Entry Visa

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What is an Entry Visa?

An entry visa is any visa that allows the visa holder to enter the United States legally under immigration laws.  Technically, all visas are entry visas if they allow the person to enter the United States at a designated entry point.  The main differences between visas categories are the length of time that the person can stay in the U.S., and the purpose for which the person is entering. 

For example, some visas are issued to allow people to work in the U.S. for a set period of time, sometimes several years.  In contrast, other visas like a transit visa only allow the person to stop over in the U.S. for a day, and don’t allow the person to leave a designated area in or near the airport.

What are Single-Entry Visas and Multiple-Entry Visas?

Visas can either be single-entry or multiple entry.  A single entry visa is one that can only be used to enter the U.S. once.  It must be renewed if the person wishes to enter the U.S. again at a later time.

In contrast, a multiple-entry visa allows the visa holder to enter the country more than one time.  They may grant a person multiple or indefinite numbers of entry for a set period of time.  For example, a multiple entry visa may be valid for a period of two years, during which time the person is free to exit and re-enter the U.S. as they see fit.

Multiple-entry status is granted under many different categories of visas, such as tourist visas, student visas, work visas, etc.

What are Some Common Violations of Entry Visas?

Violations of entry visa terms are treated very seriously. 

Violations can result in serious legal consequences, such as having a visa automatically cancelled.  Or, the person may be prohibited from re-entering the U.S. in the future, either temporarily or permanently.  Lastly, if the person is already in the U.S., a violation of immigration laws can result in removal from the country, with the person having to return to their country of origin. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with an Entry Visa?

Entry visa requirements will vary depending on the type of visa being applied for.  They usually require the submission of various documents that need to be returned to authorities within a certain deadline.  If you need help with an entry visa, you should speak with an immigration attorney immediately.  Your attorney will be able to help you with your application, and can assist you during the interview process.  Also, if you’re being suspected of a violation, an attorney can help represent and defend you if you are summoned to appear before a judge.

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Last Modified: 09-24-2012 04:06 PM PDT

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