Visa & More: Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you will find a selection of visa questions we have been asked by our customers over the last few days. Please note that none of the answers below is an actual substitute for individual consulting and can only touch on the real issues. We would like to point out that we do not take responsibility for the correctness of this information.

If you need fast and individual information, our service team is there for you on the phones from Tuesday to Friday between 10am and 5pm. Find the phone number on our homepage and get our experts' advice on everything visa as quickly and as conveniently as possible. Please note that our phone number has changed due to legal requirements!

Any questions can also be submitted via our homepage at any time.

And as usual, for all questions concerning the green card lottery just call our service team.

YOUR QUESTION: I have two children who were born in the US and live there with my ex-husband. I have lived in the US for twelve years myself, but had to return to Germany five years ago for personal reasons. Now I would like to live in the US again and would like to know, whether this is possible.

OUR ANSWER: Unfortunately, your children's US citizenship does not help you immigrate. Your own status has expired, according to US law. It cannot be renewed by re-entering the country. You could try however, applying for a so-called Returning Resident Visa. In that case you would have to prove that you still have close economic ties to the US and have had them over the past five years.

YOUR QUESTION: I came to the US under the Visa Waiver Program on December 14, 2006. I would like to visit Canada for a day one of the next few days. Now my question: what happens to my visitor visa upon re-entering the US - will it be extended for another 90 days!?

OUR ANSWER: Visa-free re-entry could be problematic. Usually you should have a valid visa for that in case you knew before that you would stay for more than three months. So it will depend on the border official's good will whether you will be re-admitted into the country. You should be able to explain conclusively why you haven't applied for a B-2 visa and have convincing evidence, if necessary in the form of documentation, for your close economic, work-related ties to your home country. Applying for the B-2 visa at the Canadian US consulates, by the way, is not possible.

YOUR SITUATION: I would like to work for approx. 3 months as a volunteer at a waldorf school in Florida, I will not be paid.

OUR ANSWER: You need the J-1 visa. If you travel under the Visa Waiver Program, you may not do any volunteer work, not even without payment. The B-visa that sometimes applies to such cases cannot be used in your specific case since a waldorf school is not a religious or other charitable institution.

YOUR SITUATION: My fiancée lives in the US. I would like to visit her for six months because I want to see her again.

OUR ANSWER: You can try applying for a B-2 visa. However, do not mention your American fiancée, because then your visa would probably have to be denied. It would be suspected that you want to stay in the US without permission after your visa expires. You should be able to prove close economic ties to Germany, especially a permanent job. Your work contract or a letter from your employer should state that you are given the time off and will go back to work after those six months. You should bring bank statements to prove sufficient financial means for a six-months stay. An itinerary for your stay may also be helpful.

YOUR QUESTION: My husband will work in a Chicago hospital for one year to do medical research. The employer there is taking care of the visa. May I, as his wife, also work and earn money during that year? I am an interior decorator and have been working as a lighting designer for three years now. Or can I only do an internship?

OUR ANSWER: In case your husband receives a J-1 visa, you may get the related J-2 visa. This status generally doesn't allow spouses to work. However, after you have entered the country, you might be granted a work permit, in case your husband's salary isn't sufficient for the two of you. It also depends on the local labor market - in case the unemployment rate in the region is above the federal average, it is rather unlikely that you will get a work permit. In that case, you could only try changing your status to the H-2B work visa.