I want to live in the United States permanently. How do I qualify for a green card?
There are three ways of qualifying for a US permanent resident permit (green card): through a close relative, through sponsorship by an employer, or, for those who were born in a participating country, via the Visa Lottery (The Diversity Lottery Program).
If I travel to the U.S. without a visa, can I extend my stay beyond the 90 days allowed?
Unfortunately not. Only those who enter the United States with a valid visa can extend their stay or change their status.
I received a tourist visa valid for 10 years. Does that mean I can stay in the U.S. for 10 years?
No. The validity of a visa, determined by the consul, is different from the authorized length of stay, determined by the immigration officer at the airport. This means during this 10 year period the traveler can travel as often as they wish to the US. The length of stay is determined upon each arrival in the United States, but will never be longer than 6 months.
If I am refused a visa, do I need to wait a certain amount of time before reapplying?
No, you don’t have to. In the past, many consular sections had waiting times for refused visa applicants, in order to discourage frivolous visa applications. The Department of State determined, however, that this wasn’t a very good idea, and besides, since the introduction of visa application fees the number of multiple applications has fallen sharply. But after being refused a visa it is generally not a good idea to make a new application before your situation has changed significantly. This usually means that some time has passed.
Are people traveling with a visa required to complete ESTA procedures on-line?
Those traveling with a visa must complete the ESTA procedures. The name of each holder of a US visa is checked at the time of visa application against a list maintained by the Department of State. This list contains the names of those who don’t qualify for visas on criminal, security or other grounds. If the name of a visa applicant matches a name on the list at the time of application, a decision is made then about whether a visa can be issued. On the other hand, those who are traveling without a visa have not yet had their name checked; therefore they must complete the ESTA procedure, so that if there is a problem that will not allow them to enter the United States, this will be determined before they travel to the US.