Are you trying to get to the United States to attend a work conference, to study at one of our many universities or other educational institutions, or simply to visit with friends and family? The process to obtain a temporary visa for these and other purposes is generally straightforward but can be surprisingly daunting.
At Najib Hakimi Law PLLC, our immigration attorney based in Washington handles temporary visas, study visas, and visiting visa applications. We have a process in place that aims to make the whole experience less intimidating and more rewarding. Contact us at (+1)360-390-3936 today to schedule a consultation or to learn more about how to get started on your temporary visa now.
What Are Temporary or Visitation Visas?
Any foreign national entering the United States needs to obtain a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa or permanent residency (immigrant visa or green card).
Temporary or visitation visas allow noncitizens to enter the United States for a limited period and purpose, such as study, work, or vacation. As these are nonimmigrant visas, they do not provide the individual with a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship and cannot be used to remain in the United States indefinitely.
Temporary visa applications are typically made outside of the United States, via an embassy or consulate. The process involves filing a form DS-160 and paying the processing fee. The embassy or consulate then arranges an interview with the applicant and decides their application.
Common Study Visas
The United States is known for its outstanding educational institutions. These institutions thrive, in part, because of the study body composed of a diversity of people both from the United States and international students. U.S.-based study commitments, therefore, are a common reason for temporary visa applications. There are three common visa types for studying most often used by international students.
F-1 Visa Applicants
The F-1 visa is for students studying full-time at an accredited U.S. educational institution such as a university, college, high school, conservatory, or foreign language training program.
Applicants must demonstrate they can financially support themselves during their studies, although they are allowed to engage in limited on-campus employment, such as tutoring.
F-1 visas can be issued for up to five years, depending on the applicant's circumstances.
M-1 Visa Applicants
Individuals studying at vocational or other recognized non-academic institutions can apply for an M-1 visa. This visa allows a student to remain in the United States for the duration of their course and any relevant practical training. Aside from this practical training, M-1 visa holders cannot work.
M-1 visas are valid for one year but can be extended up to a maximum of three years.
J-1 Visa Applicants
J-1 visas are for individuals coming to the United States to participate in a work or study exchange program. Eligible exchange programs include au pairs, trainees, camp counselors, government visitors, teachers, and interns.
Different eligibility criteria apply depending on the nature of the program. The length of the visa also depends on the specific program. At the end of a J-1 visa, the visa holder must return to their home country and typically cannot return to the United States for two years.
Common Visiting and Tourism Visas
Citizens of most countries can enter the United States for up to 90 days for tourism, business, or transit purposes without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of countries outside of the Program need to apply for a temporary visiting or tourism visa.
B-1 Visa Applicants
The B-1 temporary business visa allows holders to enter the United States for short-term business purposes, like consulting with business associates, attending a conference, settling an estate, or negotiating a contract.
It allows for a maximum six-month stay.
B-2 Visa Applicants
Individuals traveling to the United States for a vacation or to visit family or friends should apply for a B-2 tourist visa. This visa also permits entry for:
- Medical treatment
- Attendance at a social event hosted by a fraternal, social, or service organization
- Participation in an amateur sporting or musical events or contests (if not paid)
- Completion of a short course of study that doesn't count towards a degree or other certification
Like the B-1, it allows for a maximum six-month stay.
Reasons Temporary Visas Are Denied
Temporary visas are decided on a case-by-case basis and may be denied for several reasons. That's why even if the process to obtain a temporary visa is straightforward, seeking the help of an immigration attorney in Washington is important. At Najib Hakimi Law PLLC, our immigration lawyer will make sure your visa application is properly filed and processed. If there are concerns, we will address them proactively.
When applying for a temporary visa, applicants are required to provide sufficient supporting documentation, especially when demonstrating their ability to financially support themselves while in the United States.
If they fail to do so, the consular officer may refuse their application.
Failure to Demonstrate Strong Ties to Home Country
If an applicant fails to provide enough evidence of their ties to their home country, such as employment, residence, and family relationships, a consular officer may refuse their application on the basis they are at risk of overstaying their visa.
If there's any suggestion that someone has intentionally misrepresented a material fact, been dishonest, or committed fraud when applying for their visa, their application will be refused.
How Can an Immigration Attorney in Washington Help You Get a Study or Visiting Visa?
An immigration attorney typically has advanced knowledge of the temporary visa application process. This knowledge helps make the process move along without issue. Aside from the process, though, it can be confusing to identify which visa application is best suited for your needs –– since there are so many different types of visas available. We help you determine which type qualifies and will meet your needs or purposes.
An immigration attorney will improve the odds of success for your visa application. That alone is a significant reason to speak to an immigration lawyer in Washington today.
Contact a Student Visa or Tourist Visa Attorney in Washington Today
If you intend to advance your education, participate in a work-related event, or visit family or tourist attractions, extensive documentation and related forms may be necessary to successfully apply for a temporary visa. At Najib Hakimi Law PLLC, we are dedicated to our clients and make every effort to help them obtain the visa they need to accomplish their goals. Contact us at (+1)360-390-3936 or fill out our online form. We will reach out to you to schedule a consultation and help you get started on your visa application immediately.