The INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) defines a K-1 visa as a non-immigrant visa classification for aliens coming to the United States to marry an American citizen and to set up residence in the United States.
Procedure and requirements for K-1 visa:
To be eligible to file for a K-1 visa the applicant should be :
- A US citizen.
- Must have met his fiancé in person within the previous two years or at least once.
- Should have a serious intention to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival in the United States.
- Should have a minimum income requirement to qualify for the Affidavit of Support so that the fiancé does not become a public charge.
To get started with the K-1 visa process the American citizen must file a petition on behalf of his alien fiancée with the Form I-129F, Petition for Relative or Fiancée, with the (USCIS) having jurisdiction over the place of the petitioner’s residence in the United States. Such petitions are not generally adjudicated abroad.
Once the petition is approved it will be forwarded by the USCIS to the American consular office where the alien fiancée will apply for his or her visa. This petition is valid only for a period of four months from the date of USCIS action and may be revalidated by the consular officer.
On receipt of an approved petition, the American consular officer will intimate the beneficiary and provide the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a K-1 visa.
As the fiancée visa applicant is an intending immigrant, he or she must meet most of the documentary requirements of an immigrant visa applicant.
The following documents are generally required in addition to the prescribed application forms.
- A valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
- Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
- Medical examination
- Evidence of support
- Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
- As soon as the processing of the case is completed the consular officer will interview the fiancée.
- If found eligible then a visa will be issued which will be valid for one entry during a period of six months.
K-1 Fiancé Visa and U.S. PORT OF ENTRY:
On entry into the US the marriage should take place within 90 days of admission. Following the marriage the spouse must apply to the USCIS for conditional permanent residence status. After two years the alien may apply to the USCIS for removal of the conditions.
K-1 Fiancé Visa Additional Details:
Unmarried minor children who are under 21 years of age of the K-1 visa holder will derive “K-2” non-immigrant visa status from the parent as long as they are mentioned in the petition. A separate petition though is not required if the children accompany or follow the alien fiancée within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1visa. From thereon a separate immigrant visa (I-130) petition is required.
Bringing your loved ones to the United States can be an exciting time. However, one must be prepared and patient, but eventually one can enjoy life together with his/her fiancé.
As of today there are so many options that are open for those who wish to work temporarily in the United States on a H1B extension. There are many work categories that include intra-company transfer visa (L-1 visa), B-1 visa, H-2B visa, H-3 visa, O-1 visa, O-2 visa, P-3 visa, and more. Apart from the above mentioned visas(temporary) you also have the option of a H1 B specialty occupation visa, that is issued by the US Consulate/Embassy that would allow you work temporarily in the US. The issuance of the H1 B extension visa is associated with the employer. This implies that you would require a sponsoring employer in order to apply for the visa.
Ideally the H1 B visa is ideally suited for:
- Professional who possess high degree of specialized knowledge like consultants, journalists, analysts related to research.
- Professional nurses who have entered the US for supervising nursing operations.
- Renowned fashion models.
- Employers who are required to bring in qualified professional for jobs that entail specialized skills.
Receiving an extension of stay on the H1 visa:
Initially the H1B extension was issued for a period of 3 years. It is now possible to extend the visa by another 3 years. A person with an H1B extension is permitted to extend beyond 6 years under special circumstances. Per the 21st Century Act of 2000, a H1 B visa holder can file for an incremental one-year extension annually after the completion of six years on H1B status. This visa can be extended beyond 6 years only if:
- You are a beneficiary of an employment based immigrant petition (I-140) or an application for Adjustment of Status.
- Your labor certification application is pending for more than 365 days.
Until a final decision is made on the H1 B extension of the non-immigrant’s green card, the applicants belonging to the above mentioned scenario can get an extension for 1 year at time.
For the visa status to be extended in increments of 3 years you
- must possess an employment based green card petition filed on your behalf in an either EB1, EB2 or EB3 categories.
- you are not eligible to file an Adjustment of Status application for the only reason because you are from a country for which the priority date is not current. This is usually the case with applicants who are from India or China.
The following documents are required to be submitted to the US State Department for the purpose of renewal/extension of your H1B work visa.
- A valid passport for the applicant and each of the family members.
- An original of the form I-94 that was issued to the applicant by the USCIS.
- USCIS Form I-797 which would include the information on the applicant’s present employer.
- The employer’s letter of support containing details of the applicant’s nature of work, position.
- A fully typed non-immigrant visa application form, OF-156 added with one official passport-size photograph for each applicant, regardless of the age.
- A non-refundable visa fee payable to the U.S. Department of State.
- A self-addressed postage-paid envelope for return of the documents.
The H2B visa is a non-immigrant working visa which allows foreign nationals to enter United States for employment purpose in the non- agricultural working area . This non-agricultural field may be for seasonal need, intermittent, a peak load or for one-time occurrence. One-time occurrence means the job offer is only for a short term and not required in the future. Like the H1B visa, H2B visa requires the US employer to petition for the foreign employees. Seasonal need is when the US employer must prove that only at a particular time of the year that the labor is needed more. Peak load is when the company needs the employees for a temporary time and they will not be employed permanently. Intermittent means the employers are required only for a very short period to perform the services.
The US employer must also prove that there are no unemployed workers in the United States willing or able to do the required work. This must be proved by providing a document through the state’s employment agency using a labor certification process. This process will require a recruitment campaign which will include advertising in a local newspaper for available temporary workers for the required occupation.
List of documents needed for H2B visa
The duration of the H2B visa is limited to the need of the employer for temporary workers. The maximum validity period is for one year. In certain cases the employer may extend the duration of the visa up to three years but with specific conditions from the immigration department.
When applying for the H2B visa, the applicant and the US employer must submit the required documents such as,
- Copy of the passport
- Copy of the current visa
- Address in the applicants home country
- A letter from the US employer
- must produce sufficient evidence to prove that the visit is only temporary and that he/she intends to return back after the business-related work is done
- an evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad, and that he/she has residence outside the U.S. and has other binding ties that will ensure the individual leaves US at the end of the visit period.
All the petitions for this visa must be filed before six months of the proposed employment time. On entering the United States, the employee must ensure that he/she works only for the sponsored US employer and must leave the United States when the visa expires unless an extension is approved.
Spouse and children (unmarried child under 21 years of age ) of the H2B visa holders may accompany the employee and they will be allowed to enter United States with H4 visa. They may remain in the United States till the authorized stay of the H2B visa holder. But the dependents in H4 visas will not be allowed to work in the United States. Further, it is a must that the applicant obtains a prior appointment scheduled and also produce necessary documents (including passport) to the US Consulate at the time of Interview. Applicants will be notified in writing on the decision of the visa application.
Any foreign national who seeks to enter the United States must obtain a visa. The United States visas are classified into Immigrant and Non-immigrant visas. The immigrant visas are used by people who wish to travel to live permanently in US and non-immigrant visas are used by people who travel to US on a temporary basis for business or pleasure.
People who wish to enter United States for employment purpose must obtain a US working visa in order to be eligible to work in the United States. United States offers working visas such as H1B and H2B visas . The H1B working visa falls under the non-immigrant visa category. This visa allows a foreign national to be sponsored by a US Company for a period of six years and may lead to sponsor for Green Card. This H1B visa is mainly designed to be used for people who come under the Specialty Occupations category.
People who seek to enter United States using the H1B visa must be offered a job in the United States and must be sponsored by the employer of that company/organization. Also it is the duty of the US sponsor or the employer to prove that the position requires a skilled person from a specialty occupation and the intended employee has the required skills. The Specialty Occupations require a high degree of specialized knowledge (usually this requirement can be met by having a 3 year degree or 3 years’ equivalent post-graduate experience), such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, and other occupations
List of documents needed for H1B visa
There are certain eligibility requirements to be met by both the US employer and the applicant when applying for the H1B visa. The U.S. employer must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage earned by similarly employed workers in the area of employment and must make other attestations as required by the Department of Labor. The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree, possess specialized skill, and must speak and read English.
The applicant must ensure he/she provides the required supporting documents to be eligible for H1B visa. Below listed is the basic documents that the applicant must provide.
- A letter from the Current Employer
- Offer letter form the company in United States
- Resume of the applicant
- Sample company projects documents and some documents describing what the company does
- Approval Notice (form I 797) of the original petition
- Employment Verification letter
- Bank Statements
- Degree Certificates
After the application for H1B visa has been submitted by the US employer, USCIS will review the application for completeness with inclusion of the supporting documents. If USCIS finds the application is incomplete or if any required document is not submitted, the application might be rejected. On approval of the application, USCIS will send an approval notice to the US employer. If the petition visa is approved, an Approval Notice will be sent. Using the Approval Notice, the applicant may obtain the H1B visa from the US Consulate. If the application is denied, USCIS will notify applicant in writing the reason for rejection.
Every foreign national who wishes to enter United States must obtain a visa. The United States visas are classified into Immigrant and Non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas are used by people who wish to travel to live permanently in US. Non-immigrant visas are issued for people who wish to travel to US on a temporary basis for business or pleasure.
People who seek to enter United States based on employment must obtain a working visa in order to be eligible to work in the United States. There are many working visas available and one such visa is H1B visa. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. This visa allows a foreign national to be sponsored by a US Company for a period of six years and may lead to sponsor for Green Card.
The H1B visa allows business professionals to work in the United States for a specific amount of time. The H1 visa is allowed to US employers to sponsor foreign employees to work in their concern or institution when a US Citizen or a permanent resident is not available for that occupation.
In order to be eligible for the H1 visa, both the US employer and the foreign employee must satisfy the eligibility requirements.
- The United States job offer must be in a Specialty Occupation. Specialty Occupations require a high degree of specialized knowledge (usually this requirement can be met by having a 3 year degree or 3 years’ equivalent post-graduate experience) .such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, and other occupations.
- During the time of job offer, no U.S. citizen or permanent resident must be available for the job.
- The petition for H1 visa must be submitted by the US company and not by the employee.
- The U.S. employer must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage earned by similarly employed workers in the area of employment and must make other attestations as required by the Department of Labor.
In addition to the above mentioned requirements the foreign employee must,
- have a bachelor’s degree. If the applicant has a foreign degree, then that degree must be determined to be equivalent to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. If applicants do not hold a Bachelor’s degree, they may claim to be Graduate Equivalent if only they posses 12 years or more work experience in the same occupation.
- possess specialized skill, and
- must speak and read English
Once the application for H1 visa has been submitted to USCIS by the US employer, it will be reviewed for completeness. The supporting documents will be checked along with the application. If all the requirements are met, USCIS will send an approval notice to the US employer. If the petition for H1 visa is approved, an Approval Notice will be sent . Using the Approval Notice, the applicant may obtain the H1 visa from the US Consulate. If the application is denied, the USCIS will notify in writing the reason for rejection.
You have the ambition to work in the US and thereby settle in the US! Well, you can fulfill your ambition by following the right path. You can sponsor a foreign national and allow him to attain his permanent residency as an employer,for which you have to file a petition. The petition filed is Form I-140 which is the Immigration Petition for Alien worker.
Most people obtain green cards either through family based or through employment. Basically getting a green card has the possibility of having permanent employment in the US. One such method is by filing the immigration petition where an employer is required to sponsor. There are few others where the employer is not required to sponsor.
Who should file form I-140:
The form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker can be filed by the US employer for
- The outstanding researcher or professor who has at least three years of experience in the field of education establishing himself in research and teaching which have achieved accomplishments in the academic field
- An alien who has achieved executive position in the firm for at least one year and wishes to render services to the same
- An alien who has extraordinary skills which will benefit the economy of the US thereby helping in the welfare of the US as well.
- A skilled worker with at least two years experience in the respective skill and to perform labor for the qualified workers.
- An unskilled worker with less than two years of specialized training and to perform labor for the qualified workers
- A member of professions with degree of baccalaureate (preaching)
Sponsoring a green card with respect to job offer will entitle one to get a permanent job in the future after getting the green card. So it is not necessary that the beneficiary has to work presently for the employer in order to sponsor the green card. Before filing the form I-140,the employer must file for the labor certification with the Department of labor,which certifies that no US workers are qualified or willing to work for which the alien will do for them. After approval of the labor certification,the immigration petition is filed by the employer. Form I-140 and Form I-485 can be concurrently filed if the priority date is current .The Department of State gives immigration visa number only when the priority date is current. The priority date is the date the Department of labor receives the application in cases if the application is based on the labor certification. The non immigrant status of the applicant does not change though the I-140 is approved.
The Evidence documents include the completed Form I-140, approved labor certification,evidence that the employer is able to pay the wages like the annual reports, bank account records etc, job experience letters from the employers and other documents proving the qualification of the job should also be submitted.
Getting the employment based green card is not an easy job. The foreign worker himself cannot file Form I-140. Submission of the falsified documents along with the application will lead to crime and the application will be denied and worst cases the applicant will be deported.