We represent companies and universities across the US in obtaining work authorization for highly skilled workers, as well as permanent residences status. We represent artists, entertainers, scientists and researchers, and work with corporate clients to implement effective I-9 compliance procedures.
Employment-Based Immigration – Non-Immigrant (Temporary) Employment Categories
We are a boutique firm, offering world class service to our clients. With over 17 years of experience representing corporations throughout the United States that seek work authorization for highly skilled foreign national workers, we have earned a reputation for excellence.
We have successfully secured non-immigrant visas for thousands of foreign national employees, including scientists, researchers, engineers, architects, information technology workers, marketing specialists, and digital marketing companies, to name only a few. We represent both private and public sector companies and universities across the United States, and multinational companies around the globe.
When you don’t believe there’s a solution, seek an opinion from an attorney who can think outside of the box and find innovative solutions to unique problems. We don’t use cookie-cutter methods-each client and case is unique.
Our firm can assist you with all areas of business/employment immigration. We are experienced in securing non-immigrant visas, including H-1B, L-1, H-2B, O-1 for Scientists, Artists, and Entertainers, E-3 and TN, and Investor Visas.
Below is an overview of some of the categories available for non-immigrant (temporary) work visas.
Click the title for a link to the USCIS to get more details on the requirements, or call our office for a consultation to find out if you are eligible for one of these categories:
H-1B Specialty Occupations – Professional level occupations including IT, software engineers, civil/traffic engineers, mechanical engineers, scientists, professors, teachers, nurses, and doctors to name a few. Also included in this category are DOD Cooperative Research & Development Project Workers, and fashion models.
H-2A Agricultural Workers – Seasonal workers who enter the US temporarily to work in the agricultural industries.
H-2B Non-Agricultural Workers – Seasonal, peak-load, or one time need workers who are entering the US temporarily to work as landscape/groundskeepers, at resorts, and theme parks for example.
L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executives & Managers – Transferring global managers and executives to the US temporarily from an affiliated entity abroad, or transferring a manager or executive to the US to establish an entity.
L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge – This category enables a US employer to transfer a professional employee from a foreign affiliate to the US temporarily. The employee must have specialized knowledge of the US company’s products, services, management, etc.
O-1A Extraordinary Ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics – This category is for those who have risen to the top of their field of endeavor and been recognized nationally or internationally. Scientist and researchers performing cutting edge research on such areas as cancer, epilepsy, blood brain barrier drugs, and creating medical devices for example.
O-1B Extraordinary Ability in the arts, motion pictures and television– Individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion pictures or television. Note: We have represented artists, poets and cutting horse trainers (yes, training horses is an art!).
E-2 Treaty Investors – Allows nationals of treaty countries to be admitted into the US when investing capital in a US business, or creating a US business.
Don’t know if you are from a country part of the treaty for E-2? Click here.
E-3 Specialty Occupations Professionals from Australia – This classification applies to nationals of Australia and is limited to professional level positions.
TN NAFTA Professionals – The US, Canada and Mexico are part of a Treaty that allows our countries to move professional level employees to and from all of the member countries. These are professional level positions, and are limited to the professions in a select category.
P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete – For those coming to the US to perform in an athletic competition individually or as part of the group.
P-1B Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group – Are you a member of n entertainment group recognized internationally as outstanding?
P-3 Artists or Entertainers – For those coming to the US to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of the group.
Living and working permanently in the United States
Obtaining Permanent Residence or Green Card Status
Permanent residence status allows an individual to live and work permanently in the US, without having to secure separate work authorization via a non-immigrant visa category. As a general rule, to gain permanent residence through employment, the foreign nationals must have an employer sponsor them.
How do corporations and universities secure permanent residence on behalf of its employees?
Great question—I’m happy to answer!
Companies (or universities or research organizations) may sponsor foreign national employees for permanent residence through one of the five employment-based immigrant visa preference categories.
Some of these categories require ‘Labor Certification’ (PERM), which requires the employer to work with the Department of Labor (DOL) and perform a test of the labor market for the position the foreign national worker currently fills, and wishes to fill on a permanent basis. This test of the labor market protects US workers, by requiring the employer to prove that there aren’t available workers for this specific position. These are as a general rule, hard to fill positions, such as engineering positions, where there is a shortage throughout the US, or highly technical software engineering/software development positions, requiring a specific skill set that is not easily found.
The Five Preference Categories
EB-1 – Extraordinary Ability – Outstanding Professors and Researchers – Multinational Managers or Executives.
Extraordinary Ability – This category is for those with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim. These individuals may be rocket scientists, scientists, business professionals, professional athletes, artist and entertainers. They may be the people who see on TED Talks or the big screen, or they may be in a laboratory developing a way to get drugs through the blood brain barrier, or working with a group of scientists trying to develop a vaccine to protect unborn babies against heroin or nicotine exposure. This category does not require an employer or an offer of employment, the qualified foreign national may self-petition, and there’s no Labor Certification requirement.
Outstanding Professors and Researchers – Our universities and colleges must continue to attract and retain the best and brightest to teach and guide students, for the promise of a better tomorrow. Among the requirements are 3 years of experience in teaching or research, and the employee must be entering the US to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position, either at a university or research organization. This category requires an offer of employment, and the foreign national employee may not self-petition.
Multinational Managers or Executives – This category is for multinational executives and managers who have worked for at least 1 out of the past 3 years for a foreign entity, and who seek entry to continue such work for a US parent, affiliate or subsidiary of the foreign entity. There is a requirement of a job offer, but there’s no Labor Certification requirement. Click here for more information on the EB-1 category.
EB-2 Second Preference Category – Advanced Degree Professionals Exceptional Ability and National Interest Waivers.
Advanced Degree Professionals – This category is for positions that require an advanced degree (Master’s or higher) or its equivalent, which is a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressively more responsible experience working in the particular field. It is the job requirements, not the foreign national employee’s degree and experience that dictates whether the EB-2 category is the appropriate route for permanent residence.
Exceptional Ability – The foreign national employee must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business. Exceptional ability is defined as having a degree of expertise significantly above that normally encountered in the sciences, arts or business.
National Interest Waiver – Those seeking a National Interest Waiver (NIW) are requesting that the Labor Certification/PERM be waived. No job offer is required for this category. Those who qualify for a NIW are usually those who have exceptional ability, and whose employment in the United States would substantially benefit our country. In adjudicating a waiver of the Labor Certification and grant of NIW, these factors may be taken into account: The work performed will improve the US economy; improve wages and working conditions of US workers; improve education and training programs for US children and under-qualified US workers; improve health-care; provide for more affordable housing for US residents; improve the US environment and make better use of natural resources; involve a request from an interested US agency, and/or be supported by a grant from a US agency. Click here for more information.
EB-3 Third Preference Category (three sub-categories).
Professionals- The position requires a baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent. Education and experience may not substitute for the requirement of a baccalaureate degree, and the employer must prove there are no US workers by testing the labor market via Labor Certification/PERM.
Skilled Workers – This category requires proof that the employee has two years of job experience or training. The employer must prove there are no US workers by testing the labor market via Labor Certification/PERM.
Unskilled Workers – This category requires that the foreign national employee can perform unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience. The employer must prove there are no US workers by testing the labor market via Labor Certification/PERM. Click here for more information.
EB-4 Fourth Preference Category – Special Immigrants.
Those eligible for EB-4 category are religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, broadcasters, G-4 International Organization or NATA-6 Employees, International Employees of the US Government Abroad, Members of the Armed Forces, Panama Canal Zone Employees, Certain Physicians, Afghan and Iraqi Translators, and Afghan and Iraqi Nationals Who Provided Service in Support of US Operations. Click here for more information on this category.
EB-5 Fifth Preference Category- the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Under this program, entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for permanent residence by making a substantial investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States, and plan to create or preserve at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for US workers. Click here for more information. For more detailed information on the investment requirements, click here.
We make it our mission to give our clients the satisfaction of knowing that we zealously advocate for them through litigation in immigration court, at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in federal courts.
A new immigration policy has gone into effect, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that will allow certain individuals who meet specific criteria to request consideration of Deferred Action from USCIS. Deferred Action allows the individual to stay in the US temporarily to continue studies and work. If you receive Deferred Action you may also be eligible for work authorization for a period of up to two years, with the option of renewal available.
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Some common questions and answers:
Is deferred action for childhood arrivals a new law?
No. Deferred action is a discretionary relief, to be determined on a case by case basis, by the Department of Homeland Security. It is a policy that allows those who are eligible to apply for a two-year work permit with possible extensions. It does not grant permanent residence, and it is not a path to permanent residence or citizenship.
Do I need to hire an attorney to submit my application?
As with any legal matter that is of great importance to you and your future, you should carefully consider seeking professional legal advice. While deferred action does not lead to a green card or citizenship at this time, the information you provide to the USCIS will be kept in your file, and should the law change in the future, and a path for permanent residence become available, you want to be certain that nothing you have submitted or signed your name on, has any false, misleading or derogatory information that could cause you to become ineligible for permanent residence in the future. How you proceed now, can and will impact your future!
If my application is denied or rejected, can I appeal?
No, you may not appeal or file a motion to reopen the application, but you may be able to re-apply, which means you would pay all associated fees again.
If you or anyone you know might meet the criteria below, please contact our office to set up a consultation to discuss the merits of your case.
Are you qualified to apply for naturalization? Contact our office to set up a consultation to discuss the process and eligibility requirements.
Click here for more info & here study materials.
General Naturalization Requirements
Age – Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Residency – An applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted as permanent residents will be asked to produce an I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, as proof of their status. Residence and Physical Presence-An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
Residence and Physical Presence – An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
• has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (see preceding section);
• has resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing with no single absence from the United States of more than one year;
• has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six months but less than one year shall disrupt the applicant’s continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period)
• has resided within a state or district for at least three months
Good Moral Character – Generally, an applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the statutory period (typically five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen or one year for Armed Forces expedite) prior to filing for naturalization. The Service is not limited to the statutory period in determining whether an applicant has established good moral character. An applicant is permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has ever been convicted of murder. An applicant is also permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Act on or after November 29, 1990. A person also cannot be found to be a person of good moral character if during the last five years he or she:
• has committed and been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude
• has committed and been convicted of 2 or more offenses for which the total sentence imposed was 5 years or more
• has committed and been convicted of any controlled substance law, except for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
• has been confined to a penal institution during the statutory period, as a result of a conviction, for an aggregate period of 180 days or more
• has committed and been convicted of two or more gambling offenses
• is or has earned his or her principal income from illegal gambling
• is or has been involved in prostitution or commercialized vice
• is or has been involved in smuggling illegal aliens into the United States
• is or has been a habitual drunkard
• is practicing or has practiced polygamy
• has willfully failed or refused to support dependents
• has given false testimony, under oath, in order to receive a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Attachment to the Constitution – An applicant must show that he or she is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.
Language – Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language.
Exemption from language requirement – Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who on the date of filing:
• have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 15 years or more and are over 55 years of age;
• have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 20 years or more and are over 50 years of age; or
• have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant’s ability to learn English.
United States Government and History Knowledge – An applicant for naturalization must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States.
Exemption from US Government and History Knowledge – Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who, on the date of filing, have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant’s ability to learn U.S. History and Government; and Applicants who have been residing in the U.S. subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for at least 20 years and are over the age of 65 will be afforded special consideration in satisfying this requirement.
Oath of Allegiance
To become a citizen, one must take the oath of allegiance. By doing so, an applicant swears to:
• support the Constitution and obey the laws of the U.S.;
• renounce any foreign allegiance and/or foreign title; and
• bear arms for the Armed Forces of the U.S. or perform services for the government of the U.S. when required.
In certain instances, where the applicant establishes that he or she is opposed to any type of service in armed forces based on religious teaching or belief, INS will permit these applicants to take a modified oath.
The oath of allegiance is as follows –
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Voting and Citizenship
One of the most important privileges of democracy in the United States of America is the right to participate in choosing elected officials through voting. As a Permanent Resident you can only vote in local and state elections that do not require you to be a US citizen. It is very important that you do not vote in national, state or local elections that require a voter to be a US citizen when you are not a US citizen. There are criminal penalties for voting when you are not yet a US citizen and it is a requirement for voting. You can be removed (deported) from the US if you vote in elections limited to US citizens without the right to do so.