Every year, millions of visitors flock to Florida for vacation and for business. It’s one of the most popular destinations for travelers around the world. In Orlando, we’re the home to one of the world’s largest convention centers and, of course, a conglomeration of theme parks not found anywhere else.
If you’re a citizen of 40 countries listed here, you typically don’t need to get a visa to come for a short period to the United States as long as you register with the United States.
But for the rest of the world, a visa is required.
Like so many of us who already call Florida and Orlando home, many of the people who come to our city and state, like you, fall in love with the opportunities here, the natural beauty and the temperate weather. For them, The Orlando Law Group is here to help.
To be clear, there are processes that are required in this situation that everyone must follow and in no circumstance are we implying there is a way around those processes.
Of course, how an individual can turn a travel visa into a more permanent visa is extremely varied and unique to each person’s individual situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- If you are here from one of the 40 countries and are here on a waiver, you must return and work on your visa from your home country.
- Almost all visas require you to apply and interview from your home country, so just staying in Orlando is not a good option
- Always have the intention of returning to your home country. Yes, things may happen while you are here – you meet the love of your life or are offered a great job – but if the government thinks you were coming here to stay, you will be rejected.
- Do not overstay your visa. Extending your visa is not that difficult compared to other immigration issues, but if you overstay your visa, you will almost certainly be denied any long-term solution.
- Do not commit any crime while you are here, this includes things like driving under the influence or possessing narcotics, including marijuana.
So, let’s talk about some of the reasons why people want to say in the United States and how The Orlando Law Group can work to help their unique situation.
I met my soulmate while on vacation
Congratulations! It is truly wonderful to see people in love want to spend the rest of their lives together.
We certainly understand the desire to want to be together, it’s just important to understand that it takes time to ensure that it happens legally and without any complications down the road.
There could be an entire blog on how to get married to someone from another country as it is not an easy process like just showing up at the immigration office with a marriage license. Here’s a couple of key things you will need to know.
- A K-1 visa, known as the “Fiancé Visa,” takes a long time to acquire. As of August 2022, the shortest wait time after you fill out the required documentation is around five months, extending to more than a year with some immigration facilities.
- The start of the process is the I-129F form. It’s more than a dozen pages long and asks probing questions about you, your fiancé and even your parents!
- You’ll need to compile a lot of documents, including a certificate from the police of any country you have lived for more than six months.
We often see couples who set a date for their wedding – they are excited to start this journey – only to find out it will take longer to settle the immigration process. We always recommend not placing any non-refundable deposits until you have at least started the process.
The U.S. State Department has a great – and long – list of what needs to be done to just acquire the fiancé visa here. As you can see, it is quite detailed, which is why you should reach out to The Orlando Law Group to help.
I was offered my dream job while on vacation
How exciting! Now, for the difficult part to ensure your visa is approved so you can move forward in your career.
Like most aspects of the law, it’s extremely difficult to directly say what you need to do without looking at your specific case. After all, there’s more than two dozen different types of visas that you may be eligible to receive to work in the United States.
Be sure to understand that you will need to return to your home country before moving to the United States and starting that job. Simply extending a tourist visa will not work. You’ll be subject to interviews at the consulate in your home country and will need to show you are maintaining a permanent residence in that country.
You’ll also need to have full support from your future employer. There are hoops they need to jump through as well to bring you to the United States. We advise you are open on your immigration status with a potential employer. We can help advise them too!
Finally, just like everything else in immigration, it’s not a quick process, although some consulates are faster than others. Your wait time could be more than a year to be processed in some places and with some visas. You can find a great tool to determine approximate minimum wait times at consulates across the world here.
I came for a convention and realized I need to expand my business into Central Florida
Orlando is often listed on many sites as being one of the premier places to do business in the world. Aside from the thriving tourism and entertainment industry, our community is also home to one of the top technology centers, along with the global capital of the modeling, simulation and training industry, supporting militaries worldwide. More than $6 billion flows through Orlando in that industry alone, every year.
Compared to other forms of immigration, expanding your business to the United States is significantly simpler. The United States wants foreign investment and job creation, so, in 1990, it created the EB-5 process to help promote this effort.
What does that mean for you? In its simplest terms, you’ll need to employ a minimum of 10 workers and invest at least $800,000 and you’ll be eligible for an EB-5 visa for your business and your family.
Now, there are other stipulations. There are new caps on EB-5 visas and the amount of money invested has changed very recently. Much of it is dependent on if you are investing in a targeted investment area.
Plus, while it is relatively simple, you cannot break the rules at the beginning of this article. If you overstay your visa and don’t follow the proper steps, you could lose your immigration status and any investment you made.
It’s critical to reach out to The Orlando Law Group, which has a practice devoted to business law in addition to our immigration practice.
If you are looking to extend a travel visa in Orlando, Waterford Lakes, Altamonte Springs, Winter Garden, Sanford, Lake Nona, St. Cloud, or Kissimmee, we’re here to help you with a full team of attorneys who care about you and your circumstance and treat you with compassion while seeking the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
The attorneys at The Orlando Law Group represent clients in immigration in Orlando, Waterford Lakes, Altamonte Springs, Winter Garden, Sanford, Lake Nona, St. Cloud, Kissimmee, and throughout Central Florida.
If you would like to schedule a consultation for immigration issues, this information is in case you ever find yourself or a loved one needing to use it.
If you have questions about anything discussed in this article or other legal matters, give our office a call at 407-512-4394 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. We have an office conveniently located at 12301 Lake Underhill Rd, Suite 213, Orlando, FL 32828, as well as offices in Seminole, Osceola and West Orange counties to assist you.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by The Orlando Law Group