When a citizen from another country wants to enter the United States, they have to obtain a US visa. A person from a foreign country can request to enter the country for business, pleasure or visiting or a combination of both categories. Here is a quick rundown of the legal requirements to enter the US.

Filling out the Forms

In the country where you’re a citizen, you’ll need to fill out a DS-160 or DS-1648 form. You can fill out the form online for your visa. You’ll need to upload a photo along with completing your application. There are various requirements for the photo, which can be viewed on the US Department of State’s website.

Interview at the Embassy or Consulate

After submitting your application for a visitor’s visa, you’ll need to have an interview at the U. S. Consulate. Interviews are not required for those under the age of 13 years old, or for those over 80 years old. Everyone else must be interviewed before being issued a visa for the United States. There will be a visa fee depending on the area where you live.

The Types of US Visas

Here are a few of the different kinds of visas you can apply for:

Nonimmigrant Visa
A nonimmigrant visa is issued for visitors to the US who are traveling for vacation, business or a combination of both. They will eventually return to the country in which they reside. To get a non-immigrant visa, you must submit a DS-160 form. You must also schedule a visa appointment, which you can do at the US Embassy or Consulate website.

Immediate Relatives for an Immigrant Visa
When one person in a family resides in the United States, the government wants to keep the family together. They’ll accept sponsorships where a citizen may bring in immediate relatives for immigration. This includes a spouse, unmarried children and parents of the citizen. Parents and children related through adoption or marriage can be considered for obtaining a green card through family. There are complicated laws regarding this process that a lawyer might have to help you navigate.

Immigrant Visa
To apply for an immigrant visa, there are many documents required like the immigrant’s medical exams, certified birth or marriage certificates and fees. The sponsor of the immigrant has to be able to support the immigrant at an amount over the poverty guidelines, which means they’ll have to provide tax returns. The immigrant must get a petition approved by USCIS before they apply. You can find professionals who can lead you through all the steps necessary to compile your information, petition, and application.

While a travel visa is relatively simple to obtain, it can be complicated to apply for permanent residency in the US. An experienced lawyer should be contacted for advice and to handle the paperwork for immigrant status in order to ensure the process moves swiftly.