There are several types of immigration to New York. These include extraordinary ability visas, work visas, investor visas, family-based visas, and diversity visas. You can apply for either a nonimmigrant visa or an immigrant visa. Most foreign nationals wish to stay in the US for the remainder of their life.
The US immigration system has many rules and regulations that can be confusing and overwhelming. For instance, if you are new to the US immigration process, you might not know where to start. If you don’t know where to begin with your immigration to America, an immigration attorney in New York City!
If you are a foreigner looking to immigrate to the US, you should get proper legal help. Immigration attorneys in New York City can provide many helpful tips to help you navigate the US immigration process. It is important to remember that mistakes on your forms and applications can lead to significant delays and extra steps to fix them.
Here’s what you need to know to navigate the US immigration system smoothly.
Before you decide to immigrate to New York permanently, it is essential to know that you have the option to travel through ESTA. The ESTA authorization lasts for two years. With the ESTA, you must not apply for a visa and wait months for approval before entering the US.
You can stay in the US for 90 days if you meet the requirements. If you are from a country eligible for the US visa waiver program, you may be able to enter New York without a visa. Registering with the ETSA allows you to avoid long visa applications before entering New York.
You may travel to the US several times during the ESTA period. You have the option to apply for an ESTA visa waiver online. If you meet all the criteria, you do not need a visa to travel to New York. But if you plan to travel to the US by air or cruise, you must apply for an ESTA visa waiver.
The process is fast, simple, and only takes a short time. However, it is not very clear. It is best to go through this process with the assistance of an immigration attorney in New York City.
What is the ESTA?
The ESTA is an online system that allows citizens from qualified countries to apply for visa exemptions to visit the US. ESTA enables the US to maintain records of visa-exempt travelers, thus helping the US to protect its people and travelers better. A visa waiver was created in 2000 to facilitate the admission of travelers from over 30 countries.
The ESTA permits qualified foreign nationals to enter the US for tourism, business, or transit purposes. ESTA permits are issued for two years or until the expiration of the traveler’s passport, whichever occurs first. Foreigners who wish to remain in the US for more than 90 days are required to obtain an American visa.
If you intend to immigrate to the US for any other reason (e.g., for work purposes, study purposes, etc.), you must apply for another visa. For more information, please contact an immigration attorney in New York City.
Who can get an ESTA?
To apply for an ESTA visa waiver in the US, you must:
- Have a valid passport – valid as of the date of your planned arrival in the US;
- Have a valid method of payment for the ESTA fee (such as a credit card or debit card);
- Have an active email address where you will receive your approved ESTA;
- Have a valid contact information (such as a home address or phone number);
- Have an optional emergency contact information
When entering the US, you must present the passport that you used to complete the ESTA application, as the ESTA is electronically linked to that passport.
If the passport used to complete the application is lost, damaged, or stolen, you must re-apply for your ESTA and provide the details of your new passport. This also applies to dual citizens who must use the same passport for the ESTA application and entry into the US.
1. Lottery visa.
You can apply for green cards in the US through a lottery visa. The lottery runs through the end of October, and most applications are accepted. If you do not have any family living in the US or have no job opportunities in the US, you can apply for lottery visas through the diversity visa program (DVP).
The DVP grants green cards to more than 50,000 immigrants each year. The US State Department releases the list of immigrants selected yearly by country and how many immigrants apply yearly. Immigrants often get green cards through the diversity immigrant visa program.
If you are applying for the lottery, contact your immigration attorney in New York City to learn more about how it works.
2. Green card through marriage.
There are many ways foreigners can get green cards in the US. One of the most viable ways to obtain a green card is by marrying an American Citizen or green card holder. To be eligible for green cards, an immigrant must prove that the marriage between an American citizen and a foreigner is legal.
One of the quickest ways to obtain green cards is through marriage. An American citizen may marry a foreigner and sponsor both the spouse and child (below 21 years old) for green cards, provided the marriage occurs before the child turns 18.
3. Sponsorship from family.
An immigrant can be a green card holder if they are the parent, child, or sibling of an American citizen. A green card holder can also be a child of an immigrant.
Green card holders cannot sponsor their foreign parents or siblings. Someone already in the US cannot apply for a family-based green card for their uncles, an aunt, a grandparent, or a cousin. Processing times depend on the family relationship.
4. Investment visas.
If you want to enjoy the beautiful ambiance of New York City, you can get the approval to come to the US if you are willing to invest in the US. There are many ways to do this.
- EB-5 visas – This visa is also sometimes called the “golden visa” as it allows green card holders to invest up to USD 1.5 million to obtain this visa. The minimum investment required for this visa is USD800,000 to USD 1.05 million. Depending on the type of EB-5 you decide to apply for, you may or may not be necessary to manage your business. To learn more about this option, speak with an immigration attorney in New York City.
- E-2 visas – This visa allows an investor to immigrate to the US at a lower cost than EB-5 visas. You can set up a business in the US with a $80,000 down payment. This visa doesn’t give you a green card but permits you to work in the US for up to 5 years and can be renewed indefinitely. As you run your business in the US, you may also look into other immigration pathways that lead to green cards.
- E-1 visas – This visa allows investors to enter the US for up to five years to conduct commercial transactions. Unlike E-2 visas, this visa does not require an office to be established in the US, and no minimum investment is required. Instead, it requires the investor to demonstrate that an active business relationship exists between the US and the investor’s home country. This visa does not result in a green card, but it can be extended for an indefinite period.
- L-1 visas – The L1 visa is a blend of E-2 and E-5 visas. L-1 visas are similar to E-2 visas in that they are “temporary.” The minimum investment amount for an L1 visa is between $100,000 and $150,000, depending on the type of investment. The main difference between an L-1 and an E-2 visa lies in the visa’s dual intent. For example, an investor can apply for an L-1 visa, which allows them to enter the US temporarily, and then move on to an EB-1C visa for a permanent green card.
- EB-1C visas – A business owner can apply for this visa to establish a company in the US. Most EB-1C visa applicants enter the US for the first time on an L-1 visa. After one year of operation of their business, they can then apply for a permanent company management EB-1C visa.
- EB-1A visas – An EB-1A visa is granted to foreigners with outstanding scientific, art, educational, commercial, or sports skills. Eligible immigrants must prove their accomplishments have been acknowledged in their field of study. Eligible immigrants may apply for this visa even if they do not have a job offer or have an existing relationship with a US citizen.
In the United States, there are many ways for foreign nationals to enter the country. However, completing the process takes a long time and a lot of effort. There are so many forms to complete, information to take note of, and things to be done to prove your case.
Hiring an immigration attorney in New York City is now more attractive than ever. Gehi and Associates have a team of skilled immigration attorneys in New York City who can help you get any visa you need in the US.
We have a proven track record of successful immigration cases over the years. You can trust us to take care of your immigration application and provide you with a memorable experience. Contact us today to find out more!
1. Is an ESTA visa waiver permanent?
No, it is not. It only lasts for 2 years if you qualify and receive an ESTA.
2. How long can I stay in the US with an ESTA?
You cannot stay in the US longer than 90 days with an ESTA.
3. How many times can I enter the US with an ESTA?
The ESTA grants you the right to re-enter the US as often as possible during the validity period. However, you are limited to a 90-day stay on each entry.
4. How do I know if I need a new ESTA?
If you change the name, sex, or citizenship of your passport, you must apply again for an ESTA. You must also apply again if your answers to the eligibility questions differ.