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Differences Between Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas

Differences Between Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas

PUBLISHED ON: September 28

According to the Pew Research Center, approximately one million people immigrate to the US each year. Each person entering the US needs to state why they are visiting, which is usually done with a visa. There are primarily two different types of immigrant visas in America, and these two visas have notable differences. They are known as immigrant and non-immigrant visas. 

Understanding the differences between these visa categories can be a daunting task. That’s why you should consider hiring a Chicago immigration lawyer. At the Sverdloff Law Group, we are well versed in the differences between these three visas and can help determine which one you need to apply for. Knowing the differences can help immigrants and their family members take the right steps towards resolving their immigration status. 

Do You Need An Immigrant Visa To Travel To The US?

Not everyone wishing to travel to the US needs an immigrant visa. The United States allows the citizens of certain countries to enter without a visa of any kind. However, this only applies to those who will be in America for a maximum of 90 days for work or pleasure purposes. 

To be allowed to enter the US without an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, you will need to prove that you have a round-trip air ticket. You will also need to prove that you have a valid passport that will not expire during your stay in the country, and you need to complete a 1-94W form. 

What Is An Immigrant Visa?

In the US, an immigrant visa is classified as a visa granted to a foreign national who intends to permanently reside and work in the country. Usually, an immigrant visa is issued after an employer or relative sponsors the person filing an application. Those with an immigrant visa can eventually apply to become green card holders, which classifies them as permanent residents of America. 

Yet, there are certain demographics of people who can petition to immigrate on their own behalf. For example, investors, special immigrants, and those with extraordinary abilities can petition for an immigrant visa on their own without a sponsor. 

What Is A Non-Immigrant Visa?

Unlike immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas are granted to foreign nationals who want to enter the United States temporarily for medical treatment, school, tourism, temporary work, or business purposes. Essentially, the exact type of non-immigrant visa issued to an individual will depend on the purpose of their travel. 

When applying for a non-immigrant visa, a person usually applies directly to the US embassy or consulate for a business non-immigrant visa or a tourist visa. Yet, it’s important to note that those wishing to enter the US to study or perform certain work duties might need to obtain certain authorization and applicable documentation before they can apply for a non-immigrant visa. 

Contact A Chicago Immigrant Attorney Today To Discuss Which Visa You Need To Obtain

Are you anxious about your immigration status, or are you confused about which type of visa you should apply for? If so, why not consider speaking with a Chicago immigration lawyer. The Sverdloff Law Group can help you resolve your immigration status and assist you with the appropriate application procedures. At our firm, we will do our utmost best to make sure you can continue living and working in the United States. Get in contact with our Chicago offices today to arrange a consultation. 


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