California Visa Lawyer
If you are a foreign national looking to travel to the United States of America — either temporarily or indefinitely — then it is likely that you will need to obtain a visa before you are admitted.
For many, a visa is an opportunity to visit the United States for a limited time to work, study, vacation, or participate in a specific program. For others, obtaining their visa is their first step towards becoming a permanent resident — possibly even a citizen.
Having a visa doesn’t guarantee entry into the United States. It does, however, show that you completed the necessary steps to verify your identification, the purpose of your visit, and any other information the consulate (or appropriate agency) needs to determine eligibility for entry.
A border agent will grant most visa-holders entry to the U.S. once the agent confirms the purpose of their visit and screens them for criminal and security risks.
Obtaining a visa can be quite difficult — sometimes downright competitive. Working with a visa lawyer from a firm like Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law enables you to understand the best visa for your intended goals and what you need to have the highest chances of approval.
If your visa is denied or you are requested to provide more information, we work closely with you and the appropriate agency to bring together all the factors needed for success. We have helped hundreds of thousands of visitors and immigrants come here to live out the plans they dreamed of, and we are ready to help you, too.
Learn more about how to plan for your visa application, interview, renewal, or appeal and get answers to your questions during a confidential, no-risk case review with a highly experienced visa attorney. Schedule your private consultation today when you Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online .
How Can California Visa Attorney Help Me?
While there is no requirement to obtain representation from a visa lawyer to apply for and secure a visa, working with a lawyer dramatically reduces the work needed and raises your chances for success.
Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law has provided full-service representation and assistance to visa-seekers in dozens of countries.
From helping individuals move to America to start a new career to helping students study abroad, we have gone through nearly every possible visa process. We have also helped thousands of families reunite in America thanks to our efforts. We have learned the factors that influence a visa’s success.
When you work with our firm, know that you are getting more than an attorney who will look over your shoulder during your visa application. We engage with you at all stages of your journey — from picking a visa program to sending documents to interviews and even after your entry.
Plus, whenever you are having troubles or facing concerns, you have built a pre-established relationship with an attorney who can contact the proper authority to come to your aid.
You will have an attorney to assist you with making your plans become a reality. The benefits of working with our California visa lawyers include the following:
- Providing you with information on all visas available to help you determine the best visa for your goals and plans.
- Assistance with verifying your eligibility, including help with assembling the needed documents and sending them to all appropriate immigration authorities.
- Preparing you for your interview, including common questions you’ll be asked and what specific red flags your interviewer will look for.
- Remediation of applications flagged for investigation can happen when immigration authorities suspect you of being a security risk or not being a good fit for the intended visa program.
- Appeals of denials, when possible, helping you get a second chance at putting your plans into action.
- Expediting your application and approval process, helping you know for certain that you will have time to enter on your intended date to participate in a specific program or itinerary.
- Preparing you for travel and customs entry while avoiding common reasons someone’s entry may be denied or delayed.
- Working with you throughout your stay to ensure that you are continuing to satisfy requirements while avoiding issues that can get visa travelers in trouble.
- Looking forward to your plans, which can range from a return visit to obtaining a permanent residency or citizenship status.
- Being there at all points in your journey, offering guidance, and answering your questions so that you are always informed and aware of your legal rights and the expectations.
What Exactly Is a Visa?
A U.S. visa is an official government endorsement given to you by the U.S. Consulate in your country or by another appropriate agency. When you obtain a visa, you are getting someone in the U.S. government to say: “We have looked over all the needed paperwork, and we have determined that this individual is a good candidate to travel to the U.S.A. for a specific purpose.”
A Visa Grants Permission to Request Entry
In the words of the U.S. State Department: “Having a U.S. visa allows you to travel to a port of entry, airport or land border crossing, and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector to enter the United States.”
Once the visa-holder receives approval for entry from a CBP agent, they can participate in the itinerary or program that serves as the reason(s) for their stay. If a CBP agent becomes suspicious that the traveler is not coming into the U.S. for the reasons stated by their visa — or if an agent feels the person seeking entry is a criminal or state security risk — then it is possible for an individual to be denied entry, even if they have a visa.
The risk of being denied entry is one primary reason to seek the services of a California visa attorney. Not only do you have to prepare for your application and interview, but you also have to be ready to travel in compliance with U.S. customs law and to speak with at least one border agent before you are permitted to carry out your intended reasons for visiting.
A Visa Only Grants Permission for Specific Reasons
Another common issue to watch out for when traveling on a visa is avoiding actions violating your visa program’s restrictions and requirements. While all visas expect that the person granted entry will obey all U.S. laws, they may also restrict the visitor (or immigrant) from doing certain things that someone with a different visa (or a Green Card) can do.
For example, visitors coming to the U.S. on an E-1 visa are expected to work on a company or investment project they put their money into. If their company folds or they try to seek out unrelated work, they violate the terms of their visa.
Similarly, individuals traveling on a student visa may only be allowed to work on-campus, and they may only be allowed to work after a certain time has passed within their program (e.g., one year). Despite seeming innocuous, getting a second job as a food delivery driver can violate the terms of a visa, potentially putting the traveler in hot water with USCIS.
Because of these risks, it is critical for anyone seeking a U.S. visa to understand the requirements and expectations for getting the visa and comply with any specific terms and restrictions their visa puts forth.
Most Common Types of U.S. Visas
Over 30 different types of visas are issued to foreign nationals, all for their own specific reasons and intended purposes. The visa you choose to apply for will have a huge impact on your likelihood of successful approval and your ability to carry out your intended plans once you gain entry into the U.S.
We can separate visa programs into two main categories:
- Non-immigrant visas for travelers visiting the U.S. with a temporary (but not necessarily time-limited) purpose
- Immigrant visas for travelers who intend to live in the United States permanently or indefinitely, sometimes with the possibility of becoming a permanent resident or citizen.
Common Non-Immigrant Visas
Listed below are some of the most commonly issued non-immigrant U.S. visas:
- B-1 Visa — Issued to individuals traveling temporarily for a specific business purpose, including training, attending a professional gathering, consulting privately, or settling the details of a U.S. estate.
- B-2 Visa — Issued to visitors traveling as tourists and those seeking medical treatment, attending a social event, visiting with family, or attending a course of study without credit for a professional degree or recognized certification.
- BCC — A border crossing card (BCC) is issued to citizens and residents of Mexico who are engaging in temporary travel that meets B-1 and/or B-2 visa eligibility.
- C Visa — A transit visa granting permission for passengers or certain crewmembers to travel through the United States without the intention of staying, visiting with anyone, sightseeing, or doing anything other than continuing to another non-U.S. destination.
- E Visas — Issued to individuals traveling to the U.S. temporarily for business/employment purposes. E-1 visas are related to trade, while E-2 visas are issued to investors or foreign personnel critical to the operation of a business. E-3 visas are issued only to Australian nationals traveling to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation.
- F-1 Visa — Grants permission to study at a higher education institution in the U.S. temporarily as part of a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
- H1-B Visa — Issued to individuals in specialty occupations coming to work or perform research in the U.S. temporarily.
- H-2A, H-2B Visas — Issued to temporary agricultural workers (H-2A) or temporary workers in certain non-agriculture industries (H-2B), usually in what is considered to be an “unskilled” capacity.
- H-3 Visa — Issued to someone who is either a trainee or a special education exchange visitor seeking to participate in a temporary program.
- H-1C Visa — Issued to foreign registered nurses coming to work in the U.S. temporarily
- I Visa — Issued to citizens of a foreign country who work in jobs directly related to media, journalism, and reporting.
- J Visas — Issued to certain exchange visitors, including those in an Au pair program, working as an intern or working/studying during a short-term stay as a professional physician, professor, teacher, student, camp counselor, trainee, or researcher. They are also issued to certain authorized individuals invited as guests by a government agency, such as the Dept. of State.
- K-1 Visa — Issued to permit the temporary stay of a foreign citizen individual who is the fiancé of a U.S. citizen for them to become the citizen’s spouse.
- L Visas — L-1A and L-1B visas are issued for certain temporary workers coming to the U.S. via an internal transfer at their company to provide specialized knowledge (L-1B) or to work in a managerial or executive position (L-1A).
- M-1 Visa — Issued to students attending a technical or vocational (i.e., non-academic) study program.
- O-1 Visa — Issued for an individual who possesses “an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics” (O-1A) or who works in the arts/motion picture/television industry (O-1B) and who comes to the U.S. to work temporarily. It can also be issued to individuals working for an artist or athlete (O-2) or spouses and children of an O-1 or O-2 visa holder (O-3).
- P Visa — Issued to athletes and other individuals who work “at an internationally recognized level of performance” in a competitive profession, including coaches and individuals working as part of a theatrical ice skating production.
- Q Visa — Issued to certain individuals participating in an international cultural exchange program and traveling to the U.S. to provide practical training and employment or to share “the history, culture, and traditions of your home country with the United States.”
- R Visa — Issued to certain religious workers coming to the U.S. to perform religious work temporarily, such as to serve as a minister, to provide charitable mission work, to train others, or to serve as an administrator in direct support of a religious worker or program.
- TN/TD Visas — Issued to certain skilled workers in Canada and Mexico as part of a NAFTA program (TN) and their direct dependents (TD).
- T-1, U-1 Visas — Issued to victims of human trafficking (T-1) or victims of certain crimes and abuses (U-1).
- V Visa — Issued as a temporary measure for certain family members to come to the U.S. or remain in the U.S. to stay temporarily with someone awaiting the processing of an immigrant visa.
These types of visas are much more rarely issued. Typically, they are only available when a U.S. citizen or employer has endorsed you. Certain individuals may also seek to endorse themselves or secure an immigrant visa by winning a type of lottery.
- CR-1, IR-1 Visas — Issued to spouses of U.S. citizens.
- EB Visas — Employment-based visas are issued in order of priority to individuals staying in the U.S. indefinitely as workers in certain skilled or specialized occupations.
- DV Visa — Lottery-issued visas granted to individuals seeking to immigrate to the U.S. and obtain a permanent resident status or who already lawfully reside in the U.S. and wish to convert to an immigrant status.
- VAWA Visa — Issued to certain individuals suffering abuse from a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, including children, spouses, and potentially parents.
Get Assistance Applying for Your Visa From Experienced California Visa Attorneys
Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law is here to help you throughout your journey, whether as an immigrant or a temporary visitor.
We have handled hundreds of thousands of cases with USCIS, CBP, ICE, and other agencies. We know what factors separate those granted entry and continued lawful status in the U.S. from individuals denied entry or a U.S. agency might attempt to remove for various reasons.
Reach out to us to work with proven attorneys who care not just about your initial visa acceptance but also your ability to achieve your goals in coming to the U.S. in the first place. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule a confidential, no-obligation case review today.