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4 things every Indian must know before immigrating to the US

4 things every Indian must know before immigrating to the US

Indian immigrants to the United States face many unique challenges.

From obtaining documents required by USCIS to understanding cultural differences, there is a lot of information an Indian immigrant needs to successfully immigrate, like:

  1. Understanding the US immigration System
  2. Gathering required documents in India
  3. Why waiting to apply for immigration is risky
  4. Choosing an attorney who specializes in Indian immigration case

We’ll cover topics such as visa types, deadlines, and document requirements so you’re prepared for your journey ahead. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the US immigration system

The US immigration system is complex and can be difficult to understand.

Understanding what type of visa you may qualify for, the different types of visas available, and how best to go about filing for a visa are all important steps in the immigration process for any Indian immigrant.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the basics.

There are many different types of visas, some of which allow for permanent residency and others that provide temporary or seasonal work.

It’s important to do your research to know what visa best suits your needs.

Business visas

Some of the most common business visas sought by Indian immigrants are H-1B, L-1 and EB-5.

H-1B

The H-1B visa is a temporary work permit that allows foreign workers to work in the United States in specialty occupations.

Any business can hire H-1B workers, but it’s often used by:

  • Tech companies
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Engineering companies
  • IT firms
  • And many more

The H-1B visa is also often used by Indian immigrants, who have the skills and talent that US companies need.

H-1B visas are dual intent, meaning you can work, then later obtain a green card (if eligible).

The H-1B visa is a great choice for Indian immigrants because it is a “dual intent” visa, meaning that holders may apply for permanent residency or a green card while they are still on the visa.

L-1

The L-1 visa is another popular visa among Indian immigrants. This type of visa is designed to allow companies to transfer foreign executives and managers from their offices abroad to the US.

L-1 visas are also “dual intent,” meaning that holders may apply for a green card while still on the visa.

EB-5

The EB-5 visa allows qualified investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States.

The program requires an investor to invest in a new commercial enterprise and create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers.

The EB-5 is an excellent choice for Indian immigrants who have the means to invest in a US business and create jobs.

Family visas

You also have family-based immigration applications and even the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery for those who do not have an employer sponsoring them.

Consular processing

Applying for a visa at a US consulate abroad is called consular processing. Consular processing involves filing Form I-130, among others.

This process can be difficult and often requires the services of an immigration attorney. The consulate will review the applicant’s application and decide whether or not they are eligible for a visa.

Adjustment of status

Another option is to apply for a change of status while in the US. This process is referred to as an adjustment of status.

With adjustment of status, eligible applicants can “convert” non-immigrant visas like work, fiancé, or student visas into a green card.

It allows immigrants who are already in the US to apply for a different type of visa. This is done by applying with USCIS, along with supporting documents.

Fiancé visa (K-1)

The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the US to marry their US citizen fiancé.

This visa is valid for 90 days and allows the couple to marry within this time frame. Once married, the foreign national can then apply for a green card.

Which family members are eligible to immigrate?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to join you in the US. You may also be able to petition for your parents, siblings and other family members.

Bear in mind that the US immigration system gives priority to your children and spouse. That means wait times are often much longer for parent and sibling immigration applications.

Gathering required immigration documents in India

Gathering required immigration documents in India can be a daunting task.

USCIS requires various forms of documentation to prove identity, employment history, and other personal background information. You need to have all the necessary paperwork ready before applying for US immigration.

Documents needed to immigrate from India

Some of the essential documents which an Indian immigrant will need to prepare include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Academic records
  • Financial statements
  • Medical records
  • Proof of professional qualifications

Ensure that all these documents are up-to-date and accurately reflect the information required by USCIS.

The problem with gathering documents in India

The problem is that many documents provided by local officials throughout India may lack information required by USCIS.

Depending on the year you were born, for example, obtaining a “full” birth certificate may be difficult.

In such cases, you should consider obtaining an affidavit or other form of corroborating evidence — or hiring a professional Indian immigration lawyer.

Why you should apply for immigration benefits now, not later

Immigration laws are constantly changing.

While some of these changes may be beneficial, others can have a potentially negative effect on an immigrant’s eligibility for certain visas or benefits.

You should begin your immigration journey as soon as possible to take advantage of any potential opportunities that may arise — and avoid delays down the road.

USCIS regularly faces delays

Waiting too long could also mean that the US immigration system runs into another backlog of cases, like there was during COVID. Better to submit early!

At its peak, the USCIS immigration backlog meant waiting more than two years at some Indian consulates.

Working with an experienced Indian immigration attorney can help ensure that your application is filed in a timely fashion and that you have the best possible chance of success.

By taking all of these steps, you can be well on your way to navigating the complex US immigration system — and making your American Dream a reality!

Choosing an attorney who specializes in Indian immigration cases

Choosing an attorney who specializes in Indian immigration cases is one of the most important steps for any prospective Indian immigrant.

Working with a knowledgeable lawyer can help ensure that your visa application is properly filled out and filed, as well as provide valuable advice on navigating the complex US immigration system.

But how do you find a qualified attorney who really understands India?

What to look for in an Indian immigration attorney

When looking for an attorney for your Indian immigration case, there are several key factors to consider.

History of success

First and foremost, make sure the attorney has a proven track record of success with similar cases. Ask for references and read online reviews to get an idea of how well the attorney’s previous clients have fared.

“I had a really tough case that no other law firm wanted to handle. Dalal & Mehta helped when no one else would.”

Ajay K.

Up to date on immigration law

Additionally, make sure the attorney is knowledgeable about both American immigration law and local issues in India.

Choosing an attorney who is well-versed in both the legal and cultural aspects of Indian immigration can ensure that you have the best possible chance of success.

Communication and reliability

Finally, make sure the lawyer is reliable and available to answer any questions you may have.

A good attorney should be able to respond to your inquiries quickly and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

How to know if you need an Indian immigration attorney

Every case is different, so how do you know when it’s time to hire a lawyer?

Generally speaking, if you are facing any kind of complex immigration issue or have questions about the US immigration process, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel.

“Dalal & Mehta made my H-1B application so easy. I can’t wait to work with them again for my green card!”

Priyanka P.

For example, if you are applying for a visa and the documents required by USCIS are difficult to obtain in India, it may be a wise decision to hire an attorney.

The same goes for any other scenario that require a deep understanding of Indian and US immigration law.

An experienced lawyer can help ensure that your application is properly filled out, filed promptly, and that you have the best possible chance of success.

Dalal & Mehta, your India-to-US specialists

At Dalal & Mehta, we aren’t afraid of handling tough cases.

If you need help immigrating from India to the United States, contact us right away.

We’re here to make your American Dream a reality.

Indian immigration questions & answers

Do you have questions about immigrating from India to the United States? We have answers!

1. What are the different ways to immigrate to the United States from India?

The most common way to immigrate from India to the United States is through a family-based visa. Other ways include employment, asylum, and investment visas.

It’s also common for Indian immigrants to work in the United States on visas such as the H-1B, which can later be converted into a green card.

2. How do I know if I’m eligible for a specific visa?

The eligibility requirements for each visa vary. However, a qualified immigration lawyer can help you determine what type of visa is best suited to your circumstances and how to apply for it.

3. How can I get help with the immigration process?

The best way to get help with the immigration process is to consult with a qualified immigration attorney. An experienced lawyer can provide you with valuable advice on navigating the US immigration system, as well as assist you in filling out and filing your visa application.

4. How long does it usually take to immigrate to the United States from India?

The processing time for each visa varies, but most visas take anywhere from several months to a year or more to be approved. Therefore, it’s important to begin the application process as early as possible in order to avoid delays.

The sooner you apply, the less risk you have of delays and complications. Start now!

Immigrating from India to the United States can be a complicated and time-consuming process. However, the sooner you get started, the better!

5. What are some common challenges people face when immigrating to the United States from India?

Some of the most common challenges faced by Indian immigrants include obtaining the necessary documents required by USCIS, finding a job in the US that meets their qualifications and experience, and navigating unfamiliar cultural norms.

Additionally, many people struggle with language barriers or lack access to affordable legal services. It’s important to research your options and find an immigration lawyer you can rely on.

6. How do I apply?

The best way to apply is to consult with a qualified immigration attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you determine what type of visa is best suited to your individual circumstances and guide you through the process of filing your application.

By working with an experienced immigration lawyer, you can ensure that your application has the best chance possible for success.

7. What kind of fees are there?

The fees for filing a visa application can vary widely depending on the type of visa you are applying for and your individual circumstances.

USCIS regularly raises application fees. Consult your attorney for up-to-date processing and filing fees.

Consulting with an immigration attorney is the best way to get an accurate estimate of the costs involved in your particular case.

8. What documents do I need?

The exact documents required for each visa vary, but generally include proof of identity (such as a passport or birth certificate), evidence of financial stability, and any other relevant information requested by USCIS.

It’s important to consult with an immigration attorney in order to make sure you have all the necessary documents.

9. Can I bring my family with me?

In general, yes. Most visa categories allow for the applicant to bring their immediate family members (spouse and children) along with them to the United States.

It’s important to research your options carefully and consult with an immigration lawyer, as different visa categories may have different requirements regarding who can be included in a family-based application.

10. Can I become a citizen after getting an H-1B visa?

Yes. The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows people to live and work in the US for up to 6 years.

After that, applicants may be eligible for permanent residence (a green card), at which point they can begin the process of becoming a citizen. It’s important to consult with an immigration lawyer regarding your unique circumstances.

11. Is there any way to expedite my application?

In certain cases, an applicant may be eligible for premium processing, which can reduce the wait time for a visa decision. However, this is not always available and will depend on the type of visa you are applying for.

It’s important to consult with an immigration lawyer about your options to determine if premium processing is available in your case.

12. What if I have a difficult case?

If your case is complex or difficult, it’s important to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help you analyze the facts of your case and determine the best strategy for achieving a successful outcome.

Turned down by another immigration firm? We’re here to help.

At Dalal & Mehta, we’re not scared to take on tough cases. If you’ve been turned down by another immigration lawyer, contact us right away.

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