TOURIST VISA (B1, B2)

Individuals entering the United States as visitors for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2) enter with a temporary nonimmigrant visa. The application for a B-1 and/or B-2 visa is filed with the consulate or embassy in the home country or current place of residence abroad. The process involves an interview with the consular officer who analyzes the application and interviews the individual.

STUDENT VISAS (F-1, M-1)

Seen for those who want to pursue academic studies, technical and / or language training programs.

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F-1 Student Visa

The “F” visa is reserved for non-immigrants wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs. F-1 Visa is given only through “academic” institutions. Vocational education is not included in F-1 visa. For vocational education, an M Visa should be obtained.
F-1 students are not authorized for employment except for on-campus work of less than 20 hours per week (full-time permitted during school recess periods). Where economic hardship is present, off-campus employment authorization of less than 20 hours per week may be obtained after the first year. Otherwise, F-1 students can obtain practical training employment authorization “Optional Practical Training (OPT)” for a period of one year, usually after completing their degree program. OPT employment is not limited to a specific employer, but must be related to the student’s field of study. Additionally, students who have completed nine (9) months of an undergraduate degree program, or students pursuing a graduate degree program, may obtain authorization to participate in an internship or cooperative training program that is part of their curriculum (“Curricular Practical Training”).
Spouses and children of an F-1 student may be issued F-2 Visas so they may accompany the student. Spouses cannot engage in full-time studies at any level. Children may attend primary and secondary school, but cannot pursue post-secondary education, unless they too obtain an F-1 visa.
Neither spouses nor children can be employed while in F-2 status.

M-1 Student Visa for Vocational and Technical Schools

M1 Visa a type of student visa reserved for vocational and technical schools. To obtain an M-1 Visa for traveling to the United States, a student must present a signed Form I-20 at a United States embassy or consulate in his home country. The I-20 is issued by a designated school official, typically the international student adviser, after the student has fulfilled a school’s admissions requirements and presented proof of financial resources.
M-1 students are admitted into the United States for a fixed time period. When they cross the border, their I-94 departure cards are stamped with a date, unlike students with an F-1 visa. They may stay for the length of their training program plus any Optional Practical Training, plus a thirty-day grace period at the end of their training. Their stay may not exceed one year unless they are granted an extension for medical reasons. If a student violates his status by, for example, not maintaining a full course of study, he is not eligible for the grace period.
Students in M-1 status may not work on or off campus while studying, and they may not change their status to F-1.

EXCHANGE VISITOR VISA (J-1)

Available for foreigners who wish to visit the country to teach, study, work, receive training or demonstrate special skills.

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A J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa available to aliens that fall under the designation of “Exchange Visitor”. J-1 exchange visitors travel to the United States through a Department of State approved sponsor program to teach, study, receive training or demonstrate special skills. Individuals who qualify for J-1 status if sponsored through an accredited Exchange Visitor Program include:

• Au Pair
• Camp Counselor
• College or University Student
• Government Visitor
• Intern
• International Visitor
• Physician
• Professor and Research Scholar
• Secondary School Student
• Short-Term Scholar
• Specialist
• Summer Work Travel
• Teacher
• Trainee

PROFESSIONAL WORKERS (H-1B)

It allows US employers recruit foreign professionals for special occupations within the country for a while.

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The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit & employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations within the USA for a specified period of time. The H-1B program provides the opportunity for foreign workers in specialty occupations to legally live and work in the US for a total of 6 consecutive years, and entitles their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to accompany them and legally live in the USA on an H-4 visa. Examples of H-1B visa positions are jobs in the engineers, financial analysts, teachers, graphic designers. H1B visas are subject to annual numerical limits.

TEMPORARY AGRICULTURAL WORKERS (H-2A)

Intended for agricultural workers who are able, qualified and available to do temporary work.

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Visas are not numerically limited. Employers must demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work. Approximately 40 to 50,000 workers per year obtain H-2A visas. Visas are granted for up to one year and can be renewed for up to three years. Examples of H-2A visa positions are jobs in agricultural jobs planting watermelon, corn, etc.

TEMPORARY WORKERS (H-2B)

For foreigners who come temporarily to the US to perform service or temporary work, except for agricultural work.

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H-2B Visas are for foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services or labor, other than agricultural services or labor, for which unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in the United States. “Temporary” refers to any job for which the employer’s need is temporary, regardless of whether the job is one that could be described as permanent or temporary. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the period of the employer’s need must be for one year or less, and be either: a one-time occurrence; a seasonal need; a peak load need or an occasional or intermittent need. A temporary labor certification must be obtained from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) before an H-2B Visa petition can be approved. Spouses and dependent children may obtain H-4 Visas to reside and study in the United States, but may not seek gainful employment.

TRAINEE VISA (H-3)

It allows the life of any foreign citizen to the United States to participate in a training program with a US employer.

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The H-3 trainee visa permits foreign nationals from any country to come to the United States to participate in a bona fide training program with a U.S. employer.
However, the trainee my not come for a graduate program or medical training, and the training cannot be available in the trainee’s home country.

FOREIGN MEDIA, PRESS AND RADIO (I)

To representatives of foreign print media, radio, film or other media.

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The I Visa category is for media representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign media. Although procedures for issuance of I Visas depend on the privileges the foreign nationals’ home country extends to representatives of the United States media, generally applicants must demonstrate that they are representatives of the foreign media, including members of the press, radio, film or print industries, whose activities are essential to the foreign media function. Examples: reporters, film crews, editors and persons in similar occupations, who are traveling to the U.S. to engage in their profession. The applicant must be engaging in qualifying activities for a media organization having its home office in a foreign country. To be eligible for an I visa, the activity must be essentially informational, and generally associated with the news gathering process, reporting on actual current events.
Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal I Visa holder for the duration of his/her stay in the United States require I Visas as well. They may not work without obtaining an appropriate work visa, but may study in the U.S. without a student (F-1) visa.

INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREES VISAS (L-1)

Temporary visa that allows companies to offset foreign qualified employees to its subsidiary or a US parent.

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The L-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa which allows companies to relocate foreign qualified employees to its U.S. subsidiary or parent company. The qualified employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the company for at least one year out of the last three years.
The L-1 visa is a good way for small or start-up companies to expand their business and services to the United States. This is advantageous to smaller companies because it allows for the transfer of a highly proficient manager or executive who has direct knowledge of operations, allowing the setup of a new branch in compliance with the goals and objectives of the company’s main office. L1 visas can also be used by multi-national companies. When a multi-national company is developing a new market in another country, it may become necessary to have some employees with specialized knowledge work in the newly established office.

ALIEN OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY (O)

Aimed at foreigners with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

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O-1 Status is a non-immigrant status category for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts (including the television and motion picture industry), education, business, or athletics. This is an employment related status that allows qualified aliens to live and work in the United States. O-1 petitions may only be filed by a U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent on behalf of the beneficiary.

ARTISTS AND ATHLETES (P-1, P-2, P-3)

P-1: internationally recognized artists, circus performers and athletes who will do a tour, a competition or a specific event in the United States.
P-2: artists or entertainers going individually or in groups for an exchange program recognized by the US government.
P-3: artists or entertainers who want to perform, teach or train people as part of a unique cultural program.

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The P classification applies to foreign-based athletes and entertainment groups.
• The P-1 Visa is designated for internationally recognized entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who are coming to the United States temporarily to tour or perform at a specific competition or event. An athlete who wishes to remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time should apply for an O-1 visa.

• The P-2 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers individually or as part of a group entering the United States temporarily as a part of a government recognized reciprocal exchange program, and for their support personnel. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: one in the U.S. and one abroad.

• The P-3 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers coming temporarily to perform, teach, or coach, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique, and for their support personnel.
• Spouses and children of a P-1, P-2 or P-3 Visa holder may obtain a P-4 Visa to enter the U.S. The P-4 Visa holder may attend school but in order to work, he or she must obtain a work visa.

RELIGIOUS WORKERS (R)

For religious workers who do not wish to immigrate. They must be sponsored by a religious non-profit organization.

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R1 visas are issued to temporary religious workers with non-immigrant intent. The intending worker must be sponsored by a non-profit religious organization that has been present for a minimum of two years within the United States. The petitioning organization and immigrant must demonstrate that the worker will participate in full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week) work at the organization. R-1 visas grant permission to for up to 30 months; with a possible 30 month extension Spouses and children under 21 of R-1 religious workers are eligible for R-2 classification, but are not authorized to work. There are currently no annual quotas or caps for R-1 visas.

TREATY TRADER AND TREATY INVESTOR (E-1, E-2)

Available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation or investment with the United States.

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E-1 and E-2 visas are available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation, or a bilateral investment treaty providing for nonimmigrant entries, with the United States. The E-1 (“Treaty Trader”) visa is specifically designed for alien business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for the E-1 designation.

The E-2 (“Treaty Investors”) visa is available to an alien who is a citizen or national of a treaty country and who wishes to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.

Both E-1 and E-2 visa holders are initially allowed a maximum stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay can be filed. Notably, there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E visa may be granted, as long as the alien maintains the intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated.

FIANCEE AND SPOUSE VISA (K-1, K-3)

Benefit to brides and grooms of the petitioners US citizens.

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A K-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa benefiting fiancés and fiancées of US citizen petitioners. It allows the fiancé(e) of an American citizen to enter the United States for a 90-day period in order to marry the American citizen and apply for a change of status to Permanent Resident.
Generally, the couple must have met in person within two years of filing the petition. Additionally, the fiancé/fiancée must also meet some of the requirements for an immigrant visa.

K-3 Spouse Visas, IR-1 and CR-1 Visas,
Spouses of U.S. citizens and the spouse’s children can also come to the United States on nonimmigrant visas (IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visas, formerly called K-3 Visas) in order to complete the immigration process in the United States. The U.S. citizen must first file an immigrant visa petition on the spouse’s behalf before filing a nonimmigrant IR-1 or CR-1 Visa petition.

VICTMS OF CRIMES (U)

For victims of physical or mental abuse or collaborated with the políciana investigation or criminal act of accusation.

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The U nonimmigrant status is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.
A U visa grants the victim permission to live and work in the United States and may result in the dismissal of any case in immigration court filed against the immigrant. Family members included in the victim’s application are eligible to apply for a work permit.

EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS:

Priority workers (EB-1):
EB-1(a) Persons of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
This visa is available to individuals of “extraordinary ability” in the arts, science, education, business, or athletics, and outstanding professors and researchers, multinational managers and executives. This visa is available to persons who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor and have a demonstrated sustained national or international acclaim. No job offer or labor certification is required for this category. This category is divided in 3:

EB-1(a): Persons of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics;
EB-1(b): Outstanding professors and researchers;
EB-1(c): Certain executives and managers subject to an international transfer to the U.S.

PROFESSIONALS WITH ADVANCED DEGREES OR EXCEPTIONAL ABILITY (EB-2)

For college-educated professionals and at least 5 years experience in the profession and people with exceptional skills in the arts, sciences or business.

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There are two subgroups within this category: Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree) or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years’ progressive experience in the profession; and Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field. visas.)

SKILLED WORKERS, PROFESSIONALS AND UNSKILLED WORKERS (EB-3)

Available for qualified professionals with at least 2 years experience, professionals with university degrees or other non-skilled labor workers that is not temporary or seasonal.

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This visa is available to skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience, professionals with college degrees, or “other” workers for unskilled labor that is not temporary or seasonal. Skilled workers are those in positions that require a minimum of two years of training or experience. Professionals must possess a bachelor’s degree or foreign degree equivalent. A labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer are required for all EB-3 visas. The application requires a Form I-140 to be filled. The application must also include evidence that the individual meets all the requirements for the job.

CERTAIN SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (EB-4)

Religious workers, youth special immigrants, employees of foreign service posts of the United States, translators, former employees of the US government and other non-citizens.

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This visa is available to certain “special immigrants” including religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, translators, former U.S. government employees and other noncitizens.
Religious workers must demonstrate two years of membership in a religious denomination having a nonprofit status in the United States immediately before the filing of the visa petition. The noncitizen religious workers must be coming to work full time in a compensated position.
Special Immigrant Juveniles must have been declared a dependent by a U.S. juvenile court and not be able to reunite with their parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

IMMIGRANT INVESTOR (EB-5)

For foreigners who invest US $ 500,000 to $ 1,000,000 in one company in the United States.

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This visa is available to noncitizens who will invest $500,000 to $1 million in a job-creating enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. The visa allows for conditional residency and the removal of conditional residency 90 days before the second anniversary of conditional residency.

“IMMEDIATE RELATIVES” OF A U.S. CITIZEN

“Immediate Relatives” of a US Citizen Parents, spouses and children (unmarried under 21 years) of a US citizen.

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“Immediate Relatives” refers to the parents, spouses and children (who are unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen. Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can immigrate to the United States without being subject to any numerical restrictions, unlike other close family members of U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. Namely, they can apply for the permanent resident status without having to deal with any waiting time. Other close family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are divided into several groups called “Preferences”. Each Preference is given a numerical quota per year to limit the number of immigrants admitted into the United States.

OTHER CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS OF A U.S. CITIZEN

Other family members of an American citizen can qualify, but with a numerical limit visas every year.

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Other close family members of a U.S. citizen can qualify to immigrate to the United States, but unlike the immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, they are subject to a numerical limit of immigrant visas available to them each year. Close family members are divided into several groups called “Preferences”. The higher the Preference, the quicker the alien will be eligible to receive a green card.

• First preference: Unmarried Children over 21 year of age of U.S. Citizens
• Third preference: Married Children of U.S. Citizens
• Fourth preference: Brothers or Sisters of U.S. Citizens

FAMILY MEMBERS OF PERMANENT RESIDENTS

Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents can also apply for a green card.

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Spouses and unmarried children of a permanent resident can also apply for a green card. They are categorized as the “Second Preference” group of people who are eligible for immigration to the United States.

BATTERED SPOUSE, CHILDREN & PARENTS (VAWA)

Gives abused spouses and children of US citizens or permanent US residents a procedural mechanism of “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status.

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The VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) gives abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are living in the U.S. a procedural mechanism by which to “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status. This mechanism acts as a substitute for the usual process, in which the immigrant must rely on participation by the U.S. spouse or parent. VAWA effectively cuts the abuser out of the process and limits his or her control over the immigrant.
Under VAWA, immigrant victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse may “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status without the cooperation of an abusive spouse, parent, or adult child. It allows the victim to confidentially file the self-petition and attain work authorization and lawful permanent resident status without separating from the abuser (if the victim decides so), thereby allowing the victim to leave the abuser after lawful permanent resident status has been obtained.

CITIZENSHIP AND NATURALIZATION

Naturalization is the way for immigrants to become US citizens.

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Naturalization is the way for immigrants to become US citizens. Naturalization requires USCIS to specifically determine eligibility and approve an application. Benefits of naturalization include protection against deportation, the right to vote, freedom to travel and remain abroad without abandonment of status, and greater ability to immigrate family members.

WAIVER PETITIONS

Guarantee the impartiality of the reasons why foreigners ineligible to move or even visit the United States.

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Sometimes foreigners are not eligible to move to, or even visit, the United States. We use our experience in immigration law to secure waivers of the many grounds of such ineligibility by proving hardship.

DACA-DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS

Available for young people who came to the United States before reaching 16, were below 31 years on June 15, 2012, are attending or have attended school here or obtained a GED, were physically present in the United States on 15 June 2012, and have resided continuously in the US since June 15, 2007 to date.

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA is not actually a lawful immigration status, but rather a determination by DHS that it will not currently seek to remove the non-citizen with deferred action for a three-year period. Another major benefit of DACA is that DHS may grant work authorization and advance parole to those with deferred action. DACA is available to young people who came to the United States before they were 16, were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, are attending or have attended school here or obtained a GED, were physically present in the United States on June15, 2012, and have been continuously residing in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to the present time.

SIJS-SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS/

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is an immigration classification available to certain undocumented immigrants under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents.

ASYLUM PETITIONS

For individuals who, in their countries have been persecuted or fear persecution in the future, based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

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The United States grants protection to individuals who, in their home countries, have been persecuted, or fear persecution in the future, based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This protection is labeled either “asylum” or “refugee status,” depending on where the determination about this persecution is made. Those granted refugee status are identified and interviewed outside the United States by the Departments of State and Homeland Security. Individuals who come to the United States on their own (whether as tourists, students, entry without inspection, or in any other way) and seek protection once they are here are granted asylum.
Both asylum and refugee status are granted indefinitely. Refugees and asylees may work in the United States and may apply for their spouses and minor children to join them as refugees or asylees in the United States.

IMMIGRATION INTERVIEWS

The immigration interview can be the most important moment in your immigration petition because most of the time the decision to approve or not your petition is made right then. We recommend that you use our legal assistance in your immigration interview. The attorney will prepare you for the interview, help you feel more secure and confident, prevent that you do not fall into traps and will make sure the immigration official do not violate your rights.

CONSULAR PETITIONS

An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition and has a number of immigrant visa immediately available (ie, priority date is current) can apply at a US Consulate for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident.

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An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available (i.e. priority date is current) may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This process is called “consular processing.” Once the individual enters the United States with an immigrant visa, he or she is a lawful permanent resident.
This is an option if the individual is not in the United States or if adjustment of status to permanent resident is not available.
An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved non-immigrant visa petition and is outside of the United States will have to apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for a non-immigrant visa in order to enter the United States.

VISITOR VISA EXTENSION

Extensions of stays are obtained in the United States by filing the Application to Extend Status with the USCIS together with required filing fee and any supporting documents. Our law firm will assist you in with all the required steps in this application.

CHANGE OF STATUS

Change of Status are obtained in the United States by filing the Application to Change Status with the USCIS together with required filing fee and any supporting documents. Our law firm will assist you in with all the required steps in this application.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND IMMIGRATION

On June 26, 2013; the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that the federal interpretation of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’ as legislated in Section 3 of ‘DOMA’ to that of strictly heterosexual unions was unconstitutional because it denied legally married same-sex couples their due process under the Fifth Amendment. This landmark decision removed a decades old ban on the federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and effectively opened the door for married same-sex couples to be recognized by the federal government and thus to receive federal benefits that are also conferred to opposite-sex married couples; including the privilege for US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents to sponsor their foreign born spouses for immigration to the United States.

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NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS
TOURIST VISA (B1, B2)

Individuals entering the United States as visitors for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2) enter with a temporary nonimmigrant visa. The application for a B-1 and/or B-2 visa is filed with the consulate or embassy in the home country or current place of residence abroad. The process involves an interview with the consular officer who analyzes the application and interviews the individual.

STUDENT VISAS (F-1, M-1)

Seen for those who want to pursue academic studies, technical and / or language training programs.

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F-1 Student Visa

The “F” visa is reserved for non-immigrants wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs. F-1 Visa is given only through “academic” institutions. Vocational education is not included in F-1 visa. For vocational education, an M Visa should be obtained.
F-1 students are not authorized for employment except for on-campus work of less than 20 hours per week (full-time permitted during school recess periods). Where economic hardship is present, off-campus employment authorization of less than 20 hours per week may be obtained after the first year. Otherwise, F-1 students can obtain practical training employment authorization “Optional Practical Training (OPT)” for a period of one year, usually after completing their degree program. OPT employment is not limited to a specific employer, but must be related to the student’s field of study. Additionally, students who have completed nine (9) months of an undergraduate degree program, or students pursuing a graduate degree program, may obtain authorization to participate in an internship or cooperative training program that is part of their curriculum (“Curricular Practical Training”).
Spouses and children of an F-1 student may be issued F-2 Visas so they may accompany the student. Spouses cannot engage in full-time studies at any level. Children may attend primary and secondary school, but cannot pursue post-secondary education, unless they too obtain an F-1 visa.
Neither spouses nor children can be employed while in F-2 status.

M-1 Student Visa for Vocational and Technical Schools

M1 Visa a type of student visa reserved for vocational and technical schools. To obtain an M-1 Visa for traveling to the United States, a student must present a signed Form I-20 at a United States embassy or consulate in his home country. The I-20 is issued by a designated school official, typically the international student adviser, after the student has fulfilled a school’s admissions requirements and presented proof of financial resources.
M-1 students are admitted into the United States for a fixed time period. When they cross the border, their I-94 departure cards are stamped with a date, unlike students with an F-1 visa. They may stay for the length of their training program plus any Optional Practical Training, plus a thirty-day grace period at the end of their training. Their stay may not exceed one year unless they are granted an extension for medical reasons. If a student violates his status by, for example, not maintaining a full course of study, he is not eligible for the grace period.
Students in M-1 status may not work on or off campus while studying, and they may not change their status to F-1.

EXCHANGE VISITOR VISA (J-1)

Available for foreigners who wish to visit the country to teach, study, work, receive training or demonstrate special skills.

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A J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa available to aliens that fall under the designation of “Exchange Visitor”. J-1 exchange visitors travel to the United States through a Department of State approved sponsor program to teach, study, receive training or demonstrate special skills. Individuals who qualify for J-1 status if sponsored through an accredited Exchange Visitor Program include:

• Au Pair
• Camp Counselor
• College or University Student
• Government Visitor
• Intern
• International Visitor
• Physician
• Professor and Research Scholar
• Secondary School Student
• Short-Term Scholar
• Specialist
• Summer Work Travel
• Teacher
• Trainee

PROFESSIONAL WORKERS (H-1B)

It allows US employers recruit foreign professionals for special occupations within the country for a while.

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The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit & employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations within the USA for a specified period of time. The H-1B program provides the opportunity for foreign workers in specialty occupations to legally live and work in the US for a total of 6 consecutive years, and entitles their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to accompany them and legally live in the USA on an H-4 visa. Examples of H-1B visa positions are jobs in the engineers, financial analysts, teachers, graphic designers. H1B visas are subject to annual numerical limits.

TEMPORARY AGRICULTURAL WORKERS (H-2A)

Intended for agricultural workers who are able, qualified and available to do temporary work.

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Visas are not numerically limited. Employers must demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work. Approximately 40 to 50,000 workers per year obtain H-2A visas. Visas are granted for up to one year and can be renewed for up to three years. Examples of H-2A visa positions are jobs in agricultural jobs planting watermelon, corn, etc.

TEMPORARY WORKERS (H-2B)

For foreigners who come temporarily to the US to perform service or temporary work, except for agricultural work.

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H-2B Visas are for foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services or labor, other than agricultural services or labor, for which unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in the United States. “Temporary” refers to any job for which the employer’s need is temporary, regardless of whether the job is one that could be described as permanent or temporary. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the period of the employer’s need must be for one year or less, and be either: a one-time occurrence; a seasonal need; a peak load need or an occasional or intermittent need. A temporary labor certification must be obtained from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) before an H-2B Visa petition can be approved. Spouses and dependent children may obtain H-4 Visas to reside and study in the United States, but may not seek gainful employment.

TRAINEE VISA (H-3)

It allows the life of any foreign citizen to the United States to participate in a training program with a US employer.

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The H-3 trainee visa permits foreign nationals from any country to come to the United States to participate in a bona fide training program with a U.S. employer.
However, the trainee my not come for a graduate program or medical training, and the training cannot be available in the trainee’s home country.

FOREIGN MEDIA, PRESS AND RADIO (I)

To representatives of foreign print media, radio, film or other media.

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The I Visa category is for media representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign media. Although procedures for issuance of I Visas depend on the privileges the foreign nationals’ home country extends to representatives of the United States media, generally applicants must demonstrate that they are representatives of the foreign media, including members of the press, radio, film or print industries, whose activities are essential to the foreign media function. Examples: reporters, film crews, editors and persons in similar occupations, who are traveling to the U.S. to engage in their profession. The applicant must be engaging in qualifying activities for a media organization having its home office in a foreign country. To be eligible for an I visa, the activity must be essentially informational, and generally associated with the news gathering process, reporting on actual current events.
Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal I Visa holder for the duration of his/her stay in the United States require I Visas as well. They may not work without obtaining an appropriate work visa, but may study in the U.S. without a student (F-1) visa.

INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREES VISAS (L-1)

Temporary visa that allows companies to offset foreign qualified employees to its subsidiary or a US parent.

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The L-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa which allows companies to relocate foreign qualified employees to its U.S. subsidiary or parent company. The qualified employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the company for at least one year out of the last three years.
The L-1 visa is a good way for small or start-up companies to expand their business and services to the United States. This is advantageous to smaller companies because it allows for the transfer of a highly proficient manager or executive who has direct knowledge of operations, allowing the setup of a new branch in compliance with the goals and objectives of the company’s main office. L1 visas can also be used by multi-national companies. When a multi-national company is developing a new market in another country, it may become necessary to have some employees with specialized knowledge work in the newly established office.

ALIEN OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY (O)

Aimed at foreigners with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

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O-1 Status is a non-immigrant status category for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts (including the television and motion picture industry), education, business, or athletics. This is an employment related status that allows qualified aliens to live and work in the United States. O-1 petitions may only be filed by a U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent on behalf of the beneficiary.

ARTISTS AND ATHLETES (P-1, P-2, P-3)

P-1: internationally recognized artists, circus performers and athletes who will do a tour, a competition or a specific event in the United States.
P-2: artists or entertainers going individually or in groups for an exchange program recognized by the US government.
P-3: artists or entertainers who want to perform, teach or train people as part of a unique cultural program.

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The P classification applies to foreign-based athletes and entertainment groups.
• The P-1 Visa is designated for internationally recognized entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who are coming to the United States temporarily to tour or perform at a specific competition or event. An athlete who wishes to remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time should apply for an O-1 visa.

• The P-2 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers individually or as part of a group entering the United States temporarily as a part of a government recognized reciprocal exchange program, and for their support personnel. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: one in the U.S. and one abroad.

• The P-3 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers coming temporarily to perform, teach, or coach, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique, and for their support personnel.
• Spouses and children of a P-1, P-2 or P-3 Visa holder may obtain a P-4 Visa to enter the U.S. The P-4 Visa holder may attend school but in order to work, he or she must obtain a work visa.

RELIGIOUS WORKERS (R)

For religious workers who do not wish to immigrate. They must be sponsored by a religious non-profit organization.

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R1 visas are issued to temporary religious workers with non-immigrant intent. The intending worker must be sponsored by a non-profit religious organization that has been present for a minimum of two years within the United States. The petitioning organization and immigrant must demonstrate that the worker will participate in full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week) work at the organization. R-1 visas grant permission to for up to 30 months; with a possible 30 month extension Spouses and children under 21 of R-1 religious workers are eligible for R-2 classification, but are not authorized to work. There are currently no annual quotas or caps for R-1 visas.

TREATY TRADER AND TREATY INVESTOR (E-1, E-2)

Available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation or investment with the United States.

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E-1 and E-2 visas are available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation, or a bilateral investment treaty providing for nonimmigrant entries, with the United States. The E-1 (“Treaty Trader”) visa is specifically designed for alien business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for the E-1 designation.

The E-2 (“Treaty Investors”) visa is available to an alien who is a citizen or national of a treaty country and who wishes to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.

Both E-1 and E-2 visa holders are initially allowed a maximum stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay can be filed. Notably, there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E visa may be granted, as long as the alien maintains the intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated.

FIANCEE AND SPOUSE VISA (K-1, K-3)

Benefit to brides and grooms of the petitioners US citizens.

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A K-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa benefiting fiancés and fiancées of US citizen petitioners. It allows the fiancé(e) of an American citizen to enter the United States for a 90-day period in order to marry the American citizen and apply for a change of status to Permanent Resident.
Generally, the couple must have met in person within two years of filing the petition. Additionally, the fiancé/fiancée must also meet some of the requirements for an immigrant visa.

K-3 Spouse Visas, IR-1 and CR-1 Visas,
Spouses of U.S. citizens and the spouse’s children can also come to the United States on nonimmigrant visas (IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visas, formerly called K-3 Visas) in order to complete the immigration process in the United States. The U.S. citizen must first file an immigrant visa petition on the spouse’s behalf before filing a nonimmigrant IR-1 or CR-1 Visa petition.

VICTMS OF CRIMES (U)

For victims of physical or mental abuse or collaborated with the políciana investigation or criminal act of accusation.

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The U nonimmigrant status is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.
A U visa grants the victim permission to live and work in the United States and may result in the dismissal of any case in immigration court filed against the immigrant. Family members included in the victim’s application are eligible to apply for a work permit.

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IMMIGRANT VISAS
EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS:

Priority workers (EB-1):
EB-1(a) Persons of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
This visa is available to individuals of “extraordinary ability” in the arts, science, education, business, or athletics, and outstanding professors and researchers, multinational managers and executives. This visa is available to persons who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor and have a demonstrated sustained national or international acclaim. No job offer or labor certification is required for this category. This category is divided in 3:

EB-1(a): Persons of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics;
EB-1(b): Outstanding professors and researchers;
EB-1(c): Certain executives and managers subject to an international transfer to the U.S.

PROFESSIONALS WITH ADVANCED DEGREES OR EXCEPTIONAL ABILITY (EB-2)

For college-educated professionals and at least 5 years experience in the profession and people with exceptional skills in the arts, sciences or business.

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There are two subgroups within this category: Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree) or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years’ progressive experience in the profession; and Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field. visas.)

SKILLED WORKERS, PROFESSIONALS AND UNSKILLED WORKERS (EB-3)

Available for qualified professionals with at least 2 years experience, professionals with university degrees or other non-skilled labor workers that is not temporary or seasonal.

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This visa is available to skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience, professionals with college degrees, or “other” workers for unskilled labor that is not temporary or seasonal. Skilled workers are those in positions that require a minimum of two years of training or experience. Professionals must possess a bachelor’s degree or foreign degree equivalent. A labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer are required for all EB-3 visas. The application requires a Form I-140 to be filled. The application must also include evidence that the individual meets all the requirements for the job.

CERTAIN SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (EB-4)

Religious workers, youth special immigrants, employees of foreign service posts of the United States, translators, former employees of the US government and other non-citizens.

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This visa is available to certain “special immigrants” including religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, translators, former U.S. government employees and other noncitizens.
Religious workers must demonstrate two years of membership in a religious denomination having a nonprofit status in the United States immediately before the filing of the visa petition. The noncitizen religious workers must be coming to work full time in a compensated position.
Special Immigrant Juveniles must have been declared a dependent by a U.S. juvenile court and not be able to reunite with their parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

IMMIGRANT INVESTOR (EB-5)

For foreigners who invest US $ 500,000 to $ 1,000,000 in one company in the United States.

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This visa is available to noncitizens who will invest $500,000 to $1 million in a job-creating enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. The visa allows for conditional residency and the removal of conditional residency 90 days before the second anniversary of conditional residency.

“IMMEDIATE RELATIVES” OF A U.S. CITIZEN

“Immediate Relatives” of a US Citizen Parents, spouses and children (unmarried under 21 years) of a US citizen.

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“Immediate Relatives” refers to the parents, spouses and children (who are unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen. Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can immigrate to the United States without being subject to any numerical restrictions, unlike other close family members of U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. Namely, they can apply for the permanent resident status without having to deal with any waiting time. Other close family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are divided into several groups called “Preferences”. Each Preference is given a numerical quota per year to limit the number of immigrants admitted into the United States.

OTHER CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS OF A U.S. CITIZEN

Other family members of an American citizen can qualify, but with a numerical limit visas every year.

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Other close family members of a U.S. citizen can qualify to immigrate to the United States, but unlike the immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, they are subject to a numerical limit of immigrant visas available to them each year. Close family members are divided into several groups called “Preferences”. The higher the Preference, the quicker the alien will be eligible to receive a green card.

• First preference: Unmarried Children over 21 year of age of U.S. Citizens
• Third preference: Married Children of U.S. Citizens
• Fourth preference: Brothers or Sisters of U.S. Citizens

FAMILY MEMBERS OF PERMANENT RESIDENTS

Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents can also apply for a green card.

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Spouses and unmarried children of a permanent resident can also apply for a green card. They are categorized as the “Second Preference” group of people who are eligible for immigration to the United States.

BATTERED SPOUSE, CHILDREN & PARENTS (VAWA)

Gives abused spouses and children of US citizens or permanent US residents a procedural mechanism of “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status.

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The VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) gives abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are living in the U.S. a procedural mechanism by which to “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status. This mechanism acts as a substitute for the usual process, in which the immigrant must rely on participation by the U.S. spouse or parent. VAWA effectively cuts the abuser out of the process and limits his or her control over the immigrant.
Under VAWA, immigrant victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse may “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status without the cooperation of an abusive spouse, parent, or adult child. It allows the victim to confidentially file the self-petition and attain work authorization and lawful permanent resident status without separating from the abuser (if the victim decides so), thereby allowing the victim to leave the abuser after lawful permanent resident status has been obtained.

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OTHER SERVICES
CITIZENSHIP AND NATURALIZATION

Naturalization is the way for immigrants to become US citizens.

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Naturalization is the way for immigrants to become US citizens. Naturalization requires USCIS to specifically determine eligibility and approve an application. Benefits of naturalization include protection against deportation, the right to vote, freedom to travel and remain abroad without abandonment of status, and greater ability to immigrate family members.

WAIVER PETITIONS

Guarantee the impartiality of the reasons why foreigners ineligible to move or even visit the United States.

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Sometimes foreigners are not eligible to move to, or even visit, the United States. We use our experience in immigration law to secure waivers of the many grounds of such ineligibility by proving hardship.

DACA-DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS

Available for young people who came to the United States before reaching 16, were below 31 years on June 15, 2012, are attending or have attended school here or obtained a GED, were physically present in the United States on 15 June 2012, and have resided continuously in the US since June 15, 2007 to date.

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA is not actually a lawful immigration status, but rather a determination by DHS that it will not currently seek to remove the non-citizen with deferred action for a three-year period. Another major benefit of DACA is that DHS may grant work authorization and advance parole to those with deferred action. DACA is available to young people who came to the United States before they were 16, were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, are attending or have attended school here or obtained a GED, were physically present in the United States on June15, 2012, and have been continuously residing in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to the present time.

SIJS-SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS/

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is an immigration classification available to certain undocumented immigrants under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents.

ASYLUM PETITIONS

For individuals who, in their countries have been persecuted or fear persecution in the future, based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

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The United States grants protection to individuals who, in their home countries, have been persecuted, or fear persecution in the future, based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This protection is labeled either “asylum” or “refugee status,” depending on where the determination about this persecution is made. Those granted refugee status are identified and interviewed outside the United States by the Departments of State and Homeland Security. Individuals who come to the United States on their own (whether as tourists, students, entry without inspection, or in any other way) and seek protection once they are here are granted asylum.
Both asylum and refugee status are granted indefinitely. Refugees and asylees may work in the United States and may apply for their spouses and minor children to join them as refugees or asylees in the United States.

IMMIGRATION INTERVIEWS

The immigration interview can be the most important moment in your immigration petition because most of the time the decision to approve or not your petition is made right then. We recommend that you use our legal assistance in your immigration interview. The attorney will prepare you for the interview, help you feel more secure and confident, prevent that you do not fall into traps and will make sure the immigration official do not violate your rights.

CONSULAR PETITIONS

An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition and has a number of immigrant visa immediately available (ie, priority date is current) can apply at a US Consulate for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident.

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An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available (i.e. priority date is current) may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This process is called “consular processing.” Once the individual enters the United States with an immigrant visa, he or she is a lawful permanent resident.
This is an option if the individual is not in the United States or if adjustment of status to permanent resident is not available.
An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved non-immigrant visa petition and is outside of the United States will have to apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for a non-immigrant visa in order to enter the United States.

VISITOR VISA EXTENSION

Extensions of stays are obtained in the United States by filing the Application to Extend Status with the USCIS together with required filing fee and any supporting documents. Our law firm will assist you in with all the required steps in this application.

CHANGE OF STATUS

Change of Status are obtained in the United States by filing the Application to Change Status with the USCIS together with required filing fee and any supporting documents. Our law firm will assist you in with all the required steps in this application.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND IMMIGRATION

On June 26, 2013; the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that the federal interpretation of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’ as legislated in Section 3 of ‘DOMA’ to that of strictly heterosexual unions was unconstitutional because it denied legally married same-sex couples their due process under the Fifth Amendment. This landmark decision removed a decades old ban on the federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and effectively opened the door for married same-sex couples to be recognized by the federal government and thus to receive federal benefits that are also conferred to opposite-sex married couples; including the privilege for US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents to sponsor their foreign born spouses for immigration to the United States.

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