Immigration Services

Select a category from the list on the left to learn more about our services.

Temporary Work Visas

Our legal team handles temporary work visa cases from a wide range of fields and industries. We develop specialized legal strategies that prioritize the abilities, needs, and goals of foreign national talent and employers alike. 

H-1B Work Visa

In order to qualify in the H-1B visa category, the beneficiary must have earned a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a specific specialty (e.g., Biology, Computer Engineering, Mathematics etc.), and the position for which the beneficiary's services are sought must require at least a Bachelor's degree in specialized fields.

Under USCIS regulations, a "specialty occupation" is

    . . . an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and attainment of a Bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.


Additionally, every H-1B petition must be accompanied by a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA), which, among others, confirms the employer's obligation to pay the required wages to H-1B visa holders.

Lastly, practicing clinicians who are International Medical Graduates must hold an ECFMG Certificate, a valid license to practice medicine, and Steps 1, 2 (CK & CS) and 3 of the USMLE.

The total number of H-1B visas that may be granted each year is 65,000, plus there is an additional set-aside of 20,000 H-1B visas for individuals with a Master's or higher degree from a United States institution. Because of the limited visa availability, it is critical to apply as early as possible. Note that some employers (such as academic institutions) are exempt from this cap and may sponsor H-1B workers even when the cap is reached.

H-1B visas can be granted for an initial period of up to three (3) years, and can be extended for an additional period of three (3) years for a total stay of six (6) years. The H-1B is an "employer-specific" visa, which allows the beneficiary to work only for the sponsoring employer. The beneficiary may change employers by having a new employer file an H-1B transfer petition. Additionally, any changes to the beneficiary's original employment due to a corporate reorganization, merger, promotion or assignment to a new company location may require an amended petition. If any of the above changes occur, please call our office.

Spouses and children of H-1B workers will be classified as H-4 "dependents". Holders of H-4 status are not entitled to work in the United States. If your spouse or child requires employment authorization, we can assess their own visa that allows employment.

H-1B1 Work Visa For Singaporeans And Chileans

The H-1B1 visa category applies to Singaporean or Chilean nationals only, as well as their spouses and children. Note, however, that spouses and children of H-1B1 visa holders do not need to be Singaporean or Chilean citizens.

In order to qualify in the H-1B1 visa category, the beneficiary must have earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a specific specialty (e.g., Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Biology, etc.), and the position for which the beneficiary’s services are sought must ordinarily require at least a bachelor’s degree in specialized fields.

Under USCIS regulations, a “specialty occupation” is

    . . . an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Additionally, every H-1B1 petition or application must be accompanied by a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA), which, among others, confirms the employer’s obligation to pay the required wages to H-1B1 visa holders.

While the total number of standard H-1B visas that may be granted each year is 65,000, out of that number, 5,400 visas are set aside annually for H-1B1 visas for Singaporean nationals and 1,400 visas are set aside for Chilean nationals. As such, Singaporeans and Chileans may usually avail of the H-1B1 classification even if the H-1B cap is reached.

The H-1B1 visa application may be filed directly at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad or with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). H-1B1 visas can be granted for an initial maximum period of up to 18 months, and can be extended indefinitely. The H-1B1 is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows the beneficiary to work only for the sponsoring employer. The beneficiary may change employers by having a new employer file an H-1B1 transfer petition with USCIS or by applying for a new H-1B1 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

Spouses and children of H-1B1 visa holders are classified as H-4 dependents. Holders of H-4 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

In order to qualify in the E-2 category, you must demonstrate that:

  • Requisite treaty exists;
  • You or the business possess the nationality of the treaty country;
  • You have invested or are actively in the process of investing into a company located in the United States;
  • The company is a real and operating commercial enterprise;
  • Your investment is substantial;
  • Your investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living;
  • You are in a position to "develop and direct" the enterprise;
  • If an employee, you will hold an executive/supervisory position or possess skills essential to the company's operations in the United States; and
  • You intend to depart the United States when the E-2 status terminates.


You must meet all of the above criteria in order to qualify you for the E-2 visa. We will provide you with detailed instructions on what evidentiary proof is required in order to meet these criteria.

E-2 visas can be granted for a period of up to five (5) years and can be extended indefinitely. There is no limit on how many extensions you can obtain, as long as you continue to operate a viable business in the U.S. The E-2 is an "employer-specific" visa, which allows you to work only for your sponsoring business.

Spouses and children of E-2 visa holders, who are classified as E-2D "dependents", are entitled to work in the United States and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document.

E-3 Work Visa For Australians

The E-3 visa category applies to Australian nationals only, as well as their spouses and children. Note, however, that spouses and children of E-3 visa holders do not need to be Australian citizens.

In order to qualify in the E-3 visa category, the beneficiary must have earned a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a specific specialty (e.g., Biology, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, etc.), and the position for which the beneficiary's services are sought must ordinarily require at least a Bachelor's degree in specialized fields.

Under USCIS regulations, a "specialty occupation" is

  • . . . an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and attainment of a Bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Additionally, every E-3 petition or application must be accompanied by a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA), which, among others, confirms the employer's obligation to pay the required wages to E-3 visa holders.

E-3 visas can be granted for an initial period of up to two (2) years and can be extended indefinitely in two-year increments. The E-3 is an "employer-specific" visa, which allows the beneficiary to work only for the sponsoring employer. The beneficiary may change employers by having a new employer file an E-3 transfer petition with USCIS or by applying for a new E-3 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

Spouses and children of E-3 visa holders, who are classified as E-3D "dependents", are entitled to work in the United States and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document.

O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa

In order to qualify in the O-1 category, you must demonstrate “sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements” and that you have risen to the top of your field.

Sustained acclaim can be demonstrated through either evidence of a one-time achievement (a major, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize), or through evidence of at least three (3) of the following regulatory criteria:

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.
  • Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts.
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you, relating to your work in the field.
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied field.
  • Original scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance.
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media.
  • Evidence that you have been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
  • Evidence that you have either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services.


As part of the process, the law also mandates that a consultation letter from a relevant union or management group be submitted. If no such unions exist in your field, you may obtain a letter from a professional association, relevant to your field, confirming your sustained national or international acclaim.

O-1 visas can be granted for an initial period of up to three (3) years and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments. There is no limit on how many extensions you can get, as long as you continue to have a sponsoring employer. The O-1 is an "employer-specific" visa, which allows you to work only for your sponsoring employer.

Spouses and children of O-1 holders will be classified as O-3 "dependents." Holders of O-3 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa In Arts

In order to qualify in the O-1 category in the arts, which includes the performing arts, fine arts, visual arts, and culinary arts, you must demonstrate "distinction" in your filed. Distinction is defined as "a high level of achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered." In other words, you must show through evidence that you are considered "prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known" in your field of arts.

In order to qualify in the O-1 category in the motion picture or television arts, you must demonstrate a "record of extraordinary achievement" in your field. Extraordinary achievement is defined as "a very high level of accomplishment evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered." In other words, you must show through evidence that you are considered "outstanding, notable or leading" in the motion picture or television field.

The O-1 legal standard can be demonstrated through either evidence of a one-time achievement (a major internationally recognized award such as an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, British Academy Award or Director's Guild Award), or through evidence of at least three (3) of the following regulatory criteria:

  • Performing services as a leading or starring participant in productions or events with distinguished reputations as shown by critical reviews, ads, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements.
  • Receipt of national or international recognition for achievements through critical reviews or other published material by or about you in major papers, trade journals or other professional publications.
  • Performing in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by media articles, testimonials and the like.
  • Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes.
  • Significant recognition from organizations, critics, government agencies or recognized experts.
  • Evidence that you have either commanded or will command a high salary or other remuneration in relation to others in the field.


As part of the process, the law also mandates that a consultation letter from a relevant union or management group be submitted.

Spouses and children of O-1 holders will be classified as O-3 "dependents". Holders of O-3 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

O-2 Accompanying Personnel Visa

The O-2 visa classification is for an individual or group of individuals coming to the U.S. to provide essential support to an artist of extraordinary ability who holds an O-1 visa.

In order to qualify in the O-2 category in the arts, you must demonstrate that you will be an integral part of the O-1 artist’s performance or event, and that you possess specific critical skills and experience with the O-1 artist that are not possessed by others.

In order to qualify in the O-2 category in the motion picture or television arts, you must demonstrate that you possess specific critical skills and experience with the O-1 artist. This must be demonstrated by: 1) your preexisting and longstanding working relationship with the O-1 artist; or 2) your essentiality to the successful completion of a specific production, where a significant part of the production will take place both in and out of the U.S.

The O-2 legal standard can be demonstrated through evidence of the following:

  • Your essentiality to the O-1 artist’s performance;
  • Your critical skills and experience in the field;
  • Substantial experience performing the critical skills and essential support services for the O-1 artist.
  • For motion picture or television productions: Confirmation that a significant portion of the production has taken place abroad and will take place in the U.S. and that your continuing participation is essential to the successful completion of the production.

As part of the process, the law also mandates that a peer group advisory opinion from an appropriate consulting entity, union or management group be submitted.

O-2 visas can be granted for the period necessary to assist the O-1 artist, up to three (3) years, and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments. There is no limit on how many extensions you can get, as long as you continue to serve in an essential accompanying role to the O-1 artist. The O-2 is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows you to work only for your sponsor.

Spouses and children of O-2 holders will be classified as O-3 “dependents.” Holders of O-3 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

The L-1 visa category is appropriate for international companies with two (2) or more international locations, including the United States. A sponsoring U.S. employer and the related company abroad must have a "qualifying relationship", which means that each of these entities must be related to the other as a "branch", "parent", "subsidiary" or "affiliate."

In order to qualify as an intracompany transferee in the L-1A managerial/executive category, the beneficiary must have served abroad as a manager or executive for at least one (1) year of the three (3) years prior to the application for admission to the United States. Also, he or she must serve as a manager or executive upon admission to the U.S., as defined below:

  • Managers are those who: (1) manage the organization or a component of the organization; (2) supervise the work of other supervisors, professionals, or managers or manage an essential function; (3) have personnel authority (hiring and firing) or function at a senior level within the company hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and (4) exercise discretion over the day-to-day operations.

  • Executives are those who: (1) direct the organization or a major component; (2) establish the goals and policies; (3) exercise wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and (4) receive only general supervision or direction from higher level executives.

L-1A visas can be granted for an initial period of three (3) years and may be extended in increments of two (2) years for a total stay of seven (7) years. The L-1 is an "employer-specific" visa, which allows the beneficiary to work for the sponsoring employer only. If there are any changes to the original "qualifying" corporate relationship or the beneficiary's title or responsibilities in the U.S., please contact our office.

Spouses and children of L-1 visa holders, who are classified as L-2 dependents, are entitled to work in the United States and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document.

TN Trade NAFTA Visa

In order to qualify in the TN visa category, the beneficiary must hold either Canadian or Mexican citizenship. The beneficiary must also meet the specific education (e.g., a Bachelor’s degree), experience, and licensing requirements set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA. Additionally, the beneficiary must engage in prearranged business activities for a U.S. or foreign employer with offices in the U.S. (i.e., self-employment is not permitted under this category). Furthermore, one must show that the beneficiary’s entry is temporary, which means the work assignment in the U.S. will end at a predictable time and that he or she will depart the United States upon completion of the assignment.

Please note that Canadian citizens may submit their TN applications directly at the port of entry in order to be admitted to the United States. Mexican citizens must obtain a valid TN visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate prior to seeking admission in the TN classification.

Spouses and children of TN nonimmigrants will be classified as TD “dependents.” Holders of TD status are not entitled to work in the United States.

A Canadian or Mexican citizen seeking entry in the TN classification may be admitted for an initial period of up to three (3) years and thereafter can seek extensions in three-year increments. There is no specific limit on the total period of time a beneficiary may hold TN status, provided the beneficiary continues to qualify for the classification and continues to properly maintain TN status. Extensions of stay may be requested at the border or by filing an extension petition with USCIS.

The TN is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows the beneficiary to work only for the sponsoring employer. The beneficiary may change employers by having a new employer file a TN transfer petition in the United States or by applying at the border. In addition, any changes to the beneficiary’s original employment due to a corporate reorganization, merger, promotion or assignment to a new company location may require an amended petition or application.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

The J-1 visa is designed to accommodate a wide range of training and educational activities in the United States, including specialized, subject-matter training and internship opportunities for foreign-born professionals accepted for training at U.S. businesses, research organizations and other qualifying private or public entities (commonly known as “host” organizations). The J-1 visa program (Exchange Visitor Program) is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Office of Exchange Coordination & Designation, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, which designates specific third-party organizations to participate in the program as formal “sponsors.”

In order to qualify as an exchange visitor, the beneficiary must meet the following eligibility requirements:

J-1 Intern – The candidate for J-1 internship must: (a) be currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S.; or (b) have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the start of the proposed internship. J-1 interns are admitted to the United States for a maximum period of 12 months.

J-1 Trainee – The candidate for J-1 traineeship must: (a) have a degree or a professional certificate from a post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S. and at least one (1) year of prior work experience in an occupational field related to the proposed training; or (b) have at least five (5) years of work experience outside the U.S. in an occupational field related to the training. J-1 trainees are admitted to the United States for a maximum period of 18 months.

An applicant applying for a J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad must meet the following requirements, including:

  • Acceptance to a designated exchange visitor program;
  • Sufficient funds, or adequate arrangements, to cover expenses;
  • Sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in the program;
  • Present intent to depart the United States at the conclusion of the program; and
  • Possession of qualifications for the program offered.


Lastly, all exchange visitors must maintain health insurance coverage for themselves and any accompanying spouses and children, including medical benefits of at least U.S. $50,000 per person per accident or illness.

Spouses and children of J-1 exchange visitors are eligible for and receive J-2 visas. J-2 holders may be eligible for work authorization in the United States.

P-1 Entertainment Group Visa

The P-1 visa classification is for an individual or group of individuals coming to the U.S. to perform with an entertainment group that has been internationally recognized as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time.

In order to qualify in the P-1 classification, you must demonstrate that:

  • At least 75% of the members of your entertainment group have been performing regularly with the group for at least one (1) year; and
  • Your entertainment group is internationally recognized.


“Internationally recognized” is defined as having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. In other words, you must show that the group’s achievements are renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country. Note that individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.

The P-1 legal standard can be demonstrated through either evidence of the group’s nomination or receipt of significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement or through evidence of at least three (3) of the following regulatory criteria:

  • Performing as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events with distinguished reputations as shown by critical reviews, ads, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements.
  • Receipt of international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievements through reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications.
  • Performing services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.
  • Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes confirmed by ratings, standing in the field, box office receipts, record or video sales, and other achievements as reported in major newspapers, trade journals, or other publications.
  • Significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or recognized experts.
  • Evidence that the group has either commanded or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration in relation to others in the field.



As part of the process, the law also mandates that a peer group advisory opinion from an appropriate consulting entity, union or management group be submitted.

P-1 visas can be granted for the period necessary to complete the event, activity or performance, up to one (1) year, and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments. There is no limit on how many extensions you can get, as long as you continue to carry out events, activities or performances with your entertainment group. The P-1 is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows you to work only for your sponsor.

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer or group and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 “support” classification.

Spouses and children of P-1 holders will be classified as P-4 “dependents.” Holders of P-4 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

P-1 Internationally Recognized Athlete Visa

In order to qualify in the P-1 classification, you or your team must demonstrate that will participate in athletic events, competitions or performances in which you are internationally recognized. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.

“Internationally recognized” is defined as a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. In other words, you must show that your individual achievements, or your athletic team’s achievements, are renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country.

The P-1 legal standard can be demonstrated through evidence of at least two (2) of the following regulatory criteria:

  • Participation in a prior season with a major United States sports league.
  • Participated in international competitions with a national team.
  • Participated in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competitions.
  • A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport confirming your international recognition.
  • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport confirming your international recognition.
  • Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings.
  • Receipt of a significant honor or award in the sport.

In order to qualify, you must hold a contract with a major U.S. sports league or team, or a contract in an individual sport. As part of the process, the law also mandates that a peer group advisory opinion from an appropriate labor union be submitted.

P-1 visas can be granted for the period necessary to complete the event, competition or performance, up to five (5) years for an individual athlete (not to exceed 10 years), and for up to one (1) year for athletic teams.

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete or team and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 “support” classification.

Spouses and children of P-1 holders will be classified as P-4 “dependents.” Holders of P-4 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

P-3 Culturally Unique Visa

The P-3 visa is for an individual or group of individuals coming to the U.S. for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching or teaching a unique and traditional art form.

In order to qualify in the P-3 classification, you must demonstrate that you will be furthering a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. You must also show that you are coming to the U.S. to participate in a cultural event or series of events which will further the understanding or development of your art form

As part of the process, the law also mandates that a peer group advisory opinion from an appropriate consulting entity, union or management group be submitted.

P-3 visas can be granted for the period necessary to complete the event, activity or performance, up to one (1) year, and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments. There is no limit on how many extensions you can get, as long as you continue to carry out culturally unique events, activities or performances. The P-3 is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows you to work only for your sponsor.

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-3 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-3 “support” classification.

Spouses and children of P-3 holders will be classified as P-4 “dependents.” Holders of P-4 status are not entitled to work in the United States.

I Visa For Foreign Media

In order to qualify in the I visa category, the you must:

  • Represent a foreign information media outlet (e.g., press, radio, film, print or other foreign information media);
  • Intend to engage in this profession in the United States; and
  • Maintain a home office in a foreign country.

We must also demonstrate that your activities are essential to the functions of your foreign media employer. To be eligible for the media visa, your activity in the U.S. must be associated with the news gathering process, reporting on actual current events.

An initial I visa application must be filed directly at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad, with future extensions filed either abroad or with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). I visas can be granted for an initial period necessary to complete the reporting assignment, and can be extended as necessary. The I visa allows the beneficiary to work only for the foreign media employer and does not allow other employment in the U.S. The beneficiary may change employers by filing an I transfer petition with USCIS or by applying for a new I visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

Spouses and children of I visa holders are classified as I “dependents.” Holders of I “dependent” status are not entitled to work in the United States.

Green Cards

We are proud to offer a wide variety of legal services to clients seeking permanent residence in the U.S.  Our firm is dedicated to finding innovative ways to help clients navigate the process of obtaining a green card.

EB-11 Extraordinary Ability

In order to qualify in the EB-11 category as a person of extraordinary ability, you must demonstrate "sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements" and that you have risen to the top of your field. This is a high legal standard, and we will carefully evaluate your credentials before proceeding with the case.

Sustained acclaim can be demonstrated through either evidence of a one-time achievement (a major, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize or an Academy Award) or through evidence of at least three (3) of the following regulatory criteria:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.
  • Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts.
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you, relating to your work in the field.
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied field.
  • Original scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance.
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, major trade publications, or other major media.
  • Evidence that you have performed in a critical or leading role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
  • Evidence that you have commanded a high salary or other remuneration for services.
  • Display of your work at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disc, or video sales.

In addition to meeting the criteria above, you must also show that you will be working in your field of expertise once your permanent residence is granted. In that regard, you need to show that you are either currently employed or have prospective employment offers in your field.

Together with your EB-11 petition, you may submit your Application to Adjust Status to U.S. permanent residence if there is no immigrant visa backlog in your preference category. Alternatively, you may seek immigrant visa status by applying at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

EB-12 Outstanding Professor/Researcher

In order to qualify in the EB-12 category as an outstanding professor or researcher, you must be sponsored by an employer (an academic institution or a private company) and demonstrate that you are recognized internationally as outstanding in your field. This is a high legal standard, and we will carefully evaluate your credentials before proceeding with the case.

International recognition can be demonstrated through evidence of at least two (2) of the following regulatory criteria:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the field.
  • Membership in professional associations that require outstanding achievements of their members.
  • Published material about your work in professional publications.
  • Participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the field.
  • Original scientific or scholarly contributions to the field.
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field in scholarly journals with international circulation.

In addition to meeting the criteria above, you must also show that you possess at least three (3) years of teaching or research experience and that you have a permanent offer of employment (i.e., tenured or tenure-track position for professors, or an equivalent permanent position for researchers). In that regard, you need to obtain a letter verifying the length of your experience from previous and current employers. You also need to present a letter from your sponsoring employer confirming the permanence of your job offer.

Together with your EB-12 petition, you may submit your Application to Adjust Status to U.S. permanent residence if there is no immigrant visa backlog in your preference category. Alternatively, you may seek immigrant visa status by applying at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

EB-13 Intracompany Transferee

The EB-13 immigrant visa category is appropriate for international companies with two (2) or more international locations, including the United States. A sponsoring U.S. employer and the related company abroad must have a "qualifying relationship", which means that each of these entities must be related to the other as a "branch", "parent", "subsidiary" or "affiliate".

In order to qualify for an immigrant visa as an intracompany transferee, the beneficiary must have served abroad as a manager or executive for at least one (1) year of the three (3) years prior to the application for admission to the United States. Also, he or she must serve as a manager or executive upon admission to the U.S., as defined below:

Managers are those who: (1) manage the organization or a component of the organization; (2) supervise the work of other supervisors, professionals, or managers or manage an essential function; (3) have personnel authority (hiring and firing) or function at a senior level within the company hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and (4) exercise discretion over the day-to-day operations.

Executives are those who: (1) direct the organization or a major component; (2) establish the goals and policies; (3) exercise wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and (4) receive only general supervision or direction from higher level executives.

Together with your EB-13 petition, you may submit your Application to Adjust Status to U.S. permanent residence if there is no immigrant visa backlog in your preference category. Alternatively, you may seek immigrant visa status by applying at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

PERM Labor Certification

Pursuant to Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, U.S. employers are required to test the local labor market for any available U.S. workers who are able, willing and qualified for the employment opportunity in question prior to seeking DOL certification (permission), which is the first step in gaining approval of permanent resident status on their behalf.

Based on the approved position's duties and requirements, employers engage in extensive recruitment and advertising activities, which typically last 60 days or more. These efforts consist of placing a job order with the appropriate State Workforce Agency (SWA) for 30 days and two (2) Sunday ads in a newspaper of general circulation best suited to the area of intended employment. In addition, for professional occupations, employers must undertake three (3) additional recruitment steps, using venues listed in DOL regulations. Additionally, employers must post a notice of the job opportunity at the location of intended employment for ten (10) consecutive business days or provide such notice to a designated collective bargaining unit representative, if any.

After all recruitment is completed, employers are required to observe a 30-day "cooling off" period to accept and evaluate applicants' resumes. Those applicants who appear to meet the minimum position qualifications must be interviewed. Under the law, U.S. workers may be disqualified only for lawful job-related reasons. Once the 30-day "cooling off" period has ended, employers are required to prepare a recruitment report, which must be on file prior to submitting the labor certification application.

At the end of the recruitment period, employers must be able to attest that: (1) they could not locate any able, qualified or willing U.S. workers who are available for the job opportunity; and (2) the employment of the alien will have no adverse effects on the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers. The employer may then submit a PERM Labor Certification application to DOL for processing.

Once the Labor Certification is granted, the petitioning employer may file a Form I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to seek immigrant visa classification for the alien beneficiary. At this stage, the employer must provide evidence of financial ability to compensate the employee at the determined rate of pay. Likewise, the alien worker for whom the I-140 is being filed must provide, or have already provided, evidence (academic credentials, employment verification letters, etc.) that he or she met all the minimum requirements (as stated on the labor certification application) at the time of hire by the sponsoring employer.

Lastly, you may submit your Application to Adjust Status to U.S. permanent residence if there is no immigrant visa backlog in your preference category. Alternatively, you may seek immigrant visa status by applying at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

Special Recruitment PERM

Pursuant to Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, a college or university may apply for a labor certification for a college and university teacher if it is documented that the employee was selected for the job opportunity in a competitive recruitment and selection process through which the foreign national was found to be more qualified than any of the United States' trade; workers who applied for the job. Specifically, documentation of the competitive recruitment and selection process must include:

  • A statement signed by an official who has hiring authority outlining the complete recruitment procedures including: (i) the total number of applicants for the job opportunity; (ii) the specific lawful job-related reasons why the alien is more qualified than each U.S. worker who applied for the job.
  • A final report of the faculty, student or administrative body making the recommendation or selection of the foreign national, at the completion of the recruitment process.
  • A copy of at least one print advertisement for the job opportunity placed in a national professional journal.

Additionally, employers must post a notice of the job opportunity at the location of intended employment for ten (10) consecutive business days or provide such notice to a designated collective bargaining unit representative, if any. After recruitment is completed, employers are required to observe a 30-day "cooling off" period prior to filing the application with the DOL. Form ETA 9089 Application for Permanent Employment Certification may then be filed with DOL's PERM Online Portal for processing.

Note that the Special Recruitment PERM application must be filed with the DOL within 18 months of your selection for the job. Therefore, it is imperative to complete all required steps as soon as possible to ensure a timely submission.

Once the PERM application is filed, the DOL will certify the position after it has confirmed that the college or university has correctly completed the competitive recruitment and selection process. Upon filing, it will take DOL up to 12 months to adjudicate the application. An audited application will require more than the standard processing time for adjudication.

Upon approval of the PERM application, the employer will be required to file an I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Lastly, you may submit your Application to Adjust Status to U.S. permanent residence if there is no immigrant visa backlog in your preference category. Alternatively, you may seek immigrant visa status by applying at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

National Interest Waiver

In order to qualify for a waiver of the labor certification requirement in the employment-based second preference category (EB-2), you must demonstrate that your work in the field of sciences, arts or business will “substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interest, or welfare” of the United States. Also, you must either hold an advanced degree (i.e., Master’s degree or higher, or Bachelor’s degree and at least five (5) years of experience), or prove that you have exceptional abilities in your field. This is a high legal standard, and we will carefully evaluate your credentials before proceeding with the case.

The legal standard for the National Interest Waiver classification can be demonstrated by showing that you:

  • Work in an area of "substantial intrinsic merit"
  • Provide a benefit that is national in scope; and
  • Serve the national interest to a greater extent than other persons with the same level of education, training, and/or experience.

While you may self-petition for the NIW, in addition to meeting the criteria above, you must also show that you will be working in your field of expertise once your permanent residence it granted. In that regard, you need to show that you are either currently employed or have prospective employment offers in your field.

National Interest Waiver for Physicians

In order to qualify for an immigrant visa through a waiver of the labor certification requirement in the employment-based second preference category (EB-2), you must demonstrate that your work as a clinician (either in a primary care discipline or a medical specialty) will “substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interest, or welfare” of the United States. Note that the national interest waiver is not a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement imposed by the J-1 visa classification. If you are subject to this requirement, you must obtain a J-1 waiver in order to be eligible for permanent residence.

The legal standard for the National Interest Waiver classification for physicians can be established by showing that you:

  • Committed to work full-time (40 hours per week) in an area designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as having a shortage of health care professionals, or at a Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facility, for at least five (5) years; and
  • Obtained a letter from the state department of health or VA certifying that the medical service you provide at the facility is in the public interest.

You may self-petition for the NIW, as long as you can show a five-year commitment to an underserved area. Together with the NIW petition, you and your dependent family members may also apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence, as well as employment and travel authorization. Note that, while your employment and travel authorization documents will be issued approximately 90 days after filing the application, your permanent residence will not be granted until you have completed five years of service in an underserved area.

Permanent Residence based on Investment

In order to successfully qualify for an EB-5 immigrant visa as an investor, a foreign national may invest into a new commercial enterprise, a troubled business or a Regional Center:

  • Investment into a New Business Enterprise

To qualify for an immigrant visa through investing into a new business enterprise, you must:

  • Invest at least $1,000,000 (or $500,000, if your investment is in a designated targeted employment area);
  • Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets;
  • Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers; and
  • Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy.
  • Investment into a Troubled Business

To qualify for an immigrant visa through investing into a troubled business, you must:

  • Invest at least $1,000,000 (or $500,000, if your investment is in a designated targeted employment area) in a business that has existed for at least 2 years;
  • Invest in a business that has incurred a net loss for the 12-24 month period before you filed the Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by an Alien Entrepreneur;
  • Demonstrate that the loss for the 12-24 month period must be at least 20% of the business's net worth before the loss;
  • Maintain the number of jobs at no less than the pre-investment level for at least 2 years; and
  • Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy.
  • Investment into a Regional Center (Pilot Program)

To qualify for an immigrant visa through investing into a Regional Center, you must:

  • Invest at least $1,000,000, or $500,000 in a new commercial enterprise or a troubled business located within the area of the USCIS-designated Regional Center; and
  • Create at least 10 new full-time jobs directly through the capital investment.

Acquiring lawful permanent residence through the EB-5 classification is a three-step process. First, you must obtain approval of the Form I-526 Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur. Second, you may submit your Application to Adjust Status to U.S. permanent residence if there is no immigrant visa backlog in your preference category. Alternatively, you may seek immigrant visa status by applying at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country. You and your derivative family members will be granted conditional permanent residence status for a two-year period. The actual "green card" will expire on the second anniversary of the date that residency was granted. Third, in order to convert to unrestricted permanent resident status, you will need to petition to remove conditions on residence during a period of 21 to 24 months after the initial grant of conditional residence. If this petition is approved, you will be issued an unconditional permanent residence card and will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.

Permanent Residence based on Marriage

A marriage-based Immediate Relative Petition must demonstrate a bona-fide marriage to a U.S. citizen and demonstrate that the applying immigrant has enough financial support to on which to live without becoming reliant on U.S. government welfare.

After the I-130 Immediate Alien Relative Petition/I-485 Adjustment of Status Application package has been filed, an adjustment of status interview will be scheduled for you and your spouse to appear at the local USCIS office. At that time, you will need to provide evidentiary documentation to support your relationship, which may include:

  • Birth certificates of any children born to the marriage;
  • Joint financial records (such as bank accounts, investments, credit cards, etc.);
  • Joint tax returns;
  • Insurance policies listing spouses as beneficiaries;
  • Joint loans;
  • Lease or mortgage contracts showing that you share a residence;
  • Copies of joint utility bills;
  • Correspondence addressed to both of you, or correspondence between you;
  • Joint memberships;
  • Photos of the two of you as a couple and with friends and family;
  • Confirmation of major purchases made together (cars, jewelry, etc.).

If you are married less than two years at the time of the adjustment of status interview or application for admission into the United States, you will be granted conditional permanent residence status for a two-year period. The actual "green card" will expire on the second anniversary of the date that residency was granted (i.e., not two years from the date of marriage). In order to convert to unrestricted permanent resident status, you and your U.S. citizen spouse will need to submit a Joint Petition to Remove Conditional Residency (Form I-751) during a period of 21 to 24 months after the initial grant of conditional residence. If this petition is approved, you will be issued an unconditional permanent residence card and will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.

J-1 Waivers

The firm offers legal services for exchange visitors looking to waive their two-year home-country physical presence requirement. We are committed to guiding clients through the complex process of applying for J-1 waivers.

Conrad State 30 Waiver For Clinicians

All 50 states of the United States, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico, offer the Conrad J-1 waiver program, where their respective Departments of Health may recommend up to 30 waivers per fiscal year to eligible physicians. In order to qualify for a favorable recommendation from a State Department of Health, you and your employer must demonstrate that your employment in the U.S. will substantially benefit medically underserved patients. The medical facility/site where you will work must be physically located in a place designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Area) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA). We must, therefore, show the following:

  • That the employer has a legitimate need for your services;
  • That another suitable candidate could not be found; and
  • That you will provide critically needed medical services to an underserved area.

If you are able to meet these criteria, the State Department of Health will act as an interested government agency on your behalf and recommend to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) that it is in the public interest to issue you a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement.

The Conrad State 30 J-1 waiver program targets primary care physicians who have completed a U.S. residency training program and will practice medicine in one of the following specialties: Family Medicine, General Pediatrics, General Obstetrics, General Internal Medicine or General Psychiatry. However, some states allow sponsorship of specialist physicians, provided that the service area has a shortage of physicians practicing that particular specialty. Additionally, a number of states grant waivers to physicians working in an area not designated as a HPSA or MUA/MUP, if they will serve patients residing in underserved areas. Note that only up to 10 out of the 30 waiver slots may be designated as the so-called “flex slots” and they are distributed on a first-some-first-served basis.

Most states run out of the 30 available waiver slots before the end of their fiscal year, with many states reaching the maximum limit only weeks or months after the year starts. Therefore, a timely filing is imperative to securing a waiver. For many states, fiscal year generally starts on October 1.

HHS Waiver for Researchers

In order to qualify for a favorable recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) research waiver program, you and your employer must demonstrate that:

  • Your research program is of high priority or significance in an area of interest to HHS;
  • You are an essential part of the program, and without you the program, or a major part of it, would discontinue; and
  • You can make original and significant contributions to the program and possess outstanding qualifications, training and experience beyond the usually expected accomplishments at the graduate, postgraduate, and residency levels.

This is a high legal standard, and we will carefully evaluate your credentials before proceeding with the case. To meet this legal standard, your application must include a detailed description of your accomplishments and role in the research program, as well as an analysis of the program’s significance and benefit to the national or international interests and the interests of HHS. Specifically, we will need to prove that:

  • Your research serves the national or international public interest;
  • You are essential to the program and will contribute to the program long-term;
  • Your program is collaborative in nature, and your expertise is unique, compared to other personnel engaged in the program;
  • Your employer has made efforts to recruit for your position at a fair market rate and was unable to find a suitable replacement;
  • Loss of your services will seriously restrain the success of the program or its major part;
  • Your employer has made long-range plans for you; and
  • You are uniquely equipped to make original contributions to the research program based on your outstanding qualifications and special accomplishments, as confirmed by external recommendation letters.

If you are able to meet these criteria, HHS will act as an interested government agency on your behalf and recommend to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) that it is in the public interest to issue you a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement.

J-1 Waivers

Exchange visitors (EVs) in J-1 status may be subject to the two-year home residence requirement because of:

  • Skills List;
  • Government funding (U.S. or home country); or
  • Graduate medical training (medical residency or fellowship).

If you are subject to the two-year home residence requirement, you may, instead of returning to your home country, obtain a waiver of the two-year requirement. Several waiver options may be available, depending on the EV's circumstances:

  • No-objection waiver: By far, the easiest way to avoid fulfilling the requirement is to apply for a statement of no-objection from your home government. This option, however, is not available to International Medical Graduates unless they came to the United States to observe, consult, teach or conduct research. The no-objection waiver also will not qualify an individual who received U.S. government funding for a waiver unless he or she receives a statement of no-objection from the funding agency.
  • Hardship waiver: To qualify, you must demonstrate that your departure from the United States would impose exceptional hardship on your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child. Keep in mind that you must prove that your spouse or child will be subjected to exceptional hardship if they accompany you to fulfill the two-year requirement abroad or if they remain in the U.S. while you fulfill the requirement.
  • Persecution waiver: This is available to those individuals who can demonstrate that they would be subject to persecution on account of race, religion or political opinion in their home residence.
  • Interested Government Agency (IGA) waiver: You may qualify for a waiver based on a recommendation from an IGA if a waiver is in the public interest and compliance with the two-year requirement would be detrimental to a program that is of official interest to the recommending agency.
    While any government agency can serve as an IGA, physicians frequently seek waivers from federal or state agencies in exchange for agreeing to provide full-time clinical services in an area designated as having a shortage of healthcare professionals for at least three years. Currently, every U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, offers the Conrad State 30 Waiver Program, which allows a state health department to grant up to 30 waivers annually to qualified physicians.

    In addition, an international physician practicing in a designated area may qualify for a waiver by requesting that another agency, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Delta Regional Authority (DRA) or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), act as an IGA on his or her behalf.

    Furthermore, HHS processes waiver applications for physicians practicing in designated areas suffering from a shortage of physicians. Finally, those exchange visitors, including physicians, who do not provide medical services to underserved populations but perform research that may be found to be in public interest and in the interest of a federal agency, may seek waivers from other participating federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Department of Defense or HHS.

The J-1 waiver application is a three-step process, with the application to the initial agency being the first and most critical step. The agency can take a few months to decide whether or not it would recommend that a waiver be issued on your behalf. Second, if the initial agency issues a waiver recommendation, it will transfer your file to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), which will take 4-6 weeks to render its decision on whether or not to recommend a waiver. Third, after the DOS issues a positive waiver recommendation, it will transfer your file to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for a final decision. The entire waiver process may take several months, and you must maintain valid nonimmigrant status in order to be able to remain in the U.S. during the process.

Hardship Waiver

In order to qualify for a favorable recommendation from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) based on exceptional hardship to your U.S. spouse or child, you must demonstrate that:

  • Your departure from the U.S. will impose exceptional hardship on a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child; and
  • Hardship will occur if spouse/child will accompany you abroad and if spouse/child will remain in the U.S. while you fulfill the two-year requirement.

To meet this legal standard, your application must include a detailed description of your personal background, as well as evidence confirming how your U.S. relative will be affected if you have to fulfill the two-year requirement. The following factors are considered in reviewing a hardship waiver application:

  • Physical, emotional, or economic hardship to U.S. relative;
  • Loss of employment, educational, or health opportunities for U.S. relative;
  • Poor country conditions or political instability in your home country;
  • The loss of benefits to the U.S. caused by your departure or your spouse’s departure;
  • Hardship to non-qualifying relatives (e.g., U.S. spouse’s family).

The hardship waiver application is initially filed with USCIS, which is the most critical step to obtaining a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement. If USCIS makes a finding of hardship, it will issue a positive waiver recommendation and transfer your file to the U.S. Department of State (DOS). The DOS is then likely to also issue a positive waiver recommendation and transfer your file back to the USCIS for a final decision. Please note that, if you have received U.S. government funding such as a Fulbright or USAID scholarship, the DOS may issue a negative recommendation in light of this funding.

Naturalization

Our firm is dedicated to developing cutting-edge strategies that help clients and their families navigate the pathway to citizenship. 

Naturalization

In order to become a U.S. citizen, you must demonstrate that you have been a permanent resident of the United States for at least 4 years and 9 months (or 2 years and 9 months if you obtained permanent residence through a U.S. citizen spouse and are still married to the U.S. citizen). Additionally, you must show that you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the preceding five-year period (30 months) and that you have not made any trips abroad that lasted 180 days or longer. Finally, you must demonstrate that you are a person of good moral character.

Once your application is filed, you will be invited to appear for a fingerprint appointment and, several months later, for your naturalization interview. At the interview, USCIS will administer a test of your knowledge of American civics (history and government), as well as your ability to read, write and speak English. We will provide additional information about this test when your case is in progress. For the civics portion of the naturalization test, the USCIS Officer will ask you up to 10 of the 100 predetermined civics questions. You must answer at least six out of 10 questions correctly in order to pass the civics test. To test your knowledge of the English language, you will be asked to read and write a sentence in English. You must be able to read and write one out of three offered sentences correctly to pass the reading and writing tests. Your ability to speak English will be determined by your answers to questions normally asked by USCIS Officers during the naturalization interview.

After you pass the test, you will be scheduled to appear for a ceremony, where you will be sworn in as a U.S. citizen.