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How to obtain temporary residence in the United States, requirements and forms

If you are seeking temporary residency in the United States first and foremost you should know that in addition to having permanent residency in the foreign country, your purpose for applying for this residency must be for a particular reason and therefore you will arrive in the U.S. territory with non-immigrant status.

How to Apply for Temporary Residence in the United States

  1. When you apply for temporary residency in the United States, you will be classified as a non-immigrant.
  2. It applies to you if your temporary entry into the United States is for pleasure or business, if you are a government official abroad, if you are a foreign national in transit, if you are a student, investor or merchant, an intern, a temporary worker, if you represent an information medium from abroad, if you are a religious worker, if you are a fiancée of a U.S. citizen.
  3. Under these circumstances you will be classified as non-immigrant and may even be accompanied by your spouse and unmarried children.
  4. U.S. immigration law has two categories, one is a temporary residence visa and a permanent residence visa, and the other category covers temporary residence visas or nonimmigrant visas.
  5. The temporary visa is the first step to reach the United States and then apply for a permanent residence card, because with the temporary visa you acquire the right to remain in the country until your application is approved.

Types of Visas for Temporary Residence in the United States

The most common visas for temporary residency in the United States are:

B-1 Temporary Visa or B-2 Temporary Visa: These are visitor visas that allow you to stay up to 6 months in the country, but in the meantime you cannot work, but if you have a B-1 visa you can stay in the U.S. for commercial purposes to consult or attend a business convention.

F-1 Temporary Visa: It is the visa for students with which as a foreign student you can attend an educational institution in the country and depending on your case may allow you a limited employment.

K1 Temporary Visa: This is the fiancé visa of a U.S. citizen.

P-1 Temporary Visa: It is the visa directed to athletes or entertainment groups that are recognized at an international level.

R-1 Temporary Visa: It is the visa directed to religious workers who arrive being transferred by the international church that relapses with the United States.

J-1 Temporary Visa: It is the visa that corresponds to those who participate in exchange programs, and say that as a business apprentice you can stay in the country for 18 months to learn about a profession or occupation in the U.S. territory.

Temporary VISA TN: This is the visa reserved for professionals from Mexico and Canada, workers who must renew their visa every year.

H-1B Temporary Visa: This visa is for workers who are specialized and allows the sponsoring employer to employ you as a professional level worker for no more than 3 years.

G-1 Temporary Visa: This visa is intended for people who are considered to be extraordinarily able to seek temporary employment. It is renewed every year and is issued only up to 3 years.

E-2 Temporary Visa: This is the visa for treaty investors to invest a significant amount of money or to take control of a business active in the United States. They are issued for no more than 5 years, are renewable, the investor’s spouse can apply for a temporary work card and if they have children under 18 they can attend school but are not allowed to work.

I have a tourist visa I can become a resident

  1. It is very common that you think: I have a tourist visa I can become a resident, because when you arrive in the United States, the officer of the USCIS will authorize your admission.
  2. The most probable thing is that to make the process faster, on the plane they will give you to complete Form I-94 so that when the officer receives you he can register your entry and exit, since in the form you will have to complete the date of departure from the United States.
  3. But if you intend to stay longer, you must request and complete form I-539, which is the extension of status.
  4. When the time you declared or the extended time elapses, if you wish to stay in the United States for only up to 6 months you will apply for the B1_/B2 visa, for which you will go to the U.S. consulate in your country of residence.
  5. If you want to extend your stay in the U.S. for more than 6 months, the U.S. government will grant
  6. you immigrant status and then you must apply for a green card.

Requirements for Temporary Residence in the United States

As requirements you need:

  1. You must show that you only intend to enter the United States for medical or pleasure reasons or for a particular business.
  2. You plan to stay in the U.S. for a certain period of time.
  3. Demonstrate that you reside in a foreign country and have sufficient reason to leave the U.S. to return to your country.
  4. To obtain a non-immigrant or temporary visa you must complete form OF-156 and pay a non-refundable fee of $45.
  5. With the form you will attach two passport photos with a clear background.
  6. You will also attach a photocopy of your passport valid for your trip to the United States and with a date that does not exceed 6 months from the date of the extension of your trip.
  7. If you are traveling on business, you will present a letter written by the company stating the purpose of your visit to the country and how long you must stay.
  8. If you travel for medical reasons you will present a letter from your doctor explaining the medical reasons why you are traveling and specifying your ailment.

What is conditional residency?

You want to know what conditional residency means, then:

  1. As a conditional permanent resident you will receive a green card valid for 2 years.
  2. As a conditional permanent resident and in order to maintain this status, you will file a petition for the cancellation of the residency conditions within 90 days of the card’s expiration date.
  3. If you do not cancel the conditions you lose permanent resident status.

What is marriage conditional residency?

  1. What is conditional residency by marriage? Then you receive temporary conditional residency if you marry a U.S. citizen or resident, after which you receive documentation and legalize your status, prior to the immigration testing process to prove the legality of your marriage.
  2. Then the conditional residence is the one that allows you to have a green card and receive its benefits but the Green card will have a validity of two years and being a conditional resident you must make your Green card permanent taking into account 90 days before it expires.

U.S. Residency and Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are some of the factors that are considered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant individual immigration status?
A: Factors considered by the USCIS include:

  • If the applicant has an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • Whether the applicant has a permanent employment opportunity in the U.S., and whether that employment fits into one of the five eligible employment categories;
  • Whether the applicant is making a capital investment in the U.S. that meets certain dollar thresholds, and that creates or saves a specific number of jobs; and
  • If the applicant qualifies for refugee status as a person who suffers or fears persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular group in his or her country of origin.

Q: What is the purpose of the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program?

A: The purpose of the DV Lottery Program is to annually grant immigrant visas to applicants whose country of origin has low rates of immigration to the United States. (no more than 50,000 in the last five years). The program is called a lottery because there are more applicants than visas available, and visas are granted at random among qualified applicants.

Q: What is the basis for deportation? What are the consequences of deportation?

A: Deportation (or removal) occurs when an alien is found to have violated certain immigration or criminal laws, with the result that the alien loses his or her right to remain in the U.S., and is generally prohibited from returning.

Q: How does deportation process begin?

A: The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement issues a Notice of Appearance (NTA) that states the reason why the alien should be deported or expelled. The NTA is delivered to the alien and filed in immigration court. A hearing is scheduled, at which an immigration judge will determine if the information in the NTA is correct. If it is, the alien will be ordered removed.

Q: Can an order of deportation or removal be appealed?

A: Yes, the alien has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration (BIA). If the BIA decides against the alien, the matter can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Finally, if the Court of Appeals also rules against the alien, the matter can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Q: Under what circumstances will the permanent resident status of a foreign spouse in the U.S. be conditional?

A: A spouse’s permanent resident status will be conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old from the day he or she was granted permanent resident status. To eliminate the conditions, the spouse must establish that the purpose of the marriage was not to evade U.S. immigration laws.

Q: Under what circumstances will a foreign fiancé(e), who has been admitted to the U.S. for the purpose of marriage, have to leave the U.S.?

A: If the marriage to the U.S. citizen who filed the petition to allow the fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. does not take place within 90 days of entering the U.S., the fiancé(e) will have to leave the country.

Q: Can a U.S. citizen file an application to adopt a foreign-born child before the citizen has identified a child to adopt?

A: Yes, a married U.S. citizen, or an unmarried U.S. citizen who is at least 24 years old and at least 25 years old when the petition is filed, may file Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, to expedite the adoption process.

Q: What is the basic law governing immigration?

A: The Federal Immigration and Nationality Act is the basis of U.S. immigration law.

Q: Can I waive a fee for immigration-related services?

A: Yes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the discretion to waive a filing fee if the applicant can prove that he or she cannot pay. In order for the USCIS to consider waiving a fee, the applicant must follow specific instructions, including completing a form for review by the USCIS.

Ten Tips on Obtaining Residence and Immigration in the U.S.

To make sure you are granted all rights of residence or citizenship in the U.S., follow these immigration tips.

1. Plan for delays in the application and renewal processes.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is constantly behind. Some applications can take up to three years to process. If your green card or immigration visa has expired, immigration authorities may arrest you and even deport you, even if you have applied for renewal and are waiting for your green card or renewed immigration visa.

2. Consider establishing citizenship in the United States.

If you already have a green card and are considering staying in the U.S., apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as the law allows. Most people can apply for citizenship five years after their green card was issued, or three years or less if they have a U.S. citizen spouse or obtained their green card by marriage. Citizenship protects you against certain reasons for deportation, to which you would be subject with only a green card. Having citizenship also makes it more likely that your close relatives will obtain legal status in the United States. For more information, see the USCIS website.

3. Avoid summary removal.

Summary removal refers to the power border officials have to deny you entry into the United States. You can avoid this by preparing to convince border officials that you deserve an immigration visa. They have the power to reject you if they think you are a security risk or if they believe you lied to get your immigration visa. If you only come to the U.S. as a tourist, make sure you don’t pack anything that might imply your intention to stay, such as a wedding dress or resume.

4. Notify the USCIS of address changes.

All immigrants staying more than thirty days must notify the USCIS of any change of address. This notification must be given within ten days of your change of address. A separate notice must be given for each member of your family, including children. You may print, fill out and mail Form AR-11, or go through the USCIS online address change service. If you have a pending application, be sure to send written notification of your new address to each and every USCIS office handling your application.

5. File multiple immigration visa petitions.

If you are applying for a green card or immigration visa through the petition of a family member, check if more than one of your family members is eligible to petition for you.

6. Arrive on time for each appointment with the USCIS.

Do not be late for any of your scheduled appointments with the U.S. consulate or embassy, immigration court or USCIS. Being late can result in deportation or delays in your processing or proceedings. Because status applications are so time sensitive, you want to avoid delays at all costs. Punctuality is one of the most important immigration tips.

7. Do not violate any immigration visa provisions or laws.

This is probably the most important of all immigration councils, because the consequences here can be so catastrophic. Learn all the requirements of your immigration visa, work permit or green card and follow all laws and regulations with extreme care. The smallest violation can cause your deportation, your immigration visa to be cancelled, or even permanently bar you from entering the United States. For more information on the laws of various immigration visas and green cards, see U.S. Immigration Basics or the USCIS website.

8. Keep copies and keep up to date on the status of your application.

The USCIS is known for habitually losing paperwork. Always send your applications and paperwork to the USCIS by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy.

9. Conduct research from reliable sources.

There are common myths, rumors and beliefs about immigration that can be misleading or totally wrong, so be careful who advises you. Your legal situation is unique and may be completely different from that of your friends or family. Even USCIS employees sometimes give misleading and deceptive immigration advice and information. Even if you make a mistake based on something a USCIS employee told you, it is you, not them, who is responsible and will pay the consequences. Do your own research. The information available on the USCIS website is accurate and reliable. When necessary, consult an immigration attorney.

10. Get help from legislators.

If you have difficulties, contact your U.S. Congressman. They are usually happy to ask questions for you and may even encourage the appropriate agency to take action or initiate the application process for you.

Have more questions about immigration law? Contact a local attorney, each immigration case is different and unique. You will need a thorough knowledge of the law and how it applies to your circumstances to know how to proceed. Contact an immigration attorney to discuss your individual situation and to find out how they can help you get the immigration benefits you need.



Hispanic entrepreneur with a degree in business administration and experience working in the United States. My passion for business and entrepreneurship led me to launch my own blog where I share information and resources to help other Hispanic entrepreneurs achieve success in their businesses.

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