Business Immigration

First Preference (EB-1)

First Preference Employment Category (EB-1) under INA §203(b)(1)

Aliens with Extraordinary Ability INA 203(b)(1)(A): This immigrant visa is available for immigrants with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. These individuals must have attained national or international acclaim through extensive documentation. These individuals must seek entry to continue their work in the field of extraordinary ability. Lastly, the entry of these individuals would benefit the United States. Even though the regulations do not require this, documentation of such benefits may be beneficial. These individuals do not need an employer but must intend to continue their work in the United States. INA §204(a)(1); 8 CFR §204.5(h)(5). Congress intended these visas for a small percentage of persons who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor. Evidence must include:

Evidence of one-time achievement such as a major internationally recognized award (Noble Prize); or

Documentation of any three of the following:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or award;
  • Membership in an association in the field for which classification is sought which requires achievements by their members;
  • Published materials about the person in professional or major trade publications;
  • Participation as a judge of the works of others;
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholastic, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions;
  •  Authorship of scholarly articles in the field;
  • Artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • Performance in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • High salary or remuneration in relations to others in the field;
  • Commercial success in the performing arts.

Submission of evidence proving three of these categories is not dispositive and United States Immigration & Naturalization Services must still make a final determination of eligibility. The Burden of proof is on the applicant and must be shown by a preponderance of the evidence. Matter of Chawathe, 25 I&N Dec. 369 (AAO 2010).

Outstanding Professors and Researchers under INA §203(b)(1)(B):

These immigrants must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area. These immigrants must stand apart through distinction based on international recognition. The person may have 3 years’ experience in teaching or research in his or her area. Experience in teaching while attaining a degree might be used if the person attains it.  The person must seek entry for one of the following reasons:

  • A tenure or tenure track position within a university or institution of higher education;
  • A comparable position at a university; or
  • A comparable position to conduct research for a private employer if the latter employs three full time researchers.

The offer for employment must be indefinite or for an unlimited duration. The applicant must submit evidence of at least two of these things:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards;
  • Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement;
  • Published materials in professional publications written about the applicant;
  • Evidence of judging the work of others;
  • Evidence of original scientific research;
  • Authorship or articles or books in the field.

Under 8 CFR §204.5(i)(2), a full course of study is defined as a body of specialized knowledge offered for study at United States Universities. USCIS would employ the same process mentioned above to determine eligibility. The employer must have the ability to pay the employee.

Multinational Executives and Managers INA §203(b)(1)(C):

The immigrant must have been employed abroad for one year (in the last 3 years) by the firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary. Affiliates include entities owned and controlled by the same group of individuals in approximately the same percentages. 8 CFR §204.5(j)(2). Subsidiaries can be joint ventures if they have equal control and veto power. The Petitioner must show the corporate relationship and that the company will continue to exist after the Beneficiary immigrates. The Beneficiary must com in to the United States to continue working for the same employer. The company must be doing business in the United States for one year.

Managerial and executive capacity is defined under INA §101(a)(4). Managerial capacity means that the employee personally:

Manages the organization, department, subdivision, function, or components;

Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial staff;

Has authority to hire and fire employees and other subordinates; and

Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations of the activity or function.

Executive capacity is defined as an assignment in an organization in which the Beneficiary personally:

Directs the management of the organization;

Establishes goals and policies;

Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decisions; and

Receives only generalized supervision or direction from high-level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders.

Please call us if you have any questions about first preference petitions for permanent residence.

Did Melania Trump Deserve the Einstein Visa?

Employment Based Immigrant Visas

Second Preference (EB-2)

Second Preference (EB-2) INA §203(b)(2)

This preference category is for members of the professions holding advanced degrees or immigrants of exceptional abilities. The advanced degree must be higher than a bachelor’s and could be me by a BA and work experience.

The position that the Beneficiary would occupy must require an advanced degree and the person must possess the qualifications. A professional is defined in INA §101(a)(32).

National Interest Waivers are available for people who would enrich the United States. People whose jobs are on Schedule A do not have to test the labor market and do not have a job offer at the time of adjudication f the I-485.

Bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience:

A Bachelor’s degree with five years of progressive experience is the equivalent of a MA degree. 8 CFR §204.5(k)(3)(i)(B). Congressional intent shows that a person with this combination has the equivalent of an advanced degree. USCIS policy is that the BA cannot be met by a combination of experience and education but can be met by a combination of education. The five years of progressive experience must involve more responsibility and knowledge in the field of specialty.

Definition of Exceptional Ability:

Exceptional ability is defined as a degree of expertise significantly above the level ordinarily encountered. Matter of Kim, 12 I&N Dec. 758 (AV 1968). The applicant must show proof of 3 of the following:

  • Degree relating to the area of specialty;
  • Letter from employers showing 10 years of experience;
  • Licenses to practice a profession;
  • The applicant commanded a salary demonstrating exceptional ability;
  • Membership in professional association; and
  • Recognition for achievement and significant contributions to the industry.

Comparable evidence might be submitted including expert opinion letters. 8 CFR §204.5(k)(3)(iii). This includes athletes and entertainers. The two steps process in Kazarian is used to show exceptional ability.

National Interest Waivers (NIW):

A National Interest waiver is available under INA §203(B)(2)(B). The employer or the applicant can sign the petition. Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016). To qualify for the waiver, the Beneficiary must submit an ETA-9089 with a statement supporting the waiver claim. 8 CFR §204.5(k)(4)(ii). The waiver is only available for EB-2 petitions. In Dhanasar, the AAO issued new categories for the waiver. Under the ruling, the applicant must show 1) the proposed endeavor has national importance and substantial merit; 2) he or she is well-positioned to advance the endeavor, and 3) it would be beneficial for the United States to waive the labor certification. Dhanasar, at 889 no. 9.

Physicians may qualify for a Physician National Interest Waivers (PNIW). International medical graduates (IMGs) are precluded from entering the United States. However, the ground of inadmissibility does not apply in these situations:

Applicant possesses a certificate from the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates, is competent in English, and the clinical skills assessment examination.  8 CFR §214.2(h)(viii)(B);

Doctor of International or national renown;

Not entering the United States to become a doctor, including professors, persons entering under another preference category, or when he or she enters as an asylee.

Under INA §203(b)(2)(B)(ii) if the physician is entering the United States under an offer of employment, the physician must obtain a labor certification or a national interest waiver. Some physicians may work in an underserved area to overcome the J-2 2 years requirement. To obtain this benefit, the physician must show 1) he or she must work in a health shortage area or for the VA; 2) a federal or state agency must determine that the employment would be in the national interest, and 3) must work in the area for 5 years before he o she becomes eligible for adjustment of status or immigrant visa. 8 CFR §214.2(a)-(c).

A foreign medical graduate may also apply under the regular labor certification process. 8 CFR §214.2(a)-(c).

Call us for information about EB-2 employment-based petitions for permanent residence.

Employment Based Immigrant Visas

Third Preference (EB-3)

Third Preference Employment Category (EB-3) INA §203(b)(3)

This category includes three types of immigrants:

Professionals: Holder of Baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalents and professionals

Skilled workers: immigrants who with full-time job offers and which requires at least two years of training or work experience

Other workers

A labor certification is needed for these immigrants. A National Interest Waiver is not available but some of these occupations may fall under Schedule A.

Call us today if you qualify for a third preference, EB-3, employment-based petition for permanent residence.

Fourth Preference (EB-4)

Fourth Preference (EB-4) Special immigrants under INA §203(b)(4)

This category includes several immigrants, including returning residents, persons reacquiring United States citizenship and Religious workers.

Returning residents are those who did not abandon their residence but do not have a valid I-551 card. The resident would file form DS-117 with all supporting evidence to show that she did not abandon her residence. She would be issued an SB-1 Immigrant Visa. This category also includes commuters from borders who are Lawful Permanent Residents who live in Canada or Mexico and commute to the United States. Time spent outside on commuter status does not count for naturalization purposes.

Contact Us for EB-4 Petitions

Religious Workers Petitions for Permanent Residence:

Religious Workers include ministers or religious workers who:

For 2 years immediately preceding the petition has been a member of a religious denomination that has a bonafide, non-profit, religious purposes;

The person seeks to enter the US to work for at least 35 hours as a minister or a religious worker; and

The person has been working as a minister or a religious vocation in the United States or abroad for at least two years immediately preceding the petition. The two years do not have to be in legal status. Once the 2 years is established and the I-360 is approved, the person may adjust if he has been out of status for less than 180 days. Some breaks in the 2 years are allowed as long as 1) the applicant was still employed in a religions denomination 2) the break did not exceed 2 years 3) the purpose was to further religious education 4) the applicant was still a member of the denomination. The employment must be either full time or continuous. To meet the 2 years requirement the person should have been compensated.

Special Immigrant Juveniles  Petitions for Permanent Residence:

Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) are also included in this category. This is a hybrid between state dependency laws and the immigration laws of the United States. The requirements for this type of classification are as follows:

The child has to be under 21 at the time of filing the I-360

Has been declared dependent by a state court before he turned 18

Whose reunification with one of his or her parents is not a viable option, and

In his or her best interest not to be returned to the parent’s country of citizenship

Please call us if you have any questions about fourth preference, EB-4, petitions.

Applying for R1 Religious Worker Visa

EB-5 Program

Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has represented several individuals in their quest to gain their permanent residence through the EB-5 employment creation program. The EB-5 program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the economy of the United States. The investment could be a stand-alone direct investment or through a regional center approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).The amount of investment varies depending on the location of the investment. An investment of $500,000 is required for an investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) defined as a location with high unemployment or a rural area. An investment of $1,000,000 is required for investment outside of these areas. A TEA is an area that has at least 150% of the national unemployment rate and a rural area is defined as an area that is outside any city with a population of 20,000. An investor gains conditional permanent residence for two years and the conditions would be removed if the investor proves that the investment created 10 qualifying jobs.

Regional Center:

Regional centers are investment centers approved by the government to receive investment funds from interested investors. These regional center vary in their concentration and encompass almost every area of interest and state in the United States. The amount of investment varies depending on the location. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan could help interested investors in locating suitable regional centers that have successfully filed petitions on behalf of investors. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan does not give investment advice as to individual centers but has partners who are willing to do such analysis. For a list of regional centers by state, you can visit this link.

Direct Investments:

Individual investors could also invest their funds directly into their own companies if they want to have more control over their investments. The investment in a direct investment includes commercial real estate, inventory and operational capital, among other things. Direct investors must meet the same requirements mentioned above as to the amount, location, and job generation mentioned above. As mentioned above, direct investment in ideal for individuals who wish to have more control of their investments. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has helped several individuals gain their permanent residence through direct investment under the EB-5 program.

Investors must also meet several other requirements such as the legal source of funds and must show that their investments are viable through a concrete business plan showing the investment's viability and potential to create the required amount of jobs. Individuals must file to remove the conditions on their residence 2 years after receiving their conditional residence.

Call us today to inquire about the EB-5 program.

EB-5 Program

American Dream™ Law Office PLLC Wins EB-5 Case for Foreign Investor

Attaining Permanent Residence through the EB-5 Program

Three Things to Know When Applying for an Investor Visa

Frequently Asked Questions

E Visa

Attorney Ahmad Yakzan of the American Dream™ Law Office is your E visa attorney in St. Pete and Tampa, FL. The E visa is a great option for international traders and international investors who are looking for a lower investment amount. The E visa is open to international traders and investors from certain countries who have treaties with the United States. Some of these treaties require certain amounts of investment and are limited in duration. Hiring an E-visa attorney like Attorney Ahmad Yakzan increases your chances of submitting and getting your visa approved by the Service.

Nationals of the following Countries May Apply for the E Visa:

Albania

Argentina

Armenia

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Belgium

Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brunei

Bulgaria

Cameroon

Canada

Chile

China (Taiwan)

Colombia

Congo (Brazzaville)

Congo (Kinshasa)

Costa Rica

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Ecuador

Egypt

Estonia

Ethiopia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Greece

Grenada

Honduras

Iran

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Korea (South)

Kosovo

Kyrgyzstan

Latvia

Liberia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Mexico

Moldova

Mongolia

Montenegro

Morocco

Netherlands

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Paraguay

Philippines

Poland

Romania

Senegal

Serbia

Singapore

Slovak Republic

Slovenia

Spain

Sri Lanka

Suriname

Sweden

Switzerland

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad & Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Yugoslavia

The E Visa Requirements

The E applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be entering the United States
  • Based upon a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, or other arrangements
  • The person must be entering the United States for the following reasons:
  • Solely to carry on substantial international trade (E-1 treaty trader)
  • Solely to develop and direct the operations of a treaty enterprise in which the investor has or is in the process of investing (E-2 treaty investor)
  • As a key employee from a treaty country of either E-1 or E-2
  • As a principal executive and employer of an enterprise with at least 50% of shares owned by treaty nationals
  • A dependent of one the above mentioned individuals

The E visa holder must show that he is coming to the United States for a specific period. There has to be an intent to depart, and nothing more. The visa holder can not be denied solely for the approval of an immigrant visa petition. As mentioned above, some of the treaties have certain requirements not included in other treaties. An applicant must submit a business plan. E visa holders may adjust status by including form I-508 with their adjustment of status application to waive any treaty protections.

Nationality of the E Treaty Enterprise

A person entering the United States as an E treaty investor or trader be a national of the treaty enterprise. In employee cases, the employee and the treaty enterprise must be from the same treaty country. The country of incorporation is irrelevant to the application. All that matters is the nationality of the trader or investor. Lawful permanent residents may not be counted towards nationality. The nationality used to enter the United States is the one that is used at the time of the application. For example, a dual national of Venezuela and Italy may not apply for an E visa if he entered using his Venezuelan passport.

E-1 Visas for International Traders

E-1 visas are available to nationals of the treaty country if they meet the following criteria:

He must show that the treat exists

He possesses the nationality of the treaty country

The activates constitute trade under the Immigration & Nationality Act

The trade is substantial and is between the US and the treaty country

The applicant must leave the United States after the E-1 status terminates

Trade is defined as the international exchange of goods between the United States and the treaty country of which the trader is a national. Goods could be tangible and intangible goods and services. The trade must also be ongoing and in existence and the applicant must show that it was at the time of the application.

The trade must also be principally between the United States and the treaty country. Employees of the trading company can be new hires and do not have to have worked with the company but must be treaty nationals.

E-2 Treaty Investors Requirements

The E-2 visa classification is available to nationals of the treaty country who meet the following requirements:

  • Must show that the treaty exists
  • Individual or the enterprise possesses the nationality
  • The applicant has invested or in the process of investing in the treaty enterprise
  • The treaty enterprise is real and operating
  • Investment is substantial
  • The applicant will develop and control the enterprise
  • The employee must be an essential employee
  • The applicant intends to depart the United States after the classification is over

The nationality of the treaty enterprise is determined by the percentage of stock the treaty national controls. Ownership of 50% of the enterprise will be enough if the investor controls the enterprise. The investment funds must be at risk. They could be obtained through a loan but must not be secured by the assets of the enterprise. The funds must also be irrevocably committed to the enterprise.

The investor must also show that the funds were obtained through legal means. It can be from loans, as mentioned above, gifts, inheritance, or any other legitimate sources. Rents paid for the treaty enterprise can be counted towards the investment. The investment could also include intellectual property using the fair market value. Passive investments could not be counted.

The investment must also be substantial, meaning that the amount invested must be sufficient to run the enterprise. The government uses the proportionality test. In other words, investing 100% in a small company valued at under $100,000 is substantial. Alternatively, investing a smaller amount in a $10M enterprise may also be substantial.

The enterprise may not be marginal. Marginal enterprises are ones that do not have the present or future capacity to generate enough income fora minimal living for the investor and his family. The investor must show that his enterprise will expand job opportunities, generate other sources of income, the enterprise will generate substantially more income than what is considered a living, and the investor will not simply work as a skilled or unskilled worker.

He must also direct and develop the enterprise. The investor may not compete directly as a skilled worker in the market. He must have a controlling interest in the treaty enterprise. This requirement does not apply to employees.

Employees of E-1 and E-2 Enterprises

The E enterprise may hire employees and grant them the E classification. The enterprise may petition for both Executives, supervisors, and essential employees.

An executive is principally an executive and opposed to someone whose job incidentally or collaterally executive. The executive must have great authority to determine policy, terminate employees, supervises a major part of the company, has executive skills and experience, or must have a major role in the company.

Nonsupervisory employees must be essential to the operation of the enterprise.

Families of E Visa Holders

Family members of the E visa holder may be classified as E visa holders. Their nationality is irrelevant. Spouses of E-2 visa holders may obtain an employment authorization card. The employment authorization may be granted for two years. Additionally, children may not be employed but may attend school without changing status.

Procedures for Obtaining an E Visa

An applicant who is in the United States may submit a change of status by filing an application using form I-129. Applicant may also apply at the embassy or consulate in their country using for DS-160.

Call your E visa attorney, Ahmad Yakzan, today to discuss your options.

The Department of Homeland Security Illegally Ends E Visas for Iranians(Opens in a new browser tab)

Attorney Ahmad Yakzan of the American Dream™ Law Office is your E visa attorney in St. Pete and Tampa, FL. The E visa is a great option for international traders and international investors who are looking for a lower investment amount. The E visa is open to international traders and investors from certain countries who have treaties with the United States. Some of these treaties require certain amounts of investment and are limited in duration. Hiring an E-visa attorney like Attorney Ahmad Yakzan increases your chances of submitting and getting your visa approved by the Service.

Nationals of the following Countries May Apply for the E Visa:

Albania

Argentina

Armenia

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Belgium

Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brunei

Bulgaria

Cameroon

Canada

Chile

China (Taiwan)

Colombia

Congo (Brazzaville)

Congo (Kinshasa)

Costa Rica

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Ecuador

Egypt

Estonia

Ethiopia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Greece

Grenada

Honduras

Iran

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Korea (South)

Kosovo

Kyrgyzstan

Latvia

Liberia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Mexico

Moldova

Mongolia

Montenegro

Morocco

Netherlands

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Paraguay

Philippines

Poland

Romania

Senegal

Serbia

Singapore

Slovak Republic

Slovenia

Spain

Sri Lanka

Suriname

Sweden

Switzerland

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad & Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Yugoslavia

The E Visa Requirements

The E applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be entering the United States
  • Based upon a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, or other arrangements
  • The person must be entering the United States for the following reasons:
  • Solely to carry on substantial international trade (E-1 treaty trader)
  • Solely to develop and direct the operations of a treaty enterprise in which the investor has or is in the process of investing (E-2 treaty investor)
  • As a key employee from a treaty country of either E-1 or E-2
  • As a principal executive and employer of an enterprise with at least 50% of shares owned by treaty nationals
  • A dependent of one the above mentioned individuals

The E visa holder must show that he is coming to the United States for a specific period. There has to be an intent to depart, and nothing more. The visa holder can not be denied solely for the approval of an immigrant visa petition. As mentioned above, some of the treaties have certain requirements not included in other treaties. An applicant must submit a business plan. E visa holders may adjust status by including form I-508 with their adjustment of status application to waive any treaty protections.

Nationality of the E Treaty Enterprise

A person entering the United States as an E treaty investor or trader be a national of the treaty enterprise. In employee cases, the employee and the treaty enterprise must be from the same treaty country. The country of incorporation is irrelevant to the application. All that matters is the nationality of the trader or investor. Lawful permanent residents may not be counted towards nationality. The nationality used to enter the United States is the one that is used at the time of the application. For example, a dual national of Venezuela and Italy may not apply for an E visa if he entered using his Venezuelan passport.

E-1 Visas for International Traders

E-1 visas are available to nationals of the treaty country if they meet the following criteria:

He must show that the treat exists

He possesses the nationality of the treaty country

The activates constitute trade under the Immigration & Nationality Act

The trade is substantial and is between the US and the treaty country

The applicant must leave the United States after the E-1 status terminates

Trade is defined as the international exchange of goods between the United States and the treaty country of which the trader is a national. Goods could be tangible and non-tangible goods and services. The trade must also be ongoing and in existence and the applicant must show that it was at the time of the application.

The trade must also be principally between the United States and the treaty country. Employees of the trading company can be new hires and do not have to have worked with the company but must be treaty nationals.

E-2 Treaty Investors Requirements

The E-2 visa classification is available to nationals of the treaty country who meet the following requirements:

Must show that the treaty exists

Individual or the enterprise possesses the nationality

The applicant has invested or in the process of investing in the treaty enterprise

The treaty enterprise is real and operating

Investment is substantial

The applicant will develop and control the enterprise

The employee must be an essential employee

The applicant intends to depart the United States after the classification is over

The nationality of the treaty enterprise is determined by the percentage of stock the treaty national controls. Ownership of 50% of the enterprise will be enough if the investor controls the enterprise. The investment funds must be at risk. They could be obtained through a loan but must not be secured by the assets of the enterprise. The funds must also be irrevocably committed to the enterprise.

The investor must also show that the funds were obtained through legal means. It can be from loans, as mentioned above, gifts, inheritance, or any other legitimate sources. Rents paid for the treaty enterprise can be counted towards the investment. The investment could also include intellectual property using the fair market value. Passive investments could not be counted.

The investment must also be substantial, meaning that the amount invested must be sufficient to run the enterprise. The government uses the proportionality test. In other words, investing 100% in a small company valued at under $100,000 is substantial. Alternatively, investing a smaller amount in a $10M enterprise may also be substantial.

The enterprise may not be marginal. Marginal enterprises are ones that do not have the present or future capacity to generate enough income fora minimal living for the investor and his family. The investor must show that his enterprise will expand job opportunities, generate other sources of income, the enterprise will generate substantially more income than what is considered a living, and the investor will not simply work as a skilled or unskilled worker.

He must also direct and develop the enterprise. The investor may not compete directly as a skilled worker in the market. He must have a controlling interest in the treaty enterprise. This requirement does not apply to employees.

Employees of E-1 and E-2 Enterprises

The E enterprise may hire employees and grant them the E classification. The enterprise may petition for both Executives, supervisors, and essential employees.

An executive is principally an executive and opposed to someone whose job incidentally or collaterally executive. The executive must have great authority to determine policy, terminate employees, supervises a major part of the company, has executive skills and experience, or must have a major role in the company.

Nonsupervisory employees must be essential to the operation of the enterprise.

Families of E Visa Holders

Family members of the E visa holder may be classified as E visa holders. Their nationality is irrelevant. Spouses of E-2 visa holders may obtain an employment authorization card. The employment authorization may be granted for two years. Additionally, children may not be employed but may attend school without changing status.

Procedures for Obtaining an E Visa

An applicant who is in the United States may submit a change of status by filing an application using form I-129. Applicant may also apply at the embassy or consulate in their country using for DS-160.

Call your E visa attorney, Ahmad Yakzan, today to discuss your options.

The Department of Homeland Security Illegally Ends E Visas for Iranians

H-1B Visas

H-1B Visa Attorney

The H1-B classification is reserved for immigrants who occupy a specialty occupation. The immigrant must be coming to the United States temporarily. Holders of the visa may have immigrant intent and that would not disqualify them from a permanent residence. We will discuss H-1B visas below.

Definition of Specialty Occupation:

A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree. The immigrant must apply a highly specialized theoretical and practical body of knowledge. The position must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A baccalaureate or higher degree or equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for the position.
  • The degree requirement is common in the industry.
  • The employer usually requires a degree or equivalent.
  • The specific duties are so specified and complex that the duties are associated with the attainment of a degree.
  • A person may still apply for an H-1B visa if he or she possesses equivalent experience in the field. Two years of experience are the equivalent of one year of education.

Labor Conditions Application:

Before an employer can file the petition, it must obtain a labor conditions application (LCA) from the Department of Labor. The LCA certifies the salary an H-1B holder must receive. The employee must be paid at least the prevailing wage in the locality.

H-1B Cap:

There is a cap of 65,000 visas for applicants with baccalaureate degrees. There are also 20,000 visas available for applicants with master’s degrees. In recent years, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services has received three or times more petitions than available visas. The Service has instituted a lottery system to select applicants who receive a visa number.

General Information:

What Is The H-1B Visa? What Is The Criteria For Qualifying?

There are several petitions that are exempt from the cap. Applicants who hold the classification are exempt from the cap. Physicians who have received a waiver of the residency program are also exempt. Applicants with employment offer from an institution of higher learning with a research program and non-for-profit schools with affiliation with a government entity are also exempt.

Limitation on Duration:

An H-1B petition may be approved for up to 3 years but may not exceed the validity of the LCA. The H-1B visa has a maximum duration of six years, meaning that a person who has used the six years must leave the United States unless he or she qualifies for an exception. The exceptions include those applicants who are the beneficiaries of approved I-140 petitions for immigrant visas.

The limitation period does not apply to workers who are in the United States for temporary stays (less than six months). H-4 status holders may not receive extensions beyond the six years but may change the status to H-1B since the time spent in H-4 status does not count towards the six years.

Family Members (H-4):

Family members of H-1B visa holders receive H-4 status. As mentioned above, the six years limitation does not apply to them. They may receive employment authorizations while in that status.

Procedures for Obtaining H-1B Visas:

Any petitions relating to H-1B status must be filed using form I-129. The employer must include an H status supplement with the application. The employer must pay USCIS fees and must pay the prevailing wage within 30 days of approval. The government fees include the application fee, the fraud fee, and a fee of $750 or $1500 depending on the number of employees it employs. An employee holding H-1B status may transfer employers. However, the employee may not work for multiple employers without a separate petition by the new employer. The employee may begin employment with the new employer as soon as the petition is received by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service.

Call the American Dream™ Law Office for questions relating to H-1B petitions.

What Is The H-1B Visa? What Is The Criteria For Qualifying?

Questions & Answers: USCIS Issues Guidance Memorandum on Establishing the "Employee-Employer Relationship" in H-1B Petitions

Frequently Asked Questions

Green Card Application

For Naturalization and Citizenship

J Visas

Chances are you have seen or met a foreign exchange student in your life. Or maybe you had a foreign teacher/tutor helping you turn that F into an A-plus? The point I’m trying to make here is many of us have had a foreign exchange student or person impact our lives! But have you ever thought about how they got here legally and what the process was for them?

Let’s dive right in!

What is a J Visa and who is it for?

These visas are for foreign nationals who are students, scholars, trainees, teachers, professors, research assistants, or leaders in a field of specialized knowledge. The holders of these visas must come to the US to teach, instruct/lecture, study, observe, conduct research, consult in a program, or to receive medical training.

Exchange Visitor information:

Common foreign exchange job titles: camp counselor, intern, professor, research scholar, student, teacher and more.

How to apply for a J visa:

There are several ways you can apply for the J Visa.

  1. Complete the online Visa application
  2. Online nonimmigrant Visa application (Form DS-160): make sure to print when

completed

  1. Photo ID: you must upload your photo while completing the form
  2. Schedule an interview (required for ages 14-79)
  3. Prepare for your interview: make sure to pay the non-refundable visa application fee
  4. Gather required Documentation: passport, Form DS-160, application visa receipt, photo, Form DS-2019, Form DS-7002
  5. Additional Documentation: the purpose of travel, intent to depart the U.S. after travel, and ability to pay all travel costs
  6. Attend Visa Interview
  7. Two years Home Country physical presence requirement

No need to worry, we have your back:

We know this is a lot of information to handle all at once and we know how complicated this process can be without an attorney there to help and represent you. We are here to do all the dirty work and provide you with a stress-free experience. Schedule a consultation call today so we can get started!

American Dream™ Law Office:

Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has lived the immigrant experience and is ready to represent you to reach your American Dream™. Attorney Yakzan’s passion in representing his clients has earned him an excellent reputation in the legal community. This reputation is what sets him apart from other deportation, asylum and criminal immigration practitioners. He would be happy to use this passion to help you achieve your immigration goals.

Contact us today:

For your convenience, we offer in-person, phone, or teleconferencing consultations. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan would be glad to accommodate you in one of our offices in St. Pete and Tampa. Call us today at (888) 963-7326 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Ahmad Yakzan.

Home

Non-Immigrant Visas

USCIS Issues an Interim Memo Regarding 17 Months Extension for STEM F1 Students

The University of Farmington Video

Immigration Services

L Visas

The L intracompany transferee visa is a great option for international executives, managers, and persons with special knowledge. The L intracompany transferee visa allows its holder to apply for permanent residence as an international executive or manager. Persons with special knowledge must apply for permanent residence using the second preference.

An applicant must be employed by the international branch for one year before admission.

What is the L Intracompany Transferee Visa?

The L visa allows an international executive or manager to come to the United States to manage a branch of an affiliate, branch, or subsidiary of an international company. The two companies must be affiliates, branches, or subsidiaries. This could be shown by common ownership or control by the international branch. The two companies must be operating and producing income. The two companies must also have employees which the L visa applicant overseas. In the case of a person with special knowledge, the person must show that he has uncommon knowledge regarding the company’s procedures or products.

International Executives L-1A Visa

An international executive is defined as a person who:

Directs the management of the company or a major component

Establishes goals and policies

Receives minimal supervision from higher-ups in the company

The American Dream™ Law office has helped international executives apply for their intra company visa. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

International Manager L-1A Visa

An international manager could benefit from the L1-A visa if she:

Manages the organization, department, subdivision, function, or component in the company

Supervises the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function of the company

Has the authority to hire or recommend employees

Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations

Specialized Knowledge L1-B Visa

Persons with specialized knowledge may benefit from the L1-B visa. Congress has defined specialized knowledge as knowledge of the company’s products in international markets or advanced knowledge of processes and procedures of the company. Examples of Specialized Knowledge include:

Foreign operating conditions of significant value to the employer

Assignments that have enhanced operations

Knowledge gained through previous employment with the employer

As mentioned above, persons with specialized knowledge must go through the labor certification process to gain permanent residence in the United States.

Intra Company Transfer to a New Branch

The duration of the L intracompany transferee visa is two years and must be renewed. There is a 6 years limit on the L visa duration. However, a new branch in the United States allows initial approval for one year only. Lastly, the purchase of an existing company that has existed for more than one year allows for initial approval for two years.

L Visa Application Process

The application has to be filed in the United States by either the United States branch or the parent company. If the Beneficiary is not in the United States, the application would be transferred to the consulate for processing. A Beneficiary can file for a change of status if they are in the United States at the time of the application.

Call us today for a consultation at 1(888) 963-7326.

Intra-Company Executive Visas: A way to Jump-Start our Economy(Opens in a new browser tab)

Intra-Company Executive Visas: A way to Jump-Start our Economy(Opens in a new browser tab)

What Is The L1 Visa? Who Qualifies?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Who Is Responsible For Renewing My Visa; Me Or My Employer?

O Visas

Growing up we all looked up to someone (besides our parents, of course). There was a special athlete, musician, dancer, singer, a business professional, or someone else that influenced us in ways we cannot explain. It doesn’t matter the profession...

These people captured our attention, and they were special. Every time they spoke, performed, or were in town we paid close attention. In a way, we were obsessed with them. Elvis Pressley, Michael Jordan, Tony Robbins, Conor McGregor, Muhammad Ali, and more...

These people are special... and special people always travel the world to show their talents. These talented professionals can’t just travel to foreign land whenever they want though. There are legal terms that must be taken care of beforehand.

What is an O Visa and who is it for?

O non-immigrant visas are for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, academics, or athletics who have sustained national or international acclaim. In the case of motion

picture and television productions, the foreign national must have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.

O-2 visas are for support staff of such immigrants, or if the person is an integral part of the performance, or has critical skills for the actual performance. Spouses may accompany under O-3 visas.

How do I qualify for an O Visa?

If you plan on applying for an O Visa you must qualify for at least 3 of the following requirements:

  1. Have received national or international awards/prizes of excellence in your field.
  2. Being a member of associations, whose membership requires outstanding achievement, judged by nationally or internationally recognized experts in the respective discipline.
  1. Your work has been featured in professional or high-profile trade publications or mainstream media.
  1. You have served in some capacity as a judge of others in the same (or closely related) field. This could either be individual or as part of a judging panel.
  1. Have had articles published in professional or notable trade publications.
  2. Have made original scientific, academic, or business contributions of major significance in respective field.
  1. Have served in a leading or critical capacity for highly regarded organizations or establishments.
  2. Command a high salary or remuneration for your services.
  3. Other relevant evidence of exceptional expertise that does not fit any of the above criteria.

How long does my O Visa last?

Your O Visa can last up to three years. However, you may be able to extend your O Visa for an additional year if need be.

How do I file for an O Visa/what forms do I need to prepare?

How to file for O Visa:

  • Read the instructions for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Complete and sign Form I-129
  • Pay the filing fee, if applicable
  • Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation

After you file for O Visa:

  • You’ll receive receipt notice confirming we received your petition
  • Biometric services notice (if applicable)
  • Notice to appear for an interview (if required)
  • Notice of our decision

No need to worry, we have your back:

We know this is a lot of information to handle all at once and we know how complicated this process can be without an attorney there to help and represent you. We are here to do all the dirty work and provide you with a stress-free experience. Schedule a consultation call today so we can get started!

American Dream™ Law Office:

Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has lived the immigrant experience and is ready to represent you to reach your American Dream™. Attorney Yakzan’s passion for representing his clients has earned him an excellent reputation in the legal community. This reputation is what sets him apart from other deportation, asylum, and criminal immigration practitioners. He would be happy to use this passion to help you achieve your immigration goals.

Contact us today:

For your convenience, we offer in-person, phone, or teleconferencing consultations. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan would be glad to accommodate you in one of our offices in St. Pete and Tampa. Call us today at (888) 963-7326 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Ahmad Yakzan.

P Visas

Orlando

Client Testimonials

For Naturalization and Citizenship

P Visas

We’ve all either been to live concerts or at the very least seen them on the TV. What's your favorite game/concert you’ve ever been to in person?

The truth is performers visit foreign countries all the time for work since they usually have an international audience (well, if they're really good then they do at least). And sometimes they get offered a job opportunity in a foreign country and it’s an opportunity they cannot refuse.

Think of some of your favorite athletes who moved to America because they had the best opportunity for success here. Luka Doncic, Dirk Nowitzki, Alexander Ovechkin, Roger Federer, maybe someone else? Chances are they all had to obtain a P Visa once in their lifetime. Let’s dive in.

What’s a P Visa and who's it for?

P non-immigrant visas are for artists, entertainers who individually or as part of a group come to the United States for performances. The foreign national may also come to the United States through an exchange program between the United States and an organization.

P Visa is a short-term U.S work Visa usually for the entertainment industry (sports athletes, musicians, circuses and more) with a job offer from a U.S. employer.

What are the benefits of the P Visa?

  • The P visa holder can work legally in the U.S. for the P visa sponsor. If, however, the person wants to change jobs, getting a new visa will be necessary.
  • P visas can be issued relatively quickly.
  • P visas will be granted for the length of time needed to complete a particular event, tour, or season, up to a maximum of one year. However, P-1 athletes may be admitted for a period of up to five years with one extension of up to five years.
  • P visa holders may also be allowed some extra time for vacation, as well as for promotional appearances and stopovers incidental and/or related to the event.
  • A P visa holder may travel in and out of the U.S. or stay continuously for as long as the P visa stamp and status are valid.
  • A spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may receive P-4 visas to accompany the main P visa holder, but they may not accept employment in the United States.

Do I qualify for a P Visa?

P-1 visas are available to athletes or teams that are internationally recognized. Entertainment companies that have been nationally recognized as outstanding for a long time also qualify. P-1 visas can be serviced based on the notoriety and professionalism of a group.

In the case of an entertainment company, each performer who wishes to qualify for a P-1 visa must have:

  • Been an important part of the group for at least one year
  • This requirement may be waived in certain situations, where due to illness or other unanticipated circumstances, a critical performer is unable to travel.
  • The one-year requirement is for performers only. It does not apply to other staff members. It also does not apply to anyone at all who works for a circus, including performers.

No need to worry, we have your back:

We know this is a lot of information to handle all at once and we know how complicated this process can be without an attorney there to help and represent you. We are here to do all the dirty work and provide you with a stress-free experience. Schedule a consultation call today so we can get started!

American Dream™ Law Office:

Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has lived the immigrant experience and is ready to represent you to reach your American Dream™. Attorney Yakzan’s passion in representing his clients has earned him an excellent reputation in the legal community. This reputation is what sets him apart from other deportation, asylum and criminal immigration practitioners. He would be happy to use this passion to help you achieve your immigration goals.

Contact us today:

For your convenience, we offer in-person, phone, or teleconferencing consultations. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan would be glad to accommodate you in one of our offices in St. Pete and Tampa. Call us today at (888)963-7326 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Ahmad Yakzan.

O Visas

Non-Immigrant Visas

Your American Dream™

Frequently Asked Questions

Client Testimonials

Our Locations

Tampa

4815 E Busch Blvd., Ste 206
Tampa, FL 33617 United States

Get Directions

St. Petersburg

8130 66th St N #3
Pinellas Park, FL 33781

Get Directions

Orlando

1060 Woodcock Road
Orlando, FL 32803, USA

Get Directions

New York City

447 Broadway 2nd Floor,
New York City, NY 10013, USA

Get Directions

Miami

66 W Flagler St 9th Floor
Miami, FL 33130, United States

Get Directions

Contact Us

    "*" indicates required fields
    Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.*