Washington, D.C. Visas & Permits

As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
Millions of foreigners travel to the U.S. every year. In most cases, to enter the United States you must obtain a visa. As a non-immigrant, you are a guest in the United States. While here, you must adhere to the laws of your own country and to those of the United States.

As a visa holder, you will have full access to most basic rights with the exception of the right to vote in elections, hold public office and other things of that nature. However, the U.S. visa policy does permit citizens from certain countries to enter without a visa for tourist purposes.
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What kinds of visas are available?
There are numerous visas available. There are visas for visitors and visas for permanent immigrants. Please review the lists below for the types of visas available in both categories. It is strongly recommended you contact an immigration attorney and/or the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for further details.

Visa Types for Visitors:

  • Business
  • Tourist/visitor
  • Border Crossing card - Mexican travelers
  • Exchange visitors
  • Students
  • Temporary Workers Overview
  • Media and journalists
  • Visa renewals
  • Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker

Visa Types for Immigrants:

  • Immediate relatives
  • Special immigrants
  • Family-sponsored
  • Employer-sponsored

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What is required to obtain these visas?
The United States has stringent security measures in place regarding its visa policies. This added security may increase the time it takes to process applications. It is recommended that you contact your nearest consulate or embassy or an immigration attorney to find out specific details for your country. This is a very detailed process and you will want to be certain that it is done correctly and legally to avoid problems later.
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Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Typically, a partner is not entitled to work, but there are some visa classes where the spouse is allowed to apply for a work permit. For further information, contact your attorney or your local US embassy/consulate.
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What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
Upon arrival, you should apply for your Social Security card at your local Social Security office. Your Social Security number is used to keep a record of your earnings for taxation purposes and will be needed for such things as opening bank accounts, obtaining your driver’s license, etc. It is also recommended that you apply for a picture ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles (either a driver's license or simple ID). And, of course you will be traveling with your passport, which is a valid picture identification.
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Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
If you plan on working, the most important thing to apply for is a Social Security card. For further information, contact your local consulate or embassy.
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What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
Please contact Crown Washington, D.C. for complete assistance and ease of importing effects. Basic prohibited items include lottery tickets, narcotics and illegal drugs, obscene articles and publications, seditious and treasonable materials, pirated copies of articles, endangered animals and items made from them, unprocessed plant or livestock products, hazardous articles (fireworks and the like), products made by forced labor, firearms (unless permitted) and switchblade knives.

Motor vehicles also have specific restrictions. Imported motor vehicles are subject to lengthy standards ranging from safety to air pollution control standards. Foreign-made vehicles imported into the US are generally dutiable.

The U.S. Customs service has made changes to the requirements for alcohol entry. Please contact your local Crown office to discuss this in advance of your relocation.
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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
As long as your visa is valid and you stay in good standing, you should be fine. Also, be mindful of the expiration date on your visa. Make arrangements to have it extended well in advance of its expiration date if you plan on staying beyond its initial term.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.