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So many types of visas: How to know which one you need

If you chose Florida as the place you wish to live as an immigrant arriving from another country of origin, you are not alone. In fact, this state is a desired location even for many people who are born and raised in the United States. Its beauty, oceanic views, summer-like weather year round and many other features are positive attributes that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists and full-time residents alike.

If you're an immigrant, you undoubtedly already realize you can't simply jump the gun and show up in Florida one day to live. However, there are many people who do arrive here under less-than-stellar circumstances, some without any legal documentation whatsoever. To avoid such problems, it's best to seek knowledge and information regarding the various types of visas that exist and how to determine which one offers the most viable option to help you achieve your goals.

No two situations are exactly the same

Your circumstances are unique in that no two immigration stories are exactly alike. Your desire to live in Florida may have been borne out of entrepreneurial ideas, or you may have researched different areas in the United States and identified this state as most favorable to provide opportunity for you to seek a better life for yourself and your family. Just as no two situations are the same, neither are any two visas exactly alike. The following list gives basic information on the different types of visas:

  • Family-based: If related to a U.S. citizen or to someone with permanent legal residency status, you may be eligible for a family-sponsored visa. Spouses, unmarried children under age 21 and parents of adult children over age 21 are immediate relatives who may qualify for family visa applications.
  • Employment-based: If connected to a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor you as an employee, this multiple-step process may be your best option for obtaining a visa.
  • Non-immigrant-based: There are approximately 19 different categories listed under this type of visa. If you wish to live in the United States temporarily for business or pleasure, are a career diplomat or a student, religious worker or entertainer, you may wish to learn more about how to apply for this type of visa.

Even if you already possess the appropriate visa for your particular situation, it's no guarantee that obstacles or problems won't arise. Especially nowadays, when immigration officials appear to be cracking down on U.S. immigration law enforcements in Florida and throughout the nation, many documented and undocumented immigrants are finding themselves in sudden, unexpected precarious situations regarding their statuses.

By aligning yourself with immigration advocates who are well-versed in the complex laws that govern such matters, you may be able to overcome any legal challenge impeding your ability to bring your immigration dreams to fruition in the United States.

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