Sometimes people come to our office and ask about applying for a visa. They want to stay in the country for whatever reason, and they think that they have the skills, documents, and everything else needed to apply for a short stay in the United States at the very least. This is not really how a visa works though, because a visa is actually an “entry document.” You need one to come into the country legally, but if you are already here then you might be looking for something else. Our country’s immigration system can be a bit confusing after all, but a skillful NYC family immigration attorney from our firm may be able to help you.

Where Can I Apply for a Visa?

You are supposed to apply for a visa before you come to the United States, not while you are in the country. The application process often requires you to do an in-person interview at the United States embassy or consulate in your home country. When you know what kind of visa you need and when you want to travel to the United States, you can begin the application process and wait for approval.

Can I Renew Any Type of Visa in the United States?

You cannot apply for a visa while you are in the United States, but there are some types of documents that can be renewed or extended while you are here. Some examples include:

  • Tourists with B-2 visas
  • Students with F-1 visas
  • Nonresidents with work visas

There are some exceptions though. Some tourists cannot get an extension from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, usually because they are suspected of wanting to live in the country for the long-term. Violating the terms of a visa or committing a crime can also make it impossible to renew or extend.

Can I Change My Immigration Status While I’m In the United States?

Whether or not you can change your immigration status while you are still in the United States largely depends on what type of visa you originally applied for and received. Some types of visas, like certain student visas and K-1 visas, also known as fiancee visas, cannot be changed. Some types can change though, but which people have the eligibility to change their status can actually get quite confusing. We would suggest talking to one of our attorneys if you are considering changing your status.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you have any questions about legal immigration for you or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Cheryl David. We can schedule an appointment and go over your situation with you. If our seasoned immigration lawyers can be of assistance, we will point you toward the next steps and help you with all of the necessary paperwork.