In need of more information on obtaining a visa, green card, or other permits to enter into the USA? The attorneys at LOIGICA can assist you with the documentation to ensure you are prepared for your visit?
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TEMPORARY & PERMANENT VISAS
There are two different types of employment visas: temporary and permanent. Temporary visas are granted to an individual for a limited period of stay in the U.S., and usually have some restrictions on what the applicant can do in the U.S. during that time. Permanent work visas allow an individual to work and live permanently in the U.S. Please contact our Immigration Attorneys for a consultation to determine which type of visa is must for your company and your employees.
H-1B visa applies to employers petitioning for employees to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation. The following are some of the requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher degree (or its equivalent, including foreign degrees), or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position;
- Employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position;
- Petitioning employer has some degree of control over employee; and
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.
The certificate is available to U.S. employers seeking to employ non-citizens who come to the United States based on job skills or non-immigrant temporary working status. The type of work performed must be such that there are no qualified authorized workers in the U.S. available to perform such duties.
H-3 NON-IMMIGRANT TRAINEE VISA
This visa allows for temporary time in U.S. for foreign nationals who have been invited to the U.S. by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving specialized training. The purpose of this visa is not for employment but for job-related training. Training can be in almost any field, including Agriculture, Commerce, Communications, Finance, Government, Transportation and Other Professions but cannot be in the field of graduate medical education. Training program has to be specific and particular, it must not infringe on business operations or work of U.S. citizens, and must not include productive employment beyond anything incidental. It must be necessary to receive such training specifically in the U.S. and it must benefit the employer or the organization. The training cannot be available in the national’s home country, and the training must benefit the trainee in pursuing a career outside of the United States.
PERMANENT VISAS (EB)
Individuals applying in this category obtain first-preference visa and must meet on of the following criteria:
- Individuals displaying extraordinary ability in the field of science, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim;
- Outstanding professors and researchers demonstrating outstanding academic achievement in a particular field with at least three years of teaching or researching experience in that particular field with the intent of entering the United States on a tenure track teaching or researching at a university of institution of higher education; or
- Multinational manager or executive who was employed outside the U.S. in the three years preceding the petition for at least one year in a managerial or executive capacity by a firm or corporation and entering the U.S. with the intent to continue be employed by that firm or organization.
Individuals applying in this category obtain second-preference visa and must meet on of the following criteria:
- An advanced degree is required for the job you are applying for and you must have already obtained the degree or have a bachelors degrees plus five years of progressive work experience in the field; or
- Exception ability in the field of science, art, or business at a level of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the science, art, or business fields.
Individuals applying in this visa preference category must meet on of the following criteria:
- A skilled worker able to demonstrate that the job requires at least two years of work experience or training and that no qualified workers are available in the U.S.;
- A Professional able to demonstrate that the job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or the foreign equivalent, the baccalaureate degree is ordinarily required for entry into that field, applicant is a member of the profession, and no qualified workers are available in the U.S.; or
- An unskilled labor worker able to demonstrate that the job does not require more than two years of training or experience, the position is not temporary or seasonal in nature, and no qualified workers are available in the U.S.
EB-5 – Immigrant Investor/Immigrant Entrepreneur Visas
This visa is available to foreign nationals who have made capital investments in new commercial enterprises or “troubled businesses” in the United States. Investors (and their families) receive conditional permanent residence for two years. If the investment is successful, the investor is allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.
Some of the requirements of the investment are:
- The investment must be made in any for-profit activity that conducts ongoing business (commercial enterprises) in the United States. Specifically, this includes Sole Proprietorships, Partnership (whether limited or general), Holding Company, Joint Venture, Corporation, Business Trust, or any other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned.
- If investing in a “troubled business” the business must have been in existence for two years, have reported a net loss in the last 12 or 24 months of at least 20% of net worth, and at least 10 jobs must have been maintained for the last two years.
- If investing in a high-unemployment or rural area, which is considered a targeted employment area, the investment must be at least USD $500,000.
- For all other enterprise investments, the minimum amount must be USD $1,000,000.
- After two years, the investment must yield jobs for at least 10 U.S. workers or maintain existing employment if investing in a “troubled business”.
Investor Visas (E & L1)
Work Visas allow for companies to utilize their human capital resources in the U.S. There are many different optons to accomplish your business goals. Contact our Immigration Attorneys at Loigica so we can help you determine which visa is right for you and help you with the application process.
E-Visas are available to individuals or foreign business entities serving as investors or traders coming to the U.S. to carry out substantial trade or to develop the investment enterprise. The investor or trader must be a citizen or national of a country that has a treaty in place with the U.S. and must come to the U.S. under the treaty authority.
E-1 Visas: Treaty Traders
E1-Treaty Traders are available to trading firms from treaty countries looking to send an employee in a managerial, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity to the U.S. for the purpose of continuing trade efforts principally between the U.S. and the treaty country. The following are some of the requirements:
- The trading firm must be of the same treaty country as employee;
- To establish citizenship or nationality, the firm must be owned, by at least 50%, by a citizen of a country with whom the U.S. has entered into a treaty;
- Trade conducted must be more than 50% between the U.S. and the country of firm; and
- The firm must conduct international exchange continuously and in substantial quantities by passing title over to another party.
E-2 Visas: Treaty Investors
Available to investors (person, partnership, or corporate entity) from treaty countries that are looking to come to the U.S. to direct and develop the enterprise in which they have committed funds or assets in the control of the investor. The following are some of the requirements:
- The investor that comes to the U.S. under this treaty must be either the principal investor or an employee in a managerial, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity;
- The enterprise must be either commercial or entrepreneurial, but it must already be operating and active; and
- The enterprise must be capable of generating an economic impact that will create jobs and incomes for families in the U.S.
This type of visa allows business entities to transfer employees from abroad to the U.S. under two circumstances:
- If the business entity is a U.S. Employer, it may transfer an employee serving in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity from a foreign office to an affiliated U.S. office. The visa allows this type of transfer for an initial three-year period. However, there is an opportunity for an extension of stay that can be granted for two-year periods until the employee reaches the respective time limit of seven or five years in total.
- If the entity is a foreign entity that does not yet have a U.S. office but is looking to establish one, it may send employees to do so. An employee acting as an executive or manager may establish this office and an employee with specialized knowledge may help with establishing the office. The visa allows for an initial set up period of one year for the new U.S. office. At the one-year mark, the office must be considered active and operating. The employee may still, however, be granted extension of stay for periods of two years until the maximum time limit
The following are some of the eligibility requirements for an L-1 Visa:
- The Employer must already be doing or will be doing regular continuous business in the U.S. and at least one other country during the employee’s time in the U.S.;
- The U.S. office and the foreign entity must have a corporate relationship where there is a subsidiary, affiliate, parent, or branch relationship; and
- Employees must have one year of continuous work abroad with the foreign entity within the last three years.
Student & Trainee Visas (F & H)
F-1 Student Visa
The F-1 Visa applied to foreign nationals who enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The program must grant a degree, diploma, or certificate upon completion and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students. F-1 students may work on campus during the first year of study. After they have been studying for one academic year, F-1 students may work off-campus if it is related to the area of study and authorized prior to the start of work.
F-2 Student Visa
The F-2 dependent visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows dependent spouses and children (unmarried, under 21 years old) of F-1 student visa holders to enter into the U.S.
H-3 Non-Immigrant Trainee Visa
This visa allows for temporary time in U.S. for foreign nationals who have been invited to the U.S. by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training. Training is limited to fields, other than graduate medical education or training that are not available in the foreign national’s home country. Training program has to be specific and particular, it must not infringe on business operations or work of U.S. citizens, and must not include productive employment beyond anything incidental. It must be necessary to receive such training specifically in the U.S. and it must benefit the employer or the organization.
RESIDENCY OR GREEN CARD PETITIONS
Obtaining a green card can be complex process in the U.S. If you have a green card, it means that you are a permanent resident of the U.S. In certain circumstances, non-U.S. citizens will be able to obtain a green card through his/her spouse, siblings, or parents. At Loigica, our attorneys will help you with all of your immigration needs, so you and your family member can unite again in the U.S.
You will be able to obtain your green card if:
- You are an immediate relative of a United States Citizen;
- You are a family member of a United States citizen and fit into a special “preference category;”
- You are a family member of a green card holder;
- You are engaged to a United States Citizen and intend to marry within 90 days; or
- You qualify as a member of a special category.
The following are the individual requirements within each category:
When the Non-citizen is an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen
In order for you to qualify for a green card under the immediate relative category, the family member must be related to a U.S. citizen in one of the following ways:
- Unmarried child under the age of 21; or
- Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21).
The process to apply for the green card through an immediate relative depends on whether the non-citizen is living inside or outside of the United States. Please contact any of our Immigration Attorneys for a consultation regarding your green card.
When a non-citizen is a family member of a United States citizen and fits into a special “Preference Category”
If the non-citizen does not fit into any of the immediate relative categories, a U.S. Citizen relative may still petition for the non-citizen to receive a green card through one of the Family Preference Categories:
Family Preference Category: a non-citizen may qualify for a green card if he or she is related to a U.S. citizen in one of the following ways and the non-citizen is:
- An unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21;
- Married children of any age; or
- A brother and/or sister (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21).
The process to apply for the green card through the special preference category depends on whether the non-citizen is living inside or outside of the United States. Please contact any of our Immigration Attorneys for a consultation regarding your green card.
A Family Member of a Green Card Holder
If you do not fit into any of the categories above, and your family member is not a U.S. citizen, you still may be able to obtain your green card. Even though the process will take longer, you still are eligible to apply under certain categories. If your family member holds a green card, that person may petition for his/her relative to become a permanent resident of the United States. Qualifying relatives are:
- A spouse; or
- Unmarried children (of any age).
Generally there is a waiting period before a green card becomes available to a non-citizen because Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year. Please contact our Immigration Attorneys for a consultation regarding your green card.
The K-visa categories is for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens and their accompanying minor children (K-1 and K-2 visas). The K-visa was created to speed up the immigration process for individuals so they could travel quickly to the United States. A fiancé(e) visa petition must show that:
- Your future spouse is a U.S. citizen;
- You intend to marry within 90 days of entering the United States;
- You and your fiancé (e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment; and
- You have met up with each other, in person, at least once within two years of filing your petition.
Please contact our Immigration Attorneys for a consultation regarding your green card.
Other Special Categories
A non-citizen may be granted permanent resident status if they fall into a specific “special category.” The special categories are as follows:
- Battered Spouse, Child, or Parent of a U.S. citizen
- Persons born to a Foreign diplomat in the United States
- A person living and working in the United States while waiting to obtain immigration status; or
- Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen.
Permit to Travel Outside the U.S.
Lawful permanent residents planning to travel abroad for more than one year or to establish residence in another country should apply for a travel document called re-entry permit, which shows that you do not intend to abandon your U.S. residency. Additionally, if the permanent resident has been abroad for more than two years, the individual will need to apply for a returning resident visa at a U.S. embassy or Consular Office.
Asylum seekers are individuals in the U.S. or at a port of entry, regardless of immigration status, who make claims for protection because he or she has been displaced from the country of nationality or habitual residence and is unable or unwilling to return because of past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution upon return as a consequence of race, religion, nationality, social group membership, or political opinion.
- Affirmatively: Individuals who are within the United States but not during removal proceedings can apply to obtain asylum “affirmatively” by submitting an application with USCIS within one year from their last arrival. Then, following a security check, an asylum officer interviews the applicant to decide whether he or she falls under the definition of a refugee and if there are any bars to asylum.
- Defensively: A “defensive” asylum claim is a request for asylum as a defense against removal made in removal proceedings in Immigration Court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The immigration judge will determine eligibility for asylum based on statutory laws that outline criteria.