IMMIGRATION LAW OVERVIEW
TEMPORARY WORK VISAS
H1B Visa - Professionals with a Bachelor's degree, or qualifying work experience, and a job offer related to the degree may be eligible for a renewable three year visa.
O Visa - Granted to applicants who can demonstrate extraordinary ability or achievement in the arts, sciences, business or athletics, and has a job offer related to their extraordinary ability.
P Visa - Granted to internationally recognized athletes, artists or entertainers, and their support personnel.
TN Visa - Available for professional workers from Canada and Mexico who hava a U.S. job offer related to their field. The TN Visa is the quickest and easiest way for a Canadian or Mexican professional to get a U.S. work permit.
B1 Visa - Although this visa does not allow a foreign national to be employed in the U.S., it does permit visits to the U.S. to negotiate contracts, attend seminars, seek investments, research markets, or consult with business associates.
INVESTOR / BUSINESS VISAS
E-1 Visa - Granted to applicants who carry on substantial trade between their home country and the United States.
E-2 Visa - Granted to applicants who are coming to the U.S. to direct and develop operations of a business in which he/she has a substantial investment. E-2 Visas are also available for the company's management and skilled personnel.
Requirements for the E-2 Visa
- Start a new businesss or buy an existing business.
- Investment must be substantial and must be reasonable depending on the nature of the enterprise.
- U.S. entity and applicant must have same citizenship as treaty country.
- Applicant must be a high-level, managerial or essential employee.
E Visas are generally issued for 5 years and are renewable indefinitely, as long as the business is active. The spouse of the E Visa investor or trader may also obtain work authorization.
EB5 Permanent Residency - Individuals who invest at least one million dollars in the United States ($500,000 in certain situations), and employ at least 10 U.S. workers over a two-year period, may qualify for permanent residency.
INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREES / MULTINATIONAL EXECUTIVES
L-1A Visas - Allows executives and managers of a foreign company to be transferred to the U.S. to manage or direct the foreign company's U.S. subsidiary or affilliate office. The spouse of an L-1 Visa holder may also obtain work authorization.
Requirements for the L-1 Visa
- Applicant must be employed abroad for at least 1 of the past 3 years by parent or subsidiary of U.S. company preceding his/her admission into the U.S.
- Foreign entity must own at least 51% of the U.S. entity.
- Applicant must work in a capacity that is executive or managerial.
- No specific dollar investment must be met.
- May engage in any type of business related or unrleated to the business outside the U.S.
L-1 Visa to Permanent Residency -After the U.S. business has been operating for at least one year, is viable, and has employees, the L-1 Visa holder may apply for permanent residency under the EB1 Multinational Executive category. Permanent Residency benefits also extend to the applicant's spouse and children under 21 years old.
PERMANENT RESIDENCY / IMMIGRANT VISAS ("Green Card")
Labor Certification is the most widely used employment-based permanent residency case. This requires a U.S. employer to prove that there are not sufficent U.S. workers for the position. Once the U.S. Department of Labor certifies the application, the employer can apply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permanent residency on the foreign worker's behalf.
Extraordinary Ability Aliens (EB1) - Individuals with proven extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education or athletics may obtain permanent residency. A job offer or employer petitioner is not required.
National Interest Waiver (NIW) - A foreign national may apply for permanent residency and seek a waiver of the offer of employment by establishing that his/her admission would be in the National Interest of the United States. Factors that have been considered in the firm's successful cases are whether the applicant will help:
- Improve the U.S. economy.
- Improve wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
- Provide more affordable housing for young, aged, or poor U.S. residents.
- Improve the U.S. environment and lead to more productive use of the national resources.
- An interested U.S. government agency at the agency's request.
U.S. Citizens may petition for their spouse, children, parents, siblings, and fiances.
Permanent Residents may petition for spouses and unmarried children only. There is a waiting period for green cards in this category.
Do you have questions or do you want to make an appointment in this area?
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