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Non-Immigrant Visas

I’m Currently in the U.S., but My Visa or Status Is about to Expire. Can I Extend My Stay?

Posted on July 7, 2022

The U.S. has authorized Ukrainians who arrived in the U.S. on or before April 11, 2022 and have been present in the U.S. continuously since that date to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). You will be able to apply for TPS once the directive with instructions is published. Ukrainians who arrived in the U.S. after April 11 are not eligible to apply for TPS. For now, Ukrainians may sign up to be notified of registration availability. Please see the above section for more details on TPS. Ukrainians who are legally residing in the U.S. can also request a status extension by filing Form I-539 form and explaining why they cannot return to Ukraine. Please note that when filing the I-539, you will be asked whether you have worked in the United States without authorization, if you have violated the terms of your non-immigrant status, and whether you will be financially supported without working.

Is a Non-Immigrant Visa a Pathway to Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship?

Posted on July 7, 2022

Generally, no. A non-immigrant visa is not designed to be a pathway to Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship.

What is the Difference Between an Immigrant Visa and a Non-Immigrant Visa?

Posted on July 7, 2022

A non-immigrant visa is intended for temporary travel and is not intended to provide permanent resettlement or permanent resident status in the U.S. In contrast, an immigrant visa is intended for those who plan to permanently resettle in the U.S.

What Kind of Visa Should I Apply for to Temporarily Come to the U.S.?

Posted on July 7, 2022

This depends on your circumstances. The most common visas for temporary travel to the U.S. are a B-1 visa for business (to attend a conference or consult with business associates) or a B-2 visa for tourism (for a vacation or to visit with friends or relatives). Neither of these non-immigrant visas allow an individual to work in the U.S. or stay in the U.S. permanently.

Do I Need to Have Family in the U.S. to Apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa?

Posted on July 7, 2022

Generally speaking, no, you do not need to have family in the U.S. to apply for a non-immigrant visa. This may vary based on the type of non-immigrant visa for which you are applying, as some types of family-based non-immigrant visas do require the applicant to have a family member in the U.S. Other types of non-immigrant visa applications may benefit from family sponsorship, even if family relationships in the U.S. are not required.

If I Am a U.S. Citizen or an LPR (Green Card Holder), Can I Petition My Ukrainian Relative for a Non-Immigrant Visa?

Posted on July 7, 2022

A U.S. citizen or a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) may sponsor a spouse or a child under age 21for a non-immigrant V visa, if a petition for permanent immigrant visa under Form I-130 had already been filed before December 21, 2000 and the petition is more than three years old. We note that U.S. Embassies and Consulates have not issued any V visas for the past several years because applicants with priority dates on or before December 21, 2000, were able to apply for immigrant visas as their priority dates become current.

What If I Am a U.S. Citizen or Greencard Holder but My Ukrainian Relative Is Not Close Enough for Me to Petition Them or We Do Not Meet the Criteria Outlined Above?

Posted on July 7, 2022

A relative of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) may apply for a non-immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate located in the country where they currently reside. The Ukrainian visa applicant can list their U.S. family member who is a citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident in their non-immigrant visa application. Providing documents to clarify both that the visit is temporary (i.e., to attend a wedding or graduation ceremony) and that the immigrant will be supported financially during the temporary visit will help strengthen the non-immigrant visa application.

How Long Does It Take to Be Approved for a Non-Immigrant Visa?

Posted on July 7, 2022

Each application is considered on its own merits and varies in processing time. Note that, due to the tremendous backlog pre-existing before the war, applicants may wait months or even years for approval.

How Long Can I Stay in the U.S. with a Non-Immigrant Visa?

Posted on July 7, 2022

Typically, a non-immigrant visa such as a B-1/B-2 visitor (for business or tourism) visa allows a person to stay in the U.S. for from 90 days to 6 months.

What Type of Evidence Will Help My Application for a Non-Immigrant Visa?

Posted on July 7, 2022

An applicant needs to demonstrate strong continuing ties to their home country when applying for a non-immigrant visa such as a B-1/B-2 visitor visa. The U.S. State Department indicated that this is necessary even for those Ukrainians who are fleeing from the war. Under current laws, if an applicant is unable to demonstrate their intent to return to a residence abroad after a defined visit to the U.S., the application must be rejected. As difficult as this may be for some applicants to demonstrate at this time, this requirement to show evidence of intent to return to the home country remains in place. Evidence showing intent to return could include a letter from an employer, a recent paycheck from a job, an apartment rented or house owned in their home country, enrollment in a school, or the presence of close family in the home country. Other evidence that shows the temporary purpose of the trip, such as attending a wedding, funeral, or other event may also be helpful.

This site is for general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

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