Types of Immigration Visas
Defined by our Phoenix Immigration Attorney
There are several different methods for immigrants to enter and remain in the country, such as green cards, E1 or E2 visas, or permanent citizenship. Our Phoenix immigration attorney has explained the differences between them below:
Individuals Holding a Green Card
Someone who has a “green card” has been given the authorization to permanently live and work in the United States. This can be achieved through a number of different avenues. Many people gain their permanent residency through a sponsorship by an employer or family member.
In the case of a family sponsorship, the current citizen’s spouse, parent, or unmarried child under the age of 21 are eligible. Other relatives are also eligible, though they may encounter more difficulty. Others seeking their green cards may gain them through humanitarian programs, or refugee/asylee status.
E1 or E2 Visa
Over the years, the United States has formed complex relationships with countries all around the world. The U.S. has sought to strengthen its bonds with friendly countries by creating mutually advantageous treaties. Through these treaties, nationals of friendly nations can obtain special visas that allow them to conduct business in the United States.
E1 Treaty Trader
If you run a business and wish to conduct significant trade with the U.S., you'll need to obtain an E1 visa. Some of your employees may also be eligible to receive E1 visas. In this context, trade refers the international exchange of goods, services, technology, and other items. The more you have to trade with the U.S., the better chance you have of being granted an E1 visa. To receive an E1 visa, you must be a national of a treaty country. You must also ensure that at least 50% of your business's imports or exports will be to or from the U.S.
E2 Treaty Investor
If you make a significant investment in the U.S., you may qualify for an E2 visa. You can also qualify if you are in the process of investing. The E2 visa encourages foreign investors to live and work in the U.S. in exchange for stimulating the U.S. economy. E2 investors must invest in operating for-profit businesses. Again, you must be a national of a treaty nation to obtain an E2 visa. You must also own 50% of the investment enterprise or have operational control.
Religious Visas (R-1 Visa)
If you are a member of a religious organization and you wish to invite foreign nationals to work as ministers or other members of your clergy, you may qualify to petition for a religious visa. The religious visa requires the petitioner to provide documentation proving they are a bona fide, government recognized religion. It also requires the beneficiary to provide substantial evidence of them being a practicing member of the religious organization sponsoring them. When you meet with our Phoenix immigration attorney, he will go over a comprehensive list of all documentation needed before applying for a religious visa.
Become a Permanent US Citizen
As immigrants ourselves and as practicing Phoenix-based immigration law attorneys, we understand the complexities involved in securing permanent resident status. We can help you navigate this process. To speak to one of our attorneys about securing a green card, please contact us.