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Immigrant v. Non-Immigrant Visas

Understanding the U.S. immigration system is difficult for most applicants. There is a wide variety of visas available, which gives hope to individuals seeking citizenship. However, the types of visas and citizenship opportunities can also be overwhelming. One of the first things to understand when exploring visa opportunities is to recognize the difference between an immigrant visa and a non-immigrant visa. Immigrant visas are for individuals looking for permanent resident status in the U.S. Non-immigrant visas are for people who plan to live in the U.S. temporarily. Reasons to apply for non-immigrant status include education, tourism, and temporary work.

Immigration visas are primarily for individuals who have a work connection to a sector in the U.S. through which they can apply for work and receive employment opportunities. This type of visa is usually harder to obtain, and those who apply often must spend time on a waiting list. Successfully obtaining permanent resident status requires consultation with an attorney who can help applicants work through the complex steps and paperwork involved. Types of immigrant visas include:

While it is easier to obtain a non-immigrant visa than permanent resident status, it is still a complex process. The applicant must prove that they intend to return to their home country. Proving that there are significant ties to a home country is not an easy feat, so applicants often benefit from the help of an attorney. Types of non-immigrant visas include:

  • L-1
  • E-2
  • H-1B

If you are planning to immigrate to the U.S. on any type of visa, contacting an attorney who understands the process can help you identify the right visa for you and ease the application process. To speak with an immigration attorney from the AmLaw Group, please reach out to our offices at (305) 509-6400.

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