we have extensive experience in the areas of immigration, visas, citizenship and specialize.
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Individuals that want to live and work in the United States typically obtain a work visa. Work visas encompass a variety of classifications. The appropriate work visa will depend upon the proposed position and job duties, as well as the applicant’s qualifications.
There are a variety of work visas available to foreign nationals seeking employment in the United States. Some of the more common work visas include:
H-1B: A classification for workers who have completed the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or higher and will work in a specialty occupation in the U.S. that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
L-1A: A classification for company transferees who have and will work in an executive or managerial position and have worked for a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary abroad for at least 1 out of the preceding 3 years.
L-1B: A classification for company transferees who have gained and will utilize specialized knowledge about their employer’s products, processes, procedures or services, and have worked for a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary abroad for at least 1 out of the preceding 3 years.
O-1: A classification for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field who intend to continue working in their field in the U.S.
TN: A classification for nationals of Canada and Mexico who will work in a professional occupation in the U.S. and have the required qualifications as set forth in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
E-1: A classification for nationals of countries that have a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty with the United States and wish to come to the U.S. to conduct substantial trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
E-2: A classification for nationals of countries that have a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty with the United States and wish to come to the U.S. to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of capital.
An F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to individuals who plans to come to the United States to pursue full-time studies at a U.S. educational school or institution. Individuals who wish to obtain an F-1 visa must plan to pursue a full course of study in an approved college, university, seminary, conservatory, academia high school, private elementary school, other academic institution, and/or language training program in the United States.
Employment Green Cards
There are multiple avenues available for foreign nationals to obtain a green card based on an employment offer or job related opportunity. Some classifications require the employer file a labor certification to initiate the green card process, whereas others allow the employer to immediately file an immigrant petition. To fully understand the work visas for which an individual is eligible, as well as the applicable green card procedures, please contact us for a free assessment.
Family Green Cards
The family visa is available for close relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can act as a sponsor for their close family members for immigration purposes. The number of family visas available annually is unlimited for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, but capped for the relatives of U.S. permanent residents and the extended family members of U.S. citizens.
U.S. Citizenship by Naturalization
Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) can become U.S. citizens through naturalization. There are two main groups who are eligible:
- Lawful permanent residents that have lived continuously in the United States for 5 years and are at least 18 years old.
- Lawful permanent residents age 18 or older (that have been a lawful permanent resident for at least three years), married to and living with the same U.S. citizen for the past three years and their spouse has been a U.S. citizen for at least three years.
Physical presence requires that the lawful permanent resident actually be located in the United States for approximately half of the time required for their continuous residence requirement. Thus, if a lawful permanent has a 5 year continuous residence requirement, they must be physically present in the United States for periods totaling approximately two and a half years. Likewise, if the lawful permanent resident’s continuous residence requirement is 3 years, they must have actually been in the United States for periods equal to one and a half years.