Texas Visa Attorney

A visa is an official document issued by a country's government that grants a foreign individual permission to enter, leave, or reside within its borders for a specified period.  

There are various types of visas, each catering to different purposes such as tourism, work, education, or permanent residency. Visas can be categorized broadly into non-immigrant visas, for temporary stays, and immigrant visas, for individuals intending to move permanently. 

Applying for a visa can be complicated and stressful. If something goes wrong, it may result in your visa application being denied, resulting in missed opportunities or halted plans.  

A Texas visa lawyer can help you identify the right visa, complete the necessary paperwork, and guide you through the process smoothly. Lisa M. Potter at The Okoh-Brown Law Group, PLLC offers knowledgeable assistance to make your visa journey easier—whether for family reunification, employment, or other needs. 

Contact her firm in Houston, Texas, to set up a consultation where you'll discuss your goals and options. Whether you're down the street or in another state entirely, Lisa is here to help you build the future you envision for yourself and your loved ones.  

Understanding Different Types of Visas 

Understanding which visa is right for your situation is crucial for a successful application. The following provides an overview of some of the common visa types Lisa can help with: 

Family-Based Visas

Family ties are often the foundation of immigration cases. Family-based visas allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to bring their relatives to the United States. The two main categories are: 

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are designed to facilitate the swift and straightforward reunification of U.S. citizens with their closest family members. These visas cover spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens aged 21 or older.  

One of the key benefits of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas is that they are not subject to annual numerical limits, which means there are no waiting periods for visa availability once the petition is approved. This category of visas also often involves a relatively faster processing time compared to other family-based visas, ensuring that families can be brought together without undue delays.  

Family Preference Immigrant Visas cater to a broader spectrum of family relationships beyond immediate relatives. These visas are divided into four preference categories:  

  1. First preference (F1) includes unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;  

  1. Second preference (F2) is split into F2A for spouses and unmarried minor children of lawful permanent residents, and F2B for unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents;  

  1. Third preference (F3) covers married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and  

  1. Fourth preference (F4) encompasses brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.  

Unlike Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas, Family Preference Immigrant Visas are subject to annual numerical limits, often resulting in longer wait times due to high demand and per-country quotas.  

Fiancé and Marriage Visas

These visas enable individuals to bring their foreign-born fiancés or spouses to the United States: 

K-1 Fiancé Visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign fiancé to the United States for the purpose of marrying within 90 days of their arrival. After marriage, the foreign spouse may apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder). The K-1 visa process involves several steps, including submitting Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), attending a consular interview, and undergoing medical examinations. 

K-3 Spouse Visa is available to spouses of U.S. citizens who are waiting for their immigrant visa petitions to be processed. The K-3 visa permits the spouse to enter the United States while the immigration process is still ongoing. However, this visa category has seen decreased use due to the relatively quicker processing times of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas. 

CR-1 and IR-1 Spouse Visas: A CR-1 visa is issued to individuals married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years, granting conditional residency upon entry. The IR-1 visa applies to those married for more than two years, granting immediate permanent residency.  

These visas are direct pathways to obtaining a Green Card without requiring further adjustments of status, and they also typically have shorter processing times compared to other family preference visas. 

Lisa M. Potter at The Okoh-Brown Law Group, PLLC offers comprehensive legal guidance through the entire process of obtaining marriage and fiancé visas. Reach out to her Houston, Texas office to discuss your unique situation and get personalized assistance tailored to your needs. 

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Employment-Based Visas 

Securing a job in the U.S. often requires specific employment-based visas. These visas are typically categorized by the type of work or the applicant's qualifications. Here's a foundation of what prospective employment visa holders need to know: 

The H-1B visa program is designed for professionals who have specialized knowledge and hold at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent in their field. This visa is often used by companies looking to hire foreign workers in fields like IT, engineering, healthcare, and education. It's generally valid for three years, with the possibility of extension up to six years.  

Due to its popularity, there is an annual cap on the number of H-1B visas issued, making timely and accurate application submissions crucial. 

L-1 visas are specifically for employees of international companies who are being transferred to a U.S. office, often in managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge positions. There are two types of L-1 visas:  

  1. L-1A for managers and executives, and  

  1. L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.  

The L-1 visa can be an excellent option for multinational companies looking to consolidate their operations within the United States. The visa duration varies, with L-1A visas typically valid for up to seven years and L-1B visas for up to five years. 

The O-1 visa is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability or achievement in their field of expertise, whether it be in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. To qualify, applicants must provide substantial evidence of their extraordinary abilities, such as awards, published material, or significant contributions to their field.  

The O-1 visa is initially granted for up to three years, with the possibility of renewal based on ongoing projects or assignments. This visa allows organizations to attract and retain top talent, furthering innovation and excellence across various industries. 

Student and Exchange Visitor Visas 

Pursuing education in the U.S. requires specific visas, such as: 

The F-1 visa is the most common visa for international students aiming to pursue academic studies in the United States. This visa is required for those enrolling in recognized universities, colleges, high schools, private elementary schools, or language training programs. F-1 visa holders must maintain a full course of study and can engage in limited on-campus employment, with the potential for Optional Practical Training (OPT) both during and after their studies.  

The primary goal of the F-1 visa is to facilitate the academic and cultural exchange, offering students the opportunity to immerse themselves in American education and society. 

Students wishing to engage in vocational or other non-academic training programs in the U.S. will require the M-1 visa. This visa is designed for those enrolled in institutions that provide hands-on training and practical experience in various trades and professions. Unlike the F-1 visa, M-1 visa holders are generally not allowed to work during their studies, except under certain circumstances severely restricting employment options.  

The M-1 visa ensures that students receive high-quality vocational training, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen fields. 

The J-1 visa is intended for individuals participating in cultural exchange programs authorized by the Department of State. These programs are diverse, covering categories like au pairs, interns, researchers, and teachers, among others. The primary objective of the J-1 visa is to promote mutual understanding and cultural exchange between the U.S. and other countries.  

Depending on the program, J-1 visa holders might be allowed to work or receive training that is integral to their exchange program.  

Humanitarian Visas 

Lisa also assists with humanitarian visas, including: 

  • U Visas: For victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse. 

  • T Visas: For victims of human trafficking. 

  • Asylum and Refugee Visas: For individuals fleeing persecution in their home countries. 

U Visas are designed to offer protection and a pathway to legal status for victims of certain crimes who have experienced significant mental or physical abuse.  

To be eligible for a U Visa, the victim must have suffered from qualifying criminal activities, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or other severe crimes. Additionally, the victim must be willing to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.  

T Visas provide relief to victims of human trafficking, a heinous crime involving exploitation through force, fraud, or coercion for labor or commercial sex acts.  

Applicants must demonstrate they are or have been victims of trafficking and comply with reasonable requests for assistance in investigations or prosecutions of trafficking, unless they are under a certain age or unable to cooperate due to trauma. The T Visa grants temporary non-immigrant status to victims and allows them to remain in the U.S. to receive medical care, work, and rebuild their lives, facilitating their recovery and eventual reintegration into society. 

Asylum and Refugee Visas are granted to individuals who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  

Asylum seekers must apply for protection while already in the United States, whereas refugees apply from outside the country. These visas provide a critical lifeline to those fleeing for their lives, offering them a safe haven and the opportunity to start anew in a more secure environment.  

Lisa assists applicants in navigating the complex legal processes involved in seeking asylum or refugee status, ensuring that their cases are presented effectively and compassionately. 

Diversity Visa Lottery Program 

Each year, the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program issues visas to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. This lottery-based system offers a unique opportunity but requires strict adherence to application guidelines.  

Lisa can help you understand the requirements, complete and submit your application accurately, and increase your chances of being selected.  

Family-Oriented Legal Support 

Attorney Lisa M. Potter brings a compassionate approach and in-depth knowledge to the visa application process. She takes the time to understand your unique circumstances, long-term goals, and guides you through each step. She'll help you make sure all the necessary documents and evidence are in order and that your application is well-prepared. 

Experienced in both immigration and family law, Lisa is committed to keeping families together and providing them with the best possible support during their immigration journey. Contact her today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward achieving your immigration goals. 

Visa Attorney Serving Clients Nationwide

When it comes to immigration law, you need someone who is not just knowledgeable but also passionate about advocating for your rights. Lisa M. Potter serves clients nationwide, from nearby areas of Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth, to throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and beyond. She's the attorney you need.  

The Okoh-Brown Law Group, PLLC believes that finances shouldn’t be a barrier to quality legal counsel—Lisa's team is ready to discuss payment plans to make their services more accessible. Reach out to her today, and let her fight for you.