COME TO UNITED STATES

According to some historians, the name United States of America was first used, by President, Thomas Jefferson. Allegedly, in June of 1776, he officially wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his rough draught of the “Declaration of Independence” document

Today the short form of "United States" or "U.S." or "USA", or even "America" are colloquially or even formally accepted. A citizen of the United States is referred to as an “American”.

The United States of America is composed of 50 States, the Federal District of D.C. and five self-governing territories. According to federal law, the term "United States", when used in a geographical sense, means "the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands".

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Since political union with the Northern Mariana Islands in 1986, they are also treated as part of the United States. And an executive order adopted in 2007 includes American Samoa in the United States’ "geographical extent" according to the Department of State documents

At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million square kilometers) United States is the world’s fourth-largest country by landmass; and with a population of over 325 million people, it is the third-most populous on earth.

WASHINGTON DC

Washington, D.C., or District or simply "D.C.", is the Capital of the United States. Washington has an estimated population of 700,000. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's population to more than one million during work-week

D.C. is the center of Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of the United States Government.

NEW YORK

New York State is located in the Northeastern part of the United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States of America. With an estimated population of about 20 million residents, it is the fourth-most populated State in the Union. Albany is New York’s State capital.

The City of New York also known as New York City or simply New York is the State’s Largest City, in terms of population. About 40% of the state's population, which is estimated at about 8.6 million live in a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2). This makes New York City one of the most densely populated major city in the world.

New York City has been a premier gateway for legal Immigration to the United States. The influx of immigrants from four corners of the world has transformed New York City into a cultural and social powerhouse. For over a century, New York City has also been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world. Home to the United Nations’ Headquarters, New York is also an important center for International Diplomacy.

New York City and its Metropolitan is also the most linguistically diverse area in the world: as many as 800 languages are spoken in New York. New York City is also home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside of the United States. And with a GDP of about $1.4 trillion If New York City were a country, it would have been the 12th-highest GDP on earth

CALIFORNIA

With a population of almost 40 million residents, California is the most populous state in the Union. The state capital of California is the city of Sacramento. With a population of 18.7 million, the Greater Metropolitan Los Angeles is United States’ second-most populous urban area. California's $2.67 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy and the 36th most populous on earth. The name Los Angeles is Spanish and it means "The Angels". City of Los Angeles also known as L.A., is the financial, and commercial center of Southern California. With an estimated population of almost 4 million it is the second most populous city in the United States.

HUMAN FOOTPRINT

It is believed that the first wave of immigrants to the American Subcontinent arrived from Siberia by way of the Bering Sea Land Bridge about 15,000 years ago or earlier. Over time, the indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies.

European Colonization

The first Europeans arrived in America were Spanish, who made their first visit to Florida in 1513.
The French also established their own colony along the Mississippi River. The English Colonialists built their first settlements on the eastern coast of North America, namely the Virginia Colony in 1607.
The Pilgrims, who were fleeing religious and racial persecutions and/or political and economic oppression in Europe found their way to America in 1620’s.
With the progress of European Colonization in the contemporary United States, the Native Americans population declined rapidly due to colonial wars, and diseases such as smallpox and measles, brought by the Europeans

The American Revolutionary War was the first war by Americans of many different racial and cultural background united against the British Colonialism; which led to the independence of the 13 colonies located in the East Coast.

On July 2, 1776, the actual vote for independence was casted; and the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This important document specifically stressed on the fact that Human Beings Are Created Equal. A notion entirely opposite of British Royal Blood and Birthrights Social Peking Order

Civil War and Reconstruction Era

The Colonial Mindset over social pecking order did not go away with the defeat of the British Colonialists. Some di- hard believers of racial segregation and proponents of Slavery of African Americans led to the devastating American Civil War. This long and bloody struggle finally ended by the victory of the People, who believed in Human Equality, Freedom and Civil Rights for all.

MULTICULTURAL BEAUTIFUL

Today, the United States of America has become a dynamic nation transformed by the fulfillment of its own dreams. Never has its population and culture been more vibrant and diverse; never has it been more reflective of--and connected to--the rest of the world.

The United States of America now is home to more than 110 million visible minorities, which include African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians combined. The continuing influx and confluence of new people, nationalities and ideas is not only reshaping and invigorating the American economy and the tapestry of its multicultural social discourse, it is also redefining and reaffirming the very essence of what it means to be an American.

Immigration, Expansion, and Industrialization

American immigration history can be viewed in four epochs: the colonial period, the mid-19th century, the start of the 20th century, and post-1965. Each period brought distinct national groups, races and ethnicities to the United States. During the 17th century, approximately 400,000 English people migrated to Colonial America. Over half of all European immigrants to Colonial America during the 17th and 18th centuries arrived as indentured servants.

An indentured servant or indentured laborer is an employee who is bound by a forced contract to work for a particular employer for a fixed period of time. Today, in many countries, including the United States, indentured labor contracts are not enforceable and culprits of such debauchery could be held liable civilly and criminally.

NEW IMMIGRATION PATTERNS

The mid-19th century saw mainly an influx from northern Europe; the early 20th-century mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe; post-1965 mostly from Latin America and Asia. Nearly 14 million immigrants entered the United States from 2000 to 2010, and over one million persons were naturalized as U.S. citizens in 2008. As of 2009, 66% of legal immigrants were admitted on the basis of family ties, along with 13% admitted for their employment skills and 17% for humanitarian reasons. The United States of America (USA), is a Federal Republic comprised of 50 States, a Federal District, 5 Self-Governing Territories.

WHAT IS A GREEN CARD?

"Green Card” is a symbolic reference to Lawful Residency Status in the United States. The official term for Green Card is “Alien Registration Receipt Card.”

There are two types of Green Cards:

1) Permanent Green Cards, issued since 1989, which are in fact valid for ten years from the issuance date, but they are renewable.

2) Conditional Green Cards, such as the initial green card that you, as a successful EB-5 applicant would receive, which is valid only for two years, etc.

Every year, the United States issues, about one million Green Cards and about 30 million more people receive temporary visas, such as Tourist Visa, Student or Work Visas. It is important to know that Green Card may only be used for reentry by Immigrants, who have maintained PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS in the United States. Thus, they are returning home, from a temporary visit of one year or less outside the United States. If the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) believes that a Green Card Holder has failed to maintain the INTENT to remain a Lawful Permanent Resident, she/he may be denied reentry to the United States, even though, they possess, otherwise, valid Green Cards.

In other word, no matter how much you travel, your permanent home must be in the U.S.; or your card could be revoked. In fact, it is more prudent not to spend more than six months at a time outside the United States.
You should also know that all green cards issued since 1989 carry expiration dates of ten years from the date of issue. Of course Conditional Green Cards are excluded from 10-years duration rule.
Green Card holders, who are 18 or older, must carry their green cards or other evidence of their status at all times.
It is wise to keep a photocopy of your Green card in a safe place, just in case, if you lose your green card or it is stolen. Having an actual copy will make it easier for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to replace it.

Could Green Card Holders Travel Abroad?

Yes. Some people, wrongly, believe that Green Card is nothing more than a work permit. The fact is that a Green Card holder is entitled to many but not all privileges and rights that a United States Citizen is entitled to. With some enumerated exceptions, a Green Card holder may be allowed to do any job; or travel anywhere in the United States or around the world. Traveling abroad is one of the rights of a Green card holder. However, the duration of travel must not be indefinite or too long. As the term “Permanent Resident” refers, you are expected to reside in the United States. If you make your main home (Domicile) outside of the United States, you could lose your Green Card. U.S. border officers are authorized by law, to decide whether a returning green card holder is living outside the country.

Among other questions, the border officer may legally ask you:

  • When did you leave the U.S.?
  • What were you doing abroad?
  • Where is your home?

Being away for longer than 6 months could raise suspicion, and being away for more than a year guarantees that you will have to attend an Immigration Court hearing, in order to reclaim your U.S. residency and green card.

The officer may also ask you the following questions:

  • Are you filing your taxes in the U.S.?
  • Own a home or apartment or have a long-term lease in the United States?
  • Were you employed in another country?
  • Are you returning to the U.S., with a one-way ticket or a round ticket back to the foreign country?
  • Maintained other ties with the United States?

If you have stayed abroad for several months, it is wise to carry copies of documents that show your home base is still in the United States.
Documents such as: U.S. Tax Returns, Home Lease, car payments, insurance payments, evidence of U.S. employment, or any other relevant documents.

NOTE: Many immigrants wrongly believe that in order to keep your green card, all you need is to enter the U.S. at least once or twice a year. The truth is that if you do not have the INTENT to make United States your permanent home, you give up your residency, when you leave. Arguments such as, “I did not know or my Immigration advisor told me so and so,” are not acceptable. In the United States, all residents are presumed to know the law. This is why, in most circumstances, it is said: “Ignorance of the law is NOT a defense!”

Could a Green Card Holder obtain a SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

Yes. Any legal residence of the United States must apply for a Social Security Number. This number identifies them and allows them to file income taxes or pay into the Retirement Insurance, etc

Does a Green Card Holder require PERMISSION BEFORE LEAVING the United States?

If you know that you are going to stay for an extended period of time abroad--generally more than one year --it is essential that you apply for a re-entry permit, by using form I-131. Via I-131 the U.S. Government allows you to apply for a re-entry based on certain circumstances. Some people refer to this re-entry permit as the White Pass. However, this is not the correct term.

If approved a re-entry permit allows a permanent resident to stay abroad for an extended period of time. However, this permit is valid for 2 years from the date issued. And the applicant must apply while in the U.S.

If you need to file for re-entry permit, please make sure you fill out the form correctly and comply with all requirements stipulated; pay all fees associated with the form and submit it, while you are still in the U.S.; and follow the mailing instructions.
If you do not apply for this permit and stay abroad for more than 1 year, then in order to come back again, you must apply at a U.S. consulate abroad for a special immigrant visa as a returning resident.

To get this visa, you must convince the consular that your long stay was due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, evidenced by a letter from your doctor, etc. If you do not have a convincing reason for staying longer than one year, there is a chance you will lose your Green Card.

Could a Green Card Holder be DEPORTED or BARRED from entering the United States?

Yes. If a Green Card Holder commits certain crimes, while in the United States, he/she may be removed (deported) or if abroad may become inadmissible. There are many actions or omissions that may make a Green Card holder removable or inadmissible. Here are some:

  • Failing to report your Change of Address to USCIS within 10 days.
  • Committing document fraud or alien smuggling.
  • Go on welfare or government assistance within the first five years of entry. Of course, there are some exceptions such as: disabling, accident, illness, etc.
  • Committing Domestic Violence and other enumerated crimes.

Do Green Card Holders have to file U.S. Income Taxes?

By obtaining a Green Card, the Holders automatically become United States tax residents. As a U.S. Tax residents, they must file their tax returns and declare their entire income to the U.S. government, even if part or all that income was earned outside the United States. Of course this does not mean you will be double taxed, since International treaties often regulate international income as well. However, it is always wise to consult with a tax lawyer, who knows the intricacies of the United States Tax Law.

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

There are seven general ways a person may qualify for a Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) Status or Green Card. A candidate may qualify under more than one category. If so, it may be wise to apply under all qualified categories. So, hopefully, one would be approved.

  • Immediate Family Sponsorship such as Marriage or Parents
  • Family-Preference Categories
  • Employment Based Green Cards (Workers)
  • Employment Based Green Cards (Job Creators/Investments)
  • Diversity (DV) Immigrant Lottery
  • Asylum/Refugee
  • Special Immigrant-Based

Family Sponsored Green Card

The mid-19th century saw mainly an influx from northern Europe; the early 20th-century mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe; post-1965 mostly from Latin America and Asia. Nearly 14 million immigrants entered the United States from 2000 to 2010, and over one million persons were naturalized as U.S. citizens in 2008.
As of 2009, 66% of legal immigrants were admitted on the basis of family ties, along with 13% admitted for their employment skills and 17% for humanitarian reasons. The United States of America (USA), is a Federal Republic comprised of 50 States, a Federal District, 5 Self-Governing Territories.

1) Immediate Family Sponsorship

Under this category, the United States Citizens can apply for immigrant Visa (Green Card) for their immediate families, such as Spouse, Children under ages of 21 and Parents. Please note that a United State Citizen also can apply for Married Children, Brothers and Sisters. However, such family members do not fall within immediate family members under U.S. Immigration Law. United States Green Card Holders, on the other hand, can only sponsor their spouses and unmarried, dependent children.
For more information regarding this category of family sponsorship click HERE for a Confidential Case Evaluation by your Credible and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer. The first important Step toward a Green Card is having Accurate and Sound Advice.

2) Family-Preference Categories

Family Preference Immigrant Visas are limited in numbers. This means that there could be a backlog, which can take years for an otherwise eligible party to obtain a Green Card. Family-Preference Visas are for specific, but more distant family members of a U.S. citizen.

The current fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants are shown at the end of each category. Here they are:

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any. (23,400)
  • Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs. At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters. (114,200)
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children. (23,400)
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)

Please Note: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor their relatives for immigration. For more information regarding this category of family sponsorship click HERE for a Confidential Case Evaluation by your Credible and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer. The first important Step toward a Green Card is having Accurate Advice.

3) Employment Based Green Cards (Workers)

In every fiscal year, which starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas (Green Cards) are issued by the U.S. immigration. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into Five Preference Categories. Qualified spouses and children of successful applicants may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants

Here are the categories:

Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Workers

A First Preference applicant must apply and be approved via Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker Program. This sub-category does not require a Labor certification. Priority Workers receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas.

There are three sub-groups within this category:

1. Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in their fields of expertise. Such applicants do not have to have specific job offers, so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the fields in which they have extraordinary talents.

2. Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three-years of experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally.

Applicants in this category must be coming to the U.S. to pursue tenured teaching, or a comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. The prospective employer must provide a job.

3. Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer.

The applicant’s employment outside of the U.S. must have been in a managerial or executive capacity, and the applicant must be coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity. The prospective employer must provide a job offer.

Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability

The Second Preference applicant must, generally, obtain a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. In addition, for this sub-category, a job offer is required and the U.S. employer must file an Immigrant Petition on behalf of the Foreign Worker. However, some qualified applicants may apply for an exemption from the job offer and labor certification, known as a National Interest Waiver. If approved, the applicant may self-petition by filing the Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker. Of course, support evidence must also be submitted.

Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the Employment First Preference category.

Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

Third Preference applicants must have approved Immigrant Petitions, filed by the prospective employers. All such workers generally require labor certification approval as well. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers) receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the Employment First Preference and Second Preference categories.

There are three subgroups within this category:

  • Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2-years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
  • Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.
  • Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.

Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants

Fourth Preference applicants must obtain approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. Labor certification is not required for any of the Certain Special Immigrants subgroups.
Special Immigrants receive 7.1 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas.

There are many subgroups within this category:

  • Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization Ministers of Religion
  • Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad
  • Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
  • Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone
  • Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1st, 1979
  • Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators who have worked directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator/interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. This classification has an annual numeric limitation of 50 visas.
  • Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for not less than one year on or after March 20th, 2003 and prior to September 30, 2013, or in Afghanistan for not less than one year after October 7th, 2001, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment.
  • Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
  • Certain Retired International Organization Employees
  • Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
  • Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
  • Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Certain retired NATO-6 civilians
  • Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of NATO-6 civilians
  • Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
  • Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11th, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11th, 2001

5) Employment Based Green Cards (Job Creators/Investments)

- Employment Fifth Preference (EB-5): Immigrant Investors

This is the Job Creator category.
Immigrant Investor visa categories are for capital investment by foreign investors in qualified commercial enterprises in the United States.
In order to qualify under this category, a foreign entrepreneur must invest from $500K to $1 Million USD in qualified business and employ at least ten (10) American citizens or lawful permanent residents on a full time basis.
This category allows for 10,000 immigrant visas per year. It was designed to attract foreign investors to the United States, so they can create jobs.
All categories of employment-based immigrant visas are issued in the chronological order, until the annual numerical limit for the category is reached. The filing date of a petition becomes the applicant's so called priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached.

6) Green Card Through Diversity (DV) Immigrant Visa Lottery

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) provides a maximum of 50,000 immigrant visas annually. Recipients of such visas are drawn randomly from the pool of all entries from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Most lottery winners reside outside the United States and must be found admissible to the United States through consular processing, in order for the immigrant visa to be issued.

Diversity Visa Winners Legally Residing in the United States:

There are, however, a small number of lottery winners each year who, at the time of “winning the lottery,” are residing in the United States under a nonimmigrant legal status. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) provides adjustment of status applications to such winners.

7) Green Card through Asylum/Refugee

Asylum status and refugee status are, generally, used interchangeably. However, it is essential to know the crucial difference between them. Both asylees and refugees must prove that they are subject to persecution in their country of origin due to their race, religion, gender, nationality, political opinion, or membership and affiliations with social groups, and so on. However, the location of the applicant will determine whether that person applies for asylum or refugee status. Asylum status applies to people who are already in the United States or at a U.S. port of entry. Refugee status applies to people who are outside of the United States as well as outside of their native country, but are unwilling or unable to return to their native country due to reasonable fear of persecution.

Asylum (Subcategory)

Asylum status is given to a person, who qualifiedly seeks protection, while he or she is in the United States. An asylee is, generally, allowed to apply for lawful permanent residency status (LPR or Green Card) after he or she has been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year, since being granted asylum. In order to be eligible for a Green Card as an asylee, he or she must meet the following requirements:

  • be physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • must have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after he or she is granted asylum;
  • he or she must not have resettled in any other country;
  • their grant of asylum has not been terminated;
  • He or she is admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residency or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and so on

Refugee (Subcategory)

The term, Refugee, is referred to a person, who seeks protection, while outside the United States.
Refugees are, generally, allowed to apply for lawful permanent residency status (LPR or Green Card) after they have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year.
In order to be eligible for a Green Card as a refugee, a refugee must meet the following requirements:

  • admitted into the United States as a refugee under Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
  • be physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • has been physically present in the United States for at least one year after admission as a refugee at the time he or she files Form I-485;
  • his or her refugee status has not been terminated;

Special Immigrant-Based Permanent Residency (Green Card)

Generally, most Green Cards are obtained via Employment, Investment, Family Member Sponsorship, Diversity Visa Program, and Refugee/Asylum Programs. However, there are other ways to get a Green Card. These Green Cards are limited to individuals meeting particular qualifications and/or applying during certain time frames.
Only 10,000 green cards become available annually for all Special Immigrant Categories.

Who Qualifies for Special Immigrant Visas?

Special immigrant Visas, which lead to Permanent Residency Status or Green Card are available to the following people:

  • clergy and other professional, vocational workers with bona fide, nonprofit religious organizations
  • foreign workers who provided faithful service to the U.S. government or the American Institute in Taiwan for at least 15 years
  • Panama Canal Treaty employees who provided faithful service for at least one year or whose safety was endangered by treaty ratification after at least five years’ faithful service, as well as Panamanian nationals who honorably retired from U.S. government employment after at least 15 years (now seldom-used categories)
  • foreign medical graduates who entered the United States as nonimmigrants before January 10, 1978 and remained continuously present in the United States in the practice or study of medicine since their entry (almost no one fits this category anymore)
  • Afghan nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan and are under threat as a result. This program has had various sunset dates. As of mid-2014, the U.S. State Department says that 3,000 visas will be issued to principal applicants under this program in fiscal year (FY) 2014, with any unissued visas allotted to FY 2015. The program will end when all of the 3,000 visas have been used or on September 30, 2015, whichever comes first. The deadline for applying for the required Chief of Mission approval was September 30, 2014
  • Iraqi nationals who provided faithful service working for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq and who experienced an ongoing serious threat as a result (after various extensions, any cases that filed for Chief of Mission approval before September 30, 2014 are eligible for visas
  • retired officers or employees of certain international organizations who have lived in the U.S. for a certain time
  • foreign nationals who have been declared dependent on U.S. juvenile courts in because they were neglected, abused, or abandoned by their immigrant parent(s)
  • persons who served honorably for 12 years on active U.S. military duty after October 15, 1978 after enlisting outside the U.S.
  • NATO civilian employees (another seldom-used category), and
  • persons coming to work as broadcasters for the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or for its grantee (a rarely used category).

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa or inadmissible. Examples of these ineligibilities include: drug trafficking crimes; overstaying a previous visa; submitting fraudulent documents; misrepresentation of material fact or fraud, and so on could make an applicant ineligible for a visa or inadmissible to the United States.

To know more about any of the above paths to Green Card, please Click HERE and let your Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer provide you an initial Case Evaluation Privately, Confidentially and FREE, Now.

NEW IMMIGRATION PATTERNS

Generally, a Citizen of another country wishing to enter the United States must obtain a visa. Such visas could be either nonimmigrant visas or immigrant (Green Card).

Nonimmigrant or Temporary Work Visa categories are designed for the United States’ Employers to hire certain types of workers from other countries. These types of visas allow the visa holders to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time. There are several categories ("classifications") of temporary worker visas, some of which are limited in numbers. Here is a brief description of the various types of Work Visas:

A Visa (Diplomatic Visa)

This type of visa is designated for Diplomats, Foreign Government Officials, and their Assistants.

C Visa (Transit Visa)

This type of temporary visa is for people who are traveling through the United States to another country. Thus they are in transit.

D Visa (Crew Visa)

This type of visa is for the crew of a Ship/Vessel or Aircraft entering the United States.

E Visa (Treaty Visa)

This category of visas are designated for treaty traders, investors, and Australian specialty occupation workers coming to the United States for temporary wor.k

G Visa

This category of Visa is for national representatives to international organizations within the United States. The United Nations is an Example of such organizations.

H-1B Visa

This visa category is for people with Bachelor’s Degree or higher, who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation; cooperative research and development projects, or services as a fashion model with distinguished merit or ability.

H-2A Visa

This Visa Program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary Agricultural jobs.

H-2B Visa

This Visa Category allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary Nonagricultural jobs.

H-3 Visa

This type of nonimmigrant visa category allows foreign nationals to come to the United States on a temporary basis for:

  • Trainee to receive training in any field of endeavor, other than graduate medical education or training, that is not available in the foreign national’s home country.
  • Special Education Exchange Visitor to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

I Visa

This category of nonimmigrant visa is designated for Representatives of Foreign Media. People who:

  • Represent a foreign information media outlet (press, radio, film, or other foreign information media)
  • Are coming to the United States to engage solely in this profession; and
  • Have a home office in a foreign country

The type of jobs under this category include reporters, film crews, editors, and similar occupations. Any spouse and children under the age of 21 may accompany or follow to join an I nonimmigran.

J Visa (Exchange Visitors)

This type of visas are designated for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

J-1Visa

This type of nonimmigrant visa is for those people, who are sponsored by an approved U.S. Department of State exchange program.

Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Nannies
  • Camp counselors, and so on

L-1 Visa (Intra-Company Transferee)

This type of visa is designed for employees of Multi-National Companies working in the United States on a temporary basis. L-1 consists of 2 sub-categories:

- The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one. The employer must file the Petition for L-1 Nonimmigrant Visa on behalf of the employee.

- The L-1B nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one. Again, the employer must file the petition on behalf of the employee.

NATO Visa

This nonimmigrant type of Visa is designated for certain representatives and staff of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries

O Visa

This nonimmigrant visa is designated for individuals with extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics, and their assistants.

P Visa

This category of nonimmigrant visa is designed for internationally recognized and culturally unique entertainers and athletes.

Q-1 Visa

There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for people who want to participate in Exchange Visitor programs in the United States. As mentioned above, the J nonimmigrant visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. The Q nonimmigrant visa is for international cultural exchange programs designated by USCIS.

Q-1 Visa

Nonimmigrant Visa is for those are seeking to participate in an international cultural exchange program. The Q nonimmigrant exchange program is for the purpose of providing practical training and employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of your home country with the United States.

R-1 Visa

This nonimmigrant type visa is designated for foreign nationals who are coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by:

  • A non-profit religious organization in the United States;
  • A religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; or
  • A non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.

TN Visa This nonimmigrant visa is created to help professionals from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member countries, namely: Canada and Mexico. Qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens can obtain a TN Visa to to engage in business activities at a professional level. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, business consultants, teachers, and so on.

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

The B Visa category is a nonimmigrant type of visa designed for citizens of other countries to visit the United States on a temporary basis.

There are two types of B visas: (Blue Underlined Visa Types link up to Immigration Dictionary)

B-1 Visa

This nonimmigrant visa is issued to those seeking entry for business purposes. In order to qualify for B-1 Visa, you may have to show that you will be participating in a business activity of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training, and so on

B-2 Visa

This type of visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for tourism or pleasure; visit family or friends; or do both (B-1/B-2).

B-Visas are issued for visits lasting 6 months or less.

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

- Immediate Family Sponsorship (Subcategory)

Under this category, United States Citizens can sponsor their immediate family members for Lawful Permanent Residency Status (Green card). Under United States Immigration Law, Immediate Family Category includes Spouses, Children under age of 21 and Parents

Please Note: a United State Citizen also can apply for Married Children, Brothers and Sisters. However, such family members do not fall under immediate family category.

United States Green Card Holders, however, can only sponsor their spouses and unmarried—dependent--children. For more information regarding this category of family sponsorship click HERE for a Confidential Case Evaluation by your Credible and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer. The first important Step toward a Green Card is having Accurate and Sound Advice.

Family-Preference Categories

Family Preference Immigrant Visas are limited in numbers. This means that it could take years for an otherwise eligible party to obtain a Green Card. These types of visas are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. Citizen and some specified relationships with Green Card holders, also known as: Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

The current fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants are shown at the end of each category. Here they are:

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any. (23,400)
  • Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs. At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters. (114,200)
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children. (23,400)
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)

Please Note: aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins cannot be sponsored their relatives for immigration.
For more information regarding this category of family sponsorship click HERE for a Confidential Case Evaluation by your Credible and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer. The first important Step toward a Green Card is having Accurate and Sound Advice.

K-Visa

This category of visa is designated for fiancé of a U.S. citizen and their accompanying minor children (K-1 and K-2 visas). The objective of this program is to speed up the immigration process for such individuals. So they do not have to endure long periods of separation from their prospective spouses. (K-Visa links up to Immigration Dictionary)
The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act amendments of 2000 added the K-3 visa category for foreign spouses and K-4 category for stepchildren of U.S. citizens.
The LIFE Act requires applicants to apply for a K-3 visa in the country where their marriage to the U.S. citizen took place. In the event the couple were married in the United States, then U.S. is the country of the applicant’s current residence.
The applicants may be eligible to receive Green Cards as spouses and their minor children if they:

  • Are the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition that was filed by a U.S. citizen for their spouse or fiancé and/or the minor children of that spouse/fiancé
  • Have been admitted to the United States as a K Nonimmigrant
  • Met the requirement to marry the U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of entry, if a K-1 visa holder
  • Are eligible to adjust status as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, or the minor child of a K-1 visa holder
  • Have an immigrant visa immediately available
  • Are admissible to the United States

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

Are you interested to study in the United States? If so, as a full-time student, you would need a student visa.
There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons wishing to study in the United States. These visas are commonly known as the F and M visas.
Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa.

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student to enter an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

M-1 Student Visa

The M-1 visa (Vocational Student) category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.

To enter the United States to attend: You need the following visa category
Univeristy or College F
High School F
Private Elementary School F
Conservatory F
Another Academic Institution including a language training program M
Vocational or other recognized non-academic institution, other than a language training program M

You may enter in the F-1 or M-1 visa category provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be enrolled in an "academic" educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program
  • Your school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution
  • You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency
  • You must have sufficient funds available to support yourself during the entire proposed course of study
  • You must maintain a residence abroad which you have no intention of giving up

Student Employment

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions.
After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT), which could be pre-completion or post completion of studies
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
  • M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.
    For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized, prior to starting, by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS

    Other Visas & Helpful Info

    S Visa, T Visa and U Visa are designated for victims of a crimes or those having valuable information that can help the law enforcement authorities investigate individual criminals, crime syndicates and terrorist organizations.

    S Visa

    S Visa is a Nonimmigrant, which may be granted to foreign nationals who are witnesses, informants, or otherwise are willing to supply important information regarding a criminal; and whose presence in the United States is necessary for the Law Enforcement to pursue investigation or prosecution of subject crime/s. The S Visa Category, including the S-5, S-6 and S-7 Visas, was created in 1994 by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

    Criminal Informants (S-5)

    The S-5 classification may be granted to a foreign national who has been determined by the Attorney General to possess critical and reliable information concerning a criminal organization or enterprise. The foreign national must be willing to supply or have supplied such information to federal or state law enforcement authorities, or to a federal or state court. The Attorney General must also determine that the Foreign National’s presence in the U.S. is essential to the success of the criminal investigation or to the successful prosecution of an individual involved in a criminal organization or enterprise.

    Terrorist Informants (S-6)

    The S-6 status may be granted to a foreign national, whom the Attorney General and Secretary of State have determined to possess critical and reliable information concerning a terrorist organization, operation or enterprise. In addition, he or she must be willing to supply or has supplied information to federal law enforcement authorities or to a federal court. The Attorney General and Secretary must also determine that the foreign national has been or will be placed in danger as a result of providing such information, and is eligible to receive a cash reward under§36(a) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956.

    Accompanying Family Members (S-7)

    The law allows the informant’ s accompanying family members — including spouses, married or unmarried children, and parents — to receive S-7 nonimmigrant visas.

    ADJUSTMENT STATUS

    The Attorney General may adjust the status of S-5 nonimmigrants and their family members to that of lawful permanent resident (LPRs) if they have supplied information as agreed, and the information has contributed substantially to a successful criminal investigation. The Attorney General likewise may adjust the status of S-6 nonimmigrants and their accompanying family members to LPR status if the they have — in the sole discretion of the Attorney General — substantially contributed information that led to:

    • The prevention or frustration of an act of terrorism against the U.S, or
    • A successful investigation or prosecution of an individual involved in such an act of terrorism.

    The informants also must have received a reward under §36(a) of the State Department Basic Authorization Act of 1956.

    For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

t visa

In October 2000, United States Congress created the “T” nonimmigrant status by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). This legislation is designed to strengthen the law enforcement agencies’ abilities to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and also offer protection to victims. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life to other countries, including the United States. Such victims are generally poor, unemployed and innocent individuals. The T Nonimmigrant Status (T visa) is designated to protect victims of human trafficking, by allowing them to remain in the United States, so they can also assist in an investigation or prosecution of human traffickers

Eligibility FOR t visa

An applicant may be eligible for a T Visa if he or she:

  • is or was a victim of trafficking, as defined by law
  • is in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking
  • must comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or he/she is under the age of 18, or they are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma)
  • must demonstrate that he or she would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if they are removed from the United States
  • is admissible to the United States. If not admissible, they may be able to apply for a waiver.

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

U Visa

Congress created the U Nonimmigrant Visa via the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The purpose for promulgation of this law is to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies in their investigation and prosecution pf perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other crimes; while protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help the law enforcement authorities in their investigation or prosecution of the purported criminals. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes

U Visa Eligibility

One may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if he or she:

  • Is the victim of qualifying criminal activity.
  • Has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
  • Has information about the criminal activity. If the applicant is under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or friend may present such information on his/her behalf.
  • Was helpful, is helpful, or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  • The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
  • Is admissible to the United States. If not admissible, the applicant may apply for a waiver

Qualifying Criminal Activities

Abduction Hostage Sexual Assault
Abusive Sexual Contact Incest Sexual Exploitation
Blackmail Involuntary Servitudet Slave Trade
Domestic Violence Kidnapping Stalking
Exortion Man slaughter Torture
False Imprisonment Murder Trafficking
Female Genital Mutilation Obstruction of Justice Wintess Tampering
Felonious Assault Peonage Unlawful Criminal Restraint
Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting Perjury Other Related Crimes
Prostitution
Rape
includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar
Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

Unfortunately, Trump Administration has callously politicized these humanitarian programs. Thus the following information is provided for reference purposes only. Please, consult with your Chosen Immigration Lawyer prior to applying for these programs.

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several stipulated guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time.

One may request for DACA if he or she:

  • Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday
  • Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
  • Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

DAPA - Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents

On November 20, 2014, the President Obama announced that, within six months, USCIS would begin accepting requests for DAPA, Deferred Action for Parents of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.

If one receives a deferred action under DAPA, he or she may be able to stay in the United States temporarily without fear of deportation. In addition, they will be considered for employment authorization, which would allow them to work legally in the United States, for a three-year period.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR DAPA BENEFITS?

One may be considered for DAPA if he or she:

  • Has lived in the United States continuously since Jan. 1, 2010, up to the present time;
  • Was physically present in the United States on Nov. 20, 2014, and at the time of making the request for consideration of DAPA with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful status on Nov. 20, 2014;
  • Had a son or daughter, of any age or marital status, who is a U.S. citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR); and
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; do not otherwise pose a threat to national security; and is not an enforcement
  • priority for removal.

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

Green Card Through a Physician National Interest Waiver (NIW)

The second-preference employment category (EB-2) is designed to attract foreign individuals with exceptional abilities and/or members of professions with advanced degrees to apply for Permanent Residency or Green Card. Of course, a job-offer and a labor certification is generally required for this category. This requirement can be waived if the petitioner demonstrates that granting the EB-2 petition would be in the national interest of the United States. One of the reasons, which may prompt the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant the national interest waiver is if a physician agrees to work, for a limited period of time, in a designated underserved area.

Eligibility Criteria

n order to be eligible for this category of Green Card the Physician must:

  • Agree to work full-time in a clinical practice. For most physician NIW cases, the required period of service is 5 years
  • Work in a primary care (such as a general practitioner, family practice petitioner, general internist, pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, or psychiatrist) or be a specialty physician
  • Serve either in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA – for psychiatrists only), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Veterans Affairs facility, or for specialists in a Physician Scarcity Area (PSA)
  • Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  • Obtain a statement from a federal agency or a state department of health that has knowledge of your qualifications as a physician and that states your work is in the public interest (This statement is known as an attestation)

Health Care Worker Certification

Healthcare Professionals, other than Physicians, who are seeking admission to work as health care professionals are only admissible to the United States if they present certification from a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ approved credentialing organization. The certificate must verify that the worker has met the minimum requirements for training, licensure, and English proficiency in his or her field. The following healthcare careers require certifications under 8 CFR 212.15(c):

  • Nurses (licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses),
  • Physical therapists,
  • Occupational therapists,
  • Speech-language pathologists and audiologists,
  • Medical technologists (also known as clinical laboratory scientists),
  • Medical technicians (also known as clinical laboratory technicians) and
  • Physician assistants.

Please note: Nurses have an alternative certification process. A foreign nurse may present a certified statement from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. They may be able to obtain an approved statement from an equivalent independent credentialing organization verifying that the foreign nurse:

  • Has a valid and unrestricted license in the State of intended employment;
  • Has a foreign license that is authentic and unencumbered;
  • Passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX); and
  • Graduated from certain English language nursing programs.

This is just a brief description of some main requirements. For more detailed information and/or initial case evaluation Click HERE and let a Highly Experienced, Trusted and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer help you achieve your objectives.

Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act

DREAM Act, which stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act is a United States legislative proposal for a multi-phase process for qualifying minors in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, Permanent Residence Status or Green card. The bill was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001and has since been reintroduced several times but has failed to pass. This bill, if passed, will provide millions of immigrant children who graduate from U.S. High Schools the opportunity to receive U.S. Residency (a "Green Card").

This Bill if approved could benefit those:

  • Who arrived in the United States as children, before the age of 16
  • Who have been residing in the U.S. continuously for at least five years prior to the bill being enacted into law

Immigrants meeting these conditions would basically be issued temporary residency for a period of six years. This is based upon meeting certain educational or military requirements. A qualified student within the six-year temporary residency period must attend college and earn at least a two-year degree (associate of arts degree), or serve in the U.S. Military for two years in order to maintain immigration benefits.

The immigrant will be granted Permanent Residency at the end of the six-year conditional period once all the conditions are met. If not, the temporary residency will be taken away and the student will be subject to deportation.

Under the new proposed DREAM Act, which has not been finalized by Congress, the applicants may qualify if they meet the following requirements:

  • be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time the Law is enacted
  • have arrived in the United States before the age of 16
  • have resided continuously in the United States for a least five (5) consecutive years since the date of their arrival
  • have graduated from a U.S. High School, or obtained a General Education Diploma (GED)
  • have "Good moral character"

Please click HERE to consult with your Credible and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer about the DREAM ACT.

When an individual or a couple becomes the legal and permanent parent(s) of a child who is a national of another country, an International Adoption or intercountry adoption or transnational adoption occurs. Since, this type of adoption crosses the international borders, the prospective adoptive parent/s must meet the legal requirements of their own country and those of the prospective adopted child.
Of course, the adoption laws of countries vary and it is mostly contingent upon the individual country’s willingness to allow international adoptions. Some countries have relatively well-established rules and procedures for international adoptions, while others clearly forbid it. Some African Countries, for instance, require that the adoptive parents reside in adopted child’s country. This condition alone makes most International Adoptions almost impossible: since it is too cumbersome for most people to change their domiciliary for the sole purpose of qualifying as adopting parent/s.

Nonetheless, every year, thousands of U.S. residents adopt children from abroad. This often complicated journey requires the services of Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen Adoption Lawyers. We, literally, search the world to find such caring lawyers and bring them under one virtual roof. So, they can help you achieve your parenting objectives, safely. For a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL initial consultation all you have to do is Click HERE

Hague Process

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation for Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) is an international treaty that provides important safeguards to protect both the candidate children, birth parents, and the adoptive parents. The Hague Adoption Convention was adopted by the United States on April 1, 2008. All cases filed on or after April 1, 2008, must comport with rules and procedures of The Hague Process.

Adoption Service Providers (ASP)

Should you decide to approach any Adoption Service Provider to help you with your adoption objectives, make sure to conduct a thorough research into their qualifications, experience and credibility: Specifically, you must find out whether the Adoption Service Provider is authorized to work on Hague Adoption cases before hiring them or paying them any money.

Legal Services

By law, an Adoption Service Provider cannot provide legal advice or legal services to the prospective adoptive parent(s) or represent them before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Should you decide to adopt a child from abroad, please make sure you take the following initial steps right away:

  • Choose a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  • Apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for Assessment of Suitability for International Adoption, before adopting a child or accepting a placement
  • File a “petition” with USCIS, before adopting the child, to make sure the child is eligible and otherwise admissible to immigrate to the United States

The most prudent first step in adopting a child, internationally, is to consult with a highly experienced, committed and compassionate Chosen Adoption Lawyer to guide you through this complicated process safely from the start. For a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL initial consultation, please click HERE.

ORPHAN ADOPTION

There are an estimated 8 million orphans living in institutions around the world. Millions more are victims of wars, greed and callousness of self-aggrandizing political demagogues. Many of these innocent children are scavenging the mean streets of big cities to make ends meet. Some are forced to child labor or sex slaves to ruthless pedophiles, and more. Defending the rights of these voiceless and defenseless children is a moral duty for every reasonable and responsible human being.

Here at Chosen Lawyers, we believe every innocent child is entitled to have hopes and be loved—and we do whatever, we can to help them find loving parents, who would help them not only to survive, but also to thrive.

For many children their adoption journey began when they were left at the door steps of religious institutions; abandoned in desolate and dire locations or brought to an orphanage or children’s home. However, in many countries, in order for a child to become eligible for adoption, he or she must be designated as an “orphan”. This bureaucratic process can be a major hurdle on the path of salvation for a helpless and voiceless child.

Moreover, when children are adopted outside the United States, they must go through an immigration process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must also determine the eligibility and suitability of prospective adoptive parent/s, in order to issue the necessary visas for the adopted orphans to enter the United States.

Who is considered an Orphan?

Under the United States Immigration Law, a child is considered an orphan if he or she:

  • does not have any parents because of death or disappearance or abandonment and desertion or separation or loss of both parents
  • OR
  • has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child, and who has irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. This release must be in writing
  • The adoptive parent/s must file an orphan petition before the child’s 16th birthday, or before the child’s 18th birthday if the child is a birth sibling of another child, whom the adoptive parent/s have also adopted and who immigrated or will immigrate as an orphan.

    USCIS or DOS Investigation

    As part of the adopting process, the United States Citizenship (USCIS) or the Department of State (DOS) will conduct an investigation in the country, where the purported orphan was born and lives. The purpose of this investigation is to:

    • Confirm that the child is an orphan as defined in the U.S. immigration law
    • Verify that you have obtained a valid adoption or grant of custody
    • The child does not have an illness or disability that is not described in the orphan petition
    • Determine whether the child has any special needs that were not fully addressed in your home study
    • Determine whether there are any facts showing that the child does not qualify for immigration as your adopted child

    For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

The word Mandamus is a Latin term, which means “We Command”. However, in legal jargon, Mandamus or a Writ of Mandamus is referred to a court order that mandates a lower court, governmental official, corporation or an individual to do or not to do a specific act.

The purpose of mandamus is to remedy defects of justice. Generally, it is not available in anticipation of any injury except when the petitioner is likely to be affected by an official act in contravention of a statutory duty or where an illegal or unconstitutional order is made. The grant of mandamus is therefore an equitable remedy; a matter for the discretion of the court, within the boundaries of law.

There are several types of Mandamus:

1. Alternative Mandamus: A mandamus issued upon the first application for relief, commanding the defendant either to perform the act demanded or to appear before the court at a specified time to show cause for not performing it.

2. Peremptory Mandamus: An absolute and unqualified command to the defendant to do the act in question. It is issued when the defendant defaults on, or fails to show sufficient cause in answer to, an alternative mandamus.

3. Continuing Mandamus: A mandamus issued to a lower authority in general public interest asking the officer or the authority to perform its tasks expeditiously for an unstipulated period of time for preventing miscarriage of justice.

Could a Prospective Immigrant file for a Writ of Mandamus?

Theoretically, Yes. In some cases, a petitioner of an immigration benefit, for instance, adjustment of status and so on, may be able to file a lawsuit against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is a governmental agency, under the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. §500 et seq, the “APA”).

This Law mandates that when Congress has given a task to an agency, such as USCIS to perform, it has a duty to do it within a “reasonable” time. However, reasonableness of time could be subject to different interpretation. This is why, each case must be examined by an Experienced and Credible Lawyer prior to determining whether seeking a writ of mandamus is appropriate or even wise. That is because, in some of immigration matters, the United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) officers are permitted to exercise discretion.

Assuming the delay in a particular case is unreasonable or discretion is overtly capricious, seeking a Writ of Mandamus may be the only viable remedy. Typically, in this kind of lawsuits, the petitioners sue the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security or the USCIS Director or the District Director of the Field Office, or other authorities, whose unreasonable delays have caused the delays. If approved, a Judge will issue an order mandating the parties to make a decision.

This does not mean the court issuing the Writ can order approval of the petitioner’s application: Just to make a decision. This is why, you would need an experienced and credible Lawyer to assess your options wisely from the start.

For instance, an experienced Immigration Lawyer who is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) could utilize a liaison system that permits AILA members make specific inquiries with USCIS on delayed cases through channels not available to the general public or nonmember attorneys.

An Experienced and Credible Immigration Lawyer could also contact the USCIS or the Consulate responsible for delays on behalf of the petitioner and notify them to act within a reasonable period of time or a lawsuit for the Writ of Mandamus will be filed against them.

For more information regarding Green Card or how to acquire it, please Click HERE and have a Confidential LIVE CHAT with an Experienced, Credible and Compassionate Chosen American Immigration Lawyer, right now. Your initial consultation is FREE.

United States Investment Visas (Golden Visa)

There are two types of Investment Visas to the United States. Here is a brief description of each:

  • The E-2 category of Investment Visa is a Nonimmigrant Visa, which allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain family members and employees of qualified E-2 investors may also be eligible under this category of visas.
  • The EB-5 visa, employment-based fifth preference category or EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, created in 1990 by the Immigration Act of 1990. This is an Immigrant Investment type of visa, which may lead to Lawful Permanent Residency (Green Gard). Certain family members of qualified EB-5 investors may also be eligible under this category of visas.

What are E-1 and E-2 Treaty Visas and Who Qualifies for them?

The United States has entered into commerce and navigation treaties with many countries. In order to facilitate trades between the United States and the citizens of the treaty countries, it has established E category non-immigrant treaty Visas.

If you are a businessperson from one of the so-called treaty countries, and plan to engage in substantial trade with the United States, then you may qualify for an E-1 or E-2 Visa.

Some people find E Category Visas better than even Permanent Residency Status or Green Card. That is because, as an E visa holder, they do not have to maintain their main domiciliary (residence) in the United States. Nor they may be bound to report their worldwide income to the IRS, as Permanent Residents and Citizens are obligated to do. They may not be fully subjected to other laws such as Inheritance and so on, in the United States. In the meantime, they can do business and live in the United States, indefinitely. Their Spouses and Unmarried Children under 21 may also come along with them.

More importantly, there is no annual Quota for E Visas category. Thus there is no backlog for first come first serve type.

Can I apply for E-1 Visa?

The answer depends on the following qualifications:

  • Does your country have a Commerce and Navigation treaty with the United States? If yes:
  • Do you or someone else from your country own at least 50% or more of a business in the United States that qualifies as an International Trader?
  • or are you a Supervisor or Manager or a key Employee of such a business?
  • Does this business conduct Substantial Trade with the United States?

If you meet the above conditions, you may qualify for E-1 Visa

How long can I stay in the United States under E-1 Visa?

Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted.
All E-1 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart or leave the United States, when their status expires or is terminated.
An E-1 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission, when returning to the United States.

Family of E-1 Treaty Traders and Employees

A successful E-1 Applicant may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty trader or employee.
These family members may seek E-1 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved,
Generally, they will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.

What is E-2 Visa?

The E-2 nonimmigrant Visa allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States, when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
If the treaty investor is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, he or she may be able to change status to E-2 classification.

General Required Qualifications for E-2 Treaty Investor

o qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
  • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.
  • Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

What is a Treaty Investment?

An investment is considered a treaty investment, if placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets are at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails.
The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activities

What does substantial amount of capital mean?

  • Substantial is calculated based on the Investor’s investment in relations to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing such a new one.
  • The Capital must be sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, which produces services or goods for profit. And it must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.

Marginal Enterprises

The investment enterprise may not be marginal. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.
Depending on the facts, a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income.
In such cases, however, the enterprise should have the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.

Period of Stay

Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted.
All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.
An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.

Family of E-2 Treaty Investors

Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.
Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee.
These family members may seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.
Spouses of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization. If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work.
As discussed above, the E-2 treaty investor or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. Unless the family members are accompanying the E-2 treaty investor or employee at the time the latter seeks readmission to the United States, the new readmission period will not apply to the family members. To remain lawfully in the United States, family members must carefully note the period of stay they have been granted in E-2 status, and apply for an extension of stay before their own validity expires.

Do I qualify for E-2 Visa?

In order to qualify for E-2 Visa Program, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be a citizen of a country that has a Commerce and Navigation Treaty with the United States.
  • Your objective for coming to the United States must be to work for a qualified business for profit, that you own or are a key employee of such business.
  • Please make sure you understand that at least 50% of the business that conducts Substantial Trade with the United States, must be owned by you or other nationals of a single
  • country; which has a treaty with the United States.
  • The investment must be substantial. Unfortunately, there is no set figure for this program as it is for EB-5.
    Please note: The amount invested must be at risk. And the term Substantial is defined as proportional to the nature of the business.
  • You must show that you do not intend to permanently stay in the United States.

Would I be able to get a Green Card through E-1 or E-2 non-immigrant programs?

Generally, E-1 and E-2 Visas are for temporary traders. This means that in order to qualify for this visa, you must show that you are only doing business with the United States, temporarily. Thus, once your business relation ends, you will leave. In other words, if the authorities sense that you intend to permanently move to the United States, most likely, they will not grant you an E Visa. However, you may be able to apply for Lawful Permanent Residency Status or Green Card, through other Immigrant Visa categories such as: Eb-5 program, Diversity Visa Lottery, Employment Immigration Programs, or Family Based Immigration

Please note: you have the burden of proof to show the Government that your initial intention for applying for E-1 or E-2 visa was not to permanently immigrate to the United States This process can be a bit tricky. It may be prudent to consult with a Trusted, Competent and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer to assess your options. All you have to do is Click HERE and get a FREE & Confidential Case Evaluation, now.

EB-5 Investment Immigrant Visa (Green Card)

Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), allocates 10,000 “EB-5” immigrant visas per year to qualified individuals seeking Lawful Permanent Residency Status. This category of visa is based on Capital Investment in a New Commercial Enterprise, or a troubled business, which must produce or preserve at least 10 fulltime jobs for American Workers.

Congress created the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program during the recession of 1990. This program was designed to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and to encourage the inflow of Capital to the United States by foreign investors. By 2005, this program had not yet become successful: not because of lack of interested investors, but because of difficult applications and unreasonably sloppy process; including a long adjudication, which had led to the suspension of processing on over 900 EB-5 cases—some of which dated back all the way to 1995.

By the end of 2011 fiscal year, more than 3,800 EB-5 applications had been filed; compared to about 800 applications in 2007. However, EB-5 program toped its allotted 10,000 for the first time in August 2014. As a result of which the State Department stopped issuing EB-5 visas until the beginning of the next fiscal year, which started in October of 2014.

What is a Commercial Enterprise?

A Commercial Enterprise is any for-profit and lawful business including, but not limited to:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership (whether limited or general)
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation, etc.

Source of Fund to be Invested

The money, you need to invest in EB-5 program could be a gift, inheritance or earned income. As long as you can show that you have obtained the money, lawfully. Please Note: Passive investments such as owning a personal residence, does not count as an investment for the purpose of EB-5 program.

How much Money does EB-5 Program Require?

The standard capital investment requirement for an EB-5 investor program is about $1 million dollars. This amount could be reduced to $500,000 if you invest your money in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).

What is a TEA?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has defined a Targeted Employment Area as an area with an unemployment rate of 150% or more of the National Average, or a Rural Area.

What is a Rural Area?

A Rural Area is defined as any location, which is not a part of the official statistical metropolitan or not located within the outer boundaries of a city with a population of 20,000 people or more.

Job Creation Requirements

EB-5 investors must demonstrate that their capital investment will create or preserve at least ten (10) full time jobs for qualified U.S. workers within the United States.

Who is a Qualified American Worker?

To be qualified as American employees, the 10 workers must be either Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, or anyone else who can legally work in the United States, indefinitely. Thus, temporary workers do not qualify; nor do Independent Contractors or any foreign national in any nonimmigrant status visas such as H-1B etc. On the other hand, Asylees and/or Refugees are considered qualified American Workers. For those of you who want to know the difference between an Asylee and a Refugee here it is: An Asylee applies for asylum status, which is protection from proven fear of persecution based on race, religion, national origin, political or social affiliations etc., while physically present in the United States.
A refugee, on the other hand, applies for shelter and protection for the same or similar reasons that I mentioned above, while, still outside the United States. Moreover, the EB-5 Petitioners, their spouses and children are not counted toward the 10 employee requirement, regardless of their skills, hard work or handsome salaries. Other members of the family such as cousins, aunts and uncles can be counted, as full time employees as long as they are qualified American Employees.

Who Qualifies for EB-5 Visa?

In a nutshell all entrepreneurs/investors, from any country, who meet the stringent qualifications set out by the EB-5 program are eligible to apply. Like many other types of visas, however, each country has about 7% quota in EB-5 program. Thus a country, as a whole, can only have 700 of the 10,000 EB-5 Visas. If a country exceeds the 7% limit, then its nationals are placed in a waiting list. You’ll be glad to know that if your petition is accepted for the EB-5 program, you can include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, as derivatives.
The bad news is that all derivatives are counted towards the annual cap of 10,000 visas. Thus the Quota may get filled pretty quickly. For instance, in 2014 China exceeded the 700 quotas. Thus, the surplus applicants had to wait in a first come, first served waiting list for the next year’s allotment. What you should also know is that the eligibility requirements are very narrow and many applications are rejected. In most cases strict and ascertainable evidences are required to prove the veracity of the requested info, especially, the source and legitimacy of the fund. One of the main reasons for this stringent evidentiary requirement is a history of fraud and abuse such as money laundry schemes. This is why some lawyers encourage their clients to seek other possible ways of achieving their immigration objectives, such as Priority Worker, under EB-1 Category, as briefly mentioned above.

What is a Regional Center?

Congress created an amendment to Immigrant Investors Program, known as the Regional Center Pilot Program, created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 on October 6, 1992. EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Regional Centers are essentially the same as in the basic EB-5 investor program. However, there are at least two major differences

  • Regional Centers are allowed to include both direct and indirect jobs, toward the mandated 10 jobs per applicant count.
  • As an entrepreneur investor, you must be actively involved in the management of your business, but not so, if you have made your investment through a Regional Center.

To find out more, please contact an Experienced, Diligent and Compassionate Chosen Immigration Lawyer to help you achieve your Immigration objectives! For a FREE case evaluation, all you need to do is to Click HERE and have a Strictly Confidential--LIVE CHAT—with your Chosen Immigration Lawyer, in your Private and S.S.L. Certificated AUDIO/VIDEO/TEXT Communication Portal.

United States Investment Visas (Golden Visa)

The B-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which is designed for people, who wish to enter the United States for a limited time to participate in business activities of a commercial or professional nature, including, but not limited to:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training
  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa

Deadhead Crew: certain airline crew may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa

B-1 could also cover business activities could be making investments, buying goods or real estate, attending a performance or seminar, or conducting other business of an employer located abroad. Therefore, you may not qualify for B-1 visa, if you are self-employed.

In order to be eligible for a B-1 Visa, you must meet certain requirements such as:
The purpose to travel to the United States is to conduct legitimate and lawful business.
You must be coming to the United States only for a short period of time.
You must prove that you have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of your trip, including your stay in the United States.
You must also show you maintain your residence abroad, which you have no intention of abandoning, and that you have other binding ties with your home country, which will ensure your return at the end of the visit.
You may be required to submit additional evidence of your intent to leave the United States upon on or before expiration of your visa:
Return Ticket, evidence of other meetings or time-sensitive activities you need to engage in after returning, may prove your intent.
Evidence of property ownership in your home country, ties to family (such as a spouse and children), employment in your home country supported by documents such as contract, payment stubs etc., may also be considered.
In addition, you must prove that you have sufficient amount of money to sustain your limited stay in the United States. So you do not become a public charge; such as going on welfare…
This can be proved by bank accounts showing credit, cash on hand, or other means to pay for your expenses. Or evidence that expenses have already been prepaid.
As mentioned above, B-1 visa is designed to help business people conduct the activities that are related in or incidental to businesses located abroad.
Generally speaking, you cannot engage in any activity or perform a service that would constitute local employment for hire within the United States.
What constitutes local employment for hire will depend on the circumstances of each case, but generally speaking, any activity you perform in the United States must be directly connected with and part of your employment in other countries.
If you are coming to secure funding for a new business, you cannot remain in the United States after securing the funding. You cannot stay to start actual operations or to manage the business, unless you change status to another classification that authorizes employment in the United States.
You are not allowed under B-1 visa to accept salary from United States Employers.
It is permissible to conduct business activities on behalf of a foreign business in the United States. However, it is not allowed to accept a salary from a U.S. source.

Note: There is no guarantee that the U.S. Department of State (DOS) will issue you a B-1 visa, or that DHS will grant you B-1 status, even if you present all ascertainable requested evidence.

EXPECTATIONS

If your country is a member of the so-called Visa Waiver Countries, then you may not need a B category visa at all. Currently, there are 38 countries, which participate in Visa Waiver Program.
If you choose this route, you will only be allowed to stay in the United States for a maximum of 90 days at a time and, except in an emergency, cannot extend your stay. Canadians are exempt from the visa requirement but are not subjected to the 90-day rule.

What is B-2 Visa?

As opposed to B-1, a B-2 visa holder may not engage in business activities at all. In other words, B-2 is designed for those people who exclusively visit the United States for the purpose of tourism, pleasure or medical treatment.
B-2 category usually allows the successful applicant to stay in the United States for up to 6 months

Is B-2 Visa Extendable?

Theoretically, you are allowed to apply for an extension of a B-2 visa without leaving the United States. Technically, you may be able to leave the United States on or before the last day of your visa and re-enter the very next day for another stay. This process may become complicated, if you are from a country that is labeled as a country that sponsors terrorism or you have had difficulties getting a visa in the past or you have over stayed your visa in the past, etc.

Please also note:

If the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) becomes suspicious of your travel pattern or see that you are spending most of your time in the United States, they may assume that you intend to stay more than a temporary period, thus deny you entry, even though, you possess an otherwise valid visa.
By the way, generally, if you wish to have a vacation home in the United States to live here for about 6 months each year, you can do so, legally.
To reiterate the B-2 visa I should say that if the purpose of your travel is tourism, visiting friends, relatives, rest and recreation, or is related to medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, or participation by amateurs who will receive no compensation for musical, sports and similar performances or contests, then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for you. On the other hand, if you are planning to travel to the United States for any different purpose such as studies, temporary employment, airlines or ship crewmembers, journalists, etc., you must apply for the appropriate visa.

FOREIGN PRESS MEMBERS

Could Foreign Press Members come to the United States with B-1 or B-2 Visas, to conduct business?
The answer is NO!
Representatives of the foreign press, radio, film, journalists or other information media, engaging in that vocation while in the United States, require a nonimmigrant Media (I) visa and cannot travel to the United States using a visitor visa or on the Visa Waiver Program.
Please also note that the newly promulgated H.R 158 Law, or the so called: Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 has profoundly affected this category of visitors. You would need to know the terms of this controversial and politically motivated law, prior to making your travel plans to the United States.

Immigration Law (Federal Jurisdiction)

The United States of America (USA) is a Federal Republic. The literal meaning of the word “republic”, when used in reference to the form of government, means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected president, rather than by a king or queen.
Moreover, in a federal republic, there is a division of powers between the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the government. The main reason for this division of powers is to prevent the concentration of powers in the hand of one body and to create a system of checks and balances.

Preemption of State Laws Relating to Immigration

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution preempts state laws that interfere with or are contrary to federal laws (Article VI, Cl. 2). With respect to immigration-related matters, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that:
“The regulation of foreign nationals is so intimately blended and intertwined with responsibilities of the national government that where it acts, and the state also acts on the same subject, the act of Congress or Treaty is Supreme Law; and state law must yield to it.”
Since, Immigration Law is almost entirely a Federal Subject matter, state laws addressing immigration are preempted by federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has broad and exclusive power to regulate immigration, preempting state and local laws that also attempt to do so

Enforcing Federal Immigration Laws

It is, however, recognized that states and local governments may enforce the criminal provisions of the Immigration and Nationalities Act (8 USC § 1101, et seq.). For example, Section 1252(c) allows state and local law enforcement to arrest and detain foreign nationals illegally present in the United States who have prior felony convictions. And under § 287(g) of that law, the U.S. Attorney General is permitted to enter agreements with states and localities to permit their law enforcement officers to perform additional duties relating to immigration law enforcement, without commandeering them. State and local enforcement efforts cannot impose new or additional penalties upon immigration law violators

Can I hire an Immigration Lawyer in any State to deal with my Case?

Yes. When hiring an attorney to represent you in immigration law matters, the usual advice about making sure he or she is a member in good standing of your state bar association does not necessarily apply.
With the advent of Audio/Video/Text Live Communications, millions of websites serving every needs and wants of the people; fast modes of transportation have indeed transformed our vast world into a small “Global Village”. Thus, a common question that Chosen Lawyers receives from patrons is whether a Lawyer can practice in any state?
The simple answer is NO! Lawyers, generally, must be admitted to the bar of any state they wish to practice in. However, legal answers are rarely so simple, and indeed, there are exceptions that would allow an attorney from one state to practice in another state

Reciprocity: Some states have agreements with other states that allow Lawyers to practice in such states. For instance, a lawyer licensed in any state, who has practiced law for more than five years is allowed to practice law in D.C. without taking the D.C. bar. Please note that practice of law without a license is a crime. In most personal injury matters, for example, the courts of the state where the accident took place or where the defendant is a domiciliary (primary residence) have subject matter jurisdictions. Thus, if you're from Arizona, and the party who is liable for an accident that injured you is from New Mexico; and the injury happened in California. You would probably need to hire a California Licensed Lawyer if you file your suit in California or a New Mexico Licensed Lawyer if you file your suit in New Mexico.

Immigration, on the other hand, is governed by Federal Law. Therefore, a Lawyer duly licensed to practice law in any state, theoretically, can represent you before Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and/or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) or any immigration court in any other state. You do not need to hire an out-of-state attorney. However, it is important that you hire a lawyer that is highly Experienced, Knowledgeable, Credible and Compassionate about Immigration Law. Since, immigration is a highly anxiety ridden issue to begin with. In most cases, you wish to leave your homeland and all that is familiar and dear to you behind; enter an unfamiliar world. Immigration law is federal, and is administered through a federal agency (the Department of Homeland Security). Once a lawyer has been licensed by the bar association of one or more states, that lawyer can set up practice wherever he or she chooses – in any U.S. state, or even in another country.

The immigration authorities recognize this fact, and they accept representation by lawyers who are members of the bar in different states. Note, however, that some differences in interpretation of immigration law exist between the various federal circuits. (The U.S. federal courts are divided into 13 "circuits," based on region; and many immigration matters can be appealed to those courts.) The immigration authorities must follow their local circuit court's interpretations. This can affect both everyday administrative matters as well as issues that come up in deportation or removal proceedings. Therefore, it can be helpful to hire a lawyer who has been practicing for some years in the area where your immigration case will be adjudicated.

The immigration authorities recognize this fact, and they accept representation by lawyers who are members of the bar in different states. Note, however, that some differences in interpretation of immigration law exist between the various federal circuits. (The U.S. federal courts are divided into 13 "circuits," based on region; and many immigration matters can be appealed to those courts.) The immigration authorities must follow their local circuit court's interpretations. This can affect both everyday administrative matters as well as issues that come up in deportation or removal proceedings. Therefore, it can be helpful to hire a lawyer who has been practicing for some years in the area where your immigration case will be adjudicated.

  • The Immigration Lawyer you are considering to hire must be a member of at least one state bar association. Do not make the mistake of believing that bar membership is not necessary for an immigration attorney. To represent you in immigration matters, the attorney must be a member of the bar of at least one Mandatory Bar Association within a state or territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.
  • Your Chosen Immigration Lawyer must be in good standing with his or her state bar association – that is, his or her license is not suspended or worst disbarred, and/or not under any court order restricting his or her practice of law.
  • Your Immigration Lawyer must be a licensed Lawyer. That might sound obvious, but people such as notary publics, immigration consultants, paralegals, document preparers, volunteers at community associations, and so forth are not authorized by law to give you legal advice or represent you in a court of law; unless under direct supervision of an attorney. Even, if you feel certain that the person you are dealing with knows Immigration Law by heart and has obtained visas for other people you know or he/she is highly recommended. The fact is that Immigration Law and Procedures are highly convoluted and complicated. Hiring a non-lawyer to represent you could end up in denial or worst.

As your Multilingual Platform for Immigration Law, here at Chosen Lawyers, we do what we can to make sure that you have Immediate Access to some of the most Competent, Highly Credible and Immensely Compassionate Immigration Lawyers, Worldwide. With a Chosen Immigration Lawyer on your side, you could be on your way to achieve your immigration dreams Safely and Wisely. All you need to do is click or call on www.ChosenLawyers.com and make it happen.

For a FREE case evaluation, all you need to do is to Click HERE and have a Strictly Confidential--LIVE CHAT--in your Private and S.S.L. Certificated AUDIO/VIDEO/TEXT Communication Portal.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP/DUAL NATIONALITY

Section 101(a) (22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that “the term ‘national of the United States’ means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.” Thus, with some exceptions, a United States Citizen, generally, is considered also a National of the United States.

The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a national of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own nationality laws based on its own policies. Persons may gain dual nationalities automatically by operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to a U.S. national parent/s may be both a U.S. national and a national of the country of birth. Or, an individual having one nationality at birth may naturalize at a later date in another country and become a dual national.

The United States laws do not mention dual nationality/dual citizenship; nor do they require a person to choose one nationality or another. A U.S. citizen may naturalize in another country without any risk of losing his or her U.S. citizenship. However, people over the age of 18 can relinquish their U.S. nationality if they wish. In order to renounce U.S. nationality, the law requires that the person apply for the foreign nationality voluntarily; and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality. Intent, however, may be shown by the person’s statements and/or conducts.

Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and their other country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws. However, dual nationality may hamper efforts of the U.S. Government to provide consular protection to dual citizens, when they are abroad, especially when they are in the country of their second nationality.

Please Remember: A United States Citizen/National must always identify herself or himself as an American; and use a U.S. passport to enter or leave the United States. However, the use of a second passport to travel to or from a country other than the United States is not inconsistent with U.S. law.

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Attorney–Client Privilege

Attorney-Client or Lawyer-Client Privilege is one of the eldest evidentiary rules recognized by the United States jurisprudence. This important privilege protects: “all confidential communications made by the client to the lawyer for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services.”

In other words, the Client has the privilege to refuse to disclose his/her confidential communications with the lawyer, regarding a legal issue, and prevent the lawyer or lawyer’s agents and employees from disclosing such information. With a few rare exceptions, courts neither can compel the client nor the lawyer to disclose the confidential communications between them.

Once established, the Attorney-Client privilege provides what has been referred to as “absolute protection:” protecting information against disclosure regardless of the need or good cause for that information shown by another party.
The Attorney-Client Privilege is recognized in all states of the Union. The American Bar Association has officially endorsed this privilege, based on the theory that preserving client confidences serves a compelling public interest; because people are more likely to seek legal advice and resolve their legal problems lawfully, if they know that their communications will be private and protected for life!

This privilege covers lawyers, their employees, agents and the client’s necessary companions such as translators, employees, agents, etc.
The Attorney-Client Privilege attaches, even if after the Free or Paid Consultation, the lawyer does not take the case or client decides not to hire the lawyer.

In fact, Attorney-Client privilege attaches as long as the client reasonably believes that the person he/she is consulting with is a lawyer, authorized to practice law. Thus, if the lawyer is a fraud or has been disbarred or is not licensed, etc., as long as the client’s belief is reasonable, the communication is privileged and protected by law!

Accompanying Visa

An accompanying visa is referred to the visa issued to person/s, generally family member/s, who accompany the main applicant.

Accredited Investors

Under the United States Federal Securities Laws, a company or private fund may not offer or sell securities unless the transaction has been registered with the SEC or an exemption from registration is available.
Certain securities offerings that are exempt from registration may only be offered to, or purchased by, persons who are Accredited Investors.
One principal purpose of the accredited investor concept is to identify persons who can bear the economic risk of investing in these unregistered securities.
An accredited investor is natural person, who has earned more than $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse) in income, each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary home).

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status is referred to the process and procedures required to change from a nonimmigrant status to permanent residency status.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary methods for obtaining their Permanent Resident Status also known as Green Card.

1) Consular Processing

A person, who has been approved and has an immigrant visa number, may apply at a U.S. Department of State Consulate abroad for an Immigrant Visa, in order to be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident.

2) Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is an alternate process by which an eligible person, who is already in the United States, can apply for permanent resident status without having to leave the United States, in order to complete the process. This method is known as Adjustment of Status.

Advance Parole

Advance Parole is referred to the act of obtaining a permit to return to the United States, from the Department of Homeland Security, before leaving the United States for another country.

Affidavit of Support

Affidavit of Support is a sworn statement by a sponsor, who promises that he/she/it will support the sponsored (the applicant) with stipulated needs, including food, shelter, medical help, and finances, while in the United States. So the sponsored party will not become a public charge, i.e. collect welfare or food stamp, etc.

Agricultural Worker

Agricultural Worker status is referred to a type of temporary permission, which allows a person to work in farms in the United States. The strict requirements of Agricultural Worker’s status are defined by the Department of Labor.

Alien

Alien is a, somewhat, derogatory and controversial term traditionally used to define a foreign person, who owes allegiance to another country or government.

Amerasian Act

Amerasian Act referrers to a United State Law that provide Immigration benefits to certain Amerasian Children born in Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea. Laos, etc.

Applicant

Applicant or petitioner is referred to the person or entity applying for a government benefit. Such a benefit could be an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.

Appointment

Appointment is referred to the notice to the Applicant indicating a date set for an Interview. An Appointment Notice, generally, includes documents that the applicant must complete prior to attending the scheduled interview.

Approval Notice

Approval Notice is referred to the announcement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notifying the beneficiary that his/her/its application or petition or request has been approved.

Arrival-Departure Card

Arrival-Departure Card is referred to the form I-94, generally, given to foreign visitors, who enter the United States, at the port of entry.

Asylee

An Asylee is referred to a foreign national in the United States or at a port of entry, who is unable or unwilling to return to his/her country of origin or the last country of residency for well-founded fear of persecution. Such fear must be based on the Asylee’s race, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Asylee is different from Refugee. A refugee on the other hand is referred to someone who is located outside of the United States, but can demonstrate that due to special humanitarian concerns for past persecution or fear of future persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group and is not firmly resettled in another country.

A Number

“A number” is an “A” followed by eight numbers such as: A12 345 678. This number is referred to as the Alien Registration Number, which the Department of Homeland Security assigns to each foreign national applying for Permanent Residency in the United States.

A-1 Visa

A-1 Visa is a type of visa that issued to ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, consular officers or other high position governmental officials.

A-2 Visa

A-2 Visa is referred to the type of visa issued to personal employees, servants of high-ranking A-1 recipients and/or lower rank foreign officials.

Alternate Chargeability

In order to Prevent Separation of Families, the United States Government may allow a foreign National who is born in an ineligible country to participate in the Green Card Lottery by alternatively claiming chargeability to the country of birth of a spouse or a parent. In case of claiming chargeability to spouse’s country of birth, the Foreign National can claim the spouse's country of birth as his/her native country provided his/her spouse was born in an eligible country. The Foreign National can also claim chargeability to parent's country of birth, provided neither parents were a permanent resident in that country, when his/her was born.

Apprehension

Apprehension is referred to the actual arrest of a removable foreign national, by the United States Immigration, and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

AR-11

AR-11 is referred to the Change of Address Form, which a Foreign National residing in the United States must use to report his/her change of address.

Attestation

An attestation is a sworn statement made by employers to the Department of Labor before being able to bring foreign workers to the U.S. for work. The attestation may include statements that the employer is making an effort to hire more U.S. citizens, or it will pay foreign workers the same wages as paid to U.S. workers.

B-1 Visa

B-1 visa is for temporary business visitors to the United States. Under a business visa a person can participate in business activities of a commercial or professional nature, including, but not limited to:

Consulting with business associates, attend scientific, educational, short-term training, professional or business conventions, or a conference on specific dates; settling an estate; negotiating a contract, etc.

B-2 Visa

B-2 is designed for those people who exclusively visit the United States for the purpose of tourism, pleasure or medical treatment. B-2 category usually allows the successful applicant to stay in the United States for up to 6 months.

Beneficiary

In the context of United States Immigration Law, a person on whose behalf a petition has been filed by a third party is referred to as the beneficiary of the requested action. For instance, a beneficiary may receive a lawful status as a result of his/her relationship to a US citizen, lawful permanent resident, or US employer.

Biometrics

Biometrics refers to metrics related to human unique physical characteristics, which are used to identify an individual. Examples of such identifiers include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm print, photograph, DNA sample, face and retina recognitions, etc.
Most Immigration Visas require Biometrics information, which enables the authorities to distinctly identify the individual applicant.

Border Crosser

The term Boarder Crosser is referred to a Non-National resident of the United States reentering the country after an absence of less than six months in Canada or Mexico. Border Crosser is also used to describe the non-residents of the United States, who across the Canadian border for stays of up to six months or across the Mexican border for stays of no more than 72 hours

Business Plan

A business plan is a formal statement of business objectives, reasons for their attainability, and detailed description of how the proposed plan will achieve them.
In addition, an EB-5 business plan must be a “Matter of Ho-Compliant.” This means that the business plan must show in comprehensive and credible detail, how it will create or save the required jobs and provide the kind of comprehensive information that an experienced investor or institutional lender would examine before making their investment decisions.

C-1 Visa

C-1 is a Transit Visa, which allows a foreign national to enter the United States, while on their way to another country

C-2 Visa

C-2 is a Transit Visa, which allows a foreign National to travel to the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on official business or for United Nations Officials transiting through the U.S.

C-3 Visa

C-3 Transit visas are issued to Foreign Government Officials’ Immediate Family, Attendant, Servant or Personal Employee, who are transiting through the United States.

California Service Center

There are four Service Centers that process cases for immigration benefits. They are located in Vermont, Nebraska, Texas and California. However, all EB-5 Investment Visa Applications are processed at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) California Service Center, which is located in Laguna Niguel, California.

Conditional Permanent Residence

Biometrics refers to metrics related to human unique physical characteristics, which are used to identify an individual. Examples of such identifiers include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm print, photograph, DNA sample, face and retina recognitions, etc.
Most Immigration Visas require Biometrics information, which enables the authorities to distinctly identify the individual applicant.

Conditional Permanent Residence

A successful EB-5 investor/entrepreneur receives a Conditional Permanent Resident Green Card, which is valid for only 2 years.
In order to obtain Permanent Residency Status, she/he must file a petition via form I-829, to remove the condition, during the 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional Green Card.
NOTE: The Conditional Green Card cannot be renewed. If the condition is not removed, the holder will lose his/her Permanent Resident Status.

Corporate Attorneys

Corporate Attorneys are lawyers, who, generally, work for corporations or governmental agencies. In the context of EB-5 investment program, Corporate Attorneys may be retained to make sure the EB-5 projects comply with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and regulations

Consular Processing

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary methods for obtaining their Permanent Resident Status also known as Green Card.
1) Consular Processing
A person, who has been approved and has an immigrant visa number, may apply at a U.S. Department of State Consulate abroad for an Immigrant Visa, in order to be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident.
2) Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status is an alternate process by which an eligible person, who is already in the United States, can apply for permanent resident status without having to leave the United States, in order to complete the process. This method is known as Adjustment of Status.

Corporation

A corporation is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders. This means that the corporation itself; not the owners, is held legally accountable for actions and liabilities that the business incurs.
In the United States, all corporations are created under the laws of the particular state. Laws of the state of incorporation control almost all matters of corporate governance, such as: powers of shareholders, board of directors, payments of dividends, acquisitions and mergers, etc.
When deciding to set up or invest in a business, it is essential to know the various forms of corporations and organizations. There are many important differences amongst them:

1) Sole Proprietorship

SIn a Sole Proprietorship, the owner of the business carries on the affairs of the business as an individual. Thus, she/he is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business. This includes taxes, which she/he must report all gains and losses in her/his own personal income tax return.

2) General Partnership

The term general partnership is a bit confusing. That is because all partnerships are general unless a particular statutory requirement for a limited partnership is complied with.
In all States general partnerships are governed by statutes devised based on Uniform Partnership Act (UPA).
The UPA defines a partnership as “association of two or more people to carry on, as co-owners, a business for profit.”
No formal registrations are required to form a general partnership: as soon as two or more people join together to operate a business for profit, a general partnership is automatically formed by operation of law.
Creation of Partnership by Estoppel: In fact, when two or more people who do business, without the intention to be partners, may be found to have created a partnership by estoppel, if they represent to the outside world that they are in partnership together. Thus they may be liable for debts and obligations of each other. The most important factor in a general partnership is that each partner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the partnership.

3) Limited Partnership (LP)

All States allow the formation of an organization called: Limited Partnership.
Unlike General Partnerships, in order to create a Limited Partnership, the partners must file a formal statement of organization with the Secretary of State, and draw up a written agreement amongst them.
In a Limited Partnership there are two types of partners:

  • One or more General Partners, who are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  • One or more Limited Partners, who are not liable beyond their contributed amounts to the partnership.

4) Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

In a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), partners must file a formal statement of election with the Secretary of State. Once the partners file the statement of election, generally, no partner will be liable for the debts of the LLP beyond their agreed and/or contributed amounts.
LLP organizations are mostly preferred by professionals such as Lawyers and Accountants. The main reason for this election is that individual partners are, generally, not liable for malpractice committed by other partners.

5) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a new form of organization, which has been recognized by all States, since the 1990s.
Main features:
Those who have an interest in a Limited Liability Company (LLC) are referred to a “Members” rather than “Partners” in a Partnership.

  • Members can Limit their liability to the amount invested
  • Members can choose to be taxed either as a corporation or as a partnership

Country of Last Residence

The country of Last Residence is referred to the primary home (domiciliary) of a person, prior to entering the United States.
Country of Birth
Country of Birth is referred to the place, where a person was born.

Country of Chargeability

In order to Prevent Separation of Families, the United States Government may allow a foreign National who is born in an ineligible country to participate in the Green Card Lottery by alternatively claiming chargeability to the country of birth of a spouse or a parent. In case of claiming chargeability to spouse’s country of birth, the Foreign National can claim the spouse's country of birth as his/her native country provided his/her spouse was born in an eligible country. The Foreign National can also claim chargeability to parent's country of birth, provided neither parents was a permanent resident in that country, when his/her was born.

Country of Citizenship

Generally, the Country of Citizenship of a person is the country where a person is born in and/or naturalized in. Providing he/she has not renounced or has not been stripped of citizenship.

Crewmember

Crewmember, formerly known as Crewman, is referred to a person, who is working on board of sea vessels or international airlines in the United States. Providing such services are required for normal operation and the crewmember intends to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days.

Criminal Removal

Criminal Removal is referred to the deportation or removal of a non-citizen of the United States who has been charged under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is required that the criminal charge and conviction are the basis for the removal of the criminal; or the conviction makes the non-citizen removable.

Cross Chargeability

Some foreign nationals who wish to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs) face extended backlogs in visa number availability. Since visa number backlogs vary enormously by the country against which an applicant is counted or “charged,” it is important to understand the options for favorable chargeability, including chargeability to a spouse’s country of birth. The latest guidelines related to cross-chargeability are detailed in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

In a nutshell, when a Green Card applicant is subject to a waiting list, but is the child or the spouse of a person born in a country with more favorable quota, the applicant may cross charge to the most favorable quota.

DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travelers to the United States, and for K fiancé visas.
Form DS-160 must be submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet. Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application. They may schedule a personal interview as well, in order to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.

Direct Equity Model

Direct Equity Model in the context of EB-5 Investment program is a bit confusing. The EB-5 regulations require that an entrepreneur make an “Equity” investment in a qualifying business rather than “Loan” to the business. However, many Regional Centers create limited Partnership Companies, which takes the EB-5 Investor’s money and then loans it to the designated EB-5 project.

Direct Jobs

EB-5 investments made directly rather than through a Regional Center, must create or preserve 10 fulltime Direct Jobs for the United States workers for two years. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines Direct Jobs as actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise that receives the EB-5 investment

Due Diligence Questionnaire

A prospective EB-5 investor may be required to complete a Due Diligence Questionnaires prior to making their final decision on investment in an EB-5 qualified business investment entity.
The due diligence questionnaire is designed to make relatively sure that the investor has fully researched the viability of the investment and the business project that will receive their investment

D-Visa Crewmember

D-Visas are nonimmigrant visas for Crewmembers working on board of sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation. Of course, the Crewmembers must intend to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days.
On the other hand, if someone travels to the United States to join a Vessel, which he/she will work on, in addition to a crewmember D Visa, she/he also must obtain a C-1 Transit Visa or a combination C-1/D visa.

Deferred Inspection

Deferred Inspection is a procedure, which is used when an immediate decision concerning the immigration status of an arriving traveler cannot be made at the port of entry, due to a lack of documentation. On a case-by-case basis, the port of entry may schedule the traveler to report to a Deferred Inspection Site, at a future date, in order to present the necessary documentation and/or information in order to resolve the issues raised.
There are currently 70 Deferred Inspections Sites throughout the United States and the outlaying territories.

Department of Labor (DOL)

Department of Labor is in charge of issuing Foreign Labor Certificates for foreign workers, who wish to work in the United States on a temporary or permanent basis. DOL examines and decides whether there is a shortage of American workers, who could fill a particular job, in order to issue a certificate.

Department of State (DOS)

Established in 1789, the United States Department of State (DOD), also known as the State Department, is a Federal Executive Department. DOS is responsible for the International Relations of the United States. DOS is equivalent to the Foreign Ministry of other countries.
DOS advances U.S. objectives and interests by implementing the President's foreign policy. It also provides important services to U.S. citizens and to foreign nationals seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.

Departure Under Safeguards

The departure of a foreign national, from the United States, which is physically observed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

Dependent

Under Immigration law, a dependent is, generally, referred to a spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Deportable Alien

A Foreign National, who is in the United States, but subject to any grounds of removal specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. This includes anyone, who is illegally in the United States, regardless, of whether he/she entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation or entered legally but subsequently violated the terms of his or her nonimmigrant classification or status

Deportation

Deportation is referred to the formal removal of a foreign national from the United States when he/she has been found removable for violating the immigration laws. An immigration judge orders deportation without any punishment being imposed or contemplated. Prior to April 1997 deportation and exclusion were separate removal procedures. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 consolidated these procedures. After April 1, 1997, foreign nationals in and admitted to the United States may be subject to removal based on deportability also known as Removal. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces such orders.

Derivative Citizenship

Derivative citizenship refers to citizenship acquired by children (born or adopted) through a U.S. citizen parent or parents, depending on the law in effect at the time of a person’s birth.

District

A District is referred to the geographical areas into, which the United States, and its territories are divided for the Immigration and Naturalization field operations; there are three overseas offices located in Rome, Bangkok, and Mexico City.
Each District Office, headed by a District Director, has a specified service area that may include part of a state, an entire state, or many states. District Offices are where most USCIS field staff is located. District Offices are responsible for providing certain immigration services and benefits to residents in their service area, and for enforcing immigration laws in that jurisdiction. Certain applications are filed directly with District Offices, many kinds of interviews are conducted at these Offices, etc.

Diversity Visa

The Diversity Visa Program (DV Program), or Green Card Lottery is administered annually by the Department of State (DOS); which makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually; drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
DV lottery is conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended via INA 203 provides for a new class of immigrants known as "diversity immigrants" (DV immigrants). The lottery makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to natives of countries deemed to have low rates of immigration to the United States

Docket Control

Docket Control is referred to the INS mechanism for tracking the case status of potentially removable foreign nationals.
Do all EB-5 Investment Visa Seekers have to apply through Regional Centers?
The answer is no. EB-5 applicants can invest in non-regional center projects. This type of investment is referred to as “Direct Investment.” However, approximately 90 percent of all EB-5 applicants are processed through regional centers. There are many important reasons for this influx of applicants to regional centers: job creation and management roles in EB-5 projects are the most important ones. …
All investment offerings made by EB-5 Regional Centers are subject to U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission’s regulations.

Dual Citizenship

Dual Citizen is referred to a person, who is a national of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own nationality laws. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. national parents may be both a U.S. national and a national of the country of birth.
A U.S. national may acquire foreign nationality by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. national may not lose the nationality of the country of birth. U.S. laws neither mention dual nationality nor require a person to choose one nationality or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another nationality does not risk losing U.S. nationality. However, a person who acquires a foreign nationality by applying for it may lose U.S. nationality.
In order to lose U.S. nationality, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign nationality voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. nationality

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States, when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

EB-1 category is the first-preference Employment-based Visa, which is designed for people with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, multinational executives or managers.

Each of the above categories has certain requirements that must be met. Here is a brief description:

1) Extraordinary Ability

An EB-1 applicant under this category must prove that he/she has “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.” Such achievements must be recognized in each field through extensive documentation. However, the applicant is not required to have and offer of employment.

2) Outstanding Professors and Researchers

An EB-1 applicant under this category must prove that he/she is internationally recognized for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field, with at least 3-years-experience in teaching or research in that academic area.

In addition, he/she must have an employment offer, and show that his/her reason for immigrating to the United States is to pursue teaching tenure or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education.

3) Multinational Manager or Executive

To qualify for an EB-1 visa in this category, the applicant must have been employed outside the United States in the 3 years preceding the application for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation and you must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. The applicant must have been employed, outside the United States, in a managerial or executive capacity with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.

EB-2

Under the United States Immigration Law, Eb-2 is referred to as the second preference, Employment-based Immigrant Visa (Green Card or Permanent Residency Status). This type of Employment-based Immigrant Visa consists of three categories:

1) Jobs that require Advanced Degrees

The EB-2 applicant must apply for a job that requires an advanced degree. To be eligible for such jobs, the job seeker must have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent plus 5 years “progressive work experience” in the field.

Moreover, the applicant must be a member of that profession.

2) Exceptional Ability

The EB-2 applicant must show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability “means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”

3) National Interest Waiver

The EB-5 applicant must show that he/she should be eligible for waiver of Labor Certification, because his/her services are in the interest of the United States.
Although there is not a specific list of jobs, which qualify for a national interest waiver, generally, people who have exceptional abilities are granted such a waiver.
Those seeking a national interest waiver can petition on their own behalf. Thus they do not need an employer to sponsor them.

EB-3

Under the United States Immigration Laws, Eb-3 is referred to as a third preference, which is an Employment-based Immigrant Visa (Green Card or Permanent Residency Status) category.
This type of visa is reserved for “Professionals” and “Skilled Workers” or “Other Workers.”
United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) defines “Skilled workers” as People whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.”
A Professional, on the other hand, is defined as a person, whose job requires at least a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree or a foreign equivalent. The professional must be “a member of the profession.”
The term “other workers” is referred to a subcategory of people working in unskilled type work that requires less than 2 years training or experience, in a job that is not considered temporary or seasonal.
Of course, in addition to the above, it must be shown that there is not a qualified worker available in the United States to do the job. The applicant, generally, must apply for a labor certification through the Department of Labor and have a permanent full-time job.

EB-4

Under the United States Immigration Law, Eb-4 is referred to the fourth preference Employment-based Immigrant Visa (Green Card or Permanent Residency Status) category.
Eb-4 is also referred to as Special Immigrant visa or “Catch All,” created by the Congress, under Section 101(a)(27) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), for people, who do not qualify under other Immigrant Visa Categories.
People working in the following job-categories may be eligible for EB-4 Visa:

  • Religious Workers
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles
  • Broadcasters
  • G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 Employees and Their Family Members
  • International Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad
  • Armed Forces Members
  • Panama Canal Zone Employees
  • Certain Physicians
  • Afghan and Iraqi Translators
  • Afghan and Iraqi Nationals Who Have Provided Faith Service in Support of U.S. Operations

EB-5 Green Card Program

Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), allocates 10,000 “EB-5” immigrant visas per year to qualified individuals seeking Lawful Permanent Residency Status on the basis of their Capital Investment in a New Commercial Enterprise, or a troubled business, which must produce or preserve at least 10 full time jobs for American Workers. A Commercial Enterprise is defined by USCIS as any for-profit and lawful business including, but not limited to:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership (whether limited or general)
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation, etc.

Congress created the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program during the recession of 1990. This program was designed to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and to encourage the inflow of Capital to the United States by foreign investors.
By 2005, this program had not yet become successful: not because of lack of interested investors, but because of difficult applications and unreasonably sloppy process; including a long adjudication, which had led to the suspension of processing on over 900 EB-5 cases—some of which dated back all the way to 1995.
By the end of 2011 fiscal year, more than 3,800 EB-5 applications had been filed; compared to about 800 applications in 2007.
However, EB-5 program toped its allotted 10,000 for the first time in August 2014. As a result of which the State Department stopped issuing EB-5 visas until the beginning of the next fiscal year, which started in October of 2014.
According to some studies EB-5 Investors have contributed to the United States Economy $3.4 billion dollars and created or preserved 42,000 jobs, in 2012, alone.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Process

a) File Form I-526, Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
b) Upon approval of Form I-526 petition, either:
c) File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident within the United States, or
d) File DS-230 or DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to obtain an EB-5 visa for admission to the United States.
e) Upon the approval of the I-485 application or upon entry into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, the EB-5 investor and derivative family members will be granted conditional permanent residence for a two-year period.
f) Consular Processing DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration is submitted by EB-5 investors with approved I-526 petitions who are not in the U.S. in a valid non-immigrant visa status.
g) This process is commonly known as “consular processing.” Once an applicant’s I-526 is approved their file is sent by the USCIS to the National Visa Center, which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of State. The completed forms along with other applications materials are sent by the NVC to the U.S. consulate or embassy in the applicant’s home country. Consular processing applicants must attend an in-person interview where they are issued an immigrant visa. Upon issuance of the immigrant visa, an applicant and their dependent family members are permitted to enter the U.S. Permanent residency status commences on the first date of entry into the U.S. and the green card is mailed to the applicants shortly after their first entry on the immigrant visa.

EB-5 Job Creation Requirement

Job creation is the most important factor in the success of an EB-5 applicant. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that an EB-5 Investor must create or preserve must preserve at least 10 fulltime jobs for qualified United States Employees. These jobs must be created or preserved within two years after an investor becomes a conditional permanent resident.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program. This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial businesses associated with regional centers, which are approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on their proposals to promote economic growth.
Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:
1) Make a minimum investment of $1 million dollars or $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)
2) Plan to create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.

EB-5 Project

The individual businesses that receive EB-5 investments are referred to as EB-5 projects. An EB-5 Applicant can create her/his own EB-5 project by investing in a U.S. business or can invest in an EB-5 project that is managed by an EB-5 Regional Center.

EB-5 Regional Center Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”)

The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) wascreated by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (October 6,1992).

EB-5 requirements for an investment under the Pilot Programare, essentially, the same as in the basic EB-5 InvestorProgram. However, the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center”. These investments allow for a less restrictive Job Creation Requirement based upon the concept of “Indirect” or “Direct” counts of the created or preserved jobs.

EB-5 Regional Center

An EB- Regional Center is referred to an economic entity, private or public, which is established for the purpose of promoting the economic growth of a region, create jobs, improve productivity and increase capital investments.
If you wish to form an EB-5 Regional Center, you must submit for approval, a comprehensive proposal to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which includes:

  • How the regional center plans to promote economic growth in a geographical region within the United States
  • How the regional center will create jobs through capital investments
  • How the regional center will positively impact the chosen region’s economy

NOTE: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designation “approval” of a regional center does not mean that the regional center’s investments are guaranteed by the U.S. Government. Nor is there a guarantee that an investor may be granted a Permanent Resident Status “Green Card” through EB-5 Investment.

Economists

Economists are experts, who study the relationship between societies’ resources and their productions or outputs. These studies may range from the smallest of local communities to an entire country or even the entire world.
In context of EB-5 Regional Centers Economists typically help to demonstrate the economic impact of an EB-5 investment in creation or preservation of “Direct” or “Indirect” and induced employment through the RIMS II, IMPLAN, REDYN, REMI and other acceptable economic models.
Economists’ studies and findings also help the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to consider in designating an area as “Targeted Employment Area” (TEA)

Expansion of Existing Business

Under EB-5 Investment programs, an existing business may qualify to receive EB-5 funds in order to expand its operations. However, such an expansion must substantially change the existing businesses net worth or number of employees, due to the investment of capital. Substantial change means at least 40 percent increase either in the net worth, or in the number of employees, so that the new net worth, or number of employees amounts to at least 140 percent of the pre-expansion.

Emigration

Emigration is referred to the act of existing one’s own country with the intention to permanently residing in another country.

Employer Sanctions

The employer sanctions provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from, knowingly, hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee, any foreign national, who is unauthorized to work in the United States. Violators of the law are subject to a series of civil fines for violations or even criminal penalties, when there is a pattern or practice of violations.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

U.S. employers are required by law to check and make sure all their employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are authorized to work in the United States. Anyone, who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, may fall into one of three categories of persons who are eligible for employment authorization.
Category 1: You may have authorization to work in the United States as a result of your nonimmigrant status
Category 2: You may have authorization to work for a specific employer as a result of your nonimmigrant status
Category 3: You may be in a category, which requires you to file for permission to work

Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1

One may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if he/she has an extraordinary ability, is an outstanding professor or researcher, or is a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met:

Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2

One may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if one is a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability.

Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3

One may be eligible for EB-3 immigrant visa preference category if he/she is a skilled worker, professional, or other worker. “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature .“Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature

Employment-Based Immigration: Fourth Preference EB-4

You may be eligible for an employment-based, fourth preference visa if you are a special immigrant. The following special immigrants are eligible for the fourth preference visa:
Religious Workers
Broadcasters
Iraqi/Afghan Translators
Iraqis Who Have Assisted the United States
International Organization Employees
Physicians
Armed Forces Members
Panama Canal Zone Employees
Retired NATO-6 employees
Spouses and Children of Deceased NATO-6 employees

Immigrant Investor Program EB-5

USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:
Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program. This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

Equity

The word Equity in its broadest term mean, to follow the Golden Rule or law of Reciprocity: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In the context of investment, Equity means an investor’s ownership interest in a company based on the total issued and distributed shares among the shareholders, including common or preferred stock minus Liabilities.

Exchange Visitors

The Exchange Visitor Program is designed to promote mutual understanding/discourse between the people of the United States (U.S.) and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.
Exchange visitors are foreign nationals who come to the United States to take part in Department of State-designated programs, such as:
Trainees, Professors or Scholars, Students, Specialists, International visitors, Teachers, Research assistants, Physicians, Summer work travel programs, Auto repair programs, Camp counselors, Exclusion/Inadmissibility

Prior to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, exclusion was the formal term for denial of an alien's entry into the United States. The decision to exclude an alien was made by an immigration judge after an exclusion hearing. Since April 1, 1997, the process of adjudicating inadmissibility may take place in either an expedited removal process or in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR)

The EOIR is an office within the U.S. Department of Justice. Its primary purpose is to adjudicate immigration cases in a careful and timely manner, such cases include, detained and/or criminal foreign nationals and foreign nationals seeking asylum as a form of relief from removal.
EOIR is required by law to ensure that the standards of due process and fair treatment for all parties, is not violated

Expatriation

Expatriation is referred to the act of permanently abandoning one’s own country by renunciation of citizenship. Please note that mere emigration does not mean permanent abandonment of one’s own country.

Expedited Removal

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 authorized the INS to quickly remove certain inadmissible foreign nationals from the United States. The authority covers foreign nationals who are inadmissible because they have no entry documents or because they have used counterfeit, altered, or otherwise fraudulent or improper documents. This authority covers foreign nationals, who arrive in, attempt to enter, or have entered the United States without having been admitted or paroled by an immigration officer at a port-of-entry. This law allows the immigration authorities to order the removal of a foreign national without a hearing before an immigration judge. Unless the foreign national can show that he/she has a legal status in the United States or demonstrates a credible fear of persecution if returned to his/her home country.

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 Visa also known as Academic/Student visa allows one to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institutions or in a language training program. To qualify, one must be enrolled in a program or course of study that provides a degree such as, diploma, or certificate, upon successful completion. Of course the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students. For F-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

Federal U.S. Tax Information

The F-1 Visa also known as Academic/Student visa allows one to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institutions or in a language training program.
To qualify, one must be enrolled in a program or course of study that provides a degree such as, diploma, or certificate, upon successful completion. Of course the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
For F-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

Federal U.S. Tax Information

Foreign Nationals employed in the U.S. may have a U.S. Tax obligation. Please consult with an experienced Tax Expert or see the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for more information.

Fiancé (e) Visas K-1 Visa

This class of visa is designed to help Americans, who plan to marry a foreign national, who is residing outside the United States. Once issued, the fiancé (e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows the fiancé (e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that the marriage ceremony can take place.
Once the marriage takes place, the foreign national spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.
Please Note: If the marriage to a foreign national takes place outside the United States or the fiancé (e) is already residing legally in the United States, one does not need to file for a fiancé (e) visa.

Fiscal Year

A Fiscal Year is referred to the twelve-month period beginning October 1 and ending September 30.

Foreign Government Official

A Foreign Government Official is referred to foreign governments’ accredited officials, who come to the United States in a capacity such as ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, consular officers, etc., and their spouses, unmarried children under 21, attendants, servants or personal employees.

General Naturalization Provisions

General Naturalization Provisions is referred to the basic requirements for naturalization that every applicant must meet, unless he/she belongs to a special class. There provisions require for instance that an applicant is at least 18 years of age and a lawful permanent resident with five years of continuous residence in the United States; he/she has been physically present in the country for half that period, and establish good moral character for at least that period.

General Partner

General Partner is referred to an owner of a partnership who has personal and unlimited liabilities for financial and operational activities of the business. A general partner is usually a managing partner, who is active in day-to-day operations of the business; whose actions are binding on the partners and the partnership itself.
If a general partner is required to account for the financial obligations of the partnership, his or her personal assets may be subject to liquidation.

Geographic Area of Chargeability

Any one of five regions--Africa, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East and South Asia, and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe--into which the world is divided for the initial admission of refugees to the United States. Annual consultations between the Executive Branch and the Congress determine the ceiling on the number of refugees who can be admitted to the United States from each area. Beginning in fiscal year 1987, an unallocated reserve was incorporated into the admission ceilings.

Green Card

“Green Card” is the Symbolic reference to Lawful Permanent Residency status in the United States. The official term for Green Card is “Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-551.

In the case of United States v. Campos-Serrano the Supreme Court of the United States referred to this card as an identification document, which the holder may use in lieu of a visa to reenter the United States after TEMPORARY visits abroad.

It is important to know that holding a Green Card does not give an automatic right to the holder to enter the United States. A Green Card holder must still, like other foreign nationals must show that he/she is not excludable on any basis.

H-1B

H-1B Visa Category is a non-immigrant visa devised under United States Nationality Act. This visa enables United States employers to recruit temporary foreign workers for specialty occupations.

Under H-1B a specialty occupation is defined as a job that requires highly skilled knowledge such as IT services, chemistry, medicine, law, arts, etc.
The applicant must also hold at the minimum a bachelor degree or its equivalent.

The H-1B visas are granted for up to three years and may be extended for a maximum of 6 years.

There is an annual cap on the number of H-1B visas, which is currently set at 85,000: and the quota must be available in order to apply. Moreover, the employer must petition for H-1B visas.

H-1B Dependents

H-1B visa holders can bring their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age to the US via the H-4 Visa category as dependents. An H-4 Visa holder is allowed to remain in the United States as long as the H-1B visa holder remains in legal status. Generally, H-4 visa holders are not allowed to work in the US. However, they can attend school, obtain drivers licenses and open bank accounts.

H-1C Visa

The H-1C nonimmigrant temporary worker classification is for foreign nurses coming to the United States temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL).
The H-1C nonimmigrant category was introduced in 1999 specifically to address the shortage of nurses in the United States. Applying for an H-1C nonimmigrant visa is a multi-step process that involves coordination from DOL and USCIS. Prior to filing a petition with USCIS for an H-1C visa, DOL must provide an attestation to petitioning hospitals certifying that they meet the qualifications as required by regulation. Among the qualifications, hospitals are required to be located in a “health professional shortage area.”
This classification expired as of December 20, 2009.

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers

The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. A U.S. employer or agent is described in the regulations, or an association of U.S. agricultural producers named as a joint employer must file Form I-129 for Nonimmigrant Worker, on a prospective worker’s behalf.

H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers

The H-2B Visa allows U.S. employers or agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. A U.S. employer, or U.S. agent must file Form I-129 on behalf of a prospective worker.

H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor

The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category allows foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States as either a:
Trainee to receive training in any field of endeavor, other than graduate medical education or training, that is not available in the foreign national’s home country.
Special Education Exchange Visitor to participate in a special education exchange visitor-training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional

H-4 Visa

H-4 Visa is designed to help the immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of the H visa holders (H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3) to enter and lawfully reside in the United States. These visas are usually issued at the local US consulate office abroad. However, if the person is already in US, he/she may obtain H-4 status by filing Form I-539 for change of status.

Hemispheric Ceilings

Hemispheric Ceilings is referred to the statutory limitations on immigration to the United States, which was set from 1968 to October 1978.

Mandated by the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965, the ceiling on immigration from the Eastern Hemisphere was set at 170,000, with a per-country limit of 20,000.

Immigration from the Western Hemisphere was held to 120,000, without a per-country limit until January 1, 1977. The Western Hemisphere was then made subject to a 20,000 per country limit. Effective October 1978, the separate hemisphere limits were abolished in favor of a worldwide limit.

How is a Regional Center formed?

In order to form a Regional Center, one must submit an I-924 Application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), for designation. However, while, the USCIS approval is a requirement, it is not an endorsement of any Regional Center, its owners, managers or projects.

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

Form I-90 is used by lawful permanent residents, and permanent residents in commuter status to apply for replacement, if their Green Cards have been lost or renewal of existing Permanent Resident Cards. Conditional permanent residents may also use this form to apply for replacement of an existing Permanent Resident Card. Conditional permanent residents may not use this application to replace, for any reason, an existing Permanent Resident Card that is expired or will expire within 90 days.

I-130 Petition for Foreign Relatives

Form I-130 is an essential document to establish the existence of a familial relationship between someone who is a United Sates Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident and other Foreign Nationals.
Submission of I-130 is the first step in a two-step immigrant visa issuance process.

I-131, Application for Travel Document

I-131, Application for Travel Document, is used to apply for three different types of travel documents:

  • Advance Parole
  • Refugee Travel Document
  • Re-Entry Permit

WARNING: If you have lived in the United States illegally, then you may be subject to a bar to admission if you depart the United States, even if you have been issued a travel document. Please consult with an Ethical, Competent and Compassionate Immigration Lawyer, prior to leaving the United States.

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

This form is used by a person who is in the United States to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjust to permanent resident status or register for permanent residence.
This form may also be used, by certain Cuban nationals, who wish to request a change in the date, which their permanent residency status began.

I-526 Immigrant Petition by EB-5 Entrepreneur

This form must be filed by an EB-5 Investor/Entrepreneur to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an immigrant visa under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.
An Investor is eligible to file this petition for if she/he has established a new commercial enterprise:

1. In which he/she will engage in a managerial or policy- making capacity;
2. In which he/she has invested or is actively in the process of investing the amount required for the area in which the enterprise is located;
3. Which will benefit the U.S. economy; and
4. Which will create at least 10 full-time jobs for

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to be employed, other than himself/herself, spouse, children, or any nonimmigrant foreign nationals. Establishment of a new commercial enterprise may include:

1. Creation of a new business;
2. Purchase of an existing business with simultaneous or subsequent restructuring or reorganization resulting in a new commercial enterprise; or
3. Expansion of an existing business through investment of the amount required, so that a substantial change (at least 40 percent), in either the net worth, number of employees, or both results.

I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

Form I-539 is used to by nonimmigrants who wish to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an extension of their Visa or change to another nonimmigrant status, before the current authorized stay expires.
It is suggested that this application be filed at least 45 days before the current visa expires.

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

This form is used by a conditional resident, who obtained status through marriage, to request that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) remove the conditions on his/her residence

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

This form must be filed by Foreign Nationals, who are temporarily in the United States, in order to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Even the Foreign Nationals, who are authorized to work without restrictions, must use this form to apply to USCIS for a document that shows such authorization.

If you are a lawful permanent resident, a conditional resident, or a nonimmigrant authorized to be employed with a specific employer under 8 CFR 274a.12(b), do not use this form.

I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status

The form I-829 is for EB-5 Investor Immigrants to request the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) remove the conditions on their, and certain dependents’, permanent resident status, which they obtained based on investment in a commercial enterprise.

The applicant must file this form within 90-days before the second anniversary of obtaining conditional permanent resident status.

If you properly file this petition with USCIS before your conditional permanent resident status is terminated, your conditional permanent resident status is extended for one year. You will receive a filing receipt that you should carry with your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).

If you fail to file this petition within the mandated 90-days period, USCIS will terminate your conditional permanent resident status and you will become removable from the United States. However, if your failure to file within that 90-day period was for good cause and due to justifying circumstances, you may file your petition late with a written explanation and request that USCIS, in its discretion, excuse your late filing.

I-924 Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program

The form I-924 must be filed by those who wish to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to request designation of an entity to be a Regional Center under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. The same form can also be used to request approval of an amendment to a previously approved regional center.

I-924A Supplement to Form I-924

This form may be filed by an individual who has the executive or managerial authority to act on behalf of a Regional Center.
The purpose of Form I-924A is to demonstrate that a Regional Center is continually eligible to function as a Regional Center. Each designated Regional Center entity must file a Form I-924A for each fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year (on or before December 29) of the calendar year in which the fiscal year ended.
Failure to timely file a Form I-924A for each fiscal year in, which the regional center has been designated for participation in the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, will result in the issuance of intent to terminate. Failure to timely comply with the requirements may result in the termination of the approval and designation of the regional center.

Immediate Relatives

Immediate Relatives are referred to spouses of citizens, children (under 21 years of age and unmarried) of citizens, and parents of citizens 21 years of age or older. Immediate Relatives are are exempt from the numerical limitations imposed on immigration to the United States

Immigration

Immigration is referred to the action of a foreign person entering another country with the purpose of living there permanently.

Immigration Law is referred to the set of rules, conditions and requirements set out by a country, under which it will admit a foreign person into its domain.

Immigration Lawyers

Immigration attorneys or lawyers help people to obtain United States Immigration benefits, such as immigrant or nonimmigrant visas, defend against unlawful deportation orders, adjustment of status or becoming a citizen, etc.

The United State Law does not require that a competent individual retain a lawyer, in order to petition the Government for a Benefit. In fact “Pro Se” or self-representation is widely allowed. However, due to the convoluted and complicated Immigration..

J-1 Exchange Visitors

The J-1 classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. These programs are designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

    Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Nannies/Au pairs
  • Camp counselors

J-2 Visa

J-2 visa is referred to the type of non-immigrant visa issued for spouses and dependents of J-1 exchange visitor visa holders.
J-2 visa holder may request work authorization from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by submitting form I-765.
If approved, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be issued, authorizing the J-2 visitor for employment for a period of up to one year.

Joint Venture

A joint venture (JV) is referred to a type of business arrangement, where two or more persons (Legal or Natural) agree to accomplish a specific task, such as building a Hotel. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses, costs and liabilities associated with it. However, the venture is a separate entity, distinct and apart from the owners and operators.
Although a Joint Venture is a form of partnership, it can be a Corporation, Partnership or a Limited Liability Company.

K-1 Visa

This class of visa is designed to help Americans, who plan to marry a foreign national, who is residing outside the United States. Once issued, the fiancé (e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows the fiancé (e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that the marriage ceremony can take place. Once the marriage takes place, the foreign national spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.
Please Note: If the marriage to a foreign national takes place outside the United States or the fiancé (e) is already residing legally in the United States, one does not need to file for a fiancé (e) visa.

K-2

K-2 is referred to the category of visa designated for the minor child of a U.S. Citizen’s fiancé.

K-3/K-4 Visas

Immigration law allows the Foreign National spouse of a U.S. citizen and his or her minor children to be admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants while they are awaiting the adjudication of a Form I-130 Petition for Foreign National’s Relative. It also allows them to obtain employment authorization while they are waiting.
Eligibility:
To be eligible for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa, an individual must:
Be married to a U.S. citizen
Have a pending Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the U.S. citizen spouse on his or her behalf
A child may be eligible for a K-4 visa if:
He or she is unmarried, under 21, and the child of a qualified K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant
Note: In order for a K-4 who is a step-child of a U.S. citizen to immigrate as a relative of the U.S. citizen step-parent (whether through adjustment of status in the United States or an immigrant visa abroad) the marriage between his or her parent and the U.S. citizen must have occurred before his or her 18th birthday.

L-1A Intra-company Transferee Executive or Manager

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company, which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one. The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on behalf of the employee.

L-2 Visa

A transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by his/her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Such family members may seek admission in L-2 nonimmigrant classification and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.
If these family members are already in the United States and seeking change of status to or extension of stay in L-2 classification, they may apply collectively submit the Form I-539, Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status

Labor Certification

Labor Certification is a required step for U.S. employers seeking to employ certain persons whose immigration to the United States is based on job skills or nonimmigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the United States. Labor certification is issued by the Secretary of Labor and contains attestations by U.S. employers as to the lack of U.S. workers to undertake the employment sought by an applicant, and the effect of the foreign national’s employment on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Determination of labor availability in the United States is made at the time of a visa application and at the location where the applicant wishes to work

Lawyer–Client Privilege

Attorney-Client or Lawyer-Client Privilege is one of the eldest evidentiary rules recognized by the United States jurisprudence. This important privilege protects: “all confidential communications made by the client to the lawyer for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services.”

In other words, the Client has the privilege to refuse to disclose his/her confidential communications with the lawyer, regarding a legal issue, and prevent the lawyer from disclosing such information. With a few rare exceptions, the court neither can compel the client nor the lawyer to disclose the confidential communications between them.

Once established, the Attorney-Client privilege provides what has been referred to as “absolute protection:” protecting information against disclosure regardless of the need or good cause for that information shown by another party.

The Attorney-Client Privilege is recognized in all states of the Union. The American Bar Association has officially endorsed this privilege, based on the theory that preserving client confidences serves a compelling public interest; because people are more likely to seek legal advice, and resolve their legal problems lawfully, if they know that their communications will be private and protected for life!

This privilege covers lawyers, their employees, agents and the client’s necessary companions such as translators, employees, agents, etc.

The Attorney-Client Privilege attaches, even if after the Free or Paid Consultation, the lawyer does not take the case or client decides not to hire the lawyer.

In fact Attorney-Client privilege attaches as long as the client reasonably believes that the person he/she is consulting with is a lawyer, authorized to practice law. Thus, if the lawyer is a fraud or has been disbarred, etc., as long as the client’s belief is reasonable, the communication is privileged and protected by law!

Legalization Dependents

A maximum of 55,000 visas were issued to spouses and children of foreign nationals legalized under the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 in each of fiscal years 1992-94.

Legitimated

Most countries have legal procedures for natural fathers of children born out of wedlock to acknowledge their children. A legitimated child from any country has two legal parents and cannot qualify as an orphan unless:

  • only one of the parents is living, or
  • both of the parents have abandoned the child

Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act

The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act amendments of 2000 added the K-3 visa category for foreign spouses and K-4 category for stepchildren of U.S. citizens. Due to a backlog of immigrant visa petitions (Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) at that time, a long separation could occur between the overseas fiancé(e) and their intended U.S. citizen spouse. To prevent a long separation, U.S. citizens were allowed to file an additional petition on Form I-129F while their Form I-130 was pending to allow their foreign spouses and his/her minor children to come to the United States as nonimmigrants in an expedited manner.
The LIFE Act requires applicants to apply for a K-3 visa in the country where their marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner occurred, or in the event the petitioner and applicant were married in the United States, the country of the applicant’s current residence. After arrival in the United States, they could then complete their processing for permanent residence.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A Limited Liability Company is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.

The "owners" of an LLC are referred to as "members." Depending on the state, the members can consist of a single individual (one owner), two or more individuals, corporations or other LLCs.

Unlike shareholders in a corporation, LLCs are not taxed as a separate business entities. Instead, all profits and losses are "passed through" the business to each member of the LLC. LLC members report profits and losses on their personal federal tax returns, just like the owners of a partnership would.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a new form of organization, which has been recognized by all States, since the 1990s.
Main features:
Those who have an interest in a Limited Liability Company (LLC) are referred to a “Members” rather than “Partners” in a Partnership.
a) Members can Limit their liability to the amount invested
b) Members can choose to be taxed either as a corporation or as a partnership

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

In a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), partners must file a formal statement of election with the Secretary of State. Once the partners file the statement of election, generally, no partner will be liable for the debts of the LLP beyond their agreed and/or contributed amounts. LLP organizations are mostly preferred by professionals such as Lawyers and Accountants. The main reason for this election is that individual partners are, generally, not liable for acts of malpractice committed by other partners.

Limited Partnership (LP)

All States allow the formation of an organization called: Limited Partnership.
Unlike General Partnerships, in order to create a Limited Partnership, the partners must file a formal statement of organization with the Secretary of State, and draw up a written agreement amongst them.
In a Limited Partnership there are two types of partners:
c) One or more General Partners, who are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
d) One or more Limited Partners, who are not liable beyond their contributed amounts to the partnership.

Lobbyist

A Lobbyist is a person who tries to influence the decisions made by officials of a government, such as legislators.

Despite the fact that majority of constituents equate the act of lobbying as..

M-1 Student Visa

The M-1 Visa is in Vocational Student category, which includes students in vocational (job-related) or other nonacademic programs, other than language training. For M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

M-2 Visa

M-2 nonimmigrant visa is designated for the spouse and/or qualifying children of a M-1 Student Visa holder

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

A Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is referred to the core area with a large population and the adjacent communities, which have high degrees of social and economic integration, with the core.

The US Office of Management & Budget (OMB) defines the boundaries of a MSA. Generally, counties containing at least one city or urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000 and a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000 qualified as a MSA.

If a MSA has one million or more people, it may be recognized as a Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA). New England is an exception.

Migrant

A Migrant is a person who leaves his/her country of permanent residency in order to seek residence in another country.

Mezzanine Financing

Mezzanine financing is referred to a hybrid type of debt and equity arrangement, which gives the lender the right to convert its loan into an equity interest (ownership) in a company, in case of default.

Lenders usually provide mezzanine capital, without in depth due diligence and no collateral. Mezzanine Loan can be structured as unsecured and subordinated debt or preferred stock, which is senior only to that of the common shares.

This is why Mezzanine financing is often more expensive form of financing than secured debts.

N-400 Application for Naturalization

Form N-400 is an application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
If you wish to adjust your status from lawful permanent residency or your biological or any of your legal adoptive mother or father is a U.S. citizen by birth, or was naturalized before you reached your 18th birthday, you may already be a U.S. citizen.

N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document

You must use form N-565 in order to apply for a replacement to your Naturalization/Citizenship Document.
The completed form must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a replacement of a:
1. Certificate of Naturalization;
2. Certificate of Citizenship;
3. Declaration of Intention;
4. Repatriation Certificate; or
5. To apply for a special certificate of naturalization to be recognized as a U.S. citizen by a foreign country.

N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship

This form is an application for a Certificate of Citizenship. You should file this application if you are requesting a Certificate of Citizenship because you were born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent; or If you are requesting a Certificate of Citizenship because you automatically became a citizen of the United States after birth, but before you turned 18 years old. (A parent or legal guardian can also file Form N-600 on behalf of a minor child.)

NACARA

Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.

National

A national of a country is referred to a person owing permanent allegiance to that state.

National Visa Center

After the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves an immigrant visa petition (application), it forwards the approval to the National Visa Center (NVC) located in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC collects visas and all the supporting evidence that is submitted by the petitioners (visa applicants). The NVC makes this information accessible for U.S. embassies and consulates so the information can be accessed during interviews conducted at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by, which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign national after he/she has fulfilled the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Nonimmigrant

Nonimmigrant is referred to a foreign national who seeks temporary entry to United States for a specific purpose. The foreign national must have a permanent residence abroad (for most classes of admission) and qualify for the nonimmigrant classification sought. The nonimmigrant classifications include: foreign government officials, visitors for business and for pleasure, aliens in transit through the United States, treaty traders and investors, students, international representatives, temporary workers and trainees, representatives of foreign information media, exchange visitors, fiancé of a U.S. citizen, intra-company transferee, NATO official, religious worker, and some other. Most nonimmigrants can be accompanied or joined by spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.

Nonimmigrant Visa

A nonimmigrant visa is issued to someone who lives in another country and wishes to come to the United States for a specific purpose and time.

Non-preference Category

Non-preference visas were available to qualified applicants not entitled to a visa under the preference system, until the category was eliminated by the Immigration Act of 1990. Non-preference visas for persons not entitled to the other preferences had not been available since September 1978 because of high demand in the preference categories. An additional 5,000 Non-preference visas were available in each of fiscal years 1987 and 1988 under a provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This program was extended into 1989, 1990, and 1991 with 15,000 visas issued each year. Foreign Nationals born in countries from which immigration was adversely affected by the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965 (Public Law 89-236) were eligible for the special Non-preference visas.

Nonrecourse Debt/Loan

A non-recourse debt or a nonrecourse loan is a type of debt/loan, which is secured by a pledge of collaterals such as real estate, equipment, vehicles, etc., but for which the borrower is not personally liable.

In other words, if the borrower/debtor defaults on payments, the lender can seize the pledged collateral itself. Thus if the value of the ceased property is less than the amount of the debt/loan, the lender cannot seek deficiency payments from the borrower: the recovery is limited only to the value of the collateral.

North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The Public Law 103-182 (Act of 12/8/93) superseded the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement as of 1/1/94. It continues the special, reciprocal trading relationship between the United States and Canada (see United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement), and establishes a similar relationship with Mexico.

Nursing Relief Act of 1989

Public Law 101-238 (Act of 12/18/89), provides for the adjustment to permanent resident status of certain nonimmigrants who as of September 1, 1989, had H-1 nonimmigrant status as registered nurses; who had been employed in that capacity for at least 3 years; and whose continued nursing employment meets certain labor certification requirements.

O-1 Visa

The O-1 Nonimmigrant Visa is for the individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
The O nonimmigrant classification is commonly referred to as:

O-1A Visa

O-1A Visa is designated for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)

O-1B Visa

O-1B Visa is designated for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry

O-2 Visa

O-2 Visa is designated for individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker must have critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1

O-3 Visa

O-3 Visa is designated for individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s

Orphan

The Immigration and Nationality Act defines an orphan, for the purposes of immigration to the United States, as a child whose both parents disappear, abandon or desert the child. The child of an unwed mother or surviving parent may be considered an orphan if that parent is unable to care for the child properly and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. The child of an unwed mother may be considered an orphan, as long as the mother does not marry (which would result in the child's having a stepfather) and as long as the child's biological father has not legitimated the child. If the father legitimates the child or the mother marries, the mother is no longer considered a sole parent. The child of a surviving parent may also be an orphan if the surviving parent has not married since the death of the other parent (which would result in the child's having a stepfather or stepmother).
In order to qualify as an immediate relative, the orphan must be under the age of sixteen at the time a petition is filed on his or her behalf. To enter the United States, an orphan must have been adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen (and spouse, if married) or be coming to the United States for adoption by a citizen.
Note: Prospective adoptive parents should be sure that a child fits the definition of "orphan" before adopting a child from another country, because not all children adopted abroad meet the definition of "orphan," and therefore may not be eligible to immigrate to the United States.

Out of Wedlock

A child born to parents, who were not legally married to each other, at the time of the child’s birth.
Note: Adoptive and prospective adoptive parents of a child who was born out of wedlock in any country should find out whether or not the child has been legitimated.

P-1A Visa

The P-1A classification visa is designated for Internationally Recognized Athlete, who wishes to enter the U.S. temporarily to perform, at an internationally recognized level.

P-1B Visa

P-1B Visa is devised for Members of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group, who wish to travel to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

P-2 Visa

The P-2 classification applies to those coming to the United States, temporarily, to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group; who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.

P-3 Visa

The P-3 Visa is designed for an Artist or Entertainer coming to the United States, temporarily, in order to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

P-4 Visa

The P-4 Visa is designed for the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of P-1, P-2 and P-3 athletes, artists and entertainers to accompany them to the U.S.

Parolee

A parolee is a foreign national, appearing to be inadmissible to the inspecting officer, but allowed into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or when that foreign national’s entry is determined to be for significant public benefit.

A beneficiary of Advance Parole is also referred to as a Parolee. Advance Parole is designed to help a foreign national residing in the United States under an status other than lawful permanent resident residency, who has an unexpected need to travel and return, and whose conditions of stay does not otherwise allow for readmission to the United States if they depart. A Parole does not constitute a formal admission to the United States and confers a temporary status only, which requires the Parolee to leave when the conditions supporting their parole cease to exist or their status changes to Lawful Permanent Residency.

Per Country Limit Visa

The maximum number of family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas that can be issued to citizens of any country in a fiscal year. The limits are calculated each fiscal year depending on the total number of family-sponsored and employment-based visas available.

No more than 7 percent of the visas may be issued to natives of any one independent country in a fiscal year; no more than 2 percent may issued to any one dependency of any independent country.

The per-country limit does not indicate, however, that a country is entitled to the maximum number of visas each year, just that it cannot receive more than that number.

Permanent Resident Alien

The somewhat derogatory term, Permanent Resident (Alien) is referred to a foreign national, who is admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants; however, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) broadly defines an immigrant as any foreign national in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal foreign national who entered the United States without inspection, for example, would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA but is not a lawful permanent resident.

Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. They are issued immigrant visas by the Department of State overseas or adjusted to permanent resident status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States.

Petition

A petition, for immigration purposes, is a formal written request made to the Appropriate Authorities for a specific benefit, i.e. visa, adjustment of status, etc.

Petitioner

Petitioner is a person or entity that makes the formal request for a specific benefit.

Port of Entry

A Port of Entry is referred to any location in the United States and its territories, which is designated as a point of entry for foreign nationals, and the United States Citizens.

All district and files control offices are also considered ports, since they become locations of entry for foreign nationals’ adjusting their statuses.

Preferred stock

Preferred stock is referred to a stock type that has preferential rights in comparison to common stock. Such rights include payments of dividends and amounts distributable on liquidation.

Preferred stocks enjoy seniority to common stock, but are subordinate to bonds in terms of claims or rights to share of assets of a company and payment of dividends or upon winding down and liquidation.

Preference System (Immigration Act of 1990)

The preference system is a method of distributing the limited number of immigrant visa numbers available each year.

Since fiscal year 1992, there are nine categories among which the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant preference visas are distributed.

1) Family Preference Category:

Some relatives of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who are not known as an "immediate relative" may qualify to apply for permanent residency. However, they must wait in order of priority described below, until a visa becomes available to them:

  • First Preference (F1): Unmarried, adult (21 years of age or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Second Preference A (F2A): Spouses of permanent residents and the unmarried children (under the age of 21)) of permanent residents
  • Second Preference B (F2B): Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or age or older) of permanent residents
  • Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children
  • Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children

The employment-based preferences are:

You may be eligible for an employment-based visa to the United States based on the following Preference Based Categories:
1) Priority workers (persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers);
2) Professionals with advanced degrees or aliens with exceptional ability;
3) Skilled workers, professionals (without advanced degrees), and needed unskilled workers;
4) Special immigrants; and
5) Employment creating immigrants (investors).

Pre-inspection

Pre-inspection is referred to a complete immigration inspection of airport passengers before departure from a foreign country. No further immigration inspection is required upon arrival in the United States other than submission of Form I-94 for nonimmigrant foreign nationals.

Premium Processing Service

Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guarantees 15-Calendar Day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service. If USCIS does not comply with the 15 days processing time, then it will refund the Premium Processing Service Fee. Even if the fee is refunded, the subject case will continue to receive expedited processing.

The 15 -Calendar day period will begin when USCIS receives the current version of Form I-907.

USCIS will issue an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15-Calendar day period.

Principal Alien

rincipal Alien is referred to the foreign national who applies for immigrant status and from whom another foreign national may derive lawful status under immigration law or regulations (usually spouses and minor..

Q-1 Visa

The Q-1 is a nonimmigrant visa for participation in certain international cultural exchange programs. These programs are designed to provide practical training and employment and allow program participants to share the history, culture, and traditions of their home countries in the United States.

A person, who wishes to participate in an international cultural exchange program; must be approved, in advance, by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), on the basis of a petition filed by the U.S. sponsor.

Q-2 Visa

Q-2 Visa also known as the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program, is designated for humanitarian policies exclusively for the Irish nationals, to provide an opportunity for the young people in areas that have a long history of violence and chronic unemployment to learn job skills and conflict resolution.

The following requirements must meet the approval for Q-2 Visa:
a) The applicant must be from Northern Ireland or one of the countries in the Republic of Ireland that borders Northern Ireland.
b) The applicant must be of 35 years or under at the time of his/her entry into the US.
c) The applicant must have resided in a qualifying location (Northern Ireland or one of the six countries in the Republic of Ireland) for at least three months prior to submitting an application for Q-2 Visa.

Please Note: The Q nonimmigrant visa does not have a provision for any spouse or children to accompany or follow to join a Q-1 nonimmigrant. Therefore, any spouse or children must qualify for a visa classification for which they may be eligible.

R-1 Visa

R-1 is a Nonimmigrant Visa designated for foreign nationals who are coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation, for an average of at least 20 hours per week.

R-2 Visa

An R-1 religious worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 classification. An R-2 dependent is not authorized to accept employment based on this visa classification.

Refugees

Under United States laws, a refugee is someone who:
A) Is located outside of the United States
B) Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
C) Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group Is not firmly resettled in another country
D) Is admissible to the United States

A refugee does not include anyone who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Refugee Approvals

The number of refugees approved for admission to the United States during a fiscal year. Immigration and Naturalization Service officers in overseas offices make refugee approvals.

Refugee Arrivals

The number of refugees the Immigration and Naturalization Service initially admits to the United States through ports of entry during a fiscal year.

Refugee Authorized Admissions

This term refers to the maximum number of refugees allowed to enter the United States in a given fiscal year. As set forth in the Refugee Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-212) the President determines the annual figure after consultations with Congress

Refugee-Parolee

A refugee-parolee is referred to a qualified applicant for conditional entry, between February 1970 and April 1980, whose application for admission to the United States could not be approved because of inadequate numbers of seventh preference visas. As a result, the applicant was paroled into the United States under the parole authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Removal

The term removal is referred to the deportation or expulsion of a Foreign National from the United States. This decision may be based on grounds of inadmissibility or deportability.

Resettlement

Resettlement is referred to the permanent relocation of refugees in a place outside their country of origin, which allows them to establish residence and become productive members of society there. Refugee resettlement is accomplished with the direct assistance of private voluntary agencies working with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Rural Area

In the context of EB-5 Investment Visa Program, a rural area is referred to any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.

S-Visa

The S Visa category is designated to foreign nationals who are informants or witnesses to crimes, and they are ready, willing and able to assist the United States Law Enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes and terrorist activities. Until 1994, there was no separate classification for such people. Instead, they were admitted into the US in parole status. In 1994, The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act created the S category. There are two types of S visas, the S-5 and S-6.

S-5 Visa

In order for a foreign national to qualify for a S-5 Visa, an interested federal or state law enforcement authority (LEA) must request and the Commissioner must approve that the witness or informant in a criminal matter:
(i) Possesses critical reliable information concerning a criminal organization or enterprise;
(ii) Is willing to supply, or has supplied, such information to federal or state LEA; and
(iii) Is essential to the success of an authorized criminal investigation or the successful prosecution of an individual involved in the criminal organization or enterprise.

S-6 Visa

In order for a foreign national to qualify for a S-6 Visa, the Secretary of State and the Commissioner, acting jointly, in the exercise of their discretion, must determine that the witness or informant in a counterterrorism matter:
(i) Possesses critical reliable information concerning a terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation;
(ii) Is willing to supply or has supplied such information to a federal LEA;
(iii) Is in danger or has been placed in danger as a result of providing such information; and
(iv) Is eligible to receive a reward under section 36(a) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956, 22 U.S.C. 2708(a).

S-7 Visa,

The S-7 Visa is designated for successful S-5 and S-6 Visa recipients’ spouses, married or unmarried children, or their parents.
The approved S-7 applicants can either accompany or follow to join the foreign national witness or informant, if in the exercise of discretion by the Commissioner, or the Secretary of State and the Commissioner, acting jointly, consider it to be appropriate.

Safe Haven

Temporary refuge given to migrants who have fled their countries of origin to seek protection or relief from persecution or other hardships, until they can return to their countries safely or, if necessary until they can obtain permanent relief from the conditions they fled.

SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a United States Federal Government agency primarily responsible for enforcing the federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, and regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges.

Section 4 of the Securities Exchange Act created the SEC, in 1934.

SEC highly regulates the EB-5 Investment Visa Program’s security offerings and regional centers.

Securities

Securities are tradable financial assets. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal definition varies by jurisdiction.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hold securities to strict regulations. EB-5 investments may be subject to strict SEC oversight unless the EB-5 applicant qualifies as an accredited investor.

Source of Fund

As a part of the requirements to apply for an EB-5 Investment Visa, the applicant must show that the investment funds were obtained through lawful means.

Service Center

Service Center is referred to the offices established to handle the filing, data entry, and adjudication of certain applications for immigration services and benefits.

Special Agricultural Workers (SAW)

SAW refers to the Foreign Nationals, who performed labor in perishable agricultural industry for a specified period of time and were admitted for temporary and then permanent residence under a provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Special Immigrants

Special Immigrant is referred to a person who qualifies for a green card (permanent residence) under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) special immigrant program.

In order to apply for immigration documents under this status, an individual must fill out a petition documenting his or her circumstances and submit the petition to USCIS. Here is a list of special immigrant group:
1) Religious Workers
2) Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government Employees
3) International Organizations’ Employees and Family Members
4) Broadcasters
5) NATO-6 Nonimmigrant
6) Physician National Interest Waiver
7) Juvenile Court Dependents
8) Armed Forces members
9) Afghan or Iraq nationals who supported the U.S. Armed Forces as
Translators
10) Iraq nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. Government in Iraq

Sponsor

There are many ways to sponsor a foreign national. In the immigration field, the term "sponsor" often means to bring to the United States or "petition for".

One may wish to sponsor, or petition for, a relative; sponsor, or petition for, an employee; sponsor, or petition for, an overseas orphan;

a refugee or an asylee may wish to sponsor or petition for a relative, etc.

Another meaning of the term "sponsor" is a person who completes Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act. This type of sponsorship is not, however, the first step in any immigration process.

Stateless

A person, who has no ascertainable nationality, is referred to as: Stateless.

Status

When a foreign national enters the U.S., she/he acquires a status vis-à-vis the conditions of her/his legal presence within the U.S.

Stowaway

Under immigration law a stowaway is referred to a foreign national entering the United States, surreptitiously, aboard an airplane or vessel without legal status of admission. Such a person is subject to denial of formal admission and may be returned to the point of embarkation by the transportation carrier.

Student

In the context of Immigration-Law, a Student is a foreign national, who is coming, temporarily, to the United States to pursue a full course of study in an approved program in either an academic (college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, other institution, or language training program) or a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution.

Subject to the Numerical Limit

Some categories of legal immigration are subject to annual limits under the provisions of the flexible numerical limit of 675,000 set by the Immigration Act of 1990. The largest categories are: family-sponsored preferences; employment-based preferences; and diversity immigrants.

Sub Offices

Offices found in some Districts that serve a portion of the District's jurisdiction. A Sub-office, headed by an Officer-in-Charge, provides many services and enforcement functions. Their locations are determined, in part, to increase convenience to INS' customers.

Subscription Agreement

A Subscription Agreement is an Application by an investor, who wishes to join a Limited Partnership or to sell stocks in a Private Company.

The Prospective Limited Partner (Investor) must fill out a form documenting the Investor’s suitability for the Investment in the Partnership.

T-1 Visa

In October 2000, Congress created the “T” nonimmigrant status by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA).

The objective of this legislation is to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and also offer protection to victims.

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life.

Traffickers often take advantage of poor, unemployed individuals who lack access to social services. The T Nonimmigrant Status (T visa) is set aside for those who are or have been victims of human trafficking, protects victims of human trafficking and allows victims to remain in the United States to assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.

T-2 Visa

T-2 Visas are designated for certain qualifying family members of T-1 Visa holders, who are eligible for a derivative T visa, such as: spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that, temporarily, prevent the country's nationals from returning home, safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately, due to war, disaster, etc.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant Temporary Protected Status to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

Temporary Resident

A temporary resident is a nonimmigrant foreign national, who seeks temporary entry to the United States for a specific purpose. The foreign national must have a permanent residence abroad (for most classes of admission) and qualify for the nonimmigrant classification she/he is applying.

Temporary Worker

The term Temporary Worker is referred to a foreign national, who is coming to the United States to work for a temporary period of time. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the Immigration Act of 1990, as well as other legislation, revised existing classes and created new classes of nonimmigrant admission.

Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers

In order for a person to enter the United States lawfully, as a Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker, a prospective U.S. employer must generally file a Nonimmigrant petition on the worker’s behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Tracing of Funds

Tracing of Funds is a method, by which, an EB-5 visa applicants must prove that their Investment Money came from lawful sources.

This can be proven via providing tax records, business or property sale documentation, and other financial documents that prove the legality of their funds.

Troubled Business

In the context of EB-5, a Troubled Business is referred to a business that has been in existence for at least two years; it has incurred a net loss during the twelve- or twenty-four-month period prior to the priority date of the EB-5 Investor’s Form I-526, and the loss for such period is at least equal to 20% of the troubled business’s net worth prior to such loss.

Spouses and Children Seeking Dependent Nonimmigrant Classification

Spouses and children who qualify for dependent nonimmigrant classification of a temporary worker and who are outside of the United States should apply directly at a U.S. consulate for a visa.

TN Visa

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification Visa allows, qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens, who seek temporary entry into the United States to professionals such as accountants, management consultants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, teachers, etc.

Transit Alien

Transit Alien is referred to a Foreign National, who is in immediate and continuous transit through the United States, with or without a visa.

Transit Without Visa (TWOV)

Transit Without Visa is referred to a transiting foreign national, who is traveling without a nonimmigrant visa under section 233 of the INA. Such foreign nationals are admitted under agreements with a transportation line, which guarantees his/her immediate and continuous passage to a foreign destination.

Treaty Trader Visa E-1

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification

Treaty Investor Visa E-2

The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

USCIS

USCIS is the abbreviation for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a federal agency within the United States Homeland Security Department. USCIS is responsible for processing, adjudicating and issuing most U.S. Visas, including the EB-5 Investment Program.

USCIS EB-5 Decision Board

The EB-5 Decision Board is referred to a designated United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) experts, such as economists, lawyers, etc., who adjudicate I-924 applications and determine whether or not business will receive Regional Center designation.

U.S. Embassies

The U.S. Embassies are agencies representing the U.S. Government and its interests in foreign countries. Most U.S. embassies accept and process non-immigrant visas and green card applications.

U.S. Consulates

The U.S. consulates are diplomatic posts maintained by the U.S. in foreign countries. Consular officers accept and process non-immigrant visas and Green Card applications.

U Visa

The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is designated for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000.

The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.

U-1 Visa

Each year, 10,000 U-1 visas are available for victims of qualifying crimes such as rape, domestic abuse or torture, etc. The applicant must show that she/he has suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and is willing to help law enforcement authorities to investigate or prosecute those crimes.

A U visa petition requires certification that the victim has been helpful to law enforcement.

Although USCIS has reached the statutory cap of 10,000 U visas, it will continue to review pending petitions for eligibility. For eligible petitioners who cannot be granted a U-1 visa solely because of the cap, USCIS will send a letter notifying them that they are on a waiting list to receive a U visa when visas become available again.

The letter will also inform the petitioners of options available to them while they are on the waiting list. Petitioners and qualifying family members must continue to meet eligibility requirements at the time the U visa is issued.

More than 117,579 victims and their family members have received U visas since the program began in 2009.

Qualifying family members of a U-1 Visa holder, such as spouse, children and parents may also obtain a U-2, U3, or U4 visas.

Underrepresented Countries

The Immigration Amendments of 1988, Public Law 101-658 (Act of 11/5/1988) allowed for 10,000 visas to be issued to natives of underrepresented countries in each of fiscal years 1990 and 1991. Under-represented countries are defined as countries that received less than 25 percent of the maximum allowed under the country limitations (20,000 for independent countries and 5,000 for dependencies) in fiscal year 1988.

V-Visa

The V Visa is a nonimmigrant visa created to allow families to stay together while waiting for the processing of immigrant visas.

For instance, a permanent resident (green card holder), her/his spouse, children (unmarried and under 21), or the children of spouse (step-children) may be eligible for V-Visas.

V-2 Visa

The V-2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which permits the foreign national children of a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident to enter the U.S. and await the availability of an immigrant visa

V-3 Visa

The V-3 dependent visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows the derivative children of the V-1 visa holder or applicant to enter into the U.S. and await the availability of an immigrant visa.

Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000

Public Law 106-386 (Act of 10/28/2000), enacted to combat trafficking in persons, especially into the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude, and to reauthorize certain Federal programs to prevent violence against immigrant women and children. Created nonimmigrant classes of admission allowing temporary status to individuals (and spouses, children, and parents) in the United States who are or have been victims of a severe form of trafficking or who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as victims of criminal activity. Afforded the same immigrant benefits as refugees, with allowance for adjustment to permanent resident status.

Visa

The word visa is a Latin derivative “charta visa,” and it means “paper which has been seen.” In immigration context a Visa is a conditional authorization granted by a country to allow a foreign national to enter the country, remain within, or to leave that country, according to its stipulated terms.

A Visa is, generally, obtained at an embassy or consulate outside the destination country. Obtaining a Visa is not an automatic guarantee of permission to enter the country, which has issued it.

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of certain selected countries, traveling temporarily to the United States for pleasure and business, to enter the United States without obtaining nonimmigrant visas. Admission is for no more than 90 days. This program was devised via the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Under the Guam Visa Waiver Program, certain visitors from designated countries may visit Guam only for up to 15 days without first having to obtain nonimmigrant visitor visas.

Visitors & Tourism

A foreign traveler, who wished to enter the United States for a short visit such as: tourism, vacation, visiting family, friends, negotiate a business contract, medical treatment, etc., requires a B-1 or B-2, etc., Visas unless they qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.

Voluntary Departure

A Voluntary Departure is referred to the departure of a foreign national from the United States without an order of removal. The departure may or may not have been preceded by a hearing before an immigration judge. A foreign national allowed to voluntarily depart concedes removability but does not have a bar to seeking re-admission at a port-of-entry, at any time. Failure to depart within the time granted results in a fine and a ten-year bar to several other forms of relief from deportation.

What is a Regional Center?

A Regional Center is a private, public or governmental organization that pools together, manages and administers EB-5 capital from multiple foreign investors in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved EB-5 projects, within a defined geographical region.

In 1992, the Congress amended the EB-5 Investment Visa Program to create the Regional Centers Pilot Program..

Withdrawal

An arriving alien's voluntary retraction of an application for admission to the United States in lieu of a removal hearing before an immigration judge or an expedited removal. Withdrawals are not included in nonimmigrant admission data.

Worldwide Ceiling

The worldwide Immigration Ceiling was introduced in 1978, and it was set at 270,000. However, this number fluctuates based on the United States sociopolitical shifts and to a certain extent it is affected by International events, such as wars, economic standing, political changes and natural disasters.

Disclaimer:

Content on this Immigration Law Lexicon is developed by Paymon Barati-Darmian, attorney, and founder of www.ChosenLawyers.com together with many other Dedicated, Diligent and Compassionate People: Lawyers and Laypersons alike

We have acquired most of the contents from governmental sources such as USCIS, DOS, etc., and simplified them for your better understanding. However, due to the evolving nature of legal doctrines, theories and applications, we do not guarantee their accuracy or, whether, they are complete and/or up to date.

Public Postings on this website are intended for general information and not substitutes for the advice of and consultation with an attorney or other duly licensed professionals. Therefore, public postings do not create an Attorney-Client relationship.

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