Submitting a visa application is one of the first steps towards immigrating to the United States. Whether your intention is to relocate permanently to the U.S. or to have a short visit, you will need a visa. There are many different types of visa applications, such as family-based petition visas, employment-based visas, permanent visas, and student visas.

What are Some Requirements in a Visa Application?

When submitting a visa application, you will be asked to answer many questions and you will be required to submit proof for any claims that you might be making. Some requirements may include:

  • Official photo ID
  • Travel documents such as a valid passport
  • Birth certificates
  • Proof of residence within the past five years
  • Employment-related documents
  • Bank account statements and proof of financial capability
  • Medical records
  • Various processing fees
  • Other requirements that may be specific to each case

Temporary visas have many subcategories. These all have their own set of requirements based on the nature of the visa. For instance, a person applying for a student visa will have to provide proof of their acceptance and cooperation with the sponsoring educational institution. Likewise, employment-based visas will usually require some sort of proof of employment or alien labor certification.

What are Some Tips for Handling a Visa Application?

Here are some tips when working with a visa application:

  • Only use official forms (immigration officials will not accept non-standard forms).
  • Do not leave anything missing; also do not submit more than is requested. In other words, provide exactly what is being asked of you—nothing more, nothing less.
  • Ask for help if you need it; don’t try to figure the process out on your own. Hire a lawyer if you need help.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Visa Application?

Visa applications can often involve many details and several requirements. It’s in your best interests to hire a qualified immigration lawyer for help when submitting a visa application. Your attorney can help ensure that your application is complete and on time. A late or incomplete visa application can seriously hinder your chance of obtaining a visa. Also, your attorney can represent you if you need to appear before a panel or before a judge.