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October 5, 2023

The United States, often referred to as the land of opportunities, is a popular destination for individuals seeking better prospects, whether for education, work, or a new beginning. For those already settled in the U.S. on various visas, it’s natural to wish for their siblings to join them and share in the American dream. While the immigration process for siblings of visa holders can be complex, understanding the available options and procedures can pave the way for family reunification.

Understanding the Immigration Landscape

The U.S. immigration system is vast and diverse, offering multiple pathways for family members to join their loved ones residing in the country. When it comes to siblings of visa holders, the process typically involves sponsorship, either through family-sponsored visas or employment-based immigration avenues.

Family-Sponsored Visas

The family-sponsored visa category allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for immigration to the United States. While U.S. citizens have broader sponsorship options, permanent residents can sponsor a narrower set of family members, including siblings.

  1. Family Preference Visas: Siblings fall under the Fourth Preference (F4) category for family-sponsored immigration. However, the availability of F4 visas is subject to annual visa limits, which can result in considerable waiting times.
  2. Process Overview: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident sibling initiates the process by filing a visa petition (Form I-130) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. Following this, the case is transferred to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the sibling’s home country for visa application and interview.
  3. Visa Availability: The waiting time for an available visa can vary significantly based on the sibling’s home country and the current visa bulletin. Patience is crucial, as visa backlogs can extend for years.

Employment-Based Immigration

Another potential avenue for siblings is employment-based immigration. If a sibling is highly skilled, holds an advanced degree, or possesses exceptional abilities, they may be eligible for employment-based visas such as the EB-2 or EB-3 categories.

  1. EB-2 and EB-3 Categories: The EB-2 category is for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability, while the EB-3 category is for professionals, skilled workers, or other workers.
  2. Process Overview: A U.S. employer sponsors the sibling for an employment-based visa by initiating the labor certification process, obtaining an approved immigrant petition (Form I-140), and progressing towards permanent residency (a green card).
  3. Job Offer and Employment: The sibling must have a job offer from a U.S. employer and meet specific job requirements to qualify for these categories.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be challenging, especially when it involves family sponsorship and employment-based immigration. Seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney can greatly simplify the process and increase the likelihood of a successful application. Contact ImmiVisa for a consultation to discuss the most suitable options for reuniting siblings coming to the U.S.

Final Thoughts

Reuniting with siblings in the United States is a cherished aspiration for many individuals. While the immigration journey may be intricate, understanding the available options and seeking appropriate legal counsel can significantly contribute to a smoother process. Patience, diligence, and proper guidance are essential elements that pave the way for a successful immigration experience, bringing families together on American soil.

October 2, 2023

The United States, often dubbed the land of opportunity, attracts talent from all corners of the globe. For exceptional professionals seeking to further their careers and contribute to the country’s growth, the EB-1 visa stands as a beacon. The EB-1 visa, designed for individuals of extraordinary ability, offers a direct path to permanent residency for those who have showcased unparalleled expertise in their respective fields.

Unveiling the EB-1 Visa

The EB-1 visa is part of the employment-based immigration first preference category, tailored for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers. Of particular interest is the EB-1A subcategory, which focuses on professionals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics.

Extraordinary Ability Criteria:

To qualify for the EB-1A visa, applicants must meet specific criteria showcasing their extraordinary ability. These include:

  1. Sustained National or International Acclaim: Providing evidence of sustained acclaim and recognition on a national or international level within the field of expertise.
  2. Major Awards or Prizes: Presenting proof of significant awards, prizes, or recognitions received for outstanding achievements in the field.
  3. Published Material About the Applicant: Showcasing substantial published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media.
  4. Membership in Associations: Demonstrating membership in associations that require outstanding achievements for admission, as evidence of the applicant’s extraordinary ability.
  5. Original Contributions: Providing evidence of the applicant’s original contributions of major significance to their field.
  6. Judge of Others’ Work: Serving as a judge of the work of others in the same or a related field, either on an individual or panel basis.
  7. High Salary or Remuneration: Displaying evidence of a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in the field.

Benefits of the EB-1A Visa:

The EB-1A visa offers several distinct benefits, making it an attractive option for professionals of extraordinary ability:

  1. Self-Petitioning: Unlike many other employment-based visas, EB-1A applicants can petition for themselves, bypassing the need for employer sponsorship.
  2. Expedited Processing: EB-1A petitions can qualify for premium processing, ensuring a quicker adjudication process and a 15-day timeline for USCIS response.
  3. No Labor Certification: The EB-1A category eliminates the labor certification requirement, streamlining the process and avoiding delays associated with the labor market test.
  4. Direct Path to Permanent Residency: Upon approval, EB-1A visa holders can directly apply for a green card, securing permanent residency in the United States.
  5. Flexibility in Employment: EB-1A visa holders have the freedom to change employers or positions within their field without affecting their immigration status.

Tips for a Successful Application:

  1. Gather Comprehensive Documentation: Ensure you collect extensive and compelling evidence showcasing your extraordinary ability, achievements, and contributions to your field.
  2. Seek Professional Guidance: Work with an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the application process, ensuring all requirements are met and the best possible case is presented.
  3. Craft a Strong Petition Letter: Pay careful attention to the petition letter, emphasizing your achievements, the impact of your work, and why you qualify as a professional of extraordinary ability.
  4. Highlight Your Original Contributions: Emphasize the originality and significance of your contributions to your field, providing concrete examples and evidence of their impact.
  5. Showcase National or International Recognition: Document any awards, honors, publications, or recognition received on a national or international level within your field.

Final Thoughts:

Mastering the EB-1A visa is a remarkable achievement that opens doors to a fulfilling professional journey in the United States. Understanding the criteria, benefits, and application process is vital for a successful application. With the right approach, professionals of extraordinary ability can make a significant mark in their respective fields on American soil. Contact our Immigration firm for a consultation to discuss your case and how to best approach your own personal criteria.

October 5, 2023

In today’s digital age, influencers have a significant impact on society, culture, and business. The United States, being a hub for creativity and innovation, attracts numerous influencers from around the world. For influencers looking to establish a strong presence in the U.S., understanding the various immigration options is crucial. Among the most suitable visas for influencers are the EB-1A, O-1, and P-1 visas.

1. EB-1A Visa: Recognizing Extraordinary Ability

The EB-1A visa is a prestigious option for influencers who possess extraordinary ability in their respective fields. This category is designed for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding expertise and sustained acclaim.

Key Advantages:

  • Path to Permanent Residency: Successful applicants can transition to permanent residency, making it an ideal choice for influencers seeking a long-term commitment in the U.S.
  • Self-Petitioning: Influencers can petition for themselves without the need for employer sponsorship, providing flexibility and control over the application process.
  • No Labor Certification: The EB-1A category bypasses the labor certification requirement, expediting the application process.

Requirements:

Influencers must demonstrate extraordinary ability through sustained acclaim, major awards, publications, significant contributions, original work, and other forms of recognition.

2. O-1 Visa: Recognizing Extraordinary Talent

The O-1 visa is an excellent option for influencers who possess extraordinary talent and have achieved recognition in their field. It is designed to attract individuals with exceptional skills, expertise, or achievements.

Key Advantages:

  • Temporary Stay: Holders of the O-1 visa can temporarily reside and work in the U.S., allowing influencers to engage in specific projects or activities for their sponsoring employer or entity.
  • Flexibility: The O-1 visa provides flexibility in terms of employment options, allowing influencers to adapt and respond to changing opportunities.

Requirements:

Influencers applying for the O-1 visa need to provide substantial evidence of their extraordinary ability, including awards, publications, testimonials, high salary, and significant contributions to their field.

3. P-1 Visa: Recognizing Athletic and Entertainment Excellence

The P-1 visa is suitable for influencers closely associated with the athletic or entertainment industry. It is tailored for individuals or groups with a high level of achievement in their field.

Key Advantages:

  • Group Eligibility: Influencers who are part of a team or group can enter the U.S. collectively, making it suitable for influencers collaborating or performing as a group.
  • Performance Opportunities: Holders of the P-1 visa can participate in events, competitions, tours, or performances, enhancing their visibility and engagement within the U.S.

Requirements:

Influencers applying for the P-1 visa must meet specific criteria, including a valid contract with a U.S. employer, international recognition, and significant achievements in their field.

Choosing the Right Fit

The choice of the best visa depends on an influencer’s unique circumstances, career goals, and intended duration of stay in the U.S. The EB-1A visa offers a path to permanent residency, making it suitable for those seeking a long-term commitment. The O-1 visa, on the other hand, provides flexibility and temporary residency options, while the P-1 visa is ideal for influencers in athletics or entertainment.

Conclusion

For international influencers looking to make their mark in the U.S., understanding the various visa options is paramount. Each visa category has its advantages, and influencers must carefully assess their situation to choose the one that aligns with their goals and aspirations. With the right visa, influencers can unlock a world of opportunities and further enhance their brand and presence in the U.S.

August 18, 2021

Despite the wreckage that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on international travel, both investor and trade visas remain powerful options for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States.

The United States is the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI’s). In the year 2020, the United States received more than $156 billion through FDI’s. As a result, U.S. policymakers have always been keen to promote business travel to facilitate foreign trade and investments. The specific visas available for foreign investment and trade are the E-2 and E-1 visas, respectively. This article will explore the benefits and trade offs of each of these visas and discuss the eligibility requirements for each of them.

Who is Eligible for E-2 Visas?

E-2 Visas are issued to investors who are nationals of a “Treaty Country”. A Treaty Country is a country that has signed a treaty of commerce and navigation or a qualifying international agreement with the United States. In some cases, a country may be designated as a treaty country by legislation. Currently, the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation with 136 countries, out of which the investors from 81 countries are eligible for E-2 Visas.

Does that mean that all nationals from Qualified Treaty Countries are eligible for E-2 Visas? No. E-2 Visas are provided to those investors who have invested or are in the process of investing a “substantial amount of capital” in a legal U.S. business. These investors are known as “Treaty Investors” and such business is known as the “Investment Enterprise”.

A Treaty Investor must be the 50% (or more) owner of the investment enterprise. If such an investor does not own at least 50% of the business then they must possess the operational control of such business.

What is the meaning of the term “Substantial Amount of Capital”? This is a relative term and there is no predefined dollar amount! Whether or not an investment is substantial will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Different businesses require different levels of capital. Hence, the amount of substantial capital for any business will depend upon the nature of such business.

The law provides that an investment must be substantial having regards to the total cost of either purchasing an already running business or establishing a new business. In other words, the investment must be proportionately higher than the cost of acquiring or establishing a business. Also, such investment must be sufficient for the smooth running of the business.

Does investing in a Non-Profit Organization make one eligible for an E-2 Visa? No, the E-2 Visa is provided to investors who have invested or who are in the process of investing money in a business producing goods or services for profit. Also, such business must be active, legal, and bonafide.

Does investing money in an entity operating at a loss mean I’m not eligible for an E-2 Visa? Not necessarily. As a general rule, the business in which the foreign national is investing money must have sufficient current and future earning capacity to generate income in excess of the reasonable living expenses of the investor and their dependents. In other words, if the investment enterprise is simply marginal—only generating income for the investor and their family— then the investor may not be eligible for E-2 classification.

But it is a known fact that most businesses require some time to generate sufficient income to start payments to their owners. The law provides that the investor may be eligible for E-2 classification if such business is at least capable of generating sufficient income within a period of five (5) years. If you have any questions about this point, please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

What is the Difference between Treaty Investor and Treaty Trader?

Both treaty investors and treaty traders must be nationals of a designated treaty country as previously discussed. The treaty trader, classified under the E-1 visa, is for foreign nationals who enter, work, and stay in the United States with the sole purpose of engaging in “substantial international trade”. Unlike E-2 treaty investors, E-1 treaty traders do not invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

October 17, 2020

“I’ll apply once Trump is gone” — I’ve heard this phrase echoed numerous times in 2020, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. While I understand the underlying sentiment expressed (e.g. immigration applications may be more favorably adjudicated under a new administration), I caution anyone with this line of reasoning to reconsider any delay in applying for immigration benefits for the following reasons:

  1. USCIS Will be Increasing the Costs of a Majority of Immigration Applications

First, delaying submission is very likely to result in having to pay increased application costs. Beginning October 2, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20 percent, including additional new fees for certain immigration benefits.

For example, the total cost of applying for permanent residency through a family-based petition (e.g. with concurrently filed work permit and travel authorization applications) is increasing by 46.62-percent (i.e. $1,760.00 to $2,830.00), while Citizenship applications are increasing by approximately 46.97-percent ($725.00 to $1170.00). Employment visas are not exempt from this increase–L visas are increasing by 75-percent, O visas are increasing by 53 percent, and H-1B Visas are increasing by 21 percent. Given the limited time remaining before the fee increases go into effect, those with financial constraints should consider applying as soon as possible.

UPDATE: On September 29, 2020, Judge Jeffrey S. White, Federal District Court Judge of the North District Court of California, issued a preliminary injunction and stay of the effective date of the Final Rule of the fee increase. Until the order is lifted, Applicants will not have to pay the higher fees as stated in the Final Rule. Because the injunction is only temporary, we still recommend filing your immigration application sooner rather than later before the Final Rule ultimately goes into effect.

  1. The Recently Updated Public Charge Rule has Been Enjoined During COVID-19 

Second, applicants for permanent residency or applicants for changes/extensions of  nonimmigrant status should take advantage of the fact that USCIS is not applying the February 24, 2020 Public Charge Rule. As long as the July 29, 2020 Southern District of New York Injunction is in effect, USCIS will apply the 1999 public charge guidance that was in place prior to February 24, 2020. Under the 1999 rule, applicants do not need to complete Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency. The 1999 public charge rule is far less stringent than the 2020 rule, and requires much less documentation to satisfy the adjudicating officer’s determination that an immigrant is not likely to become a public charge. However, there is no indication regarding how long the court injunction will remain in place–applicants should take advantage of applying for immigration benefits as long as this injunction is in place.

  1. Incumbents are Hard to Defeat

There is a substantial chance that President Trump will win reelection. In the last 100 years, only three U.S. incumbent Presidents have ever lost (Herbert Hoover in 1932, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H.W. Bush in 1992). While I am no polling expert, aspiring immigrants should consider the realistic possibility of the President’s reelection and contemplate how they will navigate the U.S. immigration system going forward.

In so doing, you should consider that the most beneficial changes to immigration law (from the perspective of an immigrant) occurred under Ronald Reagan’s watch and were because of Ronald Reagan.  President Reagan was conservative.  Conversely, some of the most sweeping changes to U.S. immigration law that had a negative impact upon immigrants were signed into law by President Clinton.  President Clinton was a democrat.  Similarly, approximately five times the amount of people were deported during the democratic Obama administration then were under the previous five administrations combined.  Simply put, do not wait to pursue relief that you are otherwise eligible for because you think a different President will benefit you.

Immigrating to the United States remains a complicated and often difficult task and it is essential to consult with an expert regarding your immigration issues, now more than ever.