U.S. TOURIST VISA
To enter the United States solely for recreation purposes, a visitor initially needs to secure a U.S. tourist visa. Once issued, this travel document proves that the individual has readily complied with the legalities of visa application and will less likely overstay.
Extreme caution should be observed when lodging visa requests since immigration laws are known for its constant change. If caught off-guard, an applicant can be denied.
This visa is valid for three (3) months. Yet, it is consular officers that determine its validity period. Depending on the applicant’s personal circumstances, authorities may grant a visa that is valid for as short as one (1) month.
- Evidence of strong ties and
• Evidence of sufficient income
Under the U.S. immigration laws, every foreign visitor is presumed to be an intending immigrant. This means that every applicant, despite of their genuine intentions is perceived to be a potential illegal immigrant. Thus, in order to overcome the burden of proof, the applicant must present his strong ties in the Philippines.
Strong ties are powerful and irrefutable reasons that would force an applicant to return to his home country. Strong ties can be the individual’s employment, dependent family member’s properties, income-generating businesses, membership in organizations and the like.
To illustrate how strong ties work, here is an example. Carol plans to visit her boyfriend in summer and plans to stay in the U.S. for 3 months. She currently works as a marketing assistant in an advertising agency for two months. Can she use her employment status as one of her strong ties?
Yes, Carol can argue that she will return because of her corporate duties and responsibilities. But the bigger question in here is whether such evidence is enough to secure an approval. Unfortunately, employment records alone would never work. First of all, working for 2 months means that she is still under probation. Her employment record is too short. In an instant, she can leave her job. This is possible for there are employees who immediately resign after working for a month. The responsibilities that she handle may not be as compelling as the ones managed by top executives and therefore, not strong enough to guarantee her return.
Moreover, no employee is permitted to stay for as long as 3 months for a simple vacation, unless she is a paid sabbatical.
With this regard, Carol should show more proof of her strong ties. She cannot solely rely on her work for this is insufficient. The more evidence she presents, the higher is her approval chances.
Another major requirement that consular officers examine is the personal’s financial capabilities. Authorities will consider the individuals resources to support his stay in the United States. An individual cannot depend on the U.S. public funds to sustain their daily expenses.
Due to this, when assessing one financial capacity, consider the following aspects:
- Travel expenses
• Accommodation expenses
• Emergency-related expenses
Indeed, a U.S. tourist visa application is not as easy as many would often think. As a matter of fact, this is the hardest U.S. visa to attain.
To know more about this topic or if you need assistance applying for a U.S. tourist visa, email email@example.com:8888/dlaw or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.
Student visas explained
A student visa is issued solely for the purpose of pursuing education in the United States. This should not be used to easily immigrate into the country. Stringent penalties await applicants who try to manipulate and circumvent immigration laws.
Currently, the U.S. issues several types of student visas. The purpose of each visa varies and depends on the academic program chosen by the applicant.
The F visa
International students who will be pursuing full academic courses or programs, shall be issued with the F visa.
The M visa
If the purpose is to pursue short and vocational courses, the appropriate visa that should be sought is the M visa.
The J visa
Originally issued to exchange visitors in the U.S., visitors may also use their J visas should they wish to enroll in a short course while inside the country.
To be eligible for the student visa, the applicant must present sufficient financial resources. They must demonstrate their ability to support their daily expenses during their stay.
Aside from that, it is also important for the applicant to show that he has enough accommodation in the country.
Since the three (3) student visas to U.S. are categorized as non-immigrant visas, applicants must exemplify their strong ties in the Philippines. They must be able to convince consular officers that they shall return in the country upon the completion of their academic programs.
A higher degree
Since the U.S. student visa is prone to abuse, consular officers observe stringent measures in issuing an approval. Thus, to ensure success, applicants are advised not to take short courses most especially if they have already earned their degree. Consular officers may question such intention, knowing that such programs are readily offered by Philippine academic institutions. Students who are going for their Masters degree have higher chances of being approved. Higher approval rates also await those who will be enrolling in courses that could be credited in their undergraduate studies.
To know more about this topic or if you need help applying for a U.S. student visa, email firstname.lastname@example.org:8888/dlaw or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.
Securing the working visa entails an intricate process. All documents should be prepared prior to lodging an application.
Types of working visas for temporary workers
There are two (2) types of working visas issued to temporary workers. These are the following:
- H visa covers workers with specialty occupations. Usually, this involves workers that have obtained their bachelor degree. Temporary agricultural or non-agricultural workers are likewise covered by this visa. Trainees other than those who are under the medical or academic field also need this visa.
- L visa is exclusive to intra-company transferees or individuals who have been employed by a branch of a US-based company for three years and will be entering the United States for a managerial position.
• Valid passport
• Passport photo
• Scholastic records
• Labor certification
• Language exam, if applicable
• Employment contract
The need for an employer
All applicants must ensure that they are already accepted by a legitimate employer prior to submitting an application. If the application is lodged and the intending worker cannot supply a proof or evidence of employment, the application can be denied.
To know more about this topic, email email@example.com:8888/dlaw or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.
How the application is processed
Two departments are in-charge of assessing k1 visa applications, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the embassy in Manila. Both departments should approve the visa request. Should the applicant fails to ensure the USCIS approval, the application cannot push through. On the other hand, should the embassy refuse the visa request; one may appeal the decision or send a new application.
Overall, the application processing takes six (6) to nine (9) months.
Prior to formally lodging an application, the beneficiary (the visa applicant) and the sponsor (the U.S. citizen partner) must prove that they have personally met each other. Meeting over the internet shall not be considered. Upon satisfying this condition, the following documents should be prepared by the beneficiary:
- a valid passport
• Birth certificate
• National Bureau of Investigation Clearance (NBI)
• Passport photos
• Results of the medical exam
• Proof that the couple has met each other
• Police clearance from places where the beneficiary stayed since she was 16 years old
Aside from the above-mentioned requirements, consular officers may ask for additional forms and papers.
Visa conditions: things you should remember
The U.S. K1 fiancée visa is a single-entry visa valid for ninety (90) days or three (3) months. It cannot be used to freely enter and exit the United States. Due to this, the couple must get married within the said time frame. The failure to do so leads to the visas cancellation. The beneficiary has no choice but to return to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, if the marriage takes place within 90 days, the beneficiary needs to file for a status adjustment. This will enable her to acquire residency rights in the U.S.. The status adjustment may or may not be approved. The applicant’s compliance with the provisions of her K1 visa is highly instrumental in securing the green card.
During the status adjustment, the beneficiary cannot return to the Philippines without obtaining the advanced parole. Otherwise, the adjustment is considered abandoned. The visa is cancelled despite of being married to the U.S. partner. This leaves the visa holder with no choice but to return to the Philippines and apply for new visa.
To know more about this topic or if you need help applying for a K1 Visa, email firstname.lastname@example.org:8888/dlaw or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.
The U.S. K3 spouse visa is a multiple-entry visa issued to the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen. This is valid for two (2) years and requires the visa holder to apply for a status adjustment within the said timeframe. But while valid marriage already exists between the petitioner and the beneficiary, the US spouse visa remains a non-immigrant visa. It does not automatically grant residency rights.
The U.S. K3 spouse visa is part of the government’s efforts to reduce or lessen the separation of transnational couples. Once approve, the applicant still needs to file for an adjustment of status to be an eligible green card holder. Usually, the application is lodged in the area where the marriage took place. Thus, if the wedding was performed in the Philippines, the beneficiary (the foreign spouse) must lodge the application inside the country.
Marriage alone does not make the foreign partner a “qualified spouse.” The marriage should be valid. For those who have previous marriages that were not legally terminated or dissolved, the union is considered null and void, therefore, making the beneficiary visa ineligible. Since there is no divorce in the Philippines, annulment should be sought.
Here is a list of the documents that an applicant needs to prepare:
• Accomplished application form
• Valid passport
• Evidence of valid marriage
• Medical exam
• Evidence of the petitioner’s sufficient financial resources
• Passport photo
• Evidence of relationship
• Police clearance
Consular officers may ask for additional documents if necessary.
Bringing the dependents
Dependents no longer need to file another visa application. The U.S. spouse visa has a derivative known as the k4. This permits their unmarried children to join the said petition.
Leaving the United States
Similar to the U.S. K1 fiancée visa, spouse visa holders should not leave the U.S. while they are adjusting their immigration status. But in emergency situations where their presence is badly needed, they should file for an advance parole. Otherwise, the adjustment is considered abandoned.
To know more about this topic or if you need help applying for a K3 visa, email email@example.com:8888/dlaw or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.
Immigrant Visa Vis-a Vis Non-Immigrant Visa
While U.S. K3 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, CR-1 or IR-1 visa is a type of an immigrant visa which may be granted to a foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident. Immigrant visa for a spouse is integrated in the U.S. Immigration laws primarily to promote family unity. In fact, immigration priority can be enjoyed by the would-be applicants in this category and they do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate to U.S..
What’s more, Non-Immigrant visa for spouses is only valid for a temporary period of two (2) years and for a particular purpose like tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary study or temporary work. Immigrant Visa entitles the holder a permanent residence and an opportunity to work or study upon entry in the U.S. without need to ask for employment authorization with the USCIS. This condition is essential in a non-immigrant visa.
A two-year (2) Conditional Residence is the one you get if you have been married for less than two (2) years. Ninety days before your conditional residence expires, you and your spouse must apply together to remove the condition of your residence and then apply for a permanent one. There may be an interview to determine the genuineness of the marriage. If found that it was fraud, the green card may be lost and hence, the foreign spouse must leave the country.
On the other hand, you get a permanent residence card if the marriage is two (2) years old when you arrive in the U.S. on an immigrant visa. The green card is valid for 10 years and is renewable. Bear in mind that only the green card has expiration and not your permanent residency.
Visa Application Process
The U.S. citizen spouse should file a petition for Alien Relative in Form I-130 with the USCIS. The USCIS will then send the petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing and checking. The NVC will determine if the documents are complete. In the event that the requirements are completed, the NVC will schedule the interview of the applicant. It will then send the petition and the documents to the U.S. Embassy where the applicant is located. It is at the U.S. Embassy where the conduct of the interview will be held. The consular officer may ask for further information and additional documents during the interview.
The deciding factor on which visa will be issued is the amount of time that the spouses have been married.
Some of the important points to remember in the course of the application are:
• the spouses must be legally married. Mere living together does not qualify for an immigrant visa.
• The sponsor must have a minimum age of 18 for the purpose of signing the Affidavit of Support.
• The sponsor must have a principal residence in U.S. where the spouses plan to live in the future. This is also for the purpose of providing Affidavit of Support.
To know more about this topic of if you need help applying for a U.S. visa, email firstname.lastname@example.org:8888/dlaw or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.