Recent events have made it clear that being able to live and work in America is not easy, especially if you are looking to stay in the country longer than two years.
For employers who want to hire someone long-term, having a stable work visa can be tricky. There are several types of visas available, but unfortunately, not all of them exist anymore!
The most common type of non-immigrant (or tourist) visa is the F2 Work Visitor Status. This visa allows individuals to enter into an employment contract with US businesses and they must return home within a set amount of time.
However, back in 1996, Congress passed the Immigration Reform Act which included new regulations for this visa. The regulation stated that workers had to be returning home immediately after their job was done, which makes it very difficult to extend your stay here.
Fortunately, there is another less popular visa option employees can use if they would like to remain in the United States longer than 2 years. This visa is called the OVISA or Optional Practical Training For Employees And Their Dependents.
After receiving all of the required documents, the next step is to determine how long it takes to process your visa. This includes making sure you have everything needed and that there are no missing pieces or bad information.
The USCIS also reviews every document twice, this can take up to two weeks depending on the amount and type of paperwork being submitted. They also need some time to verify authenticity and content.
After getting all of the above approvals, they begin processing your visa!
It is very important to remember that during this process, their office may ask you to come into the field location (the place where you work) to be interviewed by one of their officers. This is because part of the interview process is conducted in person and they want to make sure everything is honest and clear.
If you have received word that your visa has been approved, then you should start preparing to come back!
It is very important to make sure that you do not wait until the day of your return flight to begin the process. You do not want to miss your plane because you were waiting for an answer about where you would stay while you are in the United States.
By having all of your documents ready and gathered, you will be more prepared for what comes next!
There is nothing wrong with staying at a hotel or using Airbnb while you are looking for a room or apartment to call home during this time period. This way you will have some place to go after you find housing.
In addition to submitting your application, there is an additional step that must be completed before you can officially stay in America. This is called “visa processing”.
Most countries have several companies that help people live and work in their country by giving them visa documents or proof that they are allowed to enter and live within the jurisdiction. These companies are usually hired by governments to do this work so they get paid per document processed.
In order to process your new American visa, the company doing the paperwork will go through all of your records (this includes emails, documents, etc.) and prove who you are as well as what days you will be traveling while on vacation. They then keep these records for up to one year after your trip!
This is why it takes time for most Americans to find out if they have been approved to come back into the country because many times, they don't hear anything until months later when they try to fly back home. It's important to remember that even though you might not see your house or car anymore, someone else owns it now and has rights to use it, which is why it's still accessible next time you travel.
It is very helpful to know how long it takes to receive word about whether you have received your visa so that you can plan your next steps accordingly.
After submitting all of your documents, the next step is to wait for someone at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review them.
It can be quite frustrating when you are waiting for someone else’s confirmation, but there is an easy way to stay motivated.
You can ask your family members or friends to monitor the process on your behalf. This helps mitigate the stress a little bit because they send out notifications when things move forward.
By having some outside help, it also gives you more time to focus on other things since you do not need to check the status every few minutes like one would if you were doing it yourself.
Overall, staying in control by monitoring the process yourself is always the best approach, but asking others to do this for you can reduce mental exhaustion.
After they receive your application, it is assigned to an officer who reviews it. This can take anywhere from one week to several months depending on many different factors.
During this time, you will be notified about when your file will next be reviewed. This is important to stay in contact with friends and family to keep up-to-date on what days would work best for you.
It is also helpful to remain active outside of home life. You do not want your life to become stagnant while you are waiting for your visa!
After receiving the results, the officers review all documents, interviews, and other evidence that supports your case. At this stage, if there are any issues such as missing documents or fraudulent information, the process may need to start over again!
This could mean more delays before you know it so it is very important to have proof support for everything.
After they process your I-129, it can take several weeks to get that approval or denial. This is due to two main reasons: staffing levels and timing of the interview.
The embassy staff members who handle this paperwork are not part of the company that processes these documents, so their hours may be limited. They also have other things going on in their life, like kids and spouses, which make interviews difficult.
In addition, the interviewer will need time to review all of the documentation you sent them and speak with people back home about you. All of these factors contribute to the length of time it takes to process the visa.
Be aware of this timeline and start preparing early! If you find out at the last minute that you do not have visa status, you could be stranded abroad.
It is best to be prepared by buying plane tickets, finding accommodation, and figuring out how to survive without income for an extended period of time.
After you have received word that your application has been processed, it is time to begin applying for a VISA! This can be done in person at one of USCIS’s field offices or via their online system.
Most employers will ask if you are able to prove employment while under F-1 status. If so, they will verify that job offer using their internal records as well as through verification agencies such as Validate Global.
If you do not have proof of this, you may need to find part time work during the timespan of your H-1B visa to show employment. Some employers may even agree to sponsor you directly instead of submitting an employer nomination form.
They will also want to make sure that no other visas exist for yourself or potential heirs.
Being aware of the process can help you determine when things are going smoothly and when they’re not. This includes keeping up to date with what paperwork has been received, how long it takes to receive them, and whether your documents have arrived in the country safely.
It is very important to stay updated on what happens during the visa processing stage as there may be several points where someone needs to review your documents or ask you about something.
If this is the case, we cannot proceed until then, so try to be as accessible as possible. Check if there is mobile phone coverage near the embassy, or if people could meet at your house or workplace.
There is an online tracking tool that immigrant lawyers and groups use to keep tabs on the status of applications. You can find out more here.