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United States Visas from South Korea
South Korea and the United States share an interesting and prosperous relationship. Many Koreans visit the United States every year while others travel to the USA in order to engage in employment or reunite with family. Whatever the reason for seeking a visa, many find that the assistance of an attorney proves highly beneficial in streamlining the overall visa process.
Non-immigrant visas are commonly sought by those wishing to remain temporarily in the USA. Many are familiar with the B-2 tourist visa and the B-1 business visa, but since Korea became a participant in the United States visa waiver program fewer tourist visas are sought by those of Korean nationality. F-1 visas are often sought by students who wish to go to school in the United States while J-1 visas were designed for au pairs and cultural exchange participants. <
Employment based visas are often utilized by those who wish to travel to the USA in order to take up a job or engage in employment with a multi-national company or organization. E-1 visas and E-2 visas were created for those who trade or invest in business enterprise in the United States. The L-1 visa is an interesting legislative creation that was intended for intra-company transferees within a mutli-jurisdictional corporation or entity. The L-1A visa and the L-1B visa are subcategories of the L-1 and each have their own set of eligibility criteria. In any case, those admitted to the United States in L-1 status are permitted to retain so-called “dual intent” with regard to staying in the USA permanently as Consular Officers adjudicating L-1 visa applications are not required to adjudicate the application in light of section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.
The EB-5 visa is a relatively new Congressional creation that was intended for substantial investors in the United States economy. Those interested in obtaining an EB-5 visa should be prepared to invest a minimum of $500,000 into an enterprise that meets USCIS eligibility requirements.
Family based visas are also very popular for those Americans or Lawful Permanent Residents who have a loved one from Korea. The K-1 visa is a fiance visa that is valid for 90 days upon entry to the USA. The visa holder is required to marry the American petitioner within the 90 day period and apply for permanent residence. Failure to do so requires that the Korean fiance depart the United States prior to the K-1 visa’s expiration. CR-1 visas and IR-1 visas are travel documents for immigrant spouses. In the past, the K-3 visa was often utilized by Korean-American couples as it was an expedited marriage visa meant for those Americans with a pending IR-1 or CR-1 visa petition. At present, K-3 visas are being issued rather rarely due to the National Visa Center’s policy of “administrative closure” of such applications where the Immigrant visa petition is adjudicated first.
For information pertaining to Consular Processing please see: US Embassy South Korea
Those interested in obtaining a United States visa are well advised to conduct research before making any irrevocable decisions. Some find that the assistance of an attorney can be highly beneficial in immigration matters, but one should check the credentials of those claiming expertise in American Immigration law as only licensed attorneys from the United States are permitted to charge fees to represent clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
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