Applying for a Visa – Forms and Documents

Many clients ask whether there is any need for an Attorney to prepare Applications for various types of visas.

The answer is, “it depends”.

Some people are better than others at coping with forms, computer generated or otherwise, while others are put off, to say the least, by questions that seem ambiguous or daunting Instruction Pages covered with densely printed text – no less ambiguous than the form that is being described.

In other words, some people are good at form filling and following instructions while others panic and make innocent errors that can potentially complicate their cases and thwart their plans for the future. In many cases, a legal consultation can help avoid an unpleasant experience at the U.S. Consulate or at the Israeli Ministry of Interior.

Temporary Visitors for Tourist or Business Purposes

The following examples describe some of the circumstances where even a seasoned or cool headed form-filler might benefit from a legal consultation and/or legal assistance when filing a Visa Application for Tourist, Student or Business Purposes:

1. Young and Single Applicants – before or after being Drafted into the Army and/or before becoming financially secure long term well-paying jobs
2. Unemployed
3. Persons who made extended visits to the U.S. in the past for tourist or for any other purpose.
4. Persons who were denied visas in the past
5. Persons who were denied entry to the U.S. in the past
6. Persons who have dual or multiple citizenships and especially people with Passports of countries eligible for the Visa Waiver Program
7. Persons who were arrested or convicted of crimes in the past
8. Persons wishing to study in the U.S.
9. Parents of children who were born to Tourists visiting the U.S.
10. Israelis wishing to employ foreign experts or volunteers in Israel
11. Foreign business wishing to temporarily relocate worker to Israel

A visa denial in one of the categories described above could be indicative or have repercussions on future Applications and therefore, as suggested, a legal consultation with an Attorney specializing in Immigrant and Visa Applications could help the potential Visa Applicant decide when and how to file a Visa Application, if at all.

Business Visas

It is always worthwhile to consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney before applying for a Business Visa of any type. First of all, there are several types of Business Visas and an Immigration Attorney will be able to propose and advise the Client regarding the most appropriate visa for a Client’s needs or warn a Client before he or she enters into a process that is not likely to succeed and may have repercussions on further applications.

An experience Immigration Attorney can provide consultation and when necessary legal assistance in many business visa categories, not least of which in the following categories:

1. Large or Medium Sized companies wishing to relocate key employees or managers abroad, in a Parent, Subsidiary or Affiliate Entity
2. Outstanding Artists, Athletes, or Experts wishing to work in the United States or Israel
3. Israeli companies who trade regularly with the United States (Importers/Exporters/Service Providers)
4. Investors or Entrepreneurs wishing to Invest in the U.S. who employ U.S. workers or who will do so in the future

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas/Family Unity/Greencards/Citizenship

There are many circumstances where a U.S. Citizen should seek legal advice, at the very least, before applying for Green Cards or Citizenship for their Alien family members. Included among the circumstances when an experienced Immigration Attorney should be consulted prior to making any plans or filing any Applications are:

1. Dual Citizens (Israeli/USA), over the age of 21, that do not reside in the United States and wish to relocate to the U.S. with their non-US Citizen immediate family members (Parents/Spouses/Children under the age of 21)
2. Foreign Resident US Citizens with special needs who need to immediately relocate with their family members to the U.S.
3. U.S. Citizens who wish to apply for Green Cards or Citizenship for their children approaching the ages of 18 or 21 (respectively)

Generally speaking, every Application is reviewed on the basis of the circumstances at the actual time of filing. At times, an Applicant may not meet the requirements at the time of filing an Application but they might reapply at a later time, if and when they can meet the requirements under the law. Many visa and immigration forms include questions pertaining to previous applications – approvals and denials. Sometimes, an erroneously filed Application may permanently preclude any future applications in the same or other category. For these reasons, it is generally prudent to consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney before filing any Application with the U.S. Consulate, U.S. Immigration Authorities, or the Ministry of Interior in Israel.


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