Nonimmigrants, unlike immigrants, enter the United States for a temorary period of time and are restricted to the activity consistent with their visas. Unlike immigrants, however, they are less subject to numerical restrictions and more likely to obtain waivers of inadmissibility.
The Multi-Step Process
There are two levels of scrutiny for persons seeking to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant.
First: The applicant must seek and obtain a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate unless s/he is visa exempt. Issuance of a visa does not guarantee admission nor does it dictate the terms and conditions of future admission; it only permits bording of transportation to the United States.
Second: After obtaining the visa (or in some cases entering without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program or other statutory or regulatory exemption), the applicant must apply for admission into the United States at the border or pre-flight inspection station by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. A CBP officer conducts an interview at the airport, seaport, or land border to determine if the applicant is admissible; this is called “primary inspection.” If an issue is raised as to admissibility, the officer may direct the person to “secondary inspection” on site. At times, the officer may decide to grant the person a deferred inspection at another time in another place.
If admitted, the person is given an I-94 card. This card will govern the terms of his or her stay in the United States.
If entry is denied, the nonimmigrant may be summarily removed or put into removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge to remove him or her from the United States. If a consular post has issued a visa, however, it is prima facie evidence of admissibility sufficient to shoft the burden of producing evidence the the Deparmtent of Homeland Security at a removal hearing where admissibility is questioned.
In the United States, any institution or entity is eligible to offer work or immigration opportunities for foreigners. Various immigration classifications may apply.
If you would like to know more about a specific visa, read the information as it relates to visa and your general circumstances. However, every case is different depending on your individual circumstances. Therefore, for advice, please contact one of our attorneys for assistance.