How to become a Legal Resident as a H1B or Fiancée Visa

| June 21, 2012

If you’re seeking legal residency in the US, several options exist to get you a visa and on the way to permanent resident status. Two of these include the H1B visa and the Fiancée visa.

The first option, the H1B visa is for foreign workers entering the US. Many companies find hiring foreign employees profitable and beneficial. If your field of expertise includes skills in specialty occupations that require extensive education and a degree, you might qualify for a H1B visa. This usually requires at least a Bachelor’s degree and sponsorship of a qualifying employer.

The duration of stay with a HB1 visa is three years with another three year extension. In certain circumstances, your visa might be extended. If you’ve filed your I-140 immigration petition before the five year mark, your H1B visa will be extended until a decision is made. The maximum extension without obtaining a green card is ten years for some sensitive job placements.

To obtain a HB1 visa, you need to follow these steps:

*  You must take a digital photograph that fulfills requirements for the visa

*  Complete H1B Visa application form DS160

*  Pay your application fee

*  Schedule an appointment at your local consulate or embassy

*  Go to your visa interview with the US consulate in your country.

When you go to your consulate interview, you should take your passport, your digital photograph, the barcode for your DS160, your fee receipts, your appointment letter, all documents related to your petition and supporting documents. If your employer needs you right away, they can apply for premium process to speed up your visa approval.

K1 or Fiancée Visa

If you’re an American citizen who’s about to marry a foreigner, you can apply for this temporary non-immigrant visa. With this temporary visa, your fiancée can stay in the country for ninety days for the purposes of marriage. Before the ninety days are up, your fiancée must file a petition for a green card and legal residence in order to stay in the country.

The steps for obtaining a K1 Fiancée visa are as follows.

* The American partner must file an I-129F form on behalf of their fiancée.

* After USCIS approves the forms, the fiancée will receive their visa from their local consulate.

Once you’ve obtained this, you enter the US through an immigration point of entry. After entering your fiancée can apply for a social security card and apply for permanent residence after you’re married.

Becoming a legal US Resident may not be easy, but for many people, it is worth the expense and the paperwork.

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer, focusing on multicultural and immigration issues, and blogging for Oltarsh & Associates .

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