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The U.S. federal government controls visas. And the rules can be confusing. You may get a one for a short visit or a permanent stay. There are also many categories under which you may qualify. A Kentucky visa lawyer can help you sort it all out.
How Is a Visa Different From a Green Card?
A visa only allows you to do one thing: travel to the United States. Then an immigration official decides if you can stay.
This is true for both temporary (non-immigrant) and permanent (immigrant) visas. A non-immigrant visa also limits the things you can do while here. An immigrant visa leads to a green card.
A green card is permission to live and work in the United States freely as a legal permanent resident. This allows you to do things visa holders may not:
- You may apply for citizenship after a certain amount of time.
- You can leave the country without worrying about getting back in, with certain limits.
- You may petition for green cards for your spouse and minor children.
Legal permanent residents have many of the same rights as citizens.
Can I Get a Green Card With a Work Visa?
It depends on the kind you have. Different categories of visas come with different restrictions:
- Non-immigrant visas generally require you to leave the United States when your stay expires. They cannot lead to a green card.
- With a few kinds of non-immigrant visas, you may be able to extend your stay while waiting for approval of a change of status to legal permanent resident. An H-1B work visa is one example. Your employer (not you) must file the petition in this case.
- Immigrant work-based visas qualify you for a green card.
A lawyer who is knowledgeable about visa issues can help assess your eligibility.
Locate a Local Kentucky Visa Lawyer Today
If you have any questions about your visa status, it is important to get legal advice. Doing the wrong thing could get you deported and even barred from returning. Call now to speak with a visa attorney in Kentucky at 877-913-7222.