In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the most popular visa options for hospitality workers. For more information just keep on watching.


The top visas used by Hotels and Restaurants to bring foreign workers to the United States are the J-1, H-3, H-2B, L-1, E-2, TN, and H-1B visas.  Whether transferring employees between international properties or employing management trainees, immigration is an integral part of the hospitality industry. The appropriate visa type will largely depend upon the foreign worker’s qualifications and the type of position the worker will be occupying.

The J-1 visa

The J-1 visa is a cultural exchange program between the United States and foreign countries bringing foreign workers to the United States. There are 2 types of J-1 visas. The first category is a trainee J-1 visa. To qualify the trainee must have at least 5 years of experience working in the position or a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with at least 1 year of experience. Workers who come to the United States on a J-1 trainee visa, may work in the United States for a hotel or restaurant for a period of 18 months. The J-1 trainee visa allows the foreign worker to develop their skills, gain experience, and return to their home countries taking those skills with them. The second category is for interns, who are in school in their home country or have recently graduated, and have less than 1 year of experience. Interns may come to the United States for a 1 year period to train in a hotel or restaurant. The work and travel category of the J-1 allows foreign workers to come to the United States for up to 4 months during the summer time. The J-1 visa is generally an easy visa to obtain. It takes approximately 6 weeks for this visa to get approved by the Department of State.

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In this Facebook live stream, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses immigration under President Donald Trump, and pressing issues that have recently been the subject of much debate in the news, including the President’s desire to end the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, a program that has come under fire after it came to light that the New York City terrorist Saifullo Saipov gained admission to the United States through this program. In addition, Jacob answers your immigration questions.

Immigration Q and A

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Monday, November 6, 2017


The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a program enacted by Congress, which allocates up to 50,000 immigrant visas per fiscal year to a special class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.” Each fiscal year diversity applicants register for the visa program electronically at no cost. Applicant entries are selected at random through a computerized “lottery” system to allocate the 50,000 available immigrant visas for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Only diversity immigrants who are natives of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States qualify for the Diversity Immigrant Visa program.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program was established in the 1990s under President George Bush, Sr. for the purpose of making the flow of legal immigration to the United States more diverse. The program sought to give foreign nationals from select countries, the opportunity to gain admission to the United States, provided they were born in countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States, to put them on a more equal footing with foreign nationals with historically high rates of immigration. In this way Congress hoped that the American demographic would become more diverse.

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In this post, Attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq,  will explain whether franchises qualify for the E2 Investor Visa.

What is an E2 Visa?

The Treaty Investor Visa (nonimmigrant E-2 classification) is intended for nationals of a foreign country with which a qualifying Treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement exists with the United States.

Nationals (individuals or companies) of countries with such Treaties with the United States can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment with the USA. E-2 visa is for individuals coming to the U.S. to invest a substantial amount of capital or to direct and develop the business operations of an entity in which the individual has already invested funds.

Do Franchises qualify for E2 Investor Visa?

Yes, most franchises will be a good fit for this type of visa, however not all franchises will qualify. For example, in order for the application to be successful, the investor must assume an active role in the management of the franchise business. If your franchise meets this requirement, then it is possible for your franchise to qualify for the E-2 visa.

Secondly, the franchise must create jobs for U.S. workers. The investor must hire U.S. staff and employees to fill various roles within the franchise. The investor must also hire management staff with the appropriate experience to fill certain key positions in the business.The investor must also ensure that he is involved in some sort of decision making role within the franchise business’s organizational structure.

Third, the amount of money that is required to secure the franchise must be reasonable in order to obtain the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $50,000 or less will likely not satisfy the investment requirements of the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $100,000 or more are more likely to be successful in satisfying such requirements.

Does the investor Need to Buy the Business Before applying for an E-2 Investor Visa?

Establishing a business in the United States is regarded as a key requirement for buyers that are applying for an E-2 visa.

The best course of action is to place the monies that will be used to purchase the business in an escrow account in the United States. In the visa application it is possible to state that the purchase of the business is contingent on the approval of the E-2 Visa and will be finalized once the approval is obtained. It is also important to get all the documents from the Franchise processed, so that a full package can be presented to the US Immigration when filing for the visa application.

For more information click here for our E2 resource page. For legal advice please contact our office. Also remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram 


In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick, explains the process of applying for an E-2 visa and the steps involved in that process. The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa type (temporary) that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities.


The E-2 ‘investor visa’ is available to an applicant who invests a substantial amount of his own money into a U.S. business, which he can control and direct. This visa type is a great option for individuals who wish to invest their money to purchase an existing business or to start up a new one.

In order to qualify for the E-2 visa, you must be a foreign national of a country that has a treaty-trader agreement with the United States.

The following countries have treaties with the United States that allow qualifying nationals to apply for Treaty Trader status:

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick, discusses what an L-1A visa is, the requirements, and eligibility.


The L-1A visa classification allows a foreign company to transfer an executive or manager to the U.S. subsidiary or parent company. If an affiliated U.S. subsidiary or parent company does not yet exist, the L-1A classification allows the foreign company to send the executive or manager to the United States for the purpose of establishing the affiliated subsidiary or parent company. The L-1A requires the beneficiary to have worked abroad for the foreign employer for at least one year within the proceeding three years. The great thing about the L-1A visa is that there is no annual limit on the number of L-1A visas issued, and the L-1A visa is a “dual intent” visa meaning that the applicant may apply for a green card and become a permanent resident without jeopardizing his or her L-1 status.

To read more about the L-1A visa please click here.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses the stokes interview otherwise known as the infamous “fraud interview” for the green card application. A stokes interview may occur during the marriage based green card application process, and refers to an interview where the husband and wife are questioned separately, and their answers are compared by an immigration officer to determine whether the marriage was entered into in good faith. A stokes interview (also known as “marriage fraud interview”) is usually a second interview, after the first interview, when the husband and wife were interviewed together, raised some questions about the bona fides of their marriage.

The stokes interview is typically scheduled when couples do not provide enough evidence of bona fide marriage and cohabitation, when the testimony provided by the couple during the first interview contains discrepancies and/or is inconsistent, or the marriage is of short duration. Couples may also be scheduled for a stokes interview if USCIS is concerned about something that came up during the foreign spouse’s background screening process. In every case, the immigration officer is trying to determine whether the applicant’s marriage is bona fide or not. If the immigration officer is still not satisfied that the marriage is a bona fide one after the stokes interview, USCIS may send a field officer to the applicant’s house.

To learn more about the consequences of entering a “sham” marriage please click here.

To schedule a free first time consultation please contact our office.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers your questions regarding H-1B visa portability.

Q: Can an H-1B employee work at different site locations and can an employee change jobs easily?

A:  Yes, but a separate Labor Condition Application must be filed for each work site. H-1B employees are able to transfer jobs, so long as the petition filed by the new employer is not subject to a numerical cap. A person who already has an H-1B visa can port to another employer, but the new employer must file a new petition. Once you have received a receipt notice for the new petition you may begin working for the new employer.

Overview of the H-1B program: 

The H-1B program was enacted by Congress with the intention of helping American employers seek out distinguished foreign workers who possess the necessary business skills and abilities absent within the American workforce. The provisions of the H-1B program allow qualified foreign workers to attain temporary employment having met specific requirements, while protecting American workers from being negatively affected by the temporary employment of these workers.

In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the Petitioner (U.S. Employer) must submit evidence that substantiates that the foreign worker either a) possesses a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent work experience for the particular position sought b) that the degree requirement is common for the particular position within the industry, or that the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone possessing a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a relevant field for the position c) that the employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position or d) that the nature of the duties necessary to perform the position are so specialized and complex that performance of the duties is associated with attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher, or equivalent work experience.

H-1B Cap

The H-1B visa program is subject to a congressionally mandated cap limiting the issuance of H-1B visas to 65,000 per year. Individuals holding advanced degrees are exempted from the 65,000 cap. Initial H-1B applicants must demonstrate that they have obtained an American master’s degree or higher to be exempted from the cap, however only the first 20,000 petitions received by USCIS will benefit from the exemption.

For more information about the H-1B visa please visit our website.

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The story of two sisters. One is a US Citizen, the other a DACA holder. Share your Daca stories with us. We have to continue the fight. #daca #dreamers #passthedreamact

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Sunday, September 10, 2017

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick sits down with two sisters, one who is a US Citizen, and the other who is a DACA recipient with a renewal request pending with USCIS. Although these clients are related they have very different immigration options available to them. Alicia explains how her DACA status has allowed her to obtain a driver’s license and legal employment in the United States, as well as the advantages these benefits have created for her as a mother of three US Citizen children. Alicia echoes the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who felt heartbroken when they heard that the President was ending the DACA program, a program that provided relief for so many undocumented immigrants who have no other place to call their home. Alicia fears being sent back to a country she does not know, where she has no relationships, and of being torn from her family. This is the unfortunate reality that many Dreamers face, and illustrates how important it is for Congress to pass the Dream Act or other legislation that would allow more than 800,000 Dreamers to remain in the United States legally.

IMPORTANT: Although USCIS will no longer be accepting new initial requests for DACA, current DACA recipients with permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018 can apply for a final 2-year renewal of their DACA status and obtain employment authorization. These applications must be properly filed and accepted by October 5, 2017.

To learn more about the termination of the DACA program please click here.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick sits down with two Dreamers to discuss the President’s recent decision to terminate an Obama-era program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and how such a decision will impact their lives.

The DACA program was first introduced in 2012 to shield young undocumented immigrants from deportation and granted such individuals the ability to work in the United States legally for a renewable 2 year period. The DACA program is not a form of amnesty and does not allow eligible applicants to obtain permanent residence.

In this video you will hear about the hardships that Dreamers face on a day-to-day basis, their enormous contributions to our society both culturally and economically, and the uncertain future they face.

DACA round table discussion

Live round table discussion with DACA beneficiaries at our office!! 5 great young individuals that need to make some serious decisions about their future in America.

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Friday, September 8, 2017

IMPORTANT: Although USCIS will no longer accept new initial requests for DACA, current DACA recipients with permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018 can apply for a final 2-year renewal of their status and obtain employment authorization. These applications must be properly filed and accepted by October 5, 2017.

To learn more about the termination of the DACA program please click here.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram.


In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama era program that granted more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain a work permit and relief from deportation. After much talk regarding President Trump’s intent to terminate the program, the decision finally came from Attorney General Jeff Sessions this morning, Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

For a more detailed explanation about what this decision will mean for current DACA holders please click on the video below.

The END of DACA what you need to know!!!!Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this morning that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be end in the next coming months. We are providing you with our thoughts and ideas in this live stream:

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Effective immediately, USCIS will not accept new initial requests for DACA, but will allow current DACA recipients with permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018 to apply for a final 2-year renewal of their status and obtain employment authorization. Such individuals must file their applications by October 5, 2017.


  • USCIS will no longer accept initial requests for DACA as well as all associated applications for Employment Authorization
  • Initial DACA requests and DACA renewal applications that were properly filed before today’s announcement and which remain pending with USCIS, will be adjudicated on an individual case-by-case basis
  • Employment authorization documents and grants of deferred action that were issued prior to today’s announcement will remain valid
  • USCIS will no longer approve new applications filed on Form I-131 for advance parole, but will honor the validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. CBP has the discretionary authority to deny admission to a DACA holder possessing an approved advance parole document
  • All pending I-131 requests for advance parole on the basis of DACA, will be administratively closed, and all associated fees will be refunded to the applicant

To read the President’s complete statement regarding the termination of the program please click here.

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