The EB1 immigrant category is most desirable because it can be processed relatively quickly.
There are three groups:
A) Persons with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics;
B) Outstanding professors and researchers; and,
C) Multinational executives or managers.
- A) Extraordinary Ability – persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, do not require job offers and can self-sponsor. This category is available to a small percentage of people who have risen to the top of their field. This is a similar category to the O-1 petition, as it has almost identical legal requirement. However, to qualify for this immigrant classification, the beneficiary must demonstrate that he or she is coming to the U.S. to work in the area of expertise.
- B) Outstanding Professors and Researchers – this classification is available to outstanding professors and researchers with three years of teaching or research experience. A job offer for a permanent position from a U.S. research or teaching institution is required. Individuals who work as researchers for a private employer may qualify if the company employs at least three full-time researchers.
- C) Managers and executives managers and executives of companies with U.S. affiliates are eligible to obtain permanent residence under the first preference category, if their services are required permanently by the U.S. company. They must have been employed by the overseas affiliate company for at least one of the three years immediately preceding their transfer to the United States, in a managerial or executive capacity. The U.S. company must also have been in existence for at least one year.
Individuals who have qualified for the L-1A visa should be able to meet the legal requirements of this immigrant classification.
The EB2 (National Interest Waivers (NIW), Alien of Exceptional Abilities):
The EB2 visa category is for professionals holding an advanced degree (at least a Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree followed by five years of progressively senior work experience). Also, the job must require such qualifications. Individuals with exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business may also qualify under this category. This category usually requires a Department of Labor certification, although it is possible to obtain a waiver, if it can be shown that the employment of the applicant will be in the “national interest,” a broadly defined term. Since October 2005, this category has experienced substantial swings in immigrant visa availability. Currently, there is a backlog of several years for Chinese and Indian nationals, resulting in processing delays of “green card” applications for these nationalities.
PERM Employment Certification Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, U.S. employers wishing to sponsor foreign workers for U.S. permanent residence must first undertake good-faith recruitment efforts to consider applications from all minimally qualified U.S. candidates for specific positions sought to be certified. To receive certification (and therefore to qualify a selected foreign worker for permanent residence), the employer must attest that there are no qualified, able, willing and available U.S. workers to perform the job and that the employment of a foreign worker will not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. This program is open to a wide range of positions and is especially useful to those qualifying as professionals for jobs requiring undergraduate and graduate degrees.
National Interest Waiver The USCIS may waive the labor certification process if it is in the national interest. This is an attractive category because individuals may self-file without a U.S. employer. To demonstrate national interest, the petitioner must show that (a) s/he seeks employment in an area of “substantial intrinsic merit;” (b) the benefit to the U.S. will be national in scope; and (c) national interest would be adversely affected if labor certification were required.
No PERM is required for this category.
Science, arts, & performance arts subcategory Individuals with exceptional abilities in sciences, arts or performing arts who are sponsored by an employer may utilize this classification to seek permanent residence. A labor certification is not required, and the petition is filed directly with the USCIS. Petitioner is required to satisfy two sets of regulations (the Department of Labor and the USCIS) in order to qualify for this immigrant classification. Generally, this category is rarely used, since it is duplicative of the EB-1 legal standards.
Employment Based Visa – L1A Intracompany Transfer
The L1A Intracompany Transfer provides an opportunity for an U.S. employer to transfer an executive or high level manager from its foreign sponsoring company to the U.S. This classification also provides the chance for the foreign sponsoring company to expand its business to North America by send an executive or high level manager to the U.S. to open up a new subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.
L1A Intracompany Transfer is a popular choice for many high level executives or managers from other nations to pursue a temporary stay in the U.S. for up to seven years. During these 7 years, the executives or managers are able to live in the U.S. along with their families, learn the American way of life, and operate a business in the U.S that could ultimately lead the temporary stay to a petition for a permanent residency (aka “green card”).
After the initial year in the U.S., the petitioning company in the U.S. can extend the beneficiary’s stay in the U.S. for another two years. The extension process can be renewed every 2 years up to 7 years maximum.
BLG has almost 10 years of experience successfully helping our clients to petition an L1A extension. The application requires the beneficiary to present evidence of their executive or managerial duties in the U.S. and we have a team of expert minds to assist the clients to prepare and gather crucial evidence that would have been overlooked during the petitioning process.
In particularly, the extension requirements focus more on the U.S. entity’s business activities and employment activities during the granted period of stay. Our team is dedicated to assist the client on prepare evidence, gathering documents, follow up on company activities and employee matters to ensure that our clients are fully prepared when the extension is due.
L1A Site Inspection and Audits
The USCIS officers usually conduct site inspections after the petitioning entity is granted L1A visa for its beneficiary. The site inspection typically interview the beneficiary and employees on site, inspect the actual premise of the office, employee records, financial documents and many more.
A site inspection allows the USCIS officer to determine whether or not the U.S. petitioning entity is conducting business in the U.S. and that the beneficiary is acting in either executive or managerial duties as described in the granted petition. It is crucial that the U.S. petitioning entity is fully prepared for a sudden site inspection by the USCIS because the officer has authority to either revoke or deny the already-approved L1 visa if the officer becomes suspicious about the U.S. operation.
We have successfully helped many of our clients to prepare for the inspections, communicated to the officers during the inspection, answered officers’ questions and follow ups after the inspection. BLG can provide you a peace of mind during this stressful time and allow the USCIS to conduct their inspection and prevent the clients’ from the danger of getting L1 visa revoked.
An immigrant visa classification to allow the foreign company to transfer a manager or executive to permanently stay in the U.S. and work at the subsidiary. Ultimately, L1 visa holders would want to petition for EB1C during the allotted time of the L visa duration.
In the past 10+ years, Buda Law Group has assisted many L1 visa holders to petition for EB1C green card and we take personal pride in helping many professionals to not only expand their businesses in the U.S., but also settle down in this land of dreams.
H1B visa is the so called work visa for foreign professionals to gain legal employment status and work in the United States. It allows employers to hire qualified foreign workers on a temporary basis. To be eligible for the H-1B visa, the U.S. employer and the potential foreign professional employee must comply with the USCIS regulations and guidelines.
Since H1B visa is a dual intent visa, an H1B holder can petition for a green card through a Form I-140 petition. Before an I-140 can be filed, the U.S. petitioning employer must obtain a PERM Labor Certification by satisfying several requirements.
E-2 visa is a treaty investor visa reserved for foreign national entrepreneurs from countries that have a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the U.S. The purpose of E-2 visa is to allow investments to be substantially used in the U.S. and made with the appropriate funds.
TN visa was created by the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to allow approved Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the United States on a temporary basis.
It is commonly known as K-1 fiancé(e) visa that is designed for the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse to bring his or her foreign-born fiancé(e) to the U.S. Upon approval of the visa, the fiancé(e) can petition for a green card but the regulation for such petition varies based on the U.S. spouse’s citizenship as a U.S. citizen or a Permanent Resident of the U.S.
Immediate Relatives (No Waiting):
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are exempt )from quotas and can generally process their applications quickly. Immediate relatives include spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years of age. Spouses of U.S. citizens are granted a two-year conditional green card, unless the marriage has been in existence for at least two years at the time the applicant is admitted as a resident. Conditional permanent residents must apply to remove the conditional nature of the green card during the 90-day window prior to the expiration of the conditional green card.
There are also five family-sponsored categories that are subject to numerical limits, which often create long waiting lines. The waiting lines can be longer for applicants born in India, Mexico, the Philippines, and mainland China.
Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens – First Preference
The first preference is for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens regardless of age. There is generally a waiting line of approximately six years for first preference immigrants.
Spouses and Minor Children of Permanent Residents – Second Preference
The second preference includes two sub-categories: one for spouses and minor children of permanent residents; and the other for unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents. The first sub-category presently has a waiting line of approximately five years. There are no benefits granted to applicants waiting for a visa to become available. Because of the very limited number of visas allocated, and the large number of applicants, adult unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents have to wait even longer to obtain permanent resident status. Caution should be exercised before filing a second preference petition for unmarried adult sons and daughters. They will generally not be able to legally immigrate for at least eleven years, and even longer—sixteen years—if they were born in Mexico.
Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens – Third Preference
The third preference category is for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. This category has a waiting line of approximately eight years, and approximately sixteen and seventeen years, respectively, for applicants born in Mexico and the Philippines.
Siblings of US Citizens – Fourth Preference
The fourth preference is for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age or over. This category is backlogged over eleven years and is moving slowly. It is possible that it could take anywhere from 15 to 21 years to immigrate through a U.S. citizen sibling.
DACA, an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy that protects and provides benefits for approximately 800,000 young people — known as “DREAMers” — who entered the United States unlawfully as children. The program does not grant them official legal status or a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow them to apply for a driver’s license, social security number, work permit and in some cases, international travel authorization. Individuals must meet following criteria to apply for DACA: Are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012; Came to the U.S. while under the age of 16; Have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present; and are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces.
The U Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows noncitizen crime victims and certain qualifying family members to live and work in the United States for up to four years, with extensions in some cases. U Visa holders become eligible to apply to adjust status to lawful permanent resident (green card) after three years in U nonimmigrant status. After five years as a lawful permanent resident, one becomes eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. A noncitizen may be eligible for a U Visa if they suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of certain criminal activity; possesses information concerning that criminal activity; has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States.
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