Can You Get an Employment-Based Visa If You’re Already in the U.S.?

employment visa statusEmployment-based visas allow you to stay in the United States for specific amounts of time — sometimes permanently — based on the sponsorship of your employer and your continued status as a full-time employee.

Many immigrants receive their job offers or transfers before they come to the U.S., making their visa applications more streamlined. However, others are already in the U.S. and may be considering employment visas as a way to stay or return after a short period back in their native countries.

Finding a Job

The most important factor in qualifying for employment visa status is that you have a job offer in hand so you have an employee sponsor. While you’re considering staying in the U.S., start looking for work. Earning a degree will give you an advantage.

Start the process by meeting with a Challa Law immigration attorney, but make finding a full-time job your number one priority, especially if you’re on a deadline and your student or other temporary visa is about to expire.

Why You’re Here

Why you’re in the U.S. will make a difference in your application process. If you’re here on a student visa that’s about to expire, you may have an advantage because your school can help you find a job after you graduate and you can more easily transition to an employment visa if you secure a position and sponsorship.

If you’re just visiting, you probably won’t have enough time and can apply from outside the country. If you’re about to turn 21 or get married after living with an employed immigrant parent, there may be some leeway to work with.

Changing Jobs

After going through a long process to be approved for an employment visa, you may be hesitant to ever quit your job, even if you’re unhappy. However, if you secure another job offer and meet with an attorney, the transition can go smoothly.

Talk to a Challa Law representative as soon as possible if you’re considering applying for an employment visa and wonder if your current status in the U.S. complicates matters or makes it more expedient. We’ll do everything we can to counsel you and give you the best advantages for getting the visa you need to achieve your dreams.

How to Increase Your Chances of Earning Permanent U.S. Residency Through Employment

immigration lawyers in Richmond VA Whether you’ve studied in the U.S. before or you’re even currently residing there on a student or temporary work visa, or you’ve never lived in the States, if you’re aiming to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident, employment may be the best way to do so. Once you’ve secured permanent residency through a job, you can then bring your immediate family (your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) as well.

Work with the Right Lawyer

The best immigration lawyers in Richmond VA know exactly how to tailor the permanent residency application process to every individual applying for a green card to make the process go as quickly as possible. If you have a family member in the area who can sponsor your application, it’ll go even more smoothly.

Apply for a Job First

If you have a job waiting for you — whether it’s a transfer from another branch in your company or a job you apply for on your own — you’re more likely to get permanent residency because your employer can sponsor your application. If the job starts fast, you can get temporary residency while you’re in the process of applying for a more permanent solution.

Learn a Trade or Degree

Specialized labor is in greater demand and is more likely to lead to your permanent residency. Professions that are particularly sought after include physicians, professors, researchers, and other professionals with advanced degrees. Even professionals with an undergraduate degree get more priority over those without one.

Permanent residents are even able to sponsor other members of their family, such as adult children who are both married and unmarried, which will make the process far easier for your loved ones to join you in the States. Work with an attorney at Challa Law who can look over your case and provide you with an individualized plan to permanent residency.

Can You Bring Family With You to the U.S. on a Student Visa?

immigration attorney Richmond, VA Coming to the U.S. to earn a degree at an academic institution or a vocational school offers immigrants so many opportunities. They can use that degree to get a better-paying job back home or to increase the likelihood of starting a career in the U.S. and potentially earning permanent residence. Many students are adult learners with families of their own. If you’re worried about your family being able to accompany you to the U.S., speak with an immigration lawyer to learn how your family can accompany you.

Consult With a Lawyer

At Challa Law, we’re happy to act as the immigration attorney Richmond, VA residents or would-be residents need to get their entire families to the States. The sooner you speak with us, the smoother the immigration process will be. As soon as you start thinking about going to school in the U.S., talk to one of our attorneys to see what you need.

Who Qualifies?

Your spouse and any unmarried children — your children or step-children — under the age of 21 can qualify for an F-2 or M-2 Visa, depending on whether you qualify for an F-1 or an M-1 Visa. You must remain a full-time student for your family to retain their F-2 or M-2 status.

Difference Between F-1 and M-1

Students attending an SEVP-approved school qualify for the F-1 student visa; you must have this acceptance in hand before you actually apply for the visa. M-1 visas are issued to foreign students attending vocational schools in the U.S.

It may be because you have a family that you’re eager for better-paying jobs and earning a degree. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll have to part with your family if you come to the U.S. for your education. With the help of the right attorney, you’ll be able to bring your immediate family along.

What Benefits Does a Permanent Visa Offer?

employment visa statusIf you’ve moved to the U.S. on a student or temporary work visa, you’ve gotten to know the culture and may have started thinking of yourself as a long-term resident of the country. You may wonder, though, as long as your temporary visa doesn’t have problems getting renewed, why you should bother upgrading to a permanent visa. If you do plan to stay in the U.S. for more than five years, you absolutely should apply for permanent residency.


When you opt for permanent employment visa status, your future is no longer in doubt. Even if you’ve experienced little to no difficulty renewing a temporary visa in the past, the fact is, a sudden layoff could result in you losing your residency. With permanent residency, you’re free to search for new work, and your residency in the U.S. isn’t dependent on you keeping the same job with which you applied for a visa. This means if you’re unhappy with your job, you’ll feel more secure looking for new work, too.


If you earn your green card, you can then become a sponsor for other immigrants — including your unmarried adult children — who want to move to the U.S. as well. On temporary visas, you can only elect to bring along your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Dual Intent Doctrine

If you’re already in the U.S. on a temporary visa, applying for a green card may actually be more complicated. However, it’s when you’re in the U.S. that the prospect of having to pack up your life and move back to your home country because your visa isn’t renewed becomes more urgent. An expert attorney can help you avoid issues with what’s called a dual intent doctrine.

Permanent residency is the first step toward applying for U.S. citizenship. If you’re married to an American citizen or you and your family simply love the opportunities you’ve found in the States, it makes sense to secure your future and reap the benefits of earning permanent residency. Contact Challa Law for a consultation to learn how today.

3 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Earning a U.S. Visa

If you’ve hoped to move to the United States for a long time, you know that it’s not easy to get a visa to earn temporary or even permanent residency. However, if you have the drive, it’s possible, especially if you reach out to the experts for assistance. Whether you hope to move as an individual or you want your immediate family to come along, there are ways to increase your chances of getting that visa.

Enroll in School

The best immigration attorney Richmond, VA area immigrants consult with recommends you have an actionable plan before you even apply for a visa. Coming to America to pursue higher education is one such plan. Apply for school and make sure you have enough funds to pay for tuition and living expenses. Upon acceptance, you can apply for a temporary student visa. This applies to both pre-grad and post-grad education.

Secure a Job

If you have a job waiting for you, your chances of qualifying for a visa increase exponentially. Whether you apply for a job at a new company or the current company you work for offers you a transfer to an American location, if you have the job offer in hand and enough funds to get your life in the States started, you can apply for either a temporary or a permanent visa, depending on how long your job is likely to keep you in America.

Start a Business

Opening a business on American soil that can provide jobs for at least 10 local citizens is another way to vastly increase the likelihood you’ll get a visa — and your spouse and children under the age of 21 can get visas as well this way. If you have the funds and investors and a business plan ready to present, you’ll likely be granted entry.

Fill out the Challa Law online form or call us today. Our representatives speak a number of languages if you think you’d have an easier time planning your application speaking in your native language. Our goal is to help make your goals happen and show you the way to get the visa that’s best suited to your needs.

Move Your Family to the U.S. with Our Immigration Attorney in Richmond, VA

Are you thinking about moving with your family to the U.S.? Life in the U.S. offers many benefits, including friendly neighbors, strong communities, many career opportunities, great schools, and, in many towns and cities, plenty of space for growing families. Of course, the best way to move to the U.S. is by getting a permanent residency visa, or “green card,” which would allow you to live and work in the U.S. for the rest of your life.

Do you have questions about getting a green card for yourself or your family? Before you begin the immigration process, you should know as much as possible about U.S. laws and how to immigrate to the U.S. with your family. That’s where an immigration attorney in Richomond, VA, from Challa Law Group comes in.

Challa Law Group is an international law firm dedicated to helping prospective immigrants navigate the often confusing process of moving to the U.S. We feature an immigration attorney in Richmond, VA, who is ready to help you. There are a number of visas available to the spouses, children, and other family members of people who have immigrated to the United States.

Moving with your family to the United States is easiest if you have a relative who is a United States citizen or an immigration attorney in Richmond, VA. United States citizens are able to sponsor their spouses, married and unmarried children, and their parents or siblings. However, if you have a green card yourself, you should be able to sponsor members of your immediate family, including your spouse and unmarried children, to come and live with you in the U.S.

However, many of the visas available to the families of U.S. citizens or those of United States permanent residents do not allow individuals to work inside the U.S. without an additional work permit. You or your family members may need to apply for additional permission to work in the U.S. while waiting for their green cards. The green card confers the right to live and work permanently in the U.S.

If you are planning a move to the U.S. with your family, it’s important to understand U.S. immigration laws and procedures in advance. Contact Challa Law Group to meet with an immigration attorney in Richmond, VA, so your and your family’s new lives can begin.

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