inner page header image

U.S. Visa Application Attorneys

 Visa Lawyers in Chicago

Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Application Attorneys Serving Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants in Mexico, Chile, India, Russia, China, Korea, the Middle-East, and Other Countries

Katz Law Office, Ltd. is a leading immigration firm that has processed thousands of immigration applications successfully for more than ten years. The firm was founded by a former Chicago high school instructor who graduated law school cum laude and obtained an MBA from one of the world’s top business schools. Our experience allows us to understand and prepare for the numerous complications the U.S. consulates and embassies often put visa applications through so that your chance of success is significantly improved in getting an approval of your visa. Our seven attorneys and twelve support staff have handled countless cases with success and as a firm we have successfully obtained immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for literally thousands of individuals. We have also resolved hundreds of cases where applicants had a problem with their case prior to hiring us and we were able to turn a denial into an approval, despite clients’ prior misrepresentations to immigration, crimes on their records, among other issues.

Obtaining a U.S. Visa

There exists a veritable “alphabet soup” of U.S. visa types including everything from the I visa for foreign journalists and media to the V visa for family members of lawful permanent residence not yet eligible for residency. For nearly every lawful purpose of coming to the U.S. there is a visa category. When you decide you will be traveling to the U.S. you face many decisions that are based upon your future plans. One of the most important decisions is which immigration path to pursue because it will have permanent consequences on your U.S. government record. Also, because the law is so extensive in this area and the options so multifarious, it is important that you have the right advice from experienced U.S. licensed immigration counsel and that your visa process is supervised and guided by that expert support.

Understanding the U.S. Visa Application Process

The first step in engaging the processing of your visa is to submit the online application with the U.S. consulate or embassy closest to your and/or the designated embassy or consulate which handles the visa type for which you are applying. In most cases you will submit form DS-160 or DS-260 depending on whether or not you are applying for a permanent residency visa or a nonimmigrant visa. For many visa types, however, you will first file a preliminary eligibility application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for example when you are applying for a work visa and must show that you will not be taking the job of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. In other words, depending on which visa category you elect to pursue, in consultation with our team, the legal process will be determined.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Various categories of nonimmigrant visas exist, of which these are some examples, below. This is not an exhaustive list of all options available:

• Work visas that do require labor certification, meaning proving that no U.S. worker in the labor market will take the job, which certification needs to be filled by the employer of the immigrant or immigrants being applied for

o H-1B visa for specialty occupations requiring extensive training or education
o H-2B visa for temporary workers not in agriculture
o H-2A visa for temporary workers in agriculture

• Work visas that do not require labor certification, meaning it is not necessary to prove that the worker applied for is not taking any U.S. citizen or permanent resident’s job

o L visa for persons transferring from a foreign company’s foreign branch to a U.S. branch of the same company
o TN visa for Mexican and Canadian professional workers
o J visa for scholars or teachers on exchange programs
o R visa for religious worker
o E visa for investor opening a business in the U.S.
o P visa for athlete or performing artist
o O visa for individuals with extraordinary abilities
o I visa for members of the media, including journalists

• Other categories of nonimmigrant visas

o B-1 visa for business persons coming to conduct business for a short time without actually being employed by a U.S. entity
o B-2 visa for tourism or pleasure visit
o F visa for students
o M visa for vocational or job training
o H-3 visa for training not dealing with employment
o Q visa for international or cultural exchange


Most of these visas will be applied for using form DS-160 that should often be seen principally as the cover form for your overall application, which usually will include many pages of legal argument and evidence submitted by you and your attorney.

Immigrant Visas

The immigrant visa is the proper process for the intended permanent immigrant to the United States, the individual who plans to substantially leave their current country behind as their primary home and take up permanent residence in the U.S. Two principal pathways exist under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to allow individuals abroad to obtain a visa from the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country that allows them to reside permanently in the U.S. and often to ultimately obtain U.S. citizenship. These include both employment immigrant visa categories and family immigrant visa categories, which will be filed for using form DS-260.

Five categories of employment can serve as a pathway to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. through a job offer:

• EB-1: Priority Workers—Immigrants with extraordinary abilities, superior professors and scholars, and multinational executives
• EB-2: Exceptional/Degreed Workers—Individuals who are exceptional employees or have advanced degrees
• EB-3: Professional/Skilled Workers—This category includes individuals with at least a Bachelor’s degree
• EB-4: Special Immigrants—Religious workers, certain doctors, among other particularized categories of workers
• EB-5: Employment Creation Investors—Individuals who invest $500,000 or one million dollars in a job creating enterprise in the U.S.


Numerous categories of visas exist through which U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident family members can petition for an immigrant visa for certain relatives living abroad, and sometimes for family members who are present in the U.S. as well. These categories include the following persons:

• Immediate Relati ves: spouses, parents and children under 21 years of age of U.S. citizens
• First preference (F1): unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years of age
• Second preference (F2): spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents
• Third preference (F3): married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
• Fourth preference (F4): siblings of U.S. citizens

There also exists a visa for fiancées of U.S. citizens, the K visa category for these persons to travel to the U.S. in order to marry and subsequently apply for lawful permanent residence within the country after their marriage.

Likelihood of Visa Approval Significantly Increases With the Help of an Experienced U.S. Immigration Attorney

Every day people visit our Chicago and Mexico City offices with denied visa applications seeking the assistance of a U.S. attorney for the first time. We find that often they were denied by a consular officer because of improper advice given to them by a non-attorney or a foreign lawyer, or because of an error they made in completing their application, or in navigating the visa process. There are many reasons for visa denials, which often include several of the items mentioned in our blog on this topic.

Experienced Lawyers Walk you Through the Process

The first step when dealing with our firm will be for one of our experienced and caring attorneys to comprehensively review your history and purpose for traveling to the U.S. We will ask you to complete an intake form, which helps us get that complete picture of who you are and what your plans are so that we can provide you advice that carefully considers all of the nuances of your case. We will then make recommendations based upon (1) legal options for which immigration strategy to engage and (2) what issues you might face in the process with the immigration authorities and how we plan to respond to and resolve any problems.

We welcome you to contact our firm today for a free consultation so that you can be on your way to ensuring success with your U.S. travel plans.

free consult visa attorney

Practice Areas