Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the new H-1B online registration system and everything you need to know if you are applying for an H-1B cap petition in fiscal year 2021.
As our blog followers will know, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has drastically changed the filing procedure for submitting H-1B cap subject petitions.
Beginning March 1, 2020, before a petitioner can file an H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of an alien worker, including petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, the petitioner must first electronically register with USCIS on the USCIS website.
This electronic registration requirement is absolutely mandatory.
Only petitioners with a valid registration selection will be eligible to file an H-1B petition with USCIS.
The initial registration period for H-1B FY 2021 will open on March 1, 2020 and is expected to close on March 20, 2020. The actual end date will be provided by USCIS very soon on its website. Petitioners must pay a $10 H-1B registration fee per submission. Duplicate registrations are prohibited.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses New Zealand’s recent addition to the E-2 Investor Visa Program.
With the passage of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI), New Zealand nationals may now apply for the E-1 and E-2 Investor Visa.
There are two ways to apply for the E Visa.
Applicants Lawfully in the U.S.
Investors who are already lawfully present in the U.S. on a valid nonimmigrant visa may file Form I-129 to change their status to the E-2 visa classification, with the necessary supporting documentation.
Applicants Outside the U.S.
Investors who are outside of the U.S. must apply for the E-2 nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate near their place of residence. The applicant must submit the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, pay the necessary fees, and schedule their visa interview. Applicants must bring their complete application and necessary documentation to establish eligibility at the time of their interview.
What are the Requirements?
The investment funds and the applicant must come from the same Treaty Country.
The business in which investment is being made must provide job opportunities or make a significant economic impact tin the United States. The business should not be established solely for the purpose of earning a living for the applicant and his or her family.
The investment must come from the investor. The money must be “at risk”. Thus, a loan that is secured by the assets of the business itself will not qualify i.e. if loans have been taken out, they must be secured or guaranteed by the investor personally, and not by the assets of the corporation.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares very exciting news for Israeli citizens. The U.S. Embassy has announced that Israeli citizens are now eligible for the E-2 investor visa. This is very exciting news because Israeli citizens have been waiting for Israel to be added to the E-2 visa program for years.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel has announced that Israeli citizens may begin to apply for the E-2 visa at the Embassy in Tel Aviv beginning May 1st.
The E-2 visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa that can be used to develop, direct, or provide specialized skills to an enterprise in which the owner has invested a substantial amount of capital. With the implementation of this visa, Israeli investors now have the opportunity to invest in the U.S. economy and send qualified employees to the United States. Likewise, U.S. citizens will be eligible to apply for visas to invest in Israel.
To qualify for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa:
The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;
The business must be a real operating enterprise;
The investor must be traveling to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise;
If the applicant is not the investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.
Once the Consular Section receives a complete E-2 visa application and reviews the applicant’s documentary evidence, applicants will be invited to schedule a visa interview in Tel Aviv.
During the interview applicants should be prepared to discuss details of the business and investment, the business plan and history, and the investor’s professional experience.
Interested parties should contact our office to schedule a consultation to determine eligibility.
For more information about the E-2 visa click here.
Have you ever wondered how you can land a job with a US employer who will sponsor you for an H-1B visa?
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the process of finding a job in the United States that can lead to an H-1B sponsorship.
To be able to work in the United States you must have a work visa. The most common work visa is the H-1B visa.
What is the H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa allows American companies and/or organizations to employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation. To be able to apply for the H-1B visa you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer, and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent work experience to work in the position sought.
The H-1B visa is a visa for professionals. Attorneys, architects, engineers, business directors, lodging managers, etc. can apply for the H-1B visa based on their specialty occupation.
How do you land a job offer?
U.S. employers are open to hiring foreign nationals, but many are unaware of the process that goes into employing a foreign national.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses an important E-2 visa subject: how do you prove source of funds for your E-2 investment?
If your source of investment is a loan: you must prove that your loan is secured by some personal property.
If your source of funds is a gift: you must prove that you have control of that gift and show the source of funds of the person that gave you the gift, for example if the funds came from the sale of the house, the documents of the sale of that house must be provided. If the funds came from savings, then the person would need to provide their savings account statements. If the funds came from someone’s salary, then pay stubs must be provided.
In general, if a person has given you a gift of money, and that is the source of your E-2 investment, that person must prove how they got the money.
Proceeds from Real Estate
If the funds are coming from the proceeds of a real estate sale then you must provide the deed, proof of the bill of sale and the transaction, etc.
If the source of funds is coming from investments such as stock, life insurance, then at least three years of tax returns must be provided, and three years of statements from those institutions.
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 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.
In this video we discuss how you can get an E-1 treaty trader visa without trading actual goods.
To qualify for an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa you must be a citizen of a treaty trader country involved in international trade
You must be coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise that is a commercial trader with your country of nationality
The trade must be conducted principally between the U.S. and the treaty country
The U.S. enterprise must conduct more than 50% of its total trade volume with the treaty country
The trade may be of a good, commodity, services, or technology
If you are the owner of patented technology in your treaty trader country for example you may qualify for the E-1 treaty trader visa. To qualify for the E-1 visa, you do not need to have actual goods coming from the treaty country to the U.S., in this case the E-1 treaty trader visa can be obtained by showing that a form of technology along with the rights will be developed in the U.S.
This was the exact situation of our client, an Israeli national who owned patented technology for physical exercise equipment, designed and licensed in Israel, but produced in China. To overcome the fact that the equipment was produced in China using Israeli technology, our office made sure to establish that the rights to build the products in China had to be approved and signed off by the company in Israel which owned the patent. In addition, our office strengthened the case by furnishing the agreements between the Israeli company and the manufacturing facility in China, to show that although the product was being manufactured in China, the Chinese facility was in fact controlled by an Israeli designer to ensure quality control and compliance with the Israeli technology owned by our client. Finally, we showed that the majority of the funds to finance the operation was coming from Israel, the treaty trader country, and documented how the product would be coming to the United States.
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.
0:18 – Tip number 1: Make sure make sure that your education matches the job that you’re applying for.
1:08 – Tip number 2: Make sure that the job itself requires a degree.
1:50 – Tip number 3: Understand what is the salary that is required to be paid for this position.
2:38 – Tip number 4: Make sure that the application that is filed is highly organized.
3:55 – Tip number 5: Send the application to the correct address.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses his top tips for filing a successful H-1B visa this H-1B season.
Remember that USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 cap on April 2, 2018. The filing period is expected to end on April 6, 2018.
Step One: Make sure your education matches the job duties required by the employer who will be sponsoring your H-1B petition. If your degree is unrelated to the position, you will not qualify for the H-1B visa, unless you have extensive work experience directly related to the position. It is very difficult to gain approval if your degree is not related to the position you will be filling.