US Immigration Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I have a "No conviction recorded" (known in Australia as a Section 10), can I travel to the US on an ESTA or the Visa Waiver Program?
A. It all depends on the nature of the arrest. The US government does not recognize the Australian Section 10. Your arrest and/or conviction may need to be disclosed on any visa application as well as under certain circumstances on your ESTA registration. Please contact Levin Immigration Law to schedule a consultation for us to evaluate your criminal conviction.
Q. If I am inadmissible to the US because of a prior criminal conviction, does this mean I will never be able to visit the US?
A. It all depends on the circumstances of your conviction, the nature of your offense, and how long ago it took place. You may be eligible for a Waiver of Inadmissibility. We have extensive experience in evaluating criminal convictions and assisting clients successfully obtain a Waiver of Inadmissibility to visit the US.
Q. Can I obtain an E-3 Visa even if I do not have a Bachelor's Degree?
A. If you have twelve years of professional work experience in a Specialty Occupation, we may be able to have an educational equivalency evaluation company find that you have the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree in a Specialty Occupation.
Q. If I do not qualify for an E-3, do I have any other options?
A. If you own a business, you may be eligible for a Treaty Investor Visa (“E-2”). It will require a substantial investment into a US business. The country which you are from must have a qualifying treaty with the US Examples include Australia, the United Kingdom, and Israel.
Q. Can I do business in the US. on an ESTA (Visa Waiver Program)?
A. Unfortunately, it is not a simple answer. It all depends on the type of business you intend to perform. If you only intend a brief temporary stay to attend meetings, conferences, or trade shows, you may be eligible to enter based on ESTA. If you engage in “productive services” or earn money for a US business, you may need to apply for a US work visa.
Q. Does the US government recognize a de-facto relationship? May I accompany my partner to the US on their work visa?
A. The US government does not recognize de-facto relationships. It requires a couple to be legally married to obtain a non-immigrant visa as a dependent. Interestingly, the length of time of the marriage is not relevant. You just need to show your marriage certificate at the consular interview. Also, US immigration law recognizes same sex marriages.
Q. I am a US Citizen currently residing in Australia with an Australian husband. How can we obtain US Citizenship for our recently born daughter?
A. Your child will qualify for US citizenship if the mother is a US citizen at the time the child was born and meets former US residency requirements. If the child has a US citizen father, the requirements differ. Please contact our office for guidance on how to request a US Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
Q. How do I renounce my US citizenship?
A. Renouncing US citizenship can be a complicated process and requires you to appear before a US Consular Officer and demonstrate that you are not renouncing to avoid paying US taxes. Please contact our office for a detailed consultation on this process.