In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses immigration options for foreign nurses.
At the moment it is quite difficult for foreign nurses to immigrate to the United States because of how strict immigration officials are being in adjudicating these petitions.
While there are rigorous requirements that must be proven to immigrate to the United States, the demand for nurses in the United States continues to grow. Therefore, there is a still a need for foreign nurses to come and work in the United States.
The good news is that the immigration backlog for nurses is decreasing. The time that a nurse must wait to work in the United States depends on the nurse’s country of nationality.
So, how can a nurse get a visa to come to the United States?
There are generally two ways that a foreign nurse can come and work in the United States.
Green Card: A nurse may come to work in the United States if their employer files a petition on their behalf specifically on Form I-140 Immigration Petition for Alien Worker. Once the I-140 is approved, the nurse may apply for an immigrant visa under the EB-3 category for nurses once the I-140 priority date becomes current on the visa bulletin. This process culminates in an interview at the U.S. Consulate for the immigrant visa.
H-1B:A foreign nurse who has a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree, plus five years working experience, and is seeking to work in a specialty occupation (for example as managers or nurse practitioners) may apply for the H-1B work visa.
TN Visa: A foreign nurse from Canada or Mexico may apply for a TN visa.
Most nurses come to the United States by being petitioned for a green card directly by their employer.
What is required for this option?
The foreign nurse must have a visa screen which is an evaluation of educational equivalency by the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools)
The foreign nurse must establish English proficiency by passing either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) www.toefl.com or International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic version) www.ielts.org.
The foreign nurse must also pass the state licensing exam and the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination)
The foreign nurse must have a job offer and
The employer must be willing to sponsor the foreign nurse for permanent residency
The employer must be willing to pay the prevailing wage of the location where the foreign nurse will be working
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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses how you can obtain permanent residence if your U.S. Citizen spouse has passed away, and you are still in the process of applying for permanent residence.
What happens if you and your spouse have filed the I-130/485, and your US Citizen spouse tragically passes away during the process?
SCENARIO ONE: If the couple married but did not have the opportunity to file the I-130/485 applications with USCIS, before the death of the US Citizen spouse, the surviving spouse can still obtain permanent residence by filing form I-360 as a widow(er), provided the couple had a bona fide marriage. Once the I-360 petition is approved by USCIS, the surviving spouse can proceed on their own in filing the I-485 application for permanent residence.
SCENARIO TWO: In cases where the I-130/485 applications have already been filed with USCIS, but the couple did not have the opportunity to go to their I-485 interview before the passing of the US Citizen, USCIS may still adjudicate the foreign national’s application for permanent residence, even if the US Citizen spouse is now deceased. At the interview, the surviving spouse must provide the US Citizen’s death certificate, as well as evidence of bona fide marriage.
If you have any questions regarding this process, please email email@example.com, or contact our office.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick covers the top ten tips to help you overcome the marriage fraud interview also known as the “STOKES” interview. A foreign national applying for permanent residence based on marriage may be required to attend a second interview. This typically occurs in cases where the officer, who interviewed the couple during the initial marriage interview, does not believe that the couple has a bona fide marriage, because of red flags that arose during the initial interview.
1. Be Honest
Our first tip to avoid being scheduled for a second interview also known as the STOKES interview is simple. Be honest with yourself, with your partner (the U.S. Citizen or LPR spouse), and your attorney if you have one. Before walking into your initial I-485 interview you should be careful not to misrepresent the facts in your relationship and ensure that you and your partner are both being honest and truthful regarding all aspects of your marriage. If you or your spouse misrepresent any facts about your relationship, the immigration officer will presume that you do not have a bona fide/genuine marriage, and it will be very difficult to overcome this presumption at the second interview.
The second tip to avoid the STOKES interview is to be well prepared. You and your spouse should prepare all of your documentation proving bona fide marriage well in advance of your I-485 interview, so that you have enough time to review your documentation with your spouse and your attorney in preparation of your interview. This well make you feel more confident and prepared when it comes time to your I-485 interview.
In this video we breakdown the labor certification process also known as “PERM.”
What is labor certification? Labor certification is required because the government wants to make sure that U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the employment of the foreign national, in this case the beneficiary of the application.
Step one: Filing the labor certification application
The first step in filing a labor certification application is to file a prevailing wage request with the state workforce agency. This request will inform the employer about the wage that must be paid to the foreign national for the work to be performed. Knowledge of the prevailing wage is important because it will affect advertising for the position, the prevailing wage information to be included on the immigration forms, etc. Any mistakes that occur in this step of the process can affect the likelihood of success. It takes several months to receive the certified prevailing wage determination from the labor department. Once the certification is received, the recruitment process can begin.
In this post, we discuss how you can get a green card through your employer.
What does it take to get a green card through a job offer?
There are many ways a foreign national can obtain a green card for example by starting a company in the United States, as an entrepreneur, or demonstrating that they are a person of exceptional ability. However, the most common way to obtain a green card is to obtain a green card through a job offer. Essentially being sponsored by the employer that they are currently working for in the United States or their future employer. This process involves several steps:
The Employer Must Commit to Green Card Sponsorship
The employer must commit to giving you a permanent job offer and be willing to support you in the green card process from start to finish. This is because the employer must not only sign the forms required to petition for the worker’s green card but must also foot the bill including the immigration fees and attorney’s fees. If an employer does not understand his responsibilities in filing for the worker’s green card, delays can result, and in some cases an employer may abandon the green card process altogether. It is very important for an employer to be aware of their obligations at the outset of the application process.
In this video, we discuss the difference between adjustment of status and consular processing.
What is adjustment of status?
Adjustment of Status is the process by which a foreign national applies for permanent residence, essentially their green card, within the United States. In order to apply for adjustment of status within the United States, the foreign national must have entered the United States lawfully (typically on a U.S. visa) and be married to a U.S. Citizen. The foreign national must not have entered the marriage within the first 90 days of entry to the United States. Doing so creates a presumption of fraud and the couple will be denied at the green card interview.
Example: The foreign national entered the U.S. on a student visa, and later met a U.S. Citizen. The couple then became engaged, and married in the U.S.
The process begins with the filing of the following forms typically at the same time:
I-130 petition for alien relative (signed by the U.S. citizen)
I-485 application for adjustment of status aka the green card application (signed by the foreign national)
I-765 application for employment authorization (signed by the foreign national)
I-131 application for travel document (signed by the foreign national)
G-325A biographical information (signed by both the U.S. Citizen spouse and foreign national)
I-864 Affidavit of Support (signed by the U.S. Citizen)
The process ends with a green card interview before a USCIS immigration officer at a field office near the couple’s place of residence. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether the couple has a bona fide marriage. Both the petitioner and foreign national must attend this interview.
1:37 – Our advice or suggestions for this new rule
In September 2017 the Department of State released an amended version of the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which is a manual used by governmental agencies and other federal agencies that directs and codifies information that must be carried out by respective agencies “in accordance with statutory, executive and Department mandates.”
The new amended version of the manual expands the definition of misrepresentation, the types of activities that may support a presumption of fraud, and establishes changes to existing policies that federal agents must follow in making assessments of fraud or material representation.
According to the amended FAM: If a foreign national engages in any of the following activities, and applies for an immigration benefit, the FAM directs immigration officers to apply a presumption of fraud or material misrepresentation when the foreign national seeks adjustment of status:
In this video, we explain the process of obtaining a green card if you have been a victim of domestic violence.
As a battered spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen, you may self-petition for an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), without the abuser’s knowledge. If you have an approved petition, you may be eligible to file for a Green Card.
Generally if you have been the victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse, as a spouse of a US Citizen, you may still apply for your green card (self-petition) without the US Citizen spouse, by filing the I-360 petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Once approved, you may file for permanent residency. A VAWA petition may be filed regardless of gender.
In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the 5 main ways to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Permanent residency allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States.
The first and most common way to obtain a green card is through family based sponsorship where an immediate US Citizen relative files a petition for you the foreign national. There are generally 2 ways for a US Citizen to petition for an intending immigrant (1) file a petition with USCIS if the intending immigrant is residing inside of the United States, and entered the United States by lawful means through a U.S. port of entry and was properly inspected upon their entry or (2) if the intending immigrant resides outside of the United States, the beneficiary will need to go through consular processing to obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consular post abroad.
Certain extended family members (brothers and sisters) may also petition for a foreign national, however these visas are limited and subject to a waiting period according to the Visa Bulletin.