What You Need To Know About Visas
There are many different types of visas that may relate to wanting to live in this country. To help you get the information you need about visas, we at Bartell, Georgalas & Juarez, L.P.A. Co. want to provide you with a basic overview of the types of visas and how they work.
Basic Visa Information
There are essentially two different kinds of visas, nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. An immigrant visa is one that an individual will apply for in order to become a lawful permanent resident and obtain a green card. A nonimmigrant visa is one that a foreign national will apply for in order to come to the U.S. for a temporary period of time for business, school, or vacation purposes among others. If you are seeking to come to the U.S. for any reason then it is important for you to seek legal assistance in order to obtain the correct visa in your case.
If you wish to become a lawful permanent resident, and eventually a citizen, then you will need to apply for an immigrant visa. If you are approved then you will receive an immigration package that you will present to an official at any port of entry into the United States. If you are deemed admissible then you will be free to enter the United States as a permanent resident.
If you are seeking to come to the U.S. for a short period of time, whether for business or pleasure, then you will benefit from a nonimmigrant visa. Whether you are trying to come for temporary employment, school, or another reason, it is important to understand what visas apply in your situation and which will benefit you the most.
Types Of Employment Visas
If you are a foreign national seeking employment in the United States, you may benefit from understanding the various visa options you have. Employment and treaty visas can have subtle differences depending on your specific situation. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the significance of the different categories.
- E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows temporary citizenship solely to engage in international trade on their own behalf.
- E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows for citizenship when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
- EB-1 visas are for priority workers, including people like those with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers.
- EB-2 visas are for workers who hold advanced degrees (beyond bachelor’s), and those of exceptional ability.
- EB-3 visas are for skilled workers (those whose job requires at least two years of training), professionals (job requires a degree) and unskilled workers.
- EB-4 visas are reserved for some certain special immigrants. There are many subcategories that fall under this preference; some may include broadcasters, religious ministers and others.
- EB-5 visas are for immigrant investors. Those who wish to qualify for this visa must meet specific requirements about how much to invest and how many jobs the investment will create.
Some nonimmigrant visas include the following among others:
- Business or pleasure visa – B1-B2
- Student visa – F1-F2
- A temporary worker with special skills – H1B
- Fiancé visa – K1-K2
- Athletic visa – P1
There are many different types of nonimmigrant visas and depending on what you wish to do in the U.S., one will be better than the others. It is important to have legal assistance in this process as our firm can advise you of the best visa for you to apply for.
Treaty Visa Guidance
We are knowledgeable about all categories of employment visas with “E” supplements involving treaty trader nations. We help secure E1 trader visas requiring:
- Applicants must be nationals of treaty countries entering for trade purposes
- Foreign applicants must be executive, management or highly specialized employees
- The treaty nation’s key staff must be setting a U.S. division or affiliate
- Principal trade must be between the U.S. and a treaty country
- Trade must involve a sizable, ongoing volume
- Title for exchanged items (technology, money, services) must pass between parties
We handle all requirements, including valid passports, related documentation and additional visas for a spouse or child.
We also assist clients with overcoming the complexities involved when applying for E2 employment visas for investors meeting the following requirements:
- An investor applicant must be a treaty country national
- The investment must be an actual U.S. business enterprise
- The U.S. investment must be substantial
- A foreign investor must be here to grow the business, or a qualifying executive, management or a specialist
- Investors must maintain control over investment funds
For investors, we can also help them through the complexities of their visa needs.
Navigating EB-5 Visas
Applicants must invest $1 million (or only $500,000 in some targeted employment areas) in a U.S. business. Investors can establish a U.S. business or invest in a struggling U.S. business as long as they create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. Once the application is approved, the applicant is granted conditional permanent residency for a period of two years.
Toward the end of the two-year period, the investor may file an application to convert the conditional residency to permanent status. The investor must show documentation that the terms of the visa have been met – 10 jobs have been maintained or created for U.S. workers within the allowed time frame.
EB-5 Regional Center Investment
Regional centers can invest in a wide range of local organizations and businesses, including health care facilities, manufacturing plants, shopping centers and office development. The process of regional center investment tends to be less challenging than the standard treaty investor process. There tend to be fewer obstacles and less of a time commitment. A skilled attorney can answer complex questions and explain how the EB-5 regional center investment process can work in your situation.
Regional center investment benefits can include lower investment levels, flexible job creation measures and less day-to-day business involvement. These benefits can be attractive to busy international investors. Do not hesitate to contact our office to learn more about your options for regional center investment.
There are many different types of visas you can apply for through your profession. Depending on your unique situation, we can help you pursue a visa such as:
- Business – B-1 visas are visitor types available to those who are seeking to come to the U.S. for various purposes. These may include meeting with an associate, obtaining business education from a convention, negotiate a business venture or to settle an estate. This is a temporary visa in which the holder must exit the country by the expiration date, or petition for an extension.
- Work Transfer – L-1A and L-1B visas are for individuals who work for an international company and are being transferred to the company inside the United States. In addition, you must be in a managerial position or one that utilizes specialized knowledge. You will most likely be able to bring your spouse with you and any unmarried children under the age of 21, provided that they qualify for an L-1B visa.
- Specialized Work – H-1B visas are available to those who are seeking to come to the United States for the purpose of filling a position that requires specialized knowledge and abilities. Most often these positions require a Bachelor’s degree, or any other license to work in this occupation.
Our experience and knowledge in visas can help you and your family gain legal access to this country with as little complication as possible.
Family-Based Immigration Visas
This process involves sponsoring your spouse or loved one to come to the United States. You will be required to prove that you have enough income and assets to support them. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must first approve your immigrant visa petition, and then you must prove that you have the necessary income to support your loved one. If both of these processes are successful then your loved one may be able to apply for an immigrant visa and continue the process to becoming a lawful permanent resident.
Qualified Cleveland Immigration Attorney
At Bartell Georgalas & Juarez, we offer skilled and experienced legal assistance to those who are facing various immigration issues. We have significant experience in difficult cases, and we do not shy away from the most challenging case.
We serve a multitude of cities throughout Ohio, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and more. Additionally, we will travel to help those in other states throughout the U.S., including Florida, California, North Carolina and even other countries around the globe. Call us at 216-710-6700 or email us here to learn more!