Immigration Visa Waivers and Attorneys

Immigration Visa Waivers and Attorneys

Immigration Visa Waivers and Attorneys

If you are in need of solutions for your problems, some of those solutions might take the form of visas or immigration documentation that allows you to live and work in the United States temporarily or permanently.

Are you interested in someone who can take your side in matters concerning immigration or in matters concerning deportation or an I-601 waiver?

An immigration attorney is an individual who helps clients with a wide range of issues relating to immigration benefits, US citizenship, green cards, or adjustment of status.

When you don’t need to hire an immigration attorney

Not every immigration situation requires an attorney. For example, people who are coming to the United States on a vacation don’t need to work with an Immigration lawyer. Even people who come regularly for meetings or visiting family don’t necessarily need to hire an attorney. As long as you enter the United States legally and you only stay for 90 days every six months, you don’t need a visa at all. However, if you are from a country on the list for the Visa Waiver Program, you might need an immigration attorney US based to help you even for short vacations.

What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program is a way for participating countries to, as the name suggests, waive the legal need for an immigration visa when entering the US for vacations or business. Under this program qualifying countries and their citizens are allowed to enter the United States without having to get a Visa as long as they stay for 90 days or less every 6 months.

Now this doesn’t mean that just because your country is on the approved list, you can waltz through airport security. You still must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval before you travel and you must meet a few other requirements. 

Requirements for the Visa Waiver Program

The biggest requirement here is that you must be a citizen or national of a designated country. The full list can be found online. There are other countries taken off of that list and added to a special list as part of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. As part of this program, individuals who are Nationals of the following countries need to apply for a Visa prior to traveling to the United States:

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Sudan
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • Yemen
  • Somali
  • Libya

Do I need an attorney?

An attorney can guide you through the process of applying with the embassy for a Visa, and if you are looking for a standard travel visa, the process should be fairly simple and include filling out the proper paperwork, providing the right documentation, and showing up at the embassy for your appointment. People who have trouble with English can benefit from the expertise of an immigration attorney to help them better understand the forms they are filling out and ensure they have the right paperwork with them for their appointments.

Tip:  If you are an undocumented individual, sometimes called an illegal immigrant, you have to exercise even more caution. If you have entered the United States without documentation or with false documentation or you are currently in the United States without documentation, you are not legally allowed to remain in the United States while you apply for immigration status. There are a few legal exceptions and these refer to DACA, which applies to children who were under the age of 16 when they entered the United States without proper documentation. This does not apply to the parents of those children who may have brought them into the United States.

What about passports?

In addition to being from a list of approved countries for Visa waivers or having a Visa with the help of an immigration attorney, visitors to the United States there for work or pleasure need to have a valid passport. This has to be a passport with the proper designations and chips as per us regulations. What’s more, the passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your stay. If you need to update your passport prior to departing, this is another area where you can get help from a qualified immigration attorney.

There are also situations where you might need an emergency passport or a temporary passport, and these have separate application requirements and only apply to specific situations which, again, can be explained with the help of an attorney.