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Understanding the Types of Visas Available for Immigrants in Florida

The United States offers a variety of visas for immigrants in Florida who wish to live in the country for work, study, or to reunite with family members who already live in the United States. Immigrant visas are for those who intend to permanently reside in the United States. The state offers a variety of visas for immigrants, including family-based visas, employment-based visas, investor visas, and more. Here are the different types of visas available:

Family-Based Visas

One of the most common types of visas available to immigrants in Florida, the family-based visa enables U.S. citizens and permanent residents to bring their close family members to the United States.

  • Immediate Relative Visa. This visa is available to spouses, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens in Florida. There’s no limit on the number of immediate relative visas that can be issued each year, and the processing time is typically shorter than other family-based visas.
  • Family Preference Visa. This visa is available to close relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, such as siblings, adult children, and married children, as well as the spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents. The annual number of these visas is limited by a quota system, and the wait times for these visas can be several years.

Employment-Based Visas

Employment-based visas are available to immigrants in Florida who have a job offer from a U.S. employer, and who can eventually become permanent residents. Each of the several categories of employment-based visas has its own eligibility requirements and processing times.

  • EB-1 visas are available to individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, as well as certain executives and managers of multinational companies.
  • EB-2 visas are available to individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • EB-3 visas are available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree or two years of work experience in a skilled occupation.
  • EB-4 visas are available to certain special immigrants, such as religious workers and employees of international organizations.
  • EB-5 visas are available to foreign investors who invest a minimum of $900,000 in a U.S. business that creates at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

Student Visas

Florida is home to several universities and colleges that attract international students from around the world. To study in the U.S., international students must obtain a student visa. There are two categories of student visas:

  • F-1 Visa. This type of visa is available to foreign nationals who wish to pursue academic studies or language-training programs in the United States.
  • M-1 Visa. This type of visa is available to foreign nationals who wish to pursue vocational or other non-academic studies in the United States.

Other Visas

In addition to the visas listed above, there are several other types of visas available to immigrants in Florida. These include:

  • Diversity visas: Also known as the Green Card Lottery, diversity visas are available to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The diversity visa program is a lottery system that randomly selects a certain number of applicants each year for the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.
  • Refugee and Asylum visas: These visas are available to individuals who are fleeing persecution in their home country. To obtain a refugee or asylum visa, the individual must demonstrate that they have a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
  • Special Immigrant visas: These visas are available to certain categories of individuals, such as religious workers, international broadcasters, and Afghan and Iraqi nationals who have worked for the U.S. government. Each category has its own eligibility requirements and application process.

To apply for any visa, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must demonstrate with evidence that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for the specific visa category. Once the petition is approved, the foreign national can apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate in their home country. The visa application process involves a background check, a medical examination, and an interview with a consular officer. If the visa is approved, the foreign national can enter the United States and apply for permanent residency.

Lots of visa types are available to immigrants in Florida. Each type has its own eligibility requirements and application process, and it’s important to consult with an immigration attorney to determine the best option for your situation.

Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney

Do you have questions about becoming a U.S. citizen with the help of an immigration attorney in Florida? Then contact U.S. Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to helping you at this time.