R Visa Processing Times

By Tiara

The second most common type of non-work visa is the R visa. These are referred to as Relative Visas or Intrafamily Visas. A person with an R visa comes into the country for a certain amount of time, typically one year, and then they have to return home.

During their stay in America however, they can apply for employment. This employee status allows them to work while here, so long as they fulfill the requirements for this visa.

There are some limitations to what employers may offer someone with an R visa though. Most notably, there’s a two month window during which the individual cannot be employed due to state regulations.

This regulation exists because many states classify people who don’t have legal residency as employees. As such, even if an employer doesn’t actually hire you, they must still treat you like they would any other worker in the state.

Reasons you might get an R visa

r visa processing times

One of the most common reasons to be placed on the restricted list is for working while on vacation. This is called non-business travel. The term ‘vacation’ can be tricky, however. A business trip would not count as vacations because you are still at work.

A person who gets an R visa for traveling for personal reasons must tell immigration officers why they need this permission. It is important to know what will satisfy the requirement so do your research before going in.

It is also important to remember that there is no expiration date for an R visa. Once granted, it stays valid indefinitely unless you fail to renew it or it is revoked.

How the R visa process works

r visa processing times

The second type of work authorization is for those with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). These are typically referred to as “employment” visas, because they allow you to stay in America while you find employment here. An E-2 visa is issued to nonimmigrant workers or students who will be employed full time in a business that has a job offer available.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversees this process. To remain in the United States after your visa expires, you must apply for another entry visa, such as the F1 visa mentioned above. Then, you can reenter and use the new visa to stay in the country. This way, you don’t have to go back home just because your current visa has expired!

There are two main types of E-2 Visas: one for professionals and one for college students. For both types of E-2s, employers must submit evidence proving not only that there is sufficient money to support yourself and your family, but also that you will probably earn enough income to pay taxes once you settle into a life here.

General conditions
Employers need to confirm that hiring someone on an E-2 visa is really a good idea before issuing one. They look at whether their company is able to do its jobs without you, and if there are plenty of other similar positions open elsewhere.

Applying for an R visa

While most people apply for an R visa through a consulate in Ukraine, you can also apply directly with the Department of State!

You will need to bring your passport, 2 photographs that match what’s listed on the form, proof of health insurance (this can be pre-existing or employer provided), and evidence of sufficient income to survive while living and traveling in the country for one year.

This includes documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, or receipts showing payments or loans. You may be asked to provide copies of these documents so they can verify them.

Once everything is verified, the process takes about two weeks – but it does not have to be done in order. You can start applying once all of the above are received and processed.

Document requirements

r visa processing times

If you need to visit or work in the U.S., you will most likely be required to have a visa. This is not always the case, however! Only about one third of all non-immigrant visas require an additional document beyond your passport.

The documents that may require you to bring proof include: A job offer letter, proof of sufficient funds to stay at a place for a certain amount of time, invoices proving employment, etc.

It is important to know what documents are needed for each type of VISA so that you do not waste time searching for them while waiting for processing. Visit our article on common visa types to learn more!

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CheapAir and KAYAK are two websites we like to use when doing this research. Both give us very clear and cheap flight options with out extra fees.

Visa issuance

r visa processing times

After your application is accepted, it must be processed by an appropriate visa service provider (VSP). These are usually larger companies that offer their services to other VPS’s as a subcontractor.

The VSP works with the Consular Office at the destination country you have chosen to apply in. They handle all aspects of processing your visa, from letter writing and proof reading, to filing documents and sending them off.

Some VSP’s will also coordinate lodging for you while you wait for approval, or even help you find one. This can make a big difference when you are waiting for approval and need somewhere to stay.

There is some leeway as to what time of day these things happen, but typically morning and afternoon are best. Evening appointments may work better if there is no way for you to get home after the appointment.

R visa duration

r visa processing times

The second type of non-immigrant work visas is for those with an *R* visa. This includes both employment based visas as well as student VISA’S! An *R* visa does not have a length limit, so long as you fulfill the requirements.

The only thing that can potentially delay your departure is processing time of the R visa.

It takes around two weeks to process the visa at most US embassies and consulates in countries outside of Canada or Mexico. Plus, it can take up to eight months to get approval from Canadian immigration officials.

This doesn't mean that there isn’t any chance of being denied when applying for the visa though. It's very possible to be turned down while waiting for your R visa to clear.

Can I get an R visa?

r visa processing times

The next step in process is to determine if you can receive the RV entry visa. This is determined by whether your country will accept visas for individuals seeking employment outside of their home country. Most countries allow this, but it does not mean that every employer requires one!

Some employers are willing to apply for their own visa on behalf of their employee, which is often easier than gathering documents and submitting them yourself.

In addition, some employees may be able to enter under another passport, such as their spouse’s. Check with both your employer and your family member about possible passports they have access to before deciding what steps to take.