contributions on U.S. soil without the need for a specific job offer. 

This blog will guide you through the essential criteria, documentation requirements, and strategic insights necessary to qualify for an EB-1A visa

We will help you understand how to showcase your extraordinary abilities effectively to meet the rigorous standards set by U.S. immigration authorities, ensuring your application stands the best chance of success.

What is the EB-1A visa?

The EB-1A visa is a special kind of green card. It’s for people with amazing skills who have done big things in their respective fields. People all over the world recognize them for their excellent work. 

This visa is for those with extraordinary abilities in fields like science, art, education, business, or sports. It allows them to live and work in the United States because they are top-notch in what they do.

Who can try to get an EB-1A visa?

The EB-1A visa is not easy to get. You need to show that you are the best of the best. This means you have to give proof of your wins or your work that got a lot of attention. Think of it like showing off a trophy shelf filled with all your amazing work. 

Getting an EB-1A visa is a big deal. If you have what it takes, it can lead to a bright future in the U.S. Stars with global fame, pros with top skills in their jobs, and big-time award winners usually get EB-1A visas so they can travel and work in the U.S. to further expand their careers. 

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for an EB-1A visa, you must show extraordinary abilities and be at the top of your field, which could be in the arts, sciences, business, or athletics. People from around the world, known as foreign nationals, aim for this visa because it allows them to live and work in the U.S. permanently without needing a job offer.

Here are the main points to be eligible:

  • International acclaim: Prove you’re famous in your field across the world.
  • Outstanding achievements: Show big successes and top-level work.
  • Critical role: Have a leading part in important projects or organizations.
  • Awards for excellence: Win big awards or prizes that show you’re the best.

Experts suggest collecting evidence such as articles in major trade publications or scholarly journals, judging others’ work, and having your work featured.

An immigration lawyer can help with the application process through a visa consultation, ensuring that you meet the evidentiary criteria with the proper types of evidence.

Remember, meeting at least three criteria from the list can move you closer to an EB-1A visa.

A man and woman sitting at a table with an American flag,discussing visa consultation and EB-1A Visa requirements.

EB-1A Visa requirements

To better comprehend the EB-1A visa requirements, let’s break them down into four main criteria.

Extraordinary ability

At the heart of the EB-1A visa requirements lies an individual’s extraordinary ability. But what exactly does that mean? Well, it involves demonstrating sustained achievements and recognition, surpassing what is typically expected, and evidence of national or international acclaim in your chosen field.

Evidence

As with any worthy endeavor, providing concrete evidence is fundamental. The evidence you present to showcase your extraordinary abilities varies depending on your field and may include renowned awards, media recognition, publications, membership in esteemed organizations, original contributions, or displays of significant influence.

Demonstrating national interest

This is an important aspect of obtaining an EB-1A visa. Individuals must demonstrate that their extraordinary ability will significantly benefit the United States. You can accomplish this by highlighting your contributions to your field, your positive impact on the economy, or how your work addresses a critical national interest.

Application process

The application process for an EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa may seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be a straightforward and successful journey. 

Step 1: Understand the requirements

Before completing the application, it is crucial to comprehend the requirements set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

As we’ve discussed, to qualify for an EB-1A visa, you need to provide evidence of extraordinary ability in one of the following fields: sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. 

These abilities must be recognized on a national or international level, making you stand out among your peers. As great as playing a good soccer game is, it’s not enough to score an EB-1A visa.

Step 2: Organize your documentation

To prove your extraordinary ability, you must compile a thorough portfolio of evidence.  Carefully organizing this evidence is essential, as it will be the foundation of your application.

Step 3: Drafting a persuasive petition letter

The heart of your application is the petition letter, which serves as a persuasive document highlighting your extraordinary abilities. It is crucial to craft this letter in a way that presents your accomplishments and contributions clearly and convincingly. Remember, the aim is to showcase your unique skills and what makes you exceptional in your field.

Step 4: Collecting letters of support

In addition to your petition letter, you will need to gather letters of support from experts in your industry. These letters should emphasize your extraordinary abilities and provide a different perspective on your achievements. 

Choose individuals who are highly regarded and can speak to your professional accomplishments in a detailed and positive manner. 

Step 5: Preparing the application forms

Completing the necessary application forms is another critical step in the EB-1A visa process. Provide accurate personal information, previous immigration history, and employment details. This information will be used to ensure your suitability for the visa classification and will support your extraordinary ability claims.

Step 6: Paying the required fees

To continue with your application, you must pay the necessary fees as required by USCIS. The fee covers the processing costs and must be submitted along with your completed application forms. It is essential to check USCIS’s official website for the latest fee amounts and accepted payment methods, as these are subject to change at any time.

Step 7: Submitting the application

Once you have gathered all essential documents, including your petition letter, supporting letters, application forms, and fee payment confirmation, it is time to submit your application to the USCIS. Ensure you have made copies of all the paperwork for your records, as it might be required during the review process.

Step 8: Waiting for a decision

After the submission, the USCIS will review your application to assess your eligibility for an EB-1A visa. The evaluation process may take several months, so it is important to be patient. USCIS will notify you of its decision in writing, either approving or denying your application.

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Alternatives to EB-1A Visas

If you’re hoping to work in the United States but finding the EB-1A visa a tough fit, don’t worry! There are other great options to consider, and an immigration lawyer can help you find the best option. 

O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa is tailored for individuals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in their professional fields or who have achieved a high level of success in the motion picture or television industry. 

To qualify, applicants must prove their exceptional skills through extensive documentation, including awards, critical roles, significant achievements, and recognition from their peers. 

The process involves a U.S. employer or agent filing a petition on behalf of the applicant, including a detailed itinerary of the activities the applicant will undertake during their stay. 

Once approved, the O-1 visa allows the individual to work legally in the U.S. for the duration of their assignment, up to three years, with the possibility of extensions. This visa benefits not only the visa holder but also the U.S. entities that gain from their expertise.

EB-2 Visa

The EB-2 visa is a U.S. immigrant visa designed for foreign professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Applicants must generally have a job offer from a U.S. employer who will file a petition on their behalf, and a labor certification proving that no qualified U.S. workers are available for the role. 

There are two subcategories: EB-2A for those with advanced degrees, and EB-2B for those demonstrating exceptional ability in their field. Exceptional ability means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered. 

The process includes demonstrating qualifications, the job offer, and the labor certification, followed by filing Form I-140. 

In some cases, applicants can seek a National Interest Waiver, which allows them to bypass the job offer and labor certification requirements if their employment would be in the national interest of the United States. Once approved, the EB-2 visa provides a pathway to U.S. permanent residency.

EB-3 Visa

The EB-3 visa is a pathway for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers to obtain U.S. permanent residency. It caters to three groups: skilled workers with at least two years of relevant experience or training, professionals holding a bachelor’s degree, and other workers engaged in unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience. 

Applicants must secure a permanent job offer in the U.S., and their employer must complete a labor certification process. This process demonstrates that there are no available U.S. workers for the specific job. 

The employer must then file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. Once approved, the applicant can proceed to apply for a green card, making the EB-3 a crucial visa for those seeking to enter and remain in the U.S. job market.

L-1 Visa

The L-1 visa facilitates the transfer of key employees from a multinational company’s foreign offices to its offices in the United States. This visa is divided into two categories: L-1A for managers and executives, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. 

To qualify, employees must have worked for the company outside the U.S. for at least one continuous year within the preceding three years. The U.S. company must file a petition on the employee’s behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

If approved, the L-1 visa allows the employee to stay in the U.S. for an initial period of up to three years, which can be extended. For L-1A holders, the total stay may extend up to seven years; for L-1B holders, it can extend up to five years. 

This visa not only helps companies bring key personnel to their U.S. operations but also allows such employees to apply for permanent residency under certain conditions.

Remember to chat with an immigration lawyer to choose the best path for you. 

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Frequently asked questions

1. What is the difference between EB-1A and EB-1B visas?

The EB-1A visa is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. It does not require a job offer or employer sponsorship. The EB-1B visa, however, is for outstanding professors and researchers and requires a job offer and sponsorship from a U.S. employer.

2. Can family members accompany an EB-1A visa holder to the U.S.?

Yes, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 can accompany the EB-1A visa holder to the U.S. under the E-14 and E-15 visa status, respectively.

3. Is there a quota or cap for EB-1A visas each year?

Yes, there is an annual limit on the number of EB-1 visas issued, which includes EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-1C categories combined. However, this category rarely reaches its cap compared to other visa categories.

4. How long does the EB-1A visa process take?

The processing time can vary greatly depending on the USCIS service center and specific case details, but it generally ranges from 8 to 14 months. Applicants can opt for premium processing to receive a decision within 15 calendar days.

5. Can I apply for an EB-1A visa while living outside the United States?

Yes, individuals can apply for an EB-1A visa from outside the U.S. The process involves a consular interview and, upon approval, they can enter the U.S. as permanent residents.

6. What happens if my EB-1A application is denied?

If an EB-1A application is denied, the applicant can file a new petition or a motion to reopen or reconsider the case. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to understand the reasons for denial and improve the application.

7. Are there any language requirements for the EB-1A visa?

There are no language proficiency requirements for the EB-1A visa; however, applicants must be able to communicate effectively to perform their work in the U.S., if applicable.

8. Do I need a lawyer to apply for an EB-1A visa?

While it is not mandatory to have a lawyer, the EB-1A visa application process is complex and highly technical. Having an experienced immigration attorney can significantly enhance the likelihood of approval by ensuring the application is thorough and complies with all legal requirements.

9. Can I switch employers once I am in the U.S. on an EB-1A visa?

Yes, since the EB-1A visa does not require employer sponsorship, visa holders are not tied to a single employer and can change jobs. However, it’s important to note that the new job should also be in an area that demonstrates the individual’s extraordinary abilities.

10. What are the benefits of obtaining an EB-1A visa compared to other immigrant visas?

The EB-1A visa offers several advantages, such as no need for a labor certification or a job offer, faster processing times compared to other green card categories, and it allows for self-petitioning.

11. Can I apply for U.S. citizenship after receiving my EB-1A visa?

Yes, after holding permanent resident status for five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), EB-1A visa holders can apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process.

Apply for an EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa with ImmiVisa 

Navigating the EB-1A visa process is complex, requiring a thorough demonstration of your extraordinary abilities and significant contributions to your field. 

With strict criteria and meticulous documentation needed, the path to approval is not always straightforward. However, with a visa consultation, your dream of advancing your career in the United States can become a reality. 

At ImmiVisa, our team of experienced immigration attorneys specializes in helping exceptional talents like you. We understand the nuances of the EB-1A visa and are committed to providing personalized strategies to enhance your application.

Don’t let the complexities of the visa process deter you from pursuing your goals. Contact ImmiVisa today to schedule a consultation. Our experts are ready to assist you every step of the way, ensuring your application not only meets but exceeds the expectations of U.S. immigration authorities. 

Let us help you unlock the door to new opportunities in the United States. Reach out now for your visa consultation, and take the first step toward turning your potential into achievement.

October 5, 2023

The United States, often referred to as the land of opportunities, is a popular destination for individuals seeking better prospects, whether for education, work, or a new beginning. For those already settled in the U.S. on various visas, it’s natural to wish for their siblings to join them and share in the American dream. While the immigration process for siblings of visa holders can be complex, understanding the available options and procedures can pave the way for family reunification.

Understanding the Immigration Landscape

The U.S. immigration system is vast and diverse, offering multiple pathways for family members to join their loved ones residing in the country. When it comes to siblings of visa holders, the process typically involves sponsorship, either through family-sponsored visas or employment-based immigration avenues.

Family-Sponsored Visas

The family-sponsored visa category allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for immigration to the United States. While U.S. citizens have broader sponsorship options, permanent residents can sponsor a narrower set of family members, including siblings.

  1. Family Preference Visas: Siblings fall under the Fourth Preference (F4) category for family-sponsored immigration. However, the availability of F4 visas is subject to annual visa limits, which can result in considerable waiting times.
  2. Process Overview: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident sibling initiates the process by filing a visa petition (Form I-130) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. Following this, the case is transferred to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the sibling’s home country for visa application and interview.
  3. Visa Availability: The waiting time for an available visa can vary significantly based on the sibling’s home country and the current visa bulletin. Patience is crucial, as visa backlogs can extend for years.

Employment-Based Immigration

Another potential avenue for siblings is employment-based immigration. If a sibling is highly skilled, holds an advanced degree, or possesses exceptional abilities, they may be eligible for employment-based visas such as the EB-2 or EB-3 categories.

  1. EB-2 and EB-3 Categories: The EB-2 category is for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability, while the EB-3 category is for professionals, skilled workers, or other workers.
  2. Process Overview: A U.S. employer sponsors the sibling for an employment-based visa by initiating the labor certification process, obtaining an approved immigrant petition (Form I-140), and progressing towards permanent residency (a green card).
  3. Job Offer and Employment: The sibling must have a job offer from a U.S. employer and meet specific job requirements to qualify for these categories.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be challenging, especially when it involves family sponsorship and employment-based immigration. Seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney can greatly simplify the process and increase the likelihood of a successful application. Contact ImmiVisa for a consultation to discuss the most suitable options for reuniting siblings coming to the U.S.

Final Thoughts

Reuniting with siblings in the United States is a cherished aspiration for many individuals. While the immigration journey may be intricate, understanding the available options and seeking appropriate legal counsel can significantly contribute to a smoother process. Patience, diligence, and proper guidance are essential elements that pave the way for a successful immigration experience, bringing families together on American soil.

October 2, 2023

The United States, often dubbed the land of opportunity, attracts talent from all corners of the globe. For exceptional professionals seeking to further their careers and contribute to the country’s growth, the EB-1 visa stands as a beacon. The EB-1 visa, designed for individuals of extraordinary ability, offers a direct path to permanent residency for those who have showcased unparalleled expertise in their respective fields.

Unveiling the EB-1 Visa

The EB-1 visa is part of the employment-based immigration first preference category, tailored for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers. Of particular interest is the EB-1A subcategory, which focuses on professionals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics.

Extraordinary Ability Criteria:

To qualify for the EB-1A visa, applicants must meet specific criteria showcasing their extraordinary ability. These include:

  1. Sustained National or International Acclaim: Providing evidence of sustained acclaim and recognition on a national or international level within the field of expertise.
  2. Major Awards or Prizes: Presenting proof of significant awards, prizes, or recognitions received for outstanding achievements in the field.
  3. Published Material About the Applicant: Showcasing substantial published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media.
  4. Membership in Associations: Demonstrating membership in associations that require outstanding achievements for admission, as evidence of the applicant’s extraordinary ability.
  5. Original Contributions: Providing evidence of the applicant’s original contributions of major significance to their field.
  6. Judge of Others’ Work: Serving as a judge of the work of others in the same or a related field, either on an individual or panel basis.
  7. High Salary or Remuneration: Displaying evidence of a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in the field.

Benefits of the EB-1A Visa:

The EB-1A visa offers several distinct benefits, making it an attractive option for professionals of extraordinary ability:

  1. Self-Petitioning: Unlike many other employment-based visas, EB-1A applicants can petition for themselves, bypassing the need for employer sponsorship.
  2. Expedited Processing: EB-1A petitions can qualify for premium processing, ensuring a quicker adjudication process and a 15-day timeline for USCIS response.
  3. No Labor Certification: The EB-1A category eliminates the labor certification requirement, streamlining the process and avoiding delays associated with the labor market test.
  4. Direct Path to Permanent Residency: Upon approval, EB-1A visa holders can directly apply for a green card, securing permanent residency in the United States.
  5. Flexibility in Employment: EB-1A visa holders have the freedom to change employers or positions within their field without affecting their immigration status.

Tips for a Successful Application:

  1. Gather Comprehensive Documentation: Ensure you collect extensive and compelling evidence showcasing your extraordinary ability, achievements, and contributions to your field.
  2. Seek Professional Guidance: Work with an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the application process, ensuring all requirements are met and the best possible case is presented.
  3. Craft a Strong Petition Letter: Pay careful attention to the petition letter, emphasizing your achievements, the impact of your work, and why you qualify as a professional of extraordinary ability.
  4. Highlight Your Original Contributions: Emphasize the originality and significance of your contributions to your field, providing concrete examples and evidence of their impact.
  5. Showcase National or International Recognition: Document any awards, honors, publications, or recognition received on a national or international level within your field.

Final Thoughts:

Mastering the EB-1A visa is a remarkable achievement that opens doors to a fulfilling professional journey in the United States. Understanding the criteria, benefits, and application process is vital for a successful application. With the right approach, professionals of extraordinary ability can make a significant mark in their respective fields on American soil. Contact our Immigration firm for a consultation to discuss your case and how to best approach your own personal criteria.

October 5, 2023

In today’s digital age, influencers have a significant impact on society, culture, and business. The United States, being a hub for creativity and innovation, attracts numerous influencers from around the world. For influencers looking to establish a strong presence in the U.S., understanding the various immigration options is crucial. Among the most suitable visas for influencers are the EB-1A, O-1, and P-1 visas.

1. EB-1A Visa: Recognizing Extraordinary Ability

The EB-1A visa is a prestigious option for influencers who possess extraordinary ability in their respective fields. This category is designed for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding expertise and sustained acclaim.

Key Advantages:

  • Path to Permanent Residency: Successful applicants can transition to permanent residency, making it an ideal choice for influencers seeking a long-term commitment in the U.S.
  • Self-Petitioning: Influencers can petition for themselves without the need for employer sponsorship, providing flexibility and control over the application process.
  • No Labor Certification: The EB-1A category bypasses the labor certification requirement, expediting the application process.

Requirements:

Influencers must demonstrate extraordinary ability through sustained acclaim, major awards, publications, significant contributions, original work, and other forms of recognition.

2. O-1 Visa: Recognizing Extraordinary Talent

The O-1 visa is an excellent option for influencers who possess extraordinary talent and have achieved recognition in their field. It is designed to attract individuals with exceptional skills, expertise, or achievements.

Key Advantages:

  • Temporary Stay: Holders of the O-1 visa can temporarily reside and work in the U.S., allowing influencers to engage in specific projects or activities for their sponsoring employer or entity.
  • Flexibility: The O-1 visa provides flexibility in terms of employment options, allowing influencers to adapt and respond to changing opportunities.

Requirements:

Influencers applying for the O-1 visa need to provide substantial evidence of their extraordinary ability, including awards, publications, testimonials, high salary, and significant contributions to their field.

3. P-1 Visa: Recognizing Athletic and Entertainment Excellence

The P-1 visa is suitable for influencers closely associated with the athletic or entertainment industry. It is tailored for individuals or groups with a high level of achievement in their field.

Key Advantages:

  • Group Eligibility: Influencers who are part of a team or group can enter the U.S. collectively, making it suitable for influencers collaborating or performing as a group.
  • Performance Opportunities: Holders of the P-1 visa can participate in events, competitions, tours, or performances, enhancing their visibility and engagement within the U.S.

Requirements:

Influencers applying for the P-1 visa must meet specific criteria, including a valid contract with a U.S. employer, international recognition, and significant achievements in their field.

Choosing the Right Fit

The choice of the best visa depends on an influencer’s unique circumstances, career goals, and intended duration of stay in the U.S. The EB-1A visa offers a path to permanent residency, making it suitable for those seeking a long-term commitment. The O-1 visa, on the other hand, provides flexibility and temporary residency options, while the P-1 visa is ideal for influencers in athletics or entertainment.

Conclusion

For international influencers looking to make their mark in the U.S., understanding the various visa options is paramount. Each visa category has its advantages, and influencers must carefully assess their situation to choose the one that aligns with their goals and aspirations. With the right visa, influencers can unlock a world of opportunities and further enhance their brand and presence in the U.S.

September 13, 2023
September 13, 2023

The United States has long been a land of opportunity, attracting individuals from around the world who seek to build their careers, businesses, and lives in this diverse and prosperous nation. Employment-based immigration offers a pathway for talented individuals, workers, and entrepreneurs to achieve their American dreams. In this article, we’ll explore the various facets of employment-based immigration, including Temporary Work Visas, Permanent Residence Visas, and Investor Visas.

Temporary Work Visas

Temporary work visas are designed for foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States for a specific job or employment opportunity. These visas grant temporary authorization to work and reside in the country. Here are some prominent categories of temporary work visas:

  1. H-1B Visa: This visa is for highly skilled professionals in specialty occupations, such as technology, engineering, and healthcare. It allows foreign workers to temporarily fill positions that require specialized knowledge and skills.
  2. L-1 Visa: The L-1 visa is for intracompany transferees, allowing multinational companies to transfer employees from their foreign offices to their US offices. There are two subcategories: L-1A for managers and executives and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.
  3. O-1 Visa: The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in their field, including scientists, artists, and athletes. It is designed for those who have reached the top of their professions.

Permanent Residence Visas

Permanent residence visas, commonly known as Green Cards, offer foreign nationals the opportunity to live and work in the United States indefinitely. These visas provide a pathway to US citizenship and offer greater stability than temporary work visas. Here are notable categories of Permanent Residence Visas:

  1. EB-1 Visa: The EB-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives. It does not require labor certification, making it a preferred choice for many.
  2. EB-2 Visa: This visa is for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in their field. In most cases, it requires a job offer and labor certification.
  3. EB-3 Visa: The EB-3 visa is for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. It requires a job offer and labor certification in most cases.

Investor Visas

Investor visas provide foreign nationals with the opportunity to invest in US businesses, stimulate economic growth, and achieve immigration benefits. Here are two prominent investor visa categories:

  1. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: The EB-5 program allows foreign investors to obtain a Green Card by investing a minimum of $1.8 million (or $900,000 in targeted employment areas) in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs for US workers.
  2. E-2 Treaty Investor Visa: The E-2 visa is available to nationals of countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. It requires a substantial capital investment in a US business, typically with a lower minimum investment requirement than the EB-5 program.

Benefits of Employment-Based Immigration

  1. Career Opportunities: Employment-based immigrants can pursue their careers in the United States, working in their chosen fields and contributing to the nation’s workforce.
  2. Stability: Permanent residence visas offer long-term stability, allowing immigrants to build their lives and families in the United States.
  3. Entrepreneurship: Investor visas enable entrepreneurs to start or purchase businesses in the United States, fostering economic growth and job creation.
  4. Path to Citizenship: Many employment-based immigrants have the opportunity to become US citizens, further solidifying their ties to the country.

Employment-based immigration is a diverse and dynamic pathway to achieving one’s American dream. Whether you are a skilled worker, a professional, an entrepreneur, or an investor, there are visa categories tailored to your needs and goals. Navigating the complexities of US immigration can be challenging, but with the right guidance and legal support, you can embark on a successful journey toward realizing your aspirations in the United States.

September 13, 2023
September 13, 2023

The United States, with its vibrant economy and diverse opportunities, has long been a destination of choice for investors and entrepreneurs from around the world. For those seeking to pursue their American dream, understanding the nuances of US immigration laws and selecting the right visa category is crucial. US investor immigration encompasses various visa programs that provide foreign investors and their immediate family members with pathways to establish themselves in the United States for business or investment purposes. These programs cater to different needs and objectives, offering either temporary or permanent residency options. Let’s dive into three prominent options: the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa, and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, initiated by Congress in 1990, aims to boost the US economy by attracting foreign capital investments and creating employment opportunities for US workers. Here are its key features:

Investment Requirement: Investors must make a minimum capital investment of $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise within the United States. If the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA), with high unemployment or in a rural area, the minimum investment is reduced to $900,000.
Job Creation: The primary goal is job creation. Investors are required to create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for qualified US workers within two years of their investment.
Conditional Green Card: Successful EB-5 applicants and their families initially receive conditional Green Cards, valid for two years. To obtain unconditional Green Cards, investors must prove that their investment has created the requisite jobs and remained at risk during the conditional period.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa
The E-1 Treaty Trader Visa is designed for individuals and businesses engaged in substantial international trade between the United States and their home country. Key features include:

Treaty Requirement: The applicant’s home country must have a qualifying treaty with the United States that allows for E-1 visa eligibility.
Trade Volume: To qualify, the business must engage in substantial trade, which generally means a high volume of trade transactions.
Duration: E-1 visas are typically issued for up to five years and can be renewed indefinitely.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa caters to individuals who wish to invest a substantial amount of capital in a US business. Key features include:

Treaty Requirement: Similar to the E-1 visa, the applicant’s home country must have a qualifying treaty with the United States that allows for E-2 visa eligibility.
Investment Requirement: There is no fixed investment amount, but the investment must be substantial, and the investor must have a significant ownership stake in the enterprise.
Duration: E-2 visas are initially issued for up to five years and can be renewed as long as the business remains operational and meets the visa criteria.
Benefits of US Investor Immigration

Path to Permanent Residency: The EB-5 program offers a direct pathway to US permanent residency for investors and their families, while E-1 and E-2 visas provide temporary residency options with the potential for long-term renewals.
Business Opportunities: E-1 and E-2 visa holders can manage and develop their businesses in the United States, allowing them to shape their American entrepreneurial journey.
Educational Access: Both EB-5 and E-1/E-2 visa holders can provide their children with access to high-quality US education.

US investor immigration, which includes the EB-5 program and the E-1 and E-2 visas, presents diverse opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs looking to pursue their American aspirations. By fostering economic growth, creating jobs, and facilitating international trade and investment, these programs not only benefit participants but also contribute to the cultural and economic diversity of the United States. If you are considering US investor immigration, consult with experienced immigration professionals to navigate the process effectively and embark on your path to the American dream.

February 7, 2022

Congratulations Business Owner, you are looking at expanding your operations into the United States. With all the hard-work you’ve put in to get this far, let’s talk about the most effective methods to work in the United States, whether it being yourself, a manager, executive or a person with specialized knowledge.

WHAT IS AN L-1 VISA?

It is a non-immigrant visa by which foreign companies transfer certain employees like a manager, executive, or person with specialized knowledge to a U.S. company. The U.S. company must be a branch office, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign company. The L1 visa is an intra-company transfer visa. It allows a US company to transfer a key employee from one of its offices in another country into the United States.

There are two types of L-1 visas:

  • L-1A VISA– The employee who works as a manager or an executive, the visa granted to the employee is called the L-1A visa.
  • L-1B VISA– The employee who works on specialized knowledge, the visa granted is called the L-1B visa.

 

PROCESS OF APPLICATION

The L-1 visa is applied by the U.S. company on behalf of the employee. The U.S. company who is the employer is called the petitioner as it files the petition for the visa and the employee is called the beneficiary. The L-1 type is not eligible for self-petition.

 

DURATION OF THE L-1 VISAS

Under both L-1A and L-1B, the employee must have worked for the company for a continuous period of twelve months in the previous 36 months. The L-1 A visa is first issued for 3 years, then can be extended to 2 more years and for a maximum period of 7 years. The L-1B visa is also initially granted for 3 years and can be extended to 5 years.

 

BENEFITS OF L-1 VISAS

 

  • Fewer criteria to be fulfilled by the employee – The employee should be in a managerial or an executive position for an L-1A visa and for an L-1B visa the employee must be having specialized knowledge. If the employee fulfills these, he/she is eligible for L-1A or L-1B visas depending on his role and knowledge.
  • The employee can live and work in the U.S.A.- The employee having the L-1 visa can live in the U.S. and work for the company. The job is already there and the employer is the petitioner, therefore it is comparatively less complicated.
  • Dual intent visa – The L-1 visa is a dual intent visa which means the holder can intent to permanently immigrate to the U.S. and become a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. in the future.
  • An extended period of stay – The L-1A visa is granted initially for 3 years and can be extended for 7 years. The L-1B visa can also be extended from 3 to 5 years.
  • Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years become eligible for an L-2 visa. The spouse of the L-1 visa holder and children under the age of 21 years are eligible for L-2 visas. The spouse can get a work permit and can work. The children too can study in U.S. schools and colleges.

 

DISADVANTAGES OF L-1 VISAS

  • Have to be the employee of the company – The person has to be an employee, then only the employer can apply for an L-1 visa. As the L-1 visa is applied by an employer, the person should be an employee in the company for 12 months. The employee should hold the position of a manager, an executive, or have specialized knowledge.
  • Restriction on the extension above a certain limit – The L-1A visa can be extended for 7 years and L-1B can be extended for a maximum period of 5 years.
  • Few companies are eligible- Only those companies are eligible to send their employees who have subsidiaries, offices, branches in the U.S.
  • Limited scope for the employee- The employee who comes on an L-1 visa to the U.S. can only work in the sponsored company and cannot work anywhere else.

 

L-1 VISA AND E-2 VISA

  • The E-2 visa is commonly referred to as the “non-immigrant treaty investor visa”. It is issued to non-immigrants of those countries with which the United States maintains an E-2 treaty on trade and commerce. It allows a non-immigrant individual/entity to invest in an existing U.S.-based business or to establish a new business. The L-1 visa is also a non-immigrant visa issued for working in a company in the U.S. There are certain SIMILARITIES between L-1 and E-2 visas.
  • Both are non-immigrant visas. They don’t grant permanent residency in the U.S. or a Green Card.
  • The employee in case of E-2 and L-1 visas can work only in the same company which sponsored them.
  • The spouse and children can accompany the visa holder on both visas. The spouse can get a work permit and children can study in both the type of visas.

Despite the similarities between the two types of visas, the two visas are DIFFERENT from each other in many ways.

  • ELIGIBILITY – The employee in the case of L-1 can be a national of any country. Whereas in the case of an E-2 visa, the individual has to be a national of an E-2 treaty country.
  • PURPOSE – The sole purpose of entering the U.S. in the case of an E-2 visa is to develop or run a business. In the case of an L-1 visa, the only requirement is that the foreign company should have a branch or a subsidiary in the U.S.
  • DURATION – The L-1 visa is granted for a maximum period of 7 years or 5 years depending on the type whereas the E-2 visa is granted for 2 years but can be renewed till the criteria are fulfilled. The L-1 visa cannot be renewed after 7 years.
  • INTENTION – The L-1 visa is a dual intent visa which means that the intention to go back to the origin country is not there. Whereas in the case of an E-2 visa the intention to go back is an essential condition.

 

CONCLUSION

The L-1 visa can be issued only by the employer for their employee. The employee who has the special knowledge or is an executive or a manager is only eligible for an L-1 visa. There is no requirement of a treaty between the origin country and the U.S. The only requirement is that the foreign company must have a parent, a branch in the U.S.

Few individuals can qualify for both L-1 and E-2 visas. But before applying the purpose of stay, duration, intention to return all have to be seen. Depending on the requirements, the person should apply for the type of visa. As an E-2 visa has no limit to the number of times it can be renewed, it is the best way to stay in the U.S permanently. In the case of L-1 visas, there is a limit of 7 years or 5 years depending on the role, but the holder can apply for a green card or through other ways for permanent residence. Both the visas are for working in the U.S. but both have certain merits and demerits. Depending on the requirement and intention a person or the employer should apply for either type of visa.

Contact us today to discuss the best method for your business, whether an L-1 or E-2 non-immigrant visa are the most effective methods to work in the United States.

 

 

January 15, 2022

It’s normal to be excited and nervous about your US visa application.

Today is the day you have been waiting for!

You just received the email notification of your appointment date and time for a US Embassy interview.

Now you are really nervous!

Whether you are planning to come to the US for school, or to get married, or to work, or any other reasons – none of this will happen without a successful US Embassy interview.

This may be one of the most important interviews you ever have.

While you can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours, the interview with the consulate officer is over in minutes.

The best thing you can do is be prepared. Know what they will ask and why.

Below are tips and information on how to have a successful US Embassy interview.

Be On Time

In some countries, it is customary to arrive a few minutes or even a half-hour late. This is not the culture at US embassies. 

 

You won’t be allowed in more than 30 minutes before your appointment. But if you are late, you risk the embassy canceling your appointment. Make sure you leave time for traffic and parking. Be on time.

Be Organized

You are bringing lots of documents. Have them neatly organized and be ready to show them to the staff quickly. Fumbling around and searching for documents makes you look more nervous than expected. Prepare ahead and make this simple.

Be Confident and Know the Process

Know the visa interview process is in two steps so you can be prepared.

 

Step One: The interview staff collects your documents and puts the information into their system. They will also take your fingerprint with an electronic scan. Note, the embassy will not process your application if you have a cut on your fingers or thumbs, and they will ask you to reschedule.

 

Step Two: A consular officer will interview you under oath. You have spent months getting ready, but this interview will last only a few minutes.

 

Out of hundreds of questions they might ask you, typically, they ask only about seven to ten questions. (See below on how to be ready for these questions)

Bring Proof of Completed Medical Exam

Before your interview, you must have a medical exam with an authorized physician in the country where you will be interviewed. The embassy must approve your doctor, or your exam will not be accepted.

 

And you must complete your medical exam and the required vaccinations before the interview. 

 

After your exam, your doctor will either send the results straight to the embassy or give them to you in a sealed envelope. Do not open the envelopeBring the sealed envelope and hand it to the consular officer.

Bring ALL Required Documents

Make sure to bring ALL required documents, in original or certified copy form, or your application might be delayed.

 

Every applicant is unique, and your required documents vary depending on your situation. 

 

But here are some documents you must bring:

 

Appointment Letter: This is the letter sent to you with the time and date of your interview appointment.

 

Passport: You and each visa applicant must bring an unexpired passport. It must be valid for six months beyond your intended date of entry into the US.

 

Photos: Each applicant must bring two identical color photos. You can see the requirement here,  Photograph Requirements.

 

DS-260 Confirmation:  You should have already filled out Form DS-260 online. The form is sent to you by the National Visa Center (NVC) before your appointment is scheduled. Bring the confirmation page to the interview. 

 

Supporting Documents: You must bring original or certified copies of all civil documents you uploaded into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).

The embassy staff will return any originals to you but might keep the copies you gave them.

 

English Translations: Some documents might have required an English translation. If you did not send the translated documents to NVC, you must bring them to the interview. 

 

Visa Fees: If you haven’t already paid all your fees to the NVC, you must bring the necessary fees to the US Embassy or Consulate at the time of the interview

 

The Interview with the Consular Office – What Should You Do?

Typically, the entire interview will be over in less than five minutes. The consular officer is there to help you, but they are extremely busy and have a backlog of applicants to interview. Here are the tips to help them as they are trying to help you.

 

At the beginning of the interview, the consular officer will tell you that they base your interview on answers on your form  DS-260. They will inform you that you must take an oath and swear the information is true. And they will explain the penalty for providing false information or false documents to the US Government.

 

This usually makes everyone nervous, but just realize the consular officer tells this to every applicant, and it is just part of the interview. Don’t be anxious about it.

 

Consular officers are trained to “make every effort to conduct visa interviews fairly and professionally.”

 

Here’s what to do:

 

Be Concise: Answer all the questions honestly, openly, and briefly. If they want more information, they will ask for it.

 

Be Confident and Relaxed: You can be confident because you are organized and prepared. When you are relaxed and open, you are perceived as being more honest.

 

Speak for Yourself:  For example, if you are a student, do not bring your parents. If you are getting a fiancé visa, you typically don’t bring your intended spouse. 

 

Either way, the consular officer wants to interview you, not your family or others.

 

You will create a negative impression if you let other people speak for you. 

 

Speaking English: Expect the interview to be in English and not in your native language. The more comfortable you are in  English, the less stressful this will be for you. Practicing your English with a native English speaker is always helpful. If you are coming to study English as a second language, your interview will probably be in your native language. Other than that, practice your English before the interview.

 

Be Truthful – Always: If the consular officer asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, just tell them you don’t know. That is the correct answer. Do not make up an answer, do not lie, and do not exaggerate.

 

Know The Answers: If you think about the type of visa you are applying for, you can pretty much guess the questions they will ask you. (If you need help, contact our office on how to prepare for the questions)

 

For example, if you are applying for a student visa, they might ask the following:

 

Do you plan to return to your home country after completing your studies? They are trying to make sure you understand the terms of the visa and are not planning on overstaying after graduation. Your answer should include the strong reasons you want to go back after your studies, like family, a partner, or a business. Explain what you plan to do when you return home after graduation. 

 

Do you plan on working while in school? The terms of an F1 visa allow you to work up to 20 hours per week while in school (and full time on campus during holidays and vacations if you are registering for the next semester). You might say to plan to focus on your studies but might work some on campus if possible.

 

Or as another example, for a financée visa, they want to make sure it is a legitimate relationship and might ask obvious relationship questions like: 

  • What are your fiancé’s hobbies & interests?
  • What make/model/color is your fiancé’s car?
  • What are your fiancé’s parents’ names?
  • Will there be a problem with the children from his other relationship?
  • Where do you plan to live in the United States?
  • When and how did you meet your fiancé’?
  • How long have you been corresponding with your fiancé’?
  • What is your fiancé’s religious background?

If You Need to Reschedule

If for any reason you cannot make the interview or need to reschedule be sure to contact the embassy and reschedule with them. Here is the list of US Embassies and Consulates where you can find specific instructions.

 

ImmiVisa and the US Embassy Interview Preparation

 

Having a successful US Embassy interview begins with doing all the paperwork, documentation, and submissions correctly.

 

And then, when you get your appointment date and time, preparing is easy.

 

At ImmiVisa taking care of US visa applications and immigration issues is what we do.

 

It is ALL we do.

 

Our specialized team of immigration lawyers can help you find the easiest, least stressful, and least expensive best steps for a successful visa application and interview.

 

We keep up to date with all aspects of visa law and procedures, including US Embassy visa interviews.

 

Whether you just want the most current visa interview information or have any questions about getting a US visa – call us and let us help you with your next best steps.

November 11, 2021

For the past 18 months, travel to the US has been difficult for many and impossible for others.

If you tried to plan a trip, applied for a visa, or wanted to travel to the US during that period, you know the frustration and uncertainty that COVID-19 caused in the US and worldwide.

Harsh US travel restrictions banned travelers to the US from 33 countries, namely 26 European nations (known as the Schengen countries) and the UK, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, and South Africa. Another 150 countries were not placed under the travel ban.

 

Even with a valid visa, if you were from one of the banned countries, you could not visit friends or family in the US unless you were included in the exemption categories of the ban:

  • US citizens
  • lawful permanent residents;
  • spouses and minor children of US citizens or lawful permanent residents;
  • parents or legal guardians of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident unmarried minor child;
  • siblings of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident child, provided both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Diplomats;
  • Fiancé(e)s of US citizens and their dependents (K visas);
  • Certain Students (F and M visas);
  • Essential visitors, and other categories

As a citizen of a banned country, traveling to the US for the past 18 months was all but impossible.

 

Travel Ban Lifted  – November 8, 2021

But, on November 8, 2021, the US lifted restrictions on international travelers coming to the US from the banned 33 countries.

But if you are a non-US citizen traveling to the US, you must be fully vaccinated – and prove it.

And if you are traveling by air, you must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, along with proof of your vaccination.

If you are traveling by land from Canada or Mexico, you still need to be fully vaccinated but do not need to produce a  negative COVID-19  test.

 

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated with an Accepted Vaccine

As of November 8, 2021, if you are traveling to the US, here are the COVID-19 requirements you must follow according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before boarding a flight to the US from a foreign country, all passengers two years of age and over must

  • Have proof of being fully vaccinated from an approved vaccine, and
  • Have proof of a negative COVID-19 test done within 72 hours before departure

Fully Vaccinated

You can find the requirements for fully vaccinated here, but generally, you are considered fully vaccinated

  • 2 weeks after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine, or
  • 2 weeks after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose vaccine,
  • 2 weeks after your second dose of a 2-dose mix and match combination of accepted vaccines.

Acceptable Vaccines

The single-dose J&J (Janssen) vaccine and the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines are acceptable vaccines to the CDC. Also accepted are some vaccines listed under the World Health Organization Emergency Use protocol, including:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Covaxin
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Notably missing is Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine (WHO authorization is still pending), limiting the entry of many travelers from Russia and those from Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East who used this vaccine.

Exceptions

Some groups are exempted from the new vaccine requirements, including

  • Minors under 18 years of age
  • Documented medical conditions with vaccine contra-indication
  • Diplomats, and
  • Other categories

American Embassies Visa Processing Not Back to Normal

Even though the travel ban has been lifted as of November 8, thousands of European non-immigrant visa holders are stuck in a visa processing slow down.

In the first six months of President Biden’s administration (2020), the number of visas issued to French and German citizens was half the amount issued the year earlier.

Issuance to Italian citizens was down about 60% for the same period.

For all of Europe, the number of non-immigrant US visas issued in 2020 was one-half of the amount issued in 2019. Some of the declines may be a drop in visa applications. But, likely, many of the applications are simply stuck in processing limbo.

Over the past year, American embassies in Europe simply canceled or postponed visa appointments. There were long delays in getting a new visa or even just renewing a visa.

And while the embassy processing is getting better, it is not back to normal at all.

 

How  Long Does it Take to Get an Embassy Appointment

 

If you want to view the current Visa Appointment Wait Times from the US Department of State, just click here.

Some appointments can be made in a few days or weeks. But for many European countries, some appointments are either weeks or months. And some are being offered on an emergency-only basis.

You will be able to spot an “emergency only “appointment when your State Department website search returns the answer of “999 days.”

 

What Should I Do About Getting a Visa Now

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, things are getting better.

But because of COVID-19, traveling to the US or getting a US visa is a bit more complicated than before.

And it is hard for you to keep up with the changing COVID-19 requirements, accepted vaccines, US Embassy appointment wait times, and more.

Let us make this easy for you.

At ImmiVisa taking care of US visa applications and immigration issues is what we do.

It is ALL we do.

Our specialized team of immigration lawyers can help you find the easiest, least stressful, and least expensive best steps.

We keep up to date with anything that affects immigration or visas,  including COVID-19 issues and requirements.

Whether you just want the most current information or have a question about getting a US visa – call us and let us help you with your next best steps.