Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we discuss whether you can file an application to extend your stay on a tourist visa if you have overstayed.
Disclaimer: We do not recommend overstaying your duration of stay on any visa classification, because serious immigration consequences could result. However, this post discusses the options you may have, if you find yourself in the precarious situation where you have already overstayed, and you have a good faith reason for having overstayed.
Typically a person is given up to a 6-month period to remain in the United States on a tourist visa. At the end of those 6 months, the foreign national must depart the United States. The question is: are there any special circumstances in which a person may be allowed to extend their stay, where they have overstayed their visa?
In this case, the person stayed past the 6-month period of time allowed in the United States, and did not depart the United States. However, the person had a good faith reason for remaining in the United States. Toward the end of their stay, the individual had just given birth in the United States, and unfortunately some medical complications occurred that kept the individual in the United States past the 6-months authorized by their tourist visa. Because of these complications, the individual could not fly outside of the United States.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we have some bad news for H1B visa holders, some very very alarming statistics. If you want to know what they are watch this video.
H1B Visas and Rate of Denials
Based on a recent statistic, between 2015 through 2019 there has been a significant increase in H1B visa denials. H1B visa denials have quadrupled in denial rates.
Similarly, the volume of requests for evidence issued to H1B petitioners have increased by 60 percent.
The H-1B season for fiscal year 2021 will bring some important changes. Firstly, USCIS has imposed a new online electronic registration requirement for H1B petitioners to streamline the H1B lottery process.
When we see a quadrupling in the rate of H1B visas denied for strong H1B petitions, it is apparent that the government is trying to send a message, which is that they want to limit the amount of people who can actually file for H1B visas. In the requests for evidence we have received for H1B extensions and transfers, we see a trend in which USCIS is using the most narrow interpretation of what a “specialty occupation,” is which by definition limits the pool of candidates eligible to receive an H1B visa.
We are seeing almost automatic denials for our marketing and business positions because USCIS is being so restrictive in how they interpret and define a “specialty occupation.” USCIS is taking the position that marketing and business positions are not “specialty occupations.”
USCIS has time and time again refused to accept the complexity of these positions, legal arguments in support of a finding that these positions are in fact specialty occupations, and ignored expert opinions supporting such positions as “specialty occupations.”
From what we have seen in our own filings and from conversations we have had with other attorneys and law offices, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get H1B visas approved for positions and occupations are were normally approved without difficulty in the past.
Welcome back to Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we cover a very important topic: can people who overstayed their visa or entered illegally, get a work visa or employee sponsorship?
Recently our office met with a client who was in this very predicament. He had the perfect job opportunity from his dream employer and was now interested in knowing how he could obtain a work visa with his employer’s sponsorship. The problem: he entered the country illegally and since entering had no lawful status in the United States.
Here is where we had to deliver the bad news.
The bottom line
A person who has entered illegally or overstayed the duration of their visa, is not eligible to adjust their status to permanent residence. During the employment sponsorship process, the visa applicant must provide information regarding their entry to the United States. Under current immigration law, a person who has entered without inspection cannot adjust their status in the United States, based on employment sponsorship except under one limited exception called 245(i).
What is 245(i)
245(i) is a provision in the law passed under the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act in the year 2000, enabling certain individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States to apply for adjustment of status, despite their unlawful entry.
En este video, el abogado Jacob Sapochnick explica el proceso para aplicar para la visa TN a base del Tratado de Libre Comercio de America del Norte, de Mexico, y Canada.
Que es la visa TN?
La clasificación no inmigrantes TN permite que los ciudadanos canadienses y mexicanos soliciten entrada temporal a los Estados Unidos para dedicarse a actividades comerciales a nivel profesional. El Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (NAFTA, por sus siglas en inglés) hace posible la entrada de estos profesionales.
Quien es elegible?
Entre los profesionales que son elegibles para admisión como No Inmigrantes T están los contables, ingenieros, abogados, farmacéuticos, científicos y maestros. Usted puede ser elegible para obtener el estatus de no inmigrante NT si:
Es ciudadano de Canadá o México
Su profesión califica bajo la reglamentación
El puesto de trabajo en los Estados Unidos requiere un profesional NAFTA
Usted tiene un preacuerdo con un empleador estadounidense para un trabajo a tiempo completo o a tiempo parcial (no puede estar empleado por su cuenta – vea a continuación la documentación requerida), y
Tiene las calificaciones para practicar su profesión.
Cual es el periodo de estadia?
El periodo inicial de estadia es 3 años. Si usted desea permanecer mas tiempo de el período inicial de estadía sin salir del país, usted debe solicitar una extensión de estadía.
Si usted es ciudadano mexicano, debe aplicar para la visa TN directamente en la Embajada o Consulado estadounidense en México.
Una vez se le haya aprobado la visa TN, deberá solicitar admisión en el puerto de entrada estadounidense designado o la estación de registro de pre despacho de aduana/ pre vuelo designada.
In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares some exciting news: the EB-3 Philippines employment-based category has become current as of July 2019!
Since there is currently no waiting period for EB-3 Philippines, employers of Filipino nurses and other health care professionals, may now apply for the I-140 straight away, and applicants may file for their adjustment of status (green card).
Why is this change so exciting? Before this change, it could take a Filipino nurse eight or more years to work in the United States and obtain permanent residence. Since the EB-3 category is now current, the whole process could take as little as 10-12 months.
Because we do not yet know how long this category will remain current, we encourage Filipino nurses and their employers to take advantage of this narrow window of opportunity and file their I-140/I-485 petitions as soon as possible.
If you have any questions regarding this new change please contact our office.
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
For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses how entrepreneurs come to America.
What are the available visa options for an entrepreneur to launch a startup company?
One of the most common ways to launch a company in the United States is through the O-1A visa. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who have already established their reputation in their home country, have run a successful business abroad, and who wish to bring their unique talents and skills to the United States.
To qualify for an O-1A visa, the entrepreneur must demonstrate that they are exceptionally distinguished in their field or industry. This can be demonstrated by way of sustained recognition in the industry on a national or international level, or awards, titles, honorary distinctions, etc. The entrepreneur must also demonstrate that they have achieved a high level of expertise in their industry
The O-1A visa enables the entrepreneur to come to the United States to work for their own company, or for another company.
Another great option is the L-1A visa. If you are a startup founder and you already have a company in your home country, and you want to launch in the United States, you can set up a subsidiary or an affiliate of your startup in your home country and come to the United States as an executive such as a CEO.
Alternatively, you may wish to apply for the E-2 visa as an investor of the startup company that you wish to launch in the United States. To qualify for this visa type, you must be a national of a foreign country that has a qualifying treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or similar agreement with the United States.
In addition, the investment must be made in a real, operating commercial enterprise or active entrepreneurial undertaking productive of some service or commodity. Paper organizations, speculative, or idle investments do not qualify as real operating enterprises or active entrepreneurial undertakings.
If you are a citizen of Mexico or Canada, you can apply for a TN visa and be part of the company that you launch in the United States as an advisor or a higher-level position. The position that the entrepreneur will engage in must be a profession that is approved by NAFTA, and the entrepreneur must meet the qualifications for that position.
The E-1 Treaty Trader visa is a good option for entrepreneurs who wish to work in the technology sector. If you have a patent in your home country or have an idea to invest in the technology sector, and you are starting a company in your home county, you can set up a company in the United States as a founder without investing anything, because of the exchange of trade and technology.
National Interest Waiver
Company founders can apply for a green card by applying for a national interest waiver if you are a highly successful entrepreneur, and you can show the government that your level of innovation is at a high level.
Please visit our website for more information about these different options.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a frequently asked question regarding the E-2 Investor Visa: Are loans or gifts a legitimate source of funds for the E-2 visa?
In order to get an E-2 visa as an investor in the United States, you must demonstrate that you will make a substantial investment in a new business enterprise or an existing business. As part of the application process, you must show the origin of the source of funds for that investment, and the source of those funds must be legitimate. Not all sources of funds will qualify for the E-2 visa. Many of our clients ask whether a gift of funds or a foreign bank loan will qualify as a legitimate source of funding for the E-2 visa.
Are gifts a legitimate source of funds for the E-2 visa?
Yes, provided the investor has possession of the funds, and the funds are irrevocably committed to the investor by the giver of the gift. The person that has given the gift to the investor must provide documentation showing the source of those funds to prove that the funds came from a legitimate source.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks visa options for entrepreneurs.
In this video we cover four visa options that allow foreign entrepreneurs to live and work in the United States. These visa options also allow the foreign entrepreneur to bring his or her dependents to live with them in the United States.
Option #1 L-1 Visa for Executives, Managers, and Essential Employees:
There are two types of visas available under the L-1 category: 1) L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager and 2) L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge.
The L-1A category is a non-immigrant visa classification for aliens seeking to work in the United States in an executive or managerial capacity on an assignment of a temporary nature for a U.S. subsidiary or parent company of their foreign employer.
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.
L-1B: If the alien is not employed in an executive or managerial capacity, the L-1B visa classification comes into play. To be eligible for the L-1B visa, the petitioner must demonstrate that although the alien is not employed in an executive or managerial capacity with the company, the alien possesses specialized knowledge and can represent the organization’s interests in the United States.
Both the L-1A and L-1B require the beneficiary to have worked abroad for the foreign employer for at least one year within the proceeding three years.
Pro: the L-1 visa leads to a green card
Option #2 E-2 Investor Visa:
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities. Investment activities include the creation of a new business in the United States or investment in an existing enterprise. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
By now you know that the H-1B cap has been reached for Fiscal Year 2019. But what happens if you were not selected in the H-1B visa lottery?
In this post, we will discuss some alternatives to the H-1B visa that will allow you to stay and work in the United States.
The O-1 “Extraordinary Ability” Visa:
This visa type is for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, motion picture, television, or arts industries who have received national and/or international acclaim in their field. An alien on an O-1 visa may live and work in the United States for a period of up to three years.
An O-1 visa is a great visa for people in the start-up world and technology sector. This visa is for people holding an advanced degree (at least a master’s degree) who have either started their own business, have patented inventions, are leading experts in their fields, and/or have gained notoriety in their fields as evidenced by awards and other national recognitions.
TN Visa for Mexican and Canadian Nationals
The TN visa allows nationals of Mexico and Canada to work in the United States, provided their profession is on the NAFTA list. The maximum period of initial admission to the US is three years, but visa holders may apply for extensions in amounts of one year.
E-3 Visa for Australian Nationals
Similar to the H-1B visa, the E-3 classification allows Australian nationals to travel to the United States to work in a specialty occupation. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to qualify and must work in a specialty occupation often associated with the STEM occupational fields. The E-3 visa is issued for an initial period of no more than 2 years, with extensions granted in 2-year increments.