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United States immigration law distinguishes between "immigrants" and "non-immigrants".  An immigrant is someone who is coming to the United State with the intention of residing in the United States indefinitely.  A non-immigrant is someone who is coming the United States temporarily, with the intention of leaving the United States once the purpose of the visit has been completed.  Understanding your eligibility for certain types of non-immigrant visas, as well as the legal limits, problems and benefits, is important, so that proper decisions can be made.  Today's blog post will summarize some of the more common of the many types of non-immigrant visas.


A visitor visa, legally referred to as B1/B2, allows a person to travel to the United States temporarily for business (B1) or pleasure (B2).  Eligibility depends on a showing of the purpose of the trip and of the person's ties to the home country and intention to retun to the home country.  


A student visa, legally referred to as F1, allows a person to attend school in the United States.  The person must be admitted to a school and receive the issuance of an I-20 form.  The visa remains valid for the duration of the time the person is enrolled and attending school, and expires automatically when enrollment is discontinued.  An F-1 student is not permitted to work in the U.S., and must show sufficient financial support to maintain the student while in school.  Following completion of school, an F1 student may be eligibile to stay an additional one year for Optional Practical Training.


If a person is engaged to a U.S. citizen, he/she may apply for a fiance visa (K-1) to come the United States to then get married.  Once married to the same U.S. citizen petitioner, the person is then eligible to become an immigrant (lawful permanent resident) through a process known as "adjustment of status".

Non-immigrant visas can provide significant opportunities for foreign nationals to gain the advantages of visiting the United States.  The experienced and friendly attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have extensive experience in advising clients about the various options, and applying for and receiving non-immigrant visas.  Contact Christiansen Law Firm in their Houston or San Antonio offices to arrange a free consultation.



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(Principal Office)
810 S. Highway 6
Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77079
Phone: 281-579-2800
Fax: 281-579-2801
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84 NE Loop 410
Suite 130
San Antonio, Texas 78216
Phone: 210-829-0101
Fax: 210-829-8010
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