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I Help Simplify the Business, Athletic, and Academic Immigration Process

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Identifying the proper visas for various work-related opportunities can be a confusing process because there are so many.

Working with a knowledgeable business immigration attorney who can guide you through the process is the most effective way to ensure your individual needs are met. Contact me today.
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Business & Academic Immigration Services
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How I Help

One of the key areas of immigration law is aiding business professionals, athletes, hospitals, colleges and universities, scientific organizations, and professional sports franchises in bringing workers to the United States.

In order to do so, the worker must apply for and receive the correct visa.

The United States Government offers an “alphabet soup” of visas and it is important to find the right visa for the right person. It is a complicated process with many facets.

I work with you to first determine which visa is the most appropriate, and then help you see the application process through to a successful conclusion.

A Legal Team Working for You

The Grotas Firm is comprised of experienced legal professionals that share a common goal: to do everything in our power to keep families together.

Immigrating to the United States for professional or academic reasons is an exciting time. The team at The Grotas Firm ensures that this process proceeds as smoothly as possible, minimizing problems associated with incorrect applications, errors in paperwork, or unexpected complications.

My firm has worked with many businesses, institutions, and sports franchises to help them through the professional immigration process.

Contact us so we can help you, too.

Immigration Visas: an “Alphabet Soup”

There are nearly 20 different types of immigration visas that you or your new talent may be applicable for. Choosing the right visa is important in ensuring a smooth and straightforward immigration experience.

B-1 “Business Visitor”

You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training
  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
  • Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa

Eligibility Criteria

You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to obtain a B-1 visa:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature
  • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
  • You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States
  • You have a residence outside the United States in which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
  • You are otherwise admissible to the United States

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

  • Initial Period of Stay - 1 to 6 months; 6 months is the maximum.
  • Extension of Stay - Up to 6 months; maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status on any one trip is generally 1 year.

At the port of entry, an immigration official must authorize your admission to the United States, and, if you are eligible for admission, you may be admitted initially for the period necessary to carry out your business activities, up to a maximum period of 1 year. If you who wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94 without departing from the United States, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and submit any required supporting documents to USCIS. For more information, see the ”Extend my Stay” link to the right.

Family of B-1 Visa Holders

Your spouse and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa.

Certain B-1 Activities that Require an Employment Authorization Document

The following types of B-1 business visitors require employment authorization:

  • A personal or domestic servant who is accompanying or following to join an employer who seeks admission into, or is already in, the United States in a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, or TN nonimmigrant classification.
  • A domestic servant of a U.S. citizen accompanying or following to join his or her U.S. citizen employer who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, and who is temporarily visiting the United States
  • An employee of a foreign airline engaged in international transportation of passengers freight, whose position with the foreign airline would otherwise entitle the employee to treaty trader nonimmigrant classification (E-1) and who is precluded from such classification solely because the employee is not a national of the country of the airline's nationality or because there is no treaty of commerce and navigation in effect between the United States and the country of the airline's nationality.

Note: All applicants for a B-1 visa or admission as a B-1 business visitor as a personal or domestic servant described above must demonstrate the following:

  • You have a residence abroad in which you have no intention of abandoning
  • You have at least 1 year of experience as a personal or domestic servant
  • You have been employed abroad by your employer for at least 1 year prior to the employer’s admission into the United States or if you have been employed abroad by the employer for less than 1year, the employer must show that while abroad, he or she has regularly employed a domestic servant in the same capacity as that intended for your employment.
  • Before you may commence employment in any of the above three activities, you will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

E-1 “Trader and Investor”

The E1 and E2 nonimmigrant visa categories are comprised of treaty traders and treaty investors entitled to be in the United States under a bilateral treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the country of which the treaty trader or investor is a citizen or national.

The purpose of a treaty trader is to carry on substantial trade in goods, services and technology, principally between the United States and the foreign country of which s/he is a citizen or national.

The purpose of a treaty investor is to direct the operations of an enterprise in which s/he has invested, or is actively investing, a substantial amount of capital in the United States.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an E2 nonimmigrant may be granted the same status to accompany the E1 or E2.

E1: Nonimmigrant Treaty Investors

The E-1 Classification is for a foreign national who is coming to the United States solely to engage in trade of a substantial nature, principally between the United States and the foreign national's country. The trade involved must be the international exchange of items of trade between the United States and a treaty country. Title to the trade item must pass from one treaty party to the other under successfully negotiated contracts that are binding on all parties.

If the foreign national is already inside the United States, the individual must submit a Form I-129, "Petition for Non-immigrant Worker," to USCIS in order to request a change of status or an extension of stay. If the foreign national is outside of the United States, the individual must& napply for an E-1 visa at a U.S. consular office abroad.

The dependents of age under 21 years can extend their stay to remain with the principal E1 status. They must use the Form I-539 to apply. The husband or wife of an E1 may be authorized to work in the U.S. They must use the Form I-765 to apply. In addition, for question 16 of the form, they must apply under category (a)(17). The other dependents may not work in the U.S. As long as the dependents are in E1 status they can attend school without changing to another nonimmigrant status.

E-2 “Investor”

The E-2 classification is authorized for a foreign national who is coming to the United States solely to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which the individual has invested or is actively involved in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and it must be subject to loss if the investment fails. If the foreign national is already inside the United States, the individual must submit Form I-129, "Petition for Non-immigrant Worker," to USCIS to request a change of status or an extension of stay. If the foreign national is outside of the United States, the individual must apply for an E-2 visa at a U.S. consular office abroad.

The dependents can extend their stay to remain with the principal E2 status. They must use the Form I-539 to apply. The husband or wife of an E2 may be authorized to work in the U.S. They must use the Form I-765 to apply. In addition, for question 16 of the form, they must apply under category (a)(17.) The other dependents may not work in the U.S.

As long as the dependents are in E2 status, they can attend school without changing to another nonimmigrant status

E-3 “Australian Investors”

An Australian national who is seeking employment in a specialty occupation requiring possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent), and possess the appropriate degree (or its equivalent) in the field in which the alien wishes to work E-3 nonimmigrant status is initially granted for a period of no more than two years. Extensions of stay may be graanted indefinitely in increments not to exceed two years.

Specialty Occupation:  A specialty occupation for an E-3 alien is defined in the Act in the same manner as in the H-1B context. In particular, pursuant to section 214(i)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, specialty occupation means an occupation that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation. As such, in order to be eligible for an E-3 classification, an alien must be able to show he or she will be employed in a specialty occupation in the U.S. and he or she possess the required U.S. bachelor's or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty to meet the minimum requirement for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Congress has established a yearly cap of 10,500 new E-3 workers. For purposes of the cap, “new E-3 workers” are those who, coming from abroad, are admitted initially in E-3 classification or those who change their nonimmigrant status to E-3 classification or change employers while in E-3 status. Unlike the dependent of an alien in H-1B nonimmigrant classification, the dependent spouse of an E-3 temporary worker may apply for and receive work authorization.

An alien seeking to be admitted in E-3 nonimmigrant classification at a U.S. Port-of-Entry must posses a valid E-3 visa issued by Department of State. Aliens already in the United States may request a change of status to E-3 or extend their E-3 staus.   In addition to the Form I-129, applicants must include the following documentation:

  • Proof of Australian nationality,
  • A letter from the prospective U.S. employer describing the alien’s occupation, the alien’s anticipated length of stay, and salary/remuneration arrangements,
  • Evidence that the alien meets the educational requirements for the position to be filled (a bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent in the specific specialty occupation),
  • Evidence that the alien meets any licensing or other occupational requirements, and
  • Evidence that the prospective U.S. employer has filed with the Department of Labor a labor condition application (LCA) specifically designated for E-3 Specialty Occupations.

The dependent spouse and children of an E-3 principal may also derive E-3 nonimmigrant status, if otherwise eligible, irrespective of the spouse or children’s nationality. Further, an otherwise eligible dependent spouse of an E-3 principal nonimmigrant may apply for an Employment Authorization Document, irrespective of the dependent spouse’s nationality.

Can Spouses of E visa holders work?

The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification. The spouse is entitled to work authorization, but not the children. To apply for work authorization spouse must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

EB-5 “Immigrant Investor”

Come back soon.

H-1B “Specialty Workers”

An H-1B temporary worker is an alien admitted to the United States to perform services in a “specialty occupation”.

The H-1B nonimmigrant classification is a vehicle through which qualified aliens may seek admission to the United States on a temporary basis to work in their fields of expertise. Prior to employing an H-1B temporary worker, a U.S. employer must first file an H-1B petition with USCIS. However, while USCIS is responsible for evaluating an alien’s qualifications for the H-1B classification, approval of an H-1B petition does not equate to an admission of the alien to the U.S. in H-1B status.

The Department of State (DOS) plays a vital role in the H-1B admission process. Prior to filing the H-1B petition with USCIS, the U.S. employer must first file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL) specifying the job, salary, length and geographic location of employment. In addition, the employer must agree to pay the alien the greater of the actual or prevailing wage for the position. Once DOL approves the LCA, the U.S. employer may file the H-1B petition with USCIS.

What is a Specialty Occupation?

To qualify as a specialty occupation, the position must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position;
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry or, in the alternative, the position is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(A).

In order to perform services in a specialty occupation, an alien must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a United States baccalaureate or higher degree as required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university;
  • Possess a foreign degree determined to be equivalent to a United States baccalaureate or higher degree as required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university;
  • Have any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation (for example, architect, surveyor, physical therapist) in the state in which employment is sought; or
  • Have, as determined by USCIS, the equivalent of the degree required by the specialty occupation acquired through a combination of education, training, and/or experience. Specialty occupations may include but are not limited to, computer systems analysts and programmers, physicians, professors, engineers, and accountants.

What is the duration of H1B Visa?

An alien may be admitted to the United States in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years; however, the H-1B petition may only be approved for a maximum period of three years. On expiry of the first H1B petition, the employer needs to file a petition seeking an extension for remaining period to a maximum of three years not exceeding a maximum permissible 6 years limit. However, on expiry of such 6-year limit, an H1B may be extended for one-year increments if the beneficiary is subject of labor condition application that was filed more than 365 days prior to the expiry of his 6-year permissible limit. H1B may be extended for another three years if immigration petition filed on behalf of the beneficiary is approved before the expiry of such 6-year permissible limit.

When can H-1B Cap petition be filed?

H-1B petitions can be filed six months in advance of the requested start date. Therefore, petitions seeking an October 1 start date can be filed no sooner than April 1. This is when the majority of H-1B cap-subject petitions are filed. Conversely, petitions that are cap exempt may be filed at any time during the year, dependent on the petitioner’s need.

What is a part-time H-1B?

An alien can work simultaneously with two employers on the H1B status on the basis of part-time H1B petitions approved for both the employers.

H-1C “Registered Nurse”

The H-1C nonimmigrant temporary worker classification is for foreign nurses coming to the United States temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL). The H-1C nonimmigrant category was introduced in 1999 specifically to address the shortage of nurses in the United States. Applying for an H-1C nonimmigrant visa is a multi-step process that involves coordination from DOL and USCIS. Prior to filing a petition with USCIS for an H-1C visa, DOL must provide an attestation to petitioning hospitals certifying that they meet the qualifications as required by regulation. Among the qualifications, hospitals are required to be located in a “health professional shortage area.”

Who can qualify for H-1C?

To qualify for an H-1C visa you must:

  • Have a full and unrestricted nursing license in the country where your nursing education was obtained, or have received a nursing education and license in the United States
  • Be authorized by the appropriate U.S. State Board of Nursing to practice within the state
  • Have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or have a full and unrestricted license to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work, or have a full and unrestricted Registered Nurse’s license in any state and have received temporary authorization to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work. For more information, please see the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) link to the right
  • Have been fully qualified and eligible under the state laws of the state of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the United States
  • The employer must meet edibility criteria in order to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, under the H-1C Program. To qualify, the U.S. employer must:
  • Be a "subpart D" hospital under the Social Security Act
  • Be located in a "Health Professional Shortage Area"
  • Have at least 190 acute care beds
  • Have a Medicare population of no less than 35%
  • Have a Medicaid population of no less than 28%
  • Be certified by the Department of Labor

How to apply?

The Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, must be filed by a U.S. employer hospital that has received a notice of acceptance of the attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses, from the Department of Labor.

What Supporting Documents are needed to apply?

The Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • The current copy of the Department of Labor’s acceptance of the filing of an attestation on Form ETA-9081, Attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses.
  • Statement from the facility describing any limitation which the laws of the state or jurisdiction of intended employment place on your services
  • Evidence that you are or will be authorized by a State Board of Nursing to engage in registered nurse practice in a state or U.S. territory or possession, and you are or will be practicing at a facility which provides health care services
  • Evidence that you have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or have obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of intended employment or have obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license in any state or territory of the U.S. and received temporary authorization to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of intended employment
  • Evidence that you have obtained a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where you obtained nursing education or have received nursing education in the U.S.
  • Evidence that you are fully qualified and eligible under the laws (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements which authorize you to be employed) governing the place of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the U.S.

Can H-1C visa holders Change Employer?

H-1C nonimmigrant classification is limited to employment with the specific hospital that filed the petition. A change of employer requires your new employer to file a new Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. You cannot begin working for new employer until your Form I-129 is approved.

Are dependents of H-1C Visa Holders entitled to H4 Classification?

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to H-4 classification. H-4 is the nonimmigrant classification for dependents of H principal aliens. Your dependents may not work in the United States under the H-4 classification.

Is there a cap on H-1C Visa?

Only 500 H-1C visas will be issued each fiscal year. Also, there are numerical limitations for each state based on the state’s population. The cap for states with populations in excess of 9 million is 50 per fiscal year. The cap for states with populations of 9 million or less is 25 per fiscal year.

H-2B “Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers”

The H-2B visa category allows U.S. employers in industries with peak load, seasonal or intermittent needs to augment their existing labor force with temporary workers. The H-2B visa category also allows U.S. Employers to augment their existing labor force when necessary due to a one-time occurrence which necessitates a temporary increase in workers. Typically, H-2B workers fill labor needs in occupational areas such as construction, health care, landscaping, lumber, manufacturing, food service/processing, and resort/hospitality services.

The Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005 (SOS Act) divided the annual numerical limitations of 66,000 into two halves. As of FY 2010, an H-2B petition may not be filed more than 120 days before the date of the actual need for the H-2B worker's labor/services identified on the labor certification. As a result, USCIS normally begins receiving H-2B petitions with employment start dates in October and April.

What is the H-2B numerical limit set by Congress?

The H-2B numerical limit set by Congress per fiscal year is 66,000, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30). Generally, an H-2B worker who extends his/her stay in H-2B status will not be counted again against the numerical limit. An alien who changes nonimmigrant status to H-2B is counted against the annual H-2B cap.

H-3 “Temporary Trainee”

The H-3 is for individuals who been invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training in any field including, but not limited to:

  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Or the professions

You are not eligible for this classification if you are coming to the United States for graduate education or training. If you are coming to the United States for graduate education or training please refer to the J-1 and F-1 classifications. This classification is not intended for employment within the United States. It was designed to provide you with job related training for you to work in your home country.

This visa category is also available for someone who wishes to enter the United States in order to participate in a structured program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. This is called the “special education” H-3 classification and has slightly different eligibility requirements.

What are the Eligibility Criteria?In order to obtain H-3 classification, a U.S. employer or organization must provide:

  • Detailed description of the structured training program in which you wish to pursue. The description should indicate the number of hours per week that you will be in classroom training and the number of hours per week that you will be involved in on-the-job training.
  • Summary of your prior training and experience
  • Explanation of why your training is needed
  • Explanation of why you can’t take the training in your home country.
  • Explanation of how the training will benefit you in pursuing your career in your home country.
  • Explanation of how your employer or organization will pay for the cost of providing you the training without actually employing you.

Who can qualify for “Special Education” H-3 Training Visa?

In order to be eligible for the “special education” H-3 training visa, the U.S. employer or organization must submit a description of the training you will take as well as a description of the staff and facilities where you will be trained. The employer should also explain the details of your participation in the training.

In addition, the U.S. employer or organization must show that you are:

  • Nearing the completion of a baccalaureate degree program in special education
  • That you already have a baccalaureate degree in a special education program
  • That you have experience in teaching children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

Note: Any custodial care of any children must be incidental to your training.

What is an Application Process?

In order to obtain H-3 classification, your United States employer or organization must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petition must be accompanied by the information provided above.

What is the Period of Stay?

If the petition is approved, you may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to 2 years. If your petition is approved for you to obtain training in the area of special education, you may remain in the United States for 18 months.

Can dependants of H-3 Visa Holders accompany H-3 Visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany you to the United States. However, they will not be permitted to work in the United States.

You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training
  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
  • Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa

Eligibility Criteria

You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to obtain a B-1 visa:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature
  • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
  • You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States
  • You have a residence outside the United States in which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
  • You are otherwise admissible to the United States

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

  • Initial Period of Stay - 1 to 6 months; 6 months is the maximum.
  • Extension of Stay - Up to 6 months; maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status on any one trip is generally 1 year.

At the port of entry, an immigration official must authorize your admission to the United States, and, if you are eligible for admission, you may be admitted initially for the period necessary to carry out your business activities, up to a maximum period of 1 year. If you who wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94 without departing from the United States, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and submit any required supporting documents to USCIS. For more information, see the ”Extend my Stay” link to the right.

Family of B-1 Visa Holders

Your spouse and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa.

Certain B-1 Activities that Require an Employment Authorization Document

The following types of B-1 business visitors require employment authorization:

  • A personal or domestic servant who is accompanying or following to join an employer who seeks admission into, or is already in, the United States in a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, or TN nonimmigrant classification.
  • A domestic servant of a U.S. citizen accompanying or following to join his or her U.S. citizen employer who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, and who is temporarily visiting the United States
  • An employee of a foreign airline engaged in international transportation of passengers freight, whose position with the foreign airline would otherwise entitle the employee to treaty trader nonimmigrant classification (E-1) and who is precluded from such classification solely because the employee is not a national of the country of the airline's nationality or because there is no treaty of commerce and navigation in effect between the United States and the country of the airline's nationality.

Note: All applicants for a B-1 visa or admission as a B-1 business visitor as a personal or domestic servant described above must demonstrate the following:

  • You have a residence abroad in which you have no intention of abandoning
  • You have at least 1 year of experience as a personal or domestic servant
  • You have been employed abroad by your employer for at least 1 year prior to the employer’s admission into the United States or if you have been employed abroad by the employer for less than 1year, the employer must show that while abroad, he or she has regularly employed a domestic servant in the same capacity as that intended for your employment.
  • Before you may commence employment in any of the above three activities, you will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

The E1 and E2 nonimmigrant visa categories are comprised of treaty traders and treaty investors entitled to be in the United States under a bilateral treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the country of which the treaty trader or investor is a citizen or national.

The purpose of a treaty trader is to carry on substantial trade in goods, services and technology, principally between the United States and the foreign country of which s/he is a citizen or national.

The purpose of a treaty investor is to direct the operations of an enterprise in which s/he has invested, or is actively investing, a substantial amount of capital in the United States.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an E2 nonimmigrant may be granted the same status to accompany the E1 or E2.

E1: Nonimmigrant Treaty Investors

The E-1 Classification is for a foreign national who is coming to the United States solely to engage in trade of a substantial nature, principally between the United States and the foreign national's country. The trade involved must be the international exchange of items of trade between the United States and a treaty country. Title to the trade item must pass from one treaty party to the other under successfully negotiated contracts that are binding on all parties.

If the foreign national is already inside the United States, the individual must submit a Form I-129, "Petition for Non-immigrant Worker," to USCIS in order to request a change of status or an extension of stay. If the foreign national is outside of the United States, the individual must& napply for an E-1 visa at a U.S. consular office abroad.

The dependents of age under 21 years can extend their stay to remain with the principal E1 status. They must use the Form I-539 to apply. The husband or wife of an E1 may be authorized to work in the U.S. They must use the Form I-765 to apply. In addition, for question 16 of the form, they must apply under category (a)(17). The other dependents may not work in the U.S. As long as the dependents are in E1 status they can attend school without changing to another nonimmigrant status.

The E-2 classification is authorized for a foreign national who is coming to the United States solely to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which the individual has invested or is actively involved in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and it must be subject to loss if the investment fails. If the foreign national is already inside the United States, the individual must submit Form I-129, "Petition for Non-immigrant Worker," to USCIS to request a change of status or an extension of stay. If the foreign national is outside of the United States, the individual must apply for an E-2 visa at a U.S. consular office abroad.

The dependents can extend their stay to remain with the principal E2 status. They must use the Form I-539 to apply. The husband or wife of an E2 may be authorized to work in the U.S. They must use the Form I-765 to apply. In addition, for question 16 of the form, they must apply under category (a)(17.) The other dependents may not work in the U.S.

As long as the dependents are in E2 status, they can attend school without changing to another nonimmigrant status

An Australian national who is seeking employment in a specialty occupation requiring possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent), and possess the appropriate degree (or its equivalent) in the field in which the alien wishes to work E-3 nonimmigrant status is initially granted for a period of no more than two years. Extensions of stay may be graanted indefinitely in increments not to exceed two years.

Specialty Occupation:  A specialty occupation for an E-3 alien is defined in the Act in the same manner as in the H-1B context. In particular, pursuant to section 214(i)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, specialty occupation means an occupation that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation. As such, in order to be eligible for an E-3 classification, an alien must be able to show he or she will be employed in a specialty occupation in the U.S. and he or she possess the required U.S. bachelor's or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty to meet the minimum requirement for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Congress has established a yearly cap of 10,500 new E-3 workers. For purposes of the cap, “new E-3 workers” are those who, coming from abroad, are admitted initially in E-3 classification or those who change their nonimmigrant status to E-3 classification or change employers while in E-3 status. Unlike the dependent of an alien in H-1B nonimmigrant classification, the dependent spouse of an E-3 temporary worker may apply for and receive work authorization.

An alien seeking to be admitted in E-3 nonimmigrant classification at a U.S. Port-of-Entry must posses a valid E-3 visa issued by Department of State. Aliens already in the United States may request a change of status to E-3 or extend their E-3 staus.   In addition to the Form I-129, applicants must include the following documentation:

  • Proof of Australian nationality,
  • A letter from the prospective U.S. employer describing the alien’s occupation, the alien’s anticipated length of stay, and salary/remuneration arrangements,
  • Evidence that the alien meets the educational requirements for the position to be filled (a bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent in the specific specialty occupation),
  • Evidence that the alien meets any licensing or other occupational requirements, and
  • Evidence that the prospective U.S. employer has filed with the Department of Labor a labor condition application (LCA) specifically designated for E-3 Specialty Occupations.

The dependent spouse and children of an E-3 principal may also derive E-3 nonimmigrant status, if otherwise eligible, irrespective of the spouse or children’s nationality. Further, an otherwise eligible dependent spouse of an E-3 principal nonimmigrant may apply for an Employment Authorization Document, irrespective of the dependent spouse’s nationality.

Can Spouses of E visa holders work?

The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification. The spouse is entitled to work authorization, but not the children. To apply for work authorization spouse must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

An H-1B temporary worker is an alien admitted to the United States to perform services in a “specialty occupation”.

The H-1B nonimmigrant classification is a vehicle through which qualified aliens may seek admission to the United States on a temporary basis to work in their fields of expertise. Prior to employing an H-1B temporary worker, a U.S. employer must first file an H-1B petition with USCIS. However, while USCIS is responsible for evaluating an alien’s qualifications for the H-1B classification, approval of an H-1B petition does not equate to an admission of the alien to the U.S. in H-1B status.

The Department of State (DOS) plays a vital role in the H-1B admission process. Prior to filing the H-1B petition with USCIS, the U.S. employer must first file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL) specifying the job, salary, length and geographic location of employment. In addition, the employer must agree to pay the alien the greater of the actual or prevailing wage for the position. Once DOL approves the LCA, the U.S. employer may file the H-1B petition with USCIS.

What is a Specialty Occupation?

To qualify as a specialty occupation, the position must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position;
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry or, in the alternative, the position is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(A).

In order to perform services in a specialty occupation, an alien must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a United States baccalaureate or higher degree as required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university;
  • Possess a foreign degree determined to be equivalent to a United States baccalaureate or higher degree as required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university;
  • Have any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation (for example, architect, surveyor, physical therapist) in the state in which employment is sought; or
  • Have, as determined by USCIS, the equivalent of the degree required by the specialty occupation acquired through a combination of education, training, and/or experience. Specialty occupations may include but are not limited to, computer systems analysts and programmers, physicians, professors, engineers, and accountants.

What is the duration of H1B Visa?

An alien may be admitted to the United States in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years; however, the H-1B petition may only be approved for a maximum period of three years. On expiry of the first H1B petition, the employer needs to file a petition seeking an extension for remaining period to a maximum of three years not exceeding a maximum permissible 6 years limit. However, on expiry of such 6-year limit, an H1B may be extended for one-year increments if the beneficiary is subject of labor condition application that was filed more than 365 days prior to the expiry of his 6-year permissible limit. H1B may be extended for another three years if immigration petition filed on behalf of the beneficiary is approved before the expiry of such 6-year permissible limit.

When can H-1B Cap petition be filed?

H-1B petitions can be filed six months in advance of the requested start date. Therefore, petitions seeking an October 1 start date can be filed no sooner than April 1. This is when the majority of H-1B cap-subject petitions are filed. Conversely, petitions that are cap exempt may be filed at any time during the year, dependent on the petitioner’s need.

What is a part-time H-1B?

An alien can work simultaneously with two employers on the H1B status on the basis of part-time H1B petitions approved for both the employers.

The H-1C nonimmigrant temporary worker classification is for foreign nurses coming to the United States temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL). The H-1C nonimmigrant category was introduced in 1999 specifically to address the shortage of nurses in the United States. Applying for an H-1C nonimmigrant visa is a multi-step process that involves coordination from DOL and USCIS. Prior to filing a petition with USCIS for an H-1C visa, DOL must provide an attestation to petitioning hospitals certifying that they meet the qualifications as required by regulation. Among the qualifications, hospitals are required to be located in a “health professional shortage area.”

Who can qualify for H-1C?

To qualify for an H-1C visa you must:

  • Have a full and unrestricted nursing license in the country where your nursing education was obtained, or have received a nursing education and license in the United States
  • Be authorized by the appropriate U.S. State Board of Nursing to practice within the state
  • Have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or have a full and unrestricted license to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work, or have a full and unrestricted Registered Nurse’s license in any state and have received temporary authorization to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work. For more information, please see the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) link to the right
  • Have been fully qualified and eligible under the state laws of the state of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the United States
  • The employer must meet edibility criteria in order to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, under the H-1C Program. To qualify, the U.S. employer must:
  • Be a "subpart D" hospital under the Social Security Act
  • Be located in a "Health Professional Shortage Area"
  • Have at least 190 acute care beds
  • Have a Medicare population of no less than 35%
  • Have a Medicaid population of no less than 28%
  • Be certified by the Department of Labor

How to apply?

The Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, must be filed by a U.S. employer hospital that has received a notice of acceptance of the attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses, from the Department of Labor.

What Supporting Documents are needed to apply?

The Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • The current copy of the Department of Labor’s acceptance of the filing of an attestation on Form ETA-9081, Attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses.
  • Statement from the facility describing any limitation which the laws of the state or jurisdiction of intended employment place on your services
  • Evidence that you are or will be authorized by a State Board of Nursing to engage in registered nurse practice in a state or U.S. territory or possession, and you are or will be practicing at a facility which provides health care services
  • Evidence that you have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or have obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of intended employment or have obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license in any state or territory of the U.S. and received temporary authorization to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of intended employment
  • Evidence that you have obtained a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where you obtained nursing education or have received nursing education in the U.S.
  • Evidence that you are fully qualified and eligible under the laws (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements which authorize you to be employed) governing the place of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the U.S.

Can H-1C visa holders Change Employer?

H-1C nonimmigrant classification is limited to employment with the specific hospital that filed the petition. A change of employer requires your new employer to file a new Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. You cannot begin working for new employer until your Form I-129 is approved.

Are dependents of H-1C Visa Holders entitled to H4 Classification?

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to H-4 classification. H-4 is the nonimmigrant classification for dependents of H principal aliens. Your dependents may not work in the United States under the H-4 classification.

Is there a cap on H-1C Visa?

Only 500 H-1C visas will be issued each fiscal year. Also, there are numerical limitations for each state based on the state’s population. The cap for states with populations in excess of 9 million is 50 per fiscal year. The cap for states with populations of 9 million or less is 25 per fiscal year.

The H-2B visa category allows U.S. employers in industries with peak load, seasonal or intermittent needs to augment their existing labor force with temporary workers. The H-2B visa category also allows U.S. Employers to augment their existing labor force when necessary due to a one-time occurrence which necessitates a temporary increase in workers. Typically, H-2B workers fill labor needs in occupational areas such as construction, health care, landscaping, lumber, manufacturing, food service/processing, and resort/hospitality services.

The Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005 (SOS Act) divided the annual numerical limitations of 66,000 into two halves. As of FY 2010, an H-2B petition may not be filed more than 120 days before the date of the actual need for the H-2B worker's labor/services identified on the labor certification. As a result, USCIS normally begins receiving H-2B petitions with employment start dates in October and April.

What is the H-2B numerical limit set by Congress?

The H-2B numerical limit set by Congress per fiscal year is 66,000, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30). Generally, an H-2B worker who extends his/her stay in H-2B status will not be counted again against the numerical limit. An alien who changes nonimmigrant status to H-2B is counted against the annual H-2B cap.

The H-3 is for individuals who been invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training in any field including, but not limited to:

  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Or the professions

You are not eligible for this classification if you are coming to the United States for graduate education or training. If you are coming to the United States for graduate education or training please refer to the J-1 and F-1 classifications. This classification is not intended for employment within the United States. It was designed to provide you with job related training for you to work in your home country.

This visa category is also available for someone who wishes to enter the United States in order to participate in a structured program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. This is called the “special education” H-3 classification and has slightly different eligibility requirements.

What are the Eligibility Criteria?In order to obtain H-3 classification, a U.S. employer or organization must provide:

  • Detailed description of the structured training program in which you wish to pursue. The description should indicate the number of hours per week that you will be in classroom training and the number of hours per week that you will be involved in on-the-job training.
  • Summary of your prior training and experience
  • Explanation of why your training is needed
  • Explanation of why you can’t take the training in your home country.
  • Explanation of how the training will benefit you in pursuing your career in your home country.
  • Explanation of how your employer or organization will pay for the cost of providing you the training without actually employing you.

Who can qualify for “Special Education” H-3 Training Visa?

In order to be eligible for the “special education” H-3 training visa, the U.S. employer or organization must submit a description of the training you will take as well as a description of the staff and facilities where you will be trained. The employer should also explain the details of your participation in the training.

In addition, the U.S. employer or organization must show that you are:

  • Nearing the completion of a baccalaureate degree program in special education
  • That you already have a baccalaureate degree in a special education program
  • That you have experience in teaching children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

Note: Any custodial care of any children must be incidental to your training.

What is an Application Process?

In order to obtain H-3 classification, your United States employer or organization must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petition must be accompanied by the information provided above.

What is the Period of Stay?

If the petition is approved, you may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to 2 years. If your petition is approved for you to obtain training in the area of special education, you may remain in the United States for 18 months.

Can dependants of H-3 Visa Holders accompany H-3 Visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany you to the United States. However, they will not be permitted to work in the United States.

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J-1 “Exchange Visitor Program”

The J-1 Classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrant are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Nannies/Au pairs
  • Camp counselors

Application Process

The U.S. Department of State plays the primary role in administering the J-1 exchange visitor program, so the first step in obtaining J-1 visa is to submit a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, (formerly known as an IAP-66). This form will be provided by your sponsoring agency. You should work closely with the officials at your sponsoring agency who will be assisting you through this process. An official who is authorized to issue Form DS-2019 is known as a Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). Your RO or ARO will explain to you what documents are needed in order to be issued a DS-2019.

After you have obtained a Form DS-2019, you may then apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so submitting your as early as possible is strongly encouraged (though you may not enter the United States in J-1 status more than 30 days before your program begins).

L-1 “Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager”

Who can qualify to be an L-1 Multinational Intracompany Transferee?

If you are an executive, manager or employee (with some unique or specialized knowledge) of a multinational company, your company may petition for you to temporarily work in the United States. To be eligible to work in the United States:

  • You must have been employed abroad by the parent, branch or subsidiary corporation (sponsor or petitioner) for at least 1 year of the prior 3 years
  • Your company must have a legal business entity, nonprofit charitable or religious organization operating in the United States

Who can qualify to be an L-1 A Manager?

To be eligible for L-1A classification as a multinational manager, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your assignment includes:

  • Managing the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization
  • Supervising or controlling the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees, or managing an essential function within the company or a department or subdivision of the organization
  • Has the authority to hire and fire or has the responsibility of personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization).
  • Exercising discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

Who can qualify to be an L-1 A Executive?

To be eligible for the L-1A classification as a multinational executive, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your assignment includes:

  • Directing the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization
  • Establishing the goals and policies of the organization, component or function
  • Exercising wide latitude in discretionary decision-making
  • Receiving only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors or stockholders of the organization

Who can qualify to be L-1B Employee with Specialized Knowledge?

To be eligible for L-1B classification as an employee with specialized knowledge, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your job knowledge includes specialized knowledge about a company's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the company's processes and procedures.

Who is eligible to be L-1A or L-1B Sponsor?To be eligible to apply for an L-1A or L-1B employee transfer from an entity abroad to a United States entity, your employer must be part of a qualifying organization. Qualifying organization means a United States or foreign firm, corporation or other legal entity that is a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary of the entity you are transferring from. Your organization must be doing business in the United States as an employer as well as at least one other country. Your company must demonstrate an employer-employee relationship with you. The L-1A or L-1B visa is not limited to for-profit corporations or partnerships, so the organization applying for you may be a charitable, religious or other non-profit group.

How can an eligible organization apply for suitable L Category?

A qualifying organization must submit a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with the following materials:

  • Evidence of the qualifying relationship between the United States and the foreign employer (i.e., evidence that the petitioner is a firm, corporation, or other legal entity or parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary thereof), based on ownership and control, such as an annual report, articles of incorporation, financial statements or copies of stock certificates
  • Evidence that the employee will be in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity, including a detailed description of the services to be performed
  • Evidence that the employee has at least 1 year of continuous, full-time employment abroad with a qualifying organization within the 3 years preceding the filing of the petition
  • Evidence that the employee’s prior year of employment abroad was in a position that was managerial, executive, or involved specialized knowledge and that the alien's prior education, training and employment qualifies him or her to perform the intended services in the United States
  • If the beneficiary employee is coming to the United States to open or to be employed in a new office, the petition must also be filed with copies of evidence showing that the business entity is located in the United States, and the required materials including, but not limited to
    • Already has sufficient premises to house the new office
    • Has or upon establishment will have the qualifying relationship to the foreign employer
    • Has the financial ability to remunerate the alien and to begin doing business in the United States, including evidence about the size of the U.S. investment, the organization structure of both firms, the financial size and condition of the foreign employer, and if the alien is coming as an L-1 manager or executive to open a new office, such evidence must establish that the intended United States operation will support the executive or managerial position within 1 year

How much is the Period of Stay?

Your period of stay will only be for the length granted on your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, application filed by your employer. The total period you may remain in the United States may be as long as 3 years with the possibility of a 2-year extension. L-1A manager and executive may be eligible for an additional 2-year extension for a total stay in the United States of 7 years.

Can dependants of L category Visa Holders eligible to be admitted to United States?Your spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) may be admitted to the United States in L-2 status. Your spouse in L-2 status may be authorized to work in the United States. To apply for work authorization as an L-2 nonimmigrant, your spouse may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Please see the “Work Authorization” link to the right for more information on the application procedures.

O-1 “Individuals With Extraordinary Ability or Achievement”

You may be eligible for an O-1 nonimmigrant visa, if you posses extraordinary ability in science, business, education or athletics and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. You may also be eligible if you possess extraordinary ability in the arts or have attained extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

The O nonimmigrant classification is broken down as follows:

  • O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
  • O-2: individuals who will assist an O-1, using critical skills or experience not of a general nature. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1’s activities. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to completion of the O-1’s production.
  • O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s

What are the Eligibility Criteria?

For an O-1A visa, you must demonstrate your extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics by sustained national or international acclaim and you must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. Extraordinary ability is a level of expertise and recognition that shows a high level of achievement, or that you are one of few who has risen to the very top of your field.

For an O-1B visa, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and/ or television productions by a very high level record of achievement, and you must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary achievement. Extraordinary achievement is a degree of skill and recognition significantly above the ordinary; outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television industry.

What is the Application Process for O-1A?

The O-1A visa requires your sponsoring employer or agent, also known as a petitioner, to submit a petition on your behalf. The petitioner should file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (see the “Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right) with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. The petitioner may not file the Form I-129 more than one year before the O nonimmigrant will begin employment. To avoid delays, the Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment.

The petitioner must submit with the Form I-129 the following documentary evidence:

  • A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability
  • A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
  • An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities
  • Evidence that you have received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
    • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts
    • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about you and your work in the field for which classification is sought
    • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
    • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
    • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
    • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
    • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
    • If the above standards do not readily apply to your occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish your eligibility

What is the Application Process for O-1B?

The O-1B visa category requires your sponsoring employer or agent, also known as the petitioner, to submit a petition on your behalf. The petitioner should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, (see the "Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker" link to the right) with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. The petitioner may not file the Form I-129 more than one year before the O nonimmigrant will begin employment. To avoid delays, the Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment.

The petitioner must submit with the Form I-129 the following documentary evidence:

A written advisory opinion, describing your ability as follows:

  • If the petition is based on your extraordinary ability in the arts, the consultation must be from a peer group (including labor organizations) in your field of endeavor; or a person or persons designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability
  • If the petition is based on your extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry, separate consultations are required from a labor and a management organization with expertise in your field of endeavor
  • A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
  • Evidence that you have received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director's Guild Award, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Performed or will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements
    • Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about you in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications
    • A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
    • Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which you are engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien's achievements
    • A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of stay is granted up to 3 years. In the event of an extension of stay, USCIS will determine the time necessary to accomplish the event or activity and shall accordingly grant extension in increments of up to 1 year.

As an O-1 nonimmigrant, you may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. You may only engage in employment during the validity period of the petition.

What is the procedure for Extension of Stay?

The petitioner must request an extension of stay to continue or complete the same event or activity or to complete a new activity by filing the following documentation with USCIS:

  • Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
  • A copy of your Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record
  • A letter from the petitioner explaining the reasons for the extension.

The petitioner must also request an extension of the petition, but this does not require any additional documentation.

Your spouse and children must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit any supporting documents to extend their stay.

Are dependents of O-1 and O-2 Visa Holders eligible for dependent status?

Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an O-3 nonimmigrant visa, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the O-1 nonimmigrant. They may not work in the United States under this classification, but they may engage in full or part time study on an O-3 visa.

Can O-1 Visa holders Change Employers?

If you are an O-1 nonimmigrant in the United States and you want to change employers, then your new employer must file a Form I-129 with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions.

If the petition was filed by an agent, an amended petition must be filed with evidence relating to the new employer and a request for an extension of stay.

Note: There are special rules for athletes. When professional athletes with O-1 nonimmigrant status are traded from one team to another, employment authorization will continue with the new team for 30 days during which time the new employer must file a new Form I-129. The simple act of filing the Form I-129, within this 30-day period, extends the employment authorization at least until the petition is adjudicated. If the new employer does not file a new Form I-129 within 30 days of the trade, the athlete loses his or her employment authorization. The athlete also loses his or her employment authorization if the new Form I-129 is denied.

Return Transportation

If your employment as an O nonimmigrant beneficiary is terminated for reasons other than voluntary resignation, your employer must pay for the reasonable cost of your return transportation to your last place of residence before entering into the United States. If an agent filed the petition for your employer, the agent and the employer are equally responsible for paying these costs.

P-1A “Internationally Recognized Athlete”

Are you coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance? You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned or well known in more than one country.

What are Athletic Teams Eligibility Criteria?

You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.

What is an Application Process?

To come to the United States your U.S. employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. The U.S. employer must submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization. The consultation must describe the work or services to be performed in the United States and your qualifications for such work. If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused.

What Supporting Documents are needed?

The Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport
  • An explanation of the event and itinerary
  • Documentation of at least two of the following:
    • Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league
    • Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team
    • Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition
    • A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
    • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
    • Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings
    • Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport

What is Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of Stay:

  • For an individual athlete, it will be the time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 5 years.
  • For Athlete group, it will be the time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

Extension of Stay:

  • For an individual athlete, an extension of stay can be granted in increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance. Total stay is limited to 10 years.
  • For an athletic group, an extension of stay can be granted in increments of up to 1-year order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.
  • The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, an extension of stay, or change of employment.

Can P-1A Visa holder Change employer?

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Can dependents of P-1A Visa Holders accompany P-1A visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees. The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-1 athlete (team)
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed

P-1B “ Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group”

The P-1B is for outstanding internationally recognized foreign-based entertainment groups. At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial relationship with the group for at least one year. This one-year requirement does not apply to circus performers and essential circus personnel.Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.

Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.

What is the Application Process?

Your U.S. employer must submit:

Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker

A consultation from an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused)

What Supporting Documents are needed?

Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances
  • Evidence that your group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year
  • Statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group
  • Evidence that your group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Your group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements
    • Your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material
    • Your group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials
    • Your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
    • Your group has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field
    • Your group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of Stay: It is time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

Extension of Stay: Extension of stay can be granted in Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.

The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, an extension of stay, or change of employment.

Can P-1B visa holder Change employer?

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with ;and immigration services USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Can dependents of P-1B Visa Holders accompany P-1B visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment but may attend school or college.

Essential Support PersonnelEssential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a Us Worker are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel includes front office personnel, camera operators, lighting technicians and stage personnel.

The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation with an appropriate labor organization
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-1 entertainer(s)
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.

P-2 “Artists & Entertainers in Exchange Programs”

Coming soon.

P-3 “Culturally Unique Artists and Entertainers”

The P-3 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique. You must be coming to the United States for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. In addition, you must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or non-commercial nature.

What is an Application Process?

Your U.S. employer or sponsoring organization must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker.

What Supporting Documents are needed?

Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of your or your group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of your or your group’s skills
  • Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events
  • Documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials

Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of Stay: It is time needed to complete the event, activity or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

Extension of Stay: Extension of stay can be granted in increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, an extension of stay or change of employment.

Can P-3 Visa holder Change Employer?

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Can dependents of P-3 Visa Holders accompany P-3 visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P- 3 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker are eligible for P-3 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees.

The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed

Q-1 “International Cultural Exchange”

There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons who want to participate in Exchange Visitor programs in the United States. The nonimmigrant visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. The nonimmigrant visa is for international cultural exchange programs designated by USCIS. The Q nonimmigrant exchange program is for the purpose of providing practical training and employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of your home country with the United States.

What are Eligibility Criteria for Q-1 Visa?

Only employers who administer cultural exchange programs are allowed to petition for is to facilitate the sharing of international cultures. It is an employment-oriented program, but an integral part of your duties must have a cultural element. You must be at least 18 years old and be able to communicate effectively about the cultural attributes of your country.

What is the Application Process for the Q-1 Visa?

Your sponsoring organization must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS office specified in the form instructions. In addition, the employer must submit evidence that the employer maintains an established international cultural exchange program. This may be demonstrated by submitting copies of catalogs, brochures or other types of material which illustrate that the cultural component of the program is designed to give an overview of the attitude, customs, history, heritage, philosophy, tradition and/or other cultural attributes of the participant's home country. The employer may also submit evidence which illustrates that the program activities take place in a public setting where the sharing of culture can be achieved through direct interaction with the American public or a segment thereof.

In addition, the employer must establish that:

  • It has designated a qualified employee to administer the program and serve as liaison with USCIS
  • It will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local workers similarly employed
  • It has the financial ability to compensate the participant(s), as shown by a copy of the employer's most recent annual report, business income tax return or other form of certified accountant's report

What is Period of Stay?

Q-1 visa holder can stay in the United States for a maximum period of 15 months.

After you complete your Q cultural exchange program, you are afforded 30 days to depart the United States. You are required to spend 1 year outside the United States before you can apply for participation in the Q cultural exchange program again.

Can dependents of accompanying Q visa holder to the US?

No. The dependants of a Q visa holder can not accompany him/her.

T-N “NAFTA Professionals”

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:

  • You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  • Your profession qualifies under the regulations
  • The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional
  • You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment - see documentation required below)
  • You have the qualifications of the profession

What is the eligibility criteria for Canadian Citizens?

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can request admission as a TN nonimmigrant at a U.S. port of entry, and you must provide the following documentation:
Proof of Canadian citizenship

Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications

Credentials evaluation (if applicable)

If you are eligible following an inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission.

What is the eligibility criteria for Mexican Citizens?

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are not required to file a petition with USCIS. However, you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico, and you must provide the following documentation:

Proof of Mexican citizenship

Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications

Credentials evaluation (if applicable)

Once you are approved for a TN visa you may apply for admission at a United States port-of-entry. If you are eligible following an inspection by a CBP Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission.

What is the Application Process for Mexican Citizens?

Generally, you can apply for a TN nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. The Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees. You must submit the following evidence:

  • Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, completed and signed
  • Form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (if applicable)
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States, with a validity date of at least 6 months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States
  • One 2”x2” photograph
  • Letter of employment in the United States

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

The initial period of stay is up to 3 years. If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on Form I-94, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the United States, your employer may file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS.

You may apply at a port of entry using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial entry.

Are dependents of TN Visa Holders eligible for TD nonimmigrant status?

Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. They must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to you. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada, but they must contact the American embassy or consulate that serves their area for information on how to apply for a visa. Spouses and children cannot work while in the United States, but they are permitted to study.

What is the eligibility criteria for Canadian Citizen’s Dependents?

Any spouse and children of a Canadian citizen do not need visas, but they must provide the following documentation at the port of entry:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Proof of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate
  • Photocopies of the TN nonimmigrant’s entry documents
  • What is the eligibility criteria for Mexican Citizen’s Dependents?
  • Any spouse and children of a Mexican citizen must apply for the TD nonimmigrant status at an American embassy or consulate.

Dependants following to join

If any spouse and children are following to join the TN nonimmigrant, then they must show a valid Form I-94 as proof that the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.

The J-1 Classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrant are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Nannies/Au pairs
  • Camp counselors

Application Process

The U.S. Department of State plays the primary role in administering the J-1 exchange visitor program, so the first step in obtaining J-1 visa is to submit a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, (formerly known as an IAP-66). This form will be provided by your sponsoring agency. You should work closely with the officials at your sponsoring agency who will be assisting you through this process. An official who is authorized to issue Form DS-2019 is known as a Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). Your RO or ARO will explain to you what documents are needed in order to be issued a DS-2019.

After you have obtained a Form DS-2019, you may then apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so submitting your as early as possible is strongly encouraged (though you may not enter the United States in J-1 status more than 30 days before your program begins).

Who can qualify to be an L-1 Multinational Intracompany Transferee?

If you are an executive, manager or employee (with some unique or specialized knowledge) of a multinational company, your company may petition for you to temporarily work in the United States. To be eligible to work in the United States:

  • You must have been employed abroad by the parent, branch or subsidiary corporation (sponsor or petitioner) for at least 1 year of the prior 3 years
  • Your company must have a legal business entity, nonprofit charitable or religious organization operating in the United States

Who can qualify to be an L-1 A Manager?

To be eligible for L-1A classification as a multinational manager, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your assignment includes:

  • Managing the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization
  • Supervising or controlling the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees, or managing an essential function within the company or a department or subdivision of the organization
  • Has the authority to hire and fire or has the responsibility of personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization).
  • Exercising discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

Who can qualify to be an L-1 A Executive?

To be eligible for the L-1A classification as a multinational executive, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your assignment includes:

  • Directing the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization
  • Establishing the goals and policies of the organization, component or function
  • Exercising wide latitude in discretionary decision-making
  • Receiving only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors or stockholders of the organization

Who can qualify to be L-1B Employee with Specialized Knowledge?

To be eligible for L-1B classification as an employee with specialized knowledge, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your job knowledge includes specialized knowledge about a company's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the company's processes and procedures.

Who is eligible to be L-1A or L-1B Sponsor?To be eligible to apply for an L-1A or L-1B employee transfer from an entity abroad to a United States entity, your employer must be part of a qualifying organization. Qualifying organization means a United States or foreign firm, corporation or other legal entity that is a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary of the entity you are transferring from. Your organization must be doing business in the United States as an employer as well as at least one other country. Your company must demonstrate an employer-employee relationship with you. The L-1A or L-1B visa is not limited to for-profit corporations or partnerships, so the organization applying for you may be a charitable, religious or other non-profit group.

How can an eligible organization apply for suitable L Category?

A qualifying organization must submit a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with the following materials:

  • Evidence of the qualifying relationship between the United States and the foreign employer (i.e., evidence that the petitioner is a firm, corporation, or other legal entity or parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary thereof), based on ownership and control, such as an annual report, articles of incorporation, financial statements or copies of stock certificates
  • Evidence that the employee will be in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity, including a detailed description of the services to be performed
  • Evidence that the employee has at least 1 year of continuous, full-time employment abroad with a qualifying organization within the 3 years preceding the filing of the petition
  • Evidence that the employee’s prior year of employment abroad was in a position that was managerial, executive, or involved specialized knowledge and that the alien's prior education, training and employment qualifies him or her to perform the intended services in the United States
  • If the beneficiary employee is coming to the United States to open or to be employed in a new office, the petition must also be filed with copies of evidence showing that the business entity is located in the United States, and the required materials including, but not limited to
    • Already has sufficient premises to house the new office
    • Has or upon establishment will have the qualifying relationship to the foreign employer
    • Has the financial ability to remunerate the alien and to begin doing business in the United States, including evidence about the size of the U.S. investment, the organization structure of both firms, the financial size and condition of the foreign employer, and if the alien is coming as an L-1 manager or executive to open a new office, such evidence must establish that the intended United States operation will support the executive or managerial position within 1 year

How much is the Period of Stay?

Your period of stay will only be for the length granted on your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, application filed by your employer. The total period you may remain in the United States may be as long as 3 years with the possibility of a 2-year extension. L-1A manager and executive may be eligible for an additional 2-year extension for a total stay in the United States of 7 years.

Can dependants of L category Visa Holders eligible to be admitted to United States?Your spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) may be admitted to the United States in L-2 status. Your spouse in L-2 status may be authorized to work in the United States. To apply for work authorization as an L-2 nonimmigrant, your spouse may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Please see the “Work Authorization” link to the right for more information on the application procedures.

You may be eligible for an O-1 nonimmigrant visa, if you posses extraordinary ability in science, business, education or athletics and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. You may also be eligible if you possess extraordinary ability in the arts or have attained extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

The O nonimmigrant classification is broken down as follows:

  • O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
  • O-2: individuals who will assist an O-1, using critical skills or experience not of a general nature. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1’s activities. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to completion of the O-1’s production.
  • O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s

What are the Eligibility Criteria?

For an O-1A visa, you must demonstrate your extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics by sustained national or international acclaim and you must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. Extraordinary ability is a level of expertise and recognition that shows a high level of achievement, or that you are one of few who has risen to the very top of your field.

For an O-1B visa, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and/ or television productions by a very high level record of achievement, and you must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary achievement. Extraordinary achievement is a degree of skill and recognition significantly above the ordinary; outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television industry.

What is the Application Process for O-1A?

The O-1A visa requires your sponsoring employer or agent, also known as a petitioner, to submit a petition on your behalf. The petitioner should file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (see the “Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right) with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. The petitioner may not file the Form I-129 more than one year before the O nonimmigrant will begin employment. To avoid delays, the Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment.

The petitioner must submit with the Form I-129 the following documentary evidence:

  • A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability
  • A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
  • An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities
  • Evidence that you have received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
    • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts
    • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about you and your work in the field for which classification is sought
    • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
    • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
    • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
    • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
    • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
    • If the above standards do not readily apply to your occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish your eligibility

What is the Application Process for O-1B?

The O-1B visa category requires your sponsoring employer or agent, also known as the petitioner, to submit a petition on your behalf. The petitioner should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, (see the "Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker" link to the right) with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. The petitioner may not file the Form I-129 more than one year before the O nonimmigrant will begin employment. To avoid delays, the Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment.

The petitioner must submit with the Form I-129 the following documentary evidence:

A written advisory opinion, describing your ability as follows:

  • If the petition is based on your extraordinary ability in the arts, the consultation must be from a peer group (including labor organizations) in your field of endeavor; or a person or persons designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability
  • If the petition is based on your extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry, separate consultations are required from a labor and a management organization with expertise in your field of endeavor
  • A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
  • Evidence that you have received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director's Guild Award, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Performed or will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements
    • Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about you in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications
    • A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
    • Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which you are engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien's achievements
    • A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of stay is granted up to 3 years. In the event of an extension of stay, USCIS will determine the time necessary to accomplish the event or activity and shall accordingly grant extension in increments of up to 1 year.

As an O-1 nonimmigrant, you may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. You may only engage in employment during the validity period of the petition.

What is the procedure for Extension of Stay?

The petitioner must request an extension of stay to continue or complete the same event or activity or to complete a new activity by filing the following documentation with USCIS:

  • Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
  • A copy of your Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record
  • A letter from the petitioner explaining the reasons for the extension.

The petitioner must also request an extension of the petition, but this does not require any additional documentation.

Your spouse and children must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit any supporting documents to extend their stay.

Are dependents of O-1 and O-2 Visa Holders eligible for dependent status?

Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an O-3 nonimmigrant visa, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the O-1 nonimmigrant. They may not work in the United States under this classification, but they may engage in full or part time study on an O-3 visa.

Can O-1 Visa holders Change Employers?

If you are an O-1 nonimmigrant in the United States and you want to change employers, then your new employer must file a Form I-129 with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions.

If the petition was filed by an agent, an amended petition must be filed with evidence relating to the new employer and a request for an extension of stay.

Note: There are special rules for athletes. When professional athletes with O-1 nonimmigrant status are traded from one team to another, employment authorization will continue with the new team for 30 days during which time the new employer must file a new Form I-129. The simple act of filing the Form I-129, within this 30-day period, extends the employment authorization at least until the petition is adjudicated. If the new employer does not file a new Form I-129 within 30 days of the trade, the athlete loses his or her employment authorization. The athlete also loses his or her employment authorization if the new Form I-129 is denied.

Return Transportation

If your employment as an O nonimmigrant beneficiary is terminated for reasons other than voluntary resignation, your employer must pay for the reasonable cost of your return transportation to your last place of residence before entering into the United States. If an agent filed the petition for your employer, the agent and the employer are equally responsible for paying these costs.

Are you coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance? You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned or well known in more than one country.

What are Athletic Teams Eligibility Criteria?

You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.

What is an Application Process?

To come to the United States your U.S. employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. The U.S. employer must submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization. The consultation must describe the work or services to be performed in the United States and your qualifications for such work. If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused.

What Supporting Documents are needed?

The Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport
  • An explanation of the event and itinerary
  • Documentation of at least two of the following:
    • Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league
    • Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team
    • Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition
    • A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
    • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
    • Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings
    • Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport

What is Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of Stay:

  • For an individual athlete, it will be the time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 5 years.
  • For Athlete group, it will be the time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

Extension of Stay:

  • For an individual athlete, an extension of stay can be granted in increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance. Total stay is limited to 10 years.
  • For an athletic group, an extension of stay can be granted in increments of up to 1-year order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.
  • The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, an extension of stay, or change of employment.

Can P-1A Visa holder Change employer?

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Can dependents of P-1A Visa Holders accompany P-1A visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees. The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-1 athlete (team)
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed

The P-1B is for outstanding internationally recognized foreign-based entertainment groups. At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial relationship with the group for at least one year. This one-year requirement does not apply to circus performers and essential circus personnel.Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.

Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.

What is the Application Process?

Your U.S. employer must submit:

Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker

A consultation from an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused)

What Supporting Documents are needed?

Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances
  • Evidence that your group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year
  • Statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group
  • Evidence that your group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Your group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements
    • Your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material
    • Your group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials
    • Your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
    • Your group has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field
    • Your group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of Stay: It is time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

Extension of Stay: Extension of stay can be granted in Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.

The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, an extension of stay, or change of employment.

Can P-1B visa holder Change employer?

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with ;and immigration services USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Can dependents of P-1B Visa Holders accompany P-1B visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment but may attend school or college.

Essential Support PersonnelEssential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a Us Worker are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel includes front office personnel, camera operators, lighting technicians and stage personnel.

The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation with an appropriate labor organization
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-1 entertainer(s)
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.

The P-3 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique. You must be coming to the United States for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. In addition, you must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or non-commercial nature.

What is an Application Process?

Your U.S. employer or sponsoring organization must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker.

What Supporting Documents are needed?

Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of your or your group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of your or your group’s skills
  • Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events
  • Documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials

Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

Initial Period of Stay: It is time needed to complete the event, activity or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

Extension of Stay: Extension of stay can be granted in increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, an extension of stay or change of employment.

Can P-3 Visa holder Change Employer?

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Can dependents of P-3 Visa Holders accompany P-3 visa holder to the United States?

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P- 3 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker are eligible for P-3 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees.

The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed

There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons who want to participate in Exchange Visitor programs in the United States. The nonimmigrant visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. The nonimmigrant visa is for international cultural exchange programs designated by USCIS. The Q nonimmigrant exchange program is for the purpose of providing practical training and employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of your home country with the United States.

What are Eligibility Criteria for Q-1 Visa?

Only employers who administer cultural exchange programs are allowed to petition for is to facilitate the sharing of international cultures. It is an employment-oriented program, but an integral part of your duties must have a cultural element. You must be at least 18 years old and be able to communicate effectively about the cultural attributes of your country.

What is the Application Process for the Q-1 Visa?

Your sponsoring organization must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS office specified in the form instructions. In addition, the employer must submit evidence that the employer maintains an established international cultural exchange program. This may be demonstrated by submitting copies of catalogs, brochures or other types of material which illustrate that the cultural component of the program is designed to give an overview of the attitude, customs, history, heritage, philosophy, tradition and/or other cultural attributes of the participant's home country. The employer may also submit evidence which illustrates that the program activities take place in a public setting where the sharing of culture can be achieved through direct interaction with the American public or a segment thereof.

In addition, the employer must establish that:

  • It has designated a qualified employee to administer the program and serve as liaison with USCIS
  • It will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local workers similarly employed
  • It has the financial ability to compensate the participant(s), as shown by a copy of the employer's most recent annual report, business income tax return or other form of certified accountant's report

What is Period of Stay?

Q-1 visa holder can stay in the United States for a maximum period of 15 months.

After you complete your Q cultural exchange program, you are afforded 30 days to depart the United States. You are required to spend 1 year outside the United States before you can apply for participation in the Q cultural exchange program again.

Can dependents of accompanying Q visa holder to the US?

No. The dependants of a Q visa holder can not accompany him/her.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:

  • You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  • Your profession qualifies under the regulations
  • The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional
  • You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment - see documentation required below)
  • You have the qualifications of the profession

What is the eligibility criteria for Canadian Citizens?

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can request admission as a TN nonimmigrant at a U.S. port of entry, and you must provide the following documentation:
Proof of Canadian citizenship

Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications

Credentials evaluation (if applicable)

If you are eligible following an inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission.

What is the eligibility criteria for Mexican Citizens?

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are not required to file a petition with USCIS. However, you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico, and you must provide the following documentation:

Proof of Mexican citizenship

Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications

Credentials evaluation (if applicable)

Once you are approved for a TN visa you may apply for admission at a United States port-of-entry. If you are eligible following an inspection by a CBP Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission.

What is the Application Process for Mexican Citizens?

Generally, you can apply for a TN nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. The Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees. You must submit the following evidence:

  • Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, completed and signed
  • Form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (if applicable)
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States, with a validity date of at least 6 months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States
  • One 2”x2” photograph
  • Letter of employment in the United States

What is the Period of Stay/Extension of Stay?

The initial period of stay is up to 3 years. If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on Form I-94, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the United States, your employer may file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS.

You may apply at a port of entry using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial entry.

Are dependents of TN Visa Holders eligible for TD nonimmigrant status?

Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. They must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to you. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada, but they must contact the American embassy or consulate that serves their area for information on how to apply for a visa. Spouses and children cannot work while in the United States, but they are permitted to study.

What is the eligibility criteria for Canadian Citizen’s Dependents?

Any spouse and children of a Canadian citizen do not need visas, but they must provide the following documentation at the port of entry:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Proof of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate
  • Photocopies of the TN nonimmigrant’s entry documents
  • What is the eligibility criteria for Mexican Citizen’s Dependents?
  • Any spouse and children of a Mexican citizen must apply for the TD nonimmigrant status at an American embassy or consulate.

Dependants following to join

If any spouse and children are following to join the TN nonimmigrant, then they must show a valid Form I-94 as proof that the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.

Immigration Legal Services for Families

Detention & Deportation Defense

Minor infraction or conviction, even if it occurred decades ago, could trigger deportation or removal proceedings. The U.S. government does not forget. In fact, they are actively arresting people even if they have been living in the U.S. their entire lives. I provide passionate and zealous immigration defense for those who the U.S. government wants to deport.

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Getting Your Citizenship

When applying for citizenship, the application process can be fraught with technicalities, unfair immigration officials, and delays. Our entire immigration and criminal history. Guidance from an experienced immigration attorney is crucial to ensuring that you are not only approved, but that you don’t suddenly wind up in deportation proceedings. Also, an immigration attorney can save a case which has been delayed.

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Visa Applications & Renewals

During our initial consultation, I will work with you to determine which visa is right for you or your loved one. I have represented many immigrants who have applied for a wide range of visa applications. I have worked on renewal cases for individuals and their family members, including change of status, marriage and fiancé visas, family petitions, as well as many others.

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The first step for someone immigrating to the U.S. on a permanent basis is to obtain lawful permanent residence; commonly known as a “Green Card.” The steps to obtaining your Green Card can vary greatly depending on your specific circumstances. There are numerous ways to obtain a green card and every client’s situation should be evaluated specifically.

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Helping Relatives Immigrate

If you are a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and are looking to help bring a relative into this country, it is important that all of the required documentation be submitted correctly on the first attempt and within the allotted time frames. I can assist you with all of the necessary paperwork, supporting exhibits and the eventual interview.

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Federal Litigation

Many immigration judges and state judges make mistakes. And many attorneys are satisfied with unsatisfactory rulings. Most do not want to upset a judge by challenging his or her decision, nor do they want to spend more time appealing the same case at a federal level. However, it is my strong belief that when a judge passes an unfair verdict that could ultimately devastate or destroy a person’s life, it is my responsibility as his or her attorney to do everything in my legal power to prevent that from happening. Taking a case before a federal judge is a serious and time consuming endeavor, but if successful can result in the reversal of a previous decision made by either an immigration or state judge.

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Vacating Guilty Pleas

Vacating Guilty Pleas: Many clients find themselves in deportation proceedings after entering a plea of guilty to a crime on the advice of their criminal attorney. Unfortunately, their attorney never tells them that their guilty plea will result in their deportation. This can lead to disastrous consequences. In this scenario, it is my job to handle damage control and keep my client in this country and out of jail.

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Minor infraction or conviction, even if it occurred decades ago, could trigger deportation or removal proceedings. The U.S. government does not forget. In fact, they are actively arresting people even if they have been living in the U.S. their entire lives. I provide passionate and zealous immigration defense for those who the U.S. government wants to deport.

Learn More

When applying for citizenship, the application process can be fraught with technicalities, unfair immigration officials, and delays. Our entire immigration and criminal history. Guidance from an experienced immigration attorney is crucial to ensuring that you are not only approved, but that you don’t suddenly wind up in deportation proceedings. Also, an immigration attorney can save a case which has been delayed.

Learn More

During our initial consultation, I will work with you to determine which visa is right for you or your loved one. I have represented many immigrants who have applied for a wide range of visa applications. I have worked on renewal cases for individuals and their family members, including change of status, marriage and fiancé visas, family petitions, as well as many others.

Learn More

The first step for someone immigrating to the U.S. on a permanent basis is to obtain lawful permanent residence; commonly known as a “Green Card.” The steps to obtaining your Green Card can vary greatly depending on your specific circumstances. There are numerous ways to obtain a green card and every client’s situation should be evaluated specifically.

Learn More

If you are a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and are looking to help bring a relative into this country, it is important that all of the required documentation be submitted correctly on the first attempt and within the allotted time frames. I can assist you with all of the necessary paperwork, supporting exhibits and the eventual interview.

Learn More

Many immigration judges and state judges make mistakes. And many attorneys are satisfied with unsatisfactory rulings. Most do not want to upset a judge by challenging his or her decision, nor do they want to spend more time appealing the same case at a federal level. However, it is my strong belief that when a judge passes an unfair verdict that could ultimately devastate or destroy a person’s life, it is my responsibility as his or her attorney to do everything in my legal power to prevent that from happening. Taking a case before a federal judge is a serious and time consuming endeavor, but if successful can result in the reversal of a previous decision made by either an immigration or state judge.

Learn More

Vacating Guilty Pleas: Many clients find themselves in deportation proceedings after entering a plea of guilty to a crime on the advice of their criminal attorney. Unfortunately, their attorney never tells them that their guilty plea will result in their deportation. This can lead to disastrous consequences. In this scenario, it is my job to handle damage control and keep my client in this country and out of jail.

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