Whether you are planning to secure a green card or a non-immigrant visa for a shorter stay, you should contact the dedicated Austin immigration law attorneys at Peek Toland & Castañeda PLLC for help with your immigration needs.
For many years, our legal team has helped hardworking individuals with high aspirations get started on a new lease on life in the United States. We have also helped reunite families. We take great pride in the work that we do and the quality of services we provide for our clients.
If you wish to speak with one of our legal staff now about your immigration issues, call (512) 474-4445 or submit an online contact form. We offer comprehensive consultations not only in person and via phone, but also via Skype.
Alternatives to Employment-Based Visas
While employment is a common avenue for attaining visas, it is not the only one. In fact, non-employment-based visas may be preferable in some cases since the backlogs for employment-based visas are often overloaded, resulting in long wait periods. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for one or more of the following types of non-employment-based visas. Consult with a trusted attorney to determine which option is the most viable for you.
B-1 and B-2 Visas for Temporary Visitors
To determine whether you should apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa, think about the purpose of your trip. If you’re visiting the U.S. to attend to matters of business, apply for a B-1 visa. If you wish to visit family or enjoy recreational activities and tourism, then a B-2 visa would be more appropriate. However, you may not need a B visa at all if you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
F-1 Visa for Academic Students
As long as you are enrolled and engaged in a college, university, high school, language training program, or some other academic pursuit, you may stay in the U.S. thanks to the F-1 visa. In order to qualify, you must show proof that you are enrolled as a full-time student in an academic institution and that you have the finances to support the completion of your study; the school must be approved by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and you must show that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residency.
K-1 Visa for Fiancé(e)s
If a U.S. citizen plans to bring his/her foreign national fiancé(e) living abroad to the United States to marry, s/he can petition for the fiancé(e) to receive a K-1 visa, which lasts for 90 days without extensions. After getting married, the fiancé(e) can then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
U Visa for Victims of Crimes
If you were the victim of a certain criminal activity (such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking of aliens), suffered significant physical and/or mental abuse as a result, have helped or are helping law enforcement prosecute the crime, and are admissible to the United States, you may qualify for a U visa. You do not have to be currently in status in order to apply.
If you are currently in the United States and fear going back to your home country due to possible persecution based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group, you may qualify for asylee status. After a year of asylum, you may apply to become a permanent resident. As with the U visa, you do not have to be currently in status in order to apply.
Contact Our Office to Learn More
These are just some of the many alternatives to employment-based visas available to foreign nationals. To determine which visa is the best option for you, contact Peek Toland & Castañeda PLLC for reliable legal counsel.