The United States Visa Bulletin is the latest update of our immigration policies. It can be a valuable reference for travelers planning to apply for a visa to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Although the bulletin is not a final document, it can help applicants prepare their paperwork so they can present their best case to the visa examiner at the port of entry. Below are some important points from the revised visa regulations regarding the requirement for having a valid passport and being in good standing with the Department of State.
What are the current requirements for visa eligibility? Currently there are no longer the age limits for eligible foreign travel. Applicants must now be at least twenty-one years of age and at least 65 years of age. There are also no age limits for the children of permanent resident's status. The requirements do not apply to the immediate family members of the applicant. This applies only to travel that is intended for the purpose of entering the United States on a lawful permanent basis.
What is a “permanent” applicant? An applicant who travels on behalf of a spouse, partner, or relative is considered a “permanent” applicant. This means that the spouse, partners, or relatives must have been in United States for more than six consecutive months prior to the present application. The six consecutive month period does not begin in the month of the application but must begin six months before the applicant applies for admission.
What is the maximum period of time for which an applicant may be in the United States? The foreign travel requirements now apply to those applicants who apply for a visa six months or less before the date of application. The applicant may stay in the United States as long as the applicant can demonstrate that his or her presence is authorized by the United States government. In order to determine the maximum period of stay, the USCIS requests information from the foreign country regarding the number of times the applicant has visited the country. This amount is contingent upon the applicant's present location and type of employment in the foreign country.
What is the procedure for renewing an existing visa? Once an applicant has received the notice of approval of his or her status, he or she may submit an application to extend his or her visa. For example, if the applicant currently has an LPR status and wishes to continue that status for an additional five years, he or she may submit an application to be eligible for an extension. To do so, the applicant must remain in the United States until the designated expiration date. If the applicant is unable to remain in the United States after the expiration date, he or she must leave the country and obtain another visa.
Is it possible to work while visiting a foreign country? Yes, visa applications are often approved for a period of time when an applicant is in the country to perform employment. However, an applicant cannot work during the same time that he or she is receiving a visa. To obtain a work visa, applicants must leave the United States immediately before applying for a new visa.
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