E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas
Investors and traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their businesses in the U.S. if their home country has a commercial treaty with the US conferring visa eligibility.
Employment Based Visas
H-1B Specialty Occupation (Professionals) Visas
Professional workers with at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for a non-immigrant visa if their employers can demonstrate that they are to be paid at least the prevailing wage for the position.
J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas
Persons coming to the U.S. in an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's visa. J-1 programs often cover students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors and research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs. In some cases, participation in a J-1 program will be coupled with the requirement that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to switch to a different non-immigrant visa or to permanent residency.
L-1 Intra-company Transfer Visas
L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer's U.S. affiliate. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas
The O-1 category is set aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. This includes entertainers, athletes, scientists, and businesspersons.
TN Status Under the North American Free Trade Agreement
A special category has been set up for nationals of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
B-1/B-2 Visitor's Visas:
Available to visitors coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for a short duration and must not involve local employment. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Extension is available in some cases.
F-1 and M-1 Student Visas
Persons seeking to pursue a full course of study at a school in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study plus, in some cases, a period for practical training in their field of study.
K-1 Fiancée Visas
A Fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa conditioned on the conclusion of the marriage within 90 days.
Other Temporary Visas
P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas
This category covers athletes, artists and entertainers.
R-1 Religious Worker Visas
Religious workers may be eligible for an R-1 visa.
Immigrant Permanent Residency Visas ("Green Cards")
EB-5 Investor/Employment Creation Visas
Under the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress has set aside up to 10,000 visas per year for alien investors in new commercial enterprises who create employment for ten individuals. There are two groups of investors under the program - those who invest at least 500,000 in "targeted employment areas" (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate) and those who invest 1,000,000 anywhere else. No fewer than 3,000 of the annual allotment of visas must go to targeted employment areas.
Employment Based Visas
EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers
Individuals in this category can petition for permanent residency without having to go through the time consuming labor certification process.
EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves a testing of the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from a U.S. worker. In cases where an individual can show that his entry is in the national interest, the job offer and labor certification requirements can be waived.
EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process.
EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers
Ministers of religion are eligible for permanent residency.
DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")
55,000 visas are annually allotted in a random drawing to individuals from nations underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.
Refugee and Asylum Applications
Persons with a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may be eligible to apply for asylum or refugee status in the U.S.
Family Sponsored Immigration
A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States or is a lawful permanent resident, your relative in the U.S. will need to sponsor you and prove he/she has enough income or assets to support you, the intending immigrant(s) when in the United States. Your relative sponsor and you, the intending immigrant, must successfully complete certain steps in the immigration process in order to come to the U.S.
There are two groups of family based immigrant visa categories, including immediate relatives and family preference categories, provided under the provisions of United States immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas (Unlimited):
These visa types are based on a close family relationship with a United States (U.S.) citizen described as an Immediate Relative (IR). The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited each fiscal year. Immediate relative visa types include;
- IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
- IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
- IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
Family Preference Immigrant Visas (Limited): These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). There are fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants, shown at the end of each category.
The family preference categories are:
- Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any. (23,400)
- Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs. At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters. (114,200)
- Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. (23,400)
- Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)
Note: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.
Numerical Limitations for Limited Family-Based Preference Categories
Whenever the number of qualified applicants for a category exceeds the available immigrant visas, there will be an immigration wait. In this situation, the available immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed using their priority date. The filing date of a petition becomes what is called the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain categories with many approved petitions compared to available visas, there may be a waiting period of several years, or more, before a priority date is reached.
Returning Resident Immigrant Visas (SB) - A lawful permanent resident (LPR) who has remained outside the U.S. for longer than twelve months, or beyond the validity period of a re-entry permit, will require a new immigrant visa to enter the U.S. and resume permanent residence. A provision exists under U.S. visa law for the issuance of a returning resident special immigrant visa to an LPR who remained outside the U.S. due to circumstances beyond his/her control. We can help you with obtaining your returning resident special immigrant visa.
- Naturalization Applications
- Deportation and Exclusion Matters
- IRCA and I-9 Compliance for U.S. employers
- Consulting on the Impact of Immigration Law on Mergers, Acquisitions and other
- Business Transactions
- International Adoptions