Laws on US visas

There is a ton of reading material related to the subject of getting a visa in the US. There is a specific number of people who can hope to get a visa each year, and there are defined circumstances in which a person might be eligible to apply for one. We will discuss the laws on US visas, as well as some stages of the procedures you may not be familiar with.

Types of visas

What most people don’t know is that there are basically two types of visas in the US. Immigrant visas are, in case everything goes well, issued to non-US citizens who wish to make the States their home. Nonimmigrant visas are there for people who are travelers, tourists, students and temporary workers that look forward to trying their luck in the land of the free and home of the brave before returning where they came from.

Immigrant visas are issued to family members, like parents, spouses, siblings and children. In some cases there is a chance of permanent employment, and this visa is required in such an instance. The person petitioning on their behalf must already be a US citizen. One thing to note is that if you are a green card holder, rather than a US citizen (meaning that you were approved and came to the US, rather than being born there), you can only petition for your spouse and unmarried children.

If you are a backpacker, a student who wishes to see the world, a temporary worker, a representative of a foreign government, an athlete joining an international competition, or a world-renowned entertainer, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa.

Some laws to watch out for

The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that, among other issues, deals with qualifying for, acquiring, and losing visas. Sec. 206. [8 U.S.C. 1156] states that an immigrant that has an immigrant visa, and is denied admission to the States, or simply didn’t apply for it in time, they will lose their visa and it will be issued to another qualified alien.

Visas can be issued to a period up to six months, and not more. You must make sure you meet all of the requirements upon arriving to the US, because, as Sec. 221. [8 U.S.C. 1201] tells us in paragraph h, nothing in the Act itself cannot and will not be used to give the applicant, or alien, rights and privileges, if the person in question does not meet the requirements of the Act.

If you already have a visa, and you must leave the US temporarily, for whatever reason (for example, a family emergency), if the Attorney General finds that you have been accepted lawfully to the US, have followed regulations to maintain your status, and that your departure is in good faith and not contrary to the interests of the US, you can apply and should be issued a reentry permit by the Attorney General, under Sec. 223. [8 U.S.C. 1203]. Your deadline for using such a permit is two years.