United States immigration law allows people with certain skills and talents to be admitted to the U.S. on a temporary basis. Also known as nonimmigrant visas, these visas are available in a broad range of categories—each of which is intended for specific purposes and which has been designated a different letter of the alphabet by Congress.
Here are a few of the more common nonimmigrant visas:
B-1 business visitors
E-1 or E-2 for an employee (or the trader or investor him/herself) of a company with majority ownership by citizens of a country with which the U.S. has a trade or investment treaty
F-1 student in possession of a USCIS-issued employment authorization document for "optional practical training" or an authorization to work indicated on the student’s Form I-20 issued by a school official for "curricular practical training"
H-2B enables U.S. businesses and agents to fill temporary needs for nonimmigrant workers that work on a seasonal period each year.
H-1B professional employee in a "specialty occupation" who holds a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the applicable field of endeavor
J-1 exchange visitor with specific authorization to work for your company or with "practical training" authorization
L-1A intracompany managerial/executive transfer from overseas office
L-1B intracompany "specialized knowledge" transfer from overseas office
O-1 for a person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
TN professional from Canada or Mexico
Whichever visa is best suited for you, our attorneys can effectively assist you.
For more information about the temporary visa process and how our firm can assist you, please contact us for a free in person consultation.
As a firm, we are committed to exploring all of the possible legal options you may have for immigrating to the U.S. or bringing eligible members of your family here.
There are family specific visa categories that we can assist you with. Some of the categories are for immediate relatives, the family preference categories, and more specialized categories like the K visa and V visa (for fiances and spouses).
We can assist eligible persons to obtain permanent resident status in the United States through adjustment of status or assist with obtaining permanent resident status while abroad through consular processing. Each situation is unique and we actively work to achieve a timely and successful outcome in every case.
For more information on how our firm can help you or your family with your immigration concerns, please contact us for a free in person consultation.
Employment Based Permanent Residence
Because employers in the United States cannot always find the skilled workers they, United States immigration law allows people with certain skills and talents to become lawful permanent residents.
First Preference (EB-1): this category includes immigrants of "extraordinary ability" in their field of endeavor, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
Second Preference (EB-2): business visa reserved for members of the professions holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability
Third Preference (EB-3): reserved for skilled workers and professionals (applicants whose employment requirements demand at least a bachelor’s degree or 2 years of work experience)
Third Preference (EB-3-OW): reserved for workers whose employment requires an educational level less than a bachelor’s degree or employment experience under two years
Fourth Preference (EB-4): this category is generally composed of certain religious workers, such as ministers and other religious functionaries
Fifth Preference (EB-5): reserved for those who make a substantial investment ($1 million or more) in a business that also creates employment for at least 10 workers
In most cases, obtaining a permanent business visa requires that the individual or business take specific steps, and demonstrate certain facts through the process known as PERM labor certification. Our firm has lawyers that can help with this often complicated process to help navigate it with success. In exceptional cases, the labor certification process may be waived.
For more information about the business visa categories and how our firm can assist you, please contact us for a free in person consultation.
PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES THROUGH INVESTMENT
In the early 1990's the U.S. government created the EB-5 Investor Visa program to encourage foreign investment in the United States and to foster the creation of U.S. jobs. Qualified investors, and their immediate family, are eligible to receive permanent residence in the United States (a so-called "Green Card") and they can ultimately become U.S. citizens, if they wish to do so. The EB-5 program is one ofthe best ways for foreign citizens to achieve resident status in the United States, provided that they meet the requirements for the program. The team of experienced attorneys at Reza Athari & Associates can help you and your family achieve your goal of permanent residence and citizenship in the United States through the Investor Visa program.
There are two distinctly different types of investor visa applications. The "standard" Investor Visa application requires that a foreign investor contribute $1 million dollars to a U.S. company and that 10 full-time workers (other than the investor and his or her family) are directly employed by the company as a result of the investment. The investor must also have some involvement in the management of the business. Reza Athari & Associates can counsel you regarding your options if you wish to pursue this type of investment.
In 1993 a special type ofInvestor Visa was created by the U.S. Congress to encourage more foreign investors to participate in the program. The "Regional Center" program permits investors to qualifY with an investment of only $500,000. Also, to satisfY the requirement that 10 full-time jobs are created, the government may consider jobs that are indirectly created by the investment. For the purposes of this visa, the investment must be in a "Regional Center" previously approved by the government. These are investment funds that manage job-creating businesses in rural or high-unemployment areas. For these type of visa, an investor must have only a minimal involvement in the management of the fund. These Regional Centers are approved in many states and provide a variety of investment opportunities. Should you choose to pursue this option, Reza Athari & Associates can direct you to a variety of options for your investment.
Whichever option you decide to pursue for your investment, the legal procedures for applying for residence are very similar. The funds intended for the U.S. investment are normally placed in an escrow account, pending submission ofthe actual Investor Visa application to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. The U.S. government will consider the documents provided with the visa application and issue a decision. If the application is approved, the investment funds in the escrow account will be released to the U.S. company for use in the business. If the petition is denied, the funds will be returned to the investor. Assuming that the application is approved, the investor and his or her family will then apply for their U.S. residence. Iftheyare in the U.S. legally already on another type of visa, they will apply with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services in the United States. If they are overseas, they will apply for their residence at the U.S. Embassy in their country.
Initially, all investors received "Conditional" residence, which is valid for two years. At the end of the two year period, the investors must apply for their "Permanent" residence with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services in the United States. As part ofthis process, they must prove that the investment was actually made in the U.S. company and that the necessary ten fulltime workers are still employed. Assuming these condition are met, the investors will receive their "Permanent" residence. They will then be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship five years after the date on which they received their first "Conditional" residence.
The team of experienced attorneys and paralegal at Reza Athari & Associates can help you and your family receive permanent residence and U.S. citizenship through the EB-5 Investor Visa program. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about pursuing this option.
If returning to your country of origin makes you afraid for the safety of yourself or your family, you may be able to obtain lawful status in the U.S. through a grant of asylum. This holds true if your fear is based on one or more of several different reasons, including: race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, political beliefs, membership in a particular social group, and possibly domestic abuse.
If you have already obtained a grant of asylum, we can also assist in obtaining your permanent residency.
For more information about obtaining a grant of asylum and how our firm can assist you, please contact us for a free in person consultation.
RELIEF FROM DEPORTATION & REMOVAL
The right to an attorney is one of the most important rights given to individuals in removal proceedings. However, the U.S. government is not required to provide an attorney free of charge.
Although the deportation and removal process is similar to a criminal trial, it is not considered a criminal proceeding. However, Immigration Court rules can be very strict. Hearings cannot be missed and the judge’s directions must be followed to the letter. For this reason, it is extremely important that individuals in removal proceedings have effective representation.
Our firm can and has handled extremely complex deportation and removal cases with success and we advocate vigorously in our representation.
If you are currently in custody or are otherwise awaiting deportation and removal hearings, you MUST have an effective attorney. We can act immediately on your behalf. Please contact our office for a free in person consultation if you or someone you know is in deportation or removal proceedings.