The Nonimmigrant Process: Condensed

Obtaining status in the U.S. is a three-step process involving several government agencies, each with their own policies and requirements.  In this article we provide a condensed version of the steps associated with obtainingemployment-based nonimmigrant status.

Step One:  The proposed employer files a petition for nonimmigrant worker with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”).  A CIS Adjudications Officer determines that the employer and applicant qualify for the category requested and upon approving the petition, issues a formal approval notice (Form I-797).  To view a sample of an I-797 click here.

Step Two:  The applicant must appear before the Department of State (“DOS”) at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy with evidence of CIS’s approval and apply for a nonimmigrant visa.  The DOS verifies the information and conducts security checks on the applicant before issuing a visa.  Please note, in most instances, this does not apply to Canadian citizens.  For further information on applying for a U.S. visa click here.

Step Three:  The individual may then appear at a port-of-entry with their valid visa issued by DOS and evidence of their CIS approval and apply for admission from Customs and Border Protection.  A CBP Inspector will issue the applicant an I-94 card which denotes their nonimmigrant classification and period stay  Form I-94 is what actually grants status.

Berardi Immigration Law will be supplementing this article with more detailed explanations regarding the differences between” visas” and “status” as well as the terms overstay, out-of-status and unlawful presence.

Rosanna Berardi is adept at filing many different types of nonimmigrant petitions with CIS, scheduling visa appointments, and providing guidance for port-of-entry procedures.  We would be happy to assist you.  Please contact us by calling 877-721-6100 or send an e-mail by clicking here.

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