We provide the following US immigration services to clients in Canada and around the world. The information that follows is only intended to be a brief overview and therefore should not be acted upon.
B-1 visitors may apply for visas to enter the U.S.A. on behalf of their overseas employer, for a short duration that may not involve local employment. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the U.S.A. for business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.
B-2 visitors for pleasure may apply for visas to enter the U.S.A. for tourism, visits, medical treatment, and certain other activities. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the U.S.A. for pleasure for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.
The C-1 Visa, also known as the transit visa, aims to enable nonimmigrants who travel through an airport or airports in the U.S. to leave the airport and visit family or friends or for shopping and brief tour in the U.S.
Individuals involved in the United Nations may apply for a C-2 Visa to travel in the U.S. to their UN destination.
C-3 Visa is open to the government officials who travel through the U.S. to a foreign destination.
D-1 Visa is open to the foreign crewmen who serve an aboard vessels. This category may cover vessel's personnel such as crewmen, stewards, technicians, chefs and musicians.
D-2 Visa is designed for the crewmen who are serving for the normal operations of an aboard fishing vessel.
Treaty traders and their employees may apply for visas to carry on substantial trade between the U.S.A. and their home country, if their home country has the required treaty with the U.S.A.
Investors who invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise, and who will develop and direct the enterprise, may apply for a visa if their home country has the required treaty with the U.S.A.
Students who will pursue a full course of study at an authorized educational institution in the United States may apply for a student visa. In some cases, a period of practical training in the field of study may be available.
Professional workers with at least a bachelor's degree may apply for a visa if the U.S. employer can document that the worker will be paid at least the prevailing wage for the position. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is required although in some cases, relevant work experiences may be accepted towards the education requirement.
The H-2A Visa is a specific visa category designed for U.S. employers who needs the alien's skills. Specifically, the H-2A visa allows foreign workers entry to the U.S. to work in agriculture.
The H-2A Visa is a specific visa category designed for U.S. employers who needs the alien's skills. The temporariness of this need is the crucial element of the H-2B category.
The H-3 Visa category is used by U.S. companies and institutions to bring foreign employees to the U.S. for a temporary period with the purpose to participate in an established company training program.
The I Visa is a vital tool in a global system, where news and cultures are shared and dispatched across the board. The I Visa is open to media employees including news reporters, film crew-members and freelance journalists. However, mainstream filmmakers are not eligible for I Visa. I visas are available to persons only to work for a foreign media outlet in U.S., or a U.S.-based subsidiary of a foreign media company.
Exchange visitors may apply for a visa to travel to the U.S.A. in an approved exchange program. This category includes certain students, medical residents and physicians, professors and research scholars, specialists, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs. Some J-1 programs require that the exchange visitor spend two full years outside the U.S.A. before obtaining a new nonimmigrant visa or applying for the Green Card.
A fianc(e)é of a U.S. citizen may apply for a nonimmigrant visa, which allows U.S. entry for 90 days. Within that 90 day period, the U.S. citizen and foreign fianc(e)é must be married. The fianc(e)é must then apply for permanent resident status.
Executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees may apply for a visa to transfer to their employer's U.S. affiliate, parent or subsidiary, if they have at least one year of qualifying experience within three years prior to their entry to the U.S.A.
Foreign nationals whose extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim may apply for a visa in this category. This category visa requires massive paperwork, and therefore applicants are encouraged to seek alternatives.
O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O-1 Visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, motion picture and television production.
Foreign nationals whose work involves international recognition, participation in a reciprocal exchange program, or a culturally unique performance or production, may apply for a visa in this category.
P-2 Visas are issued for artists, athletes and even troupes or bands entering the U.S. as a part of an exchange program. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: one in the U.S. and one abroad.
Religious workers, including ministers of religion and persons working in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation, may apply for a visa in this category.
T Visa allows certain victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States provided they cooperate with law enforcement against those responsible for their enslavement. After three years in "T" status, victims of human trafficking may apply for permanent residency.
Special rules apply to citizens of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement. For citizens of Canada, visas are generally not required and port of entry processing is available. However, all TN visa applicants must meet the criteria set forth in NAFTA.
Immigration Visas (Green Card)
U.S. citizens may petition for (sponsor) their spouses, parents, children, brothers and sisters. Permanent residents may petition for their spouses and children. The beneficiary (sponsored relative) becomes eligible to have his or her immigrant visa or Green Card application processed only if the visa petition is approved.
This category is open to Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and Multinational Executives and Managers (EB-1) Individuals who satisfy the requirements in one of these categories may seek permanent residence without first obtaining a labor certification. Generally, the labor certification requires an employer to demonstrate that there are no U.S. workers able, qualified and available for the job opportunity.
A job offer and labor certification are required in this category unless an individual can obtain a National Interest Waiver by showing that his or her entry is in the U.S. national interest.
Foreign nationals in this category must have a job offer, and the prospective U.S. employer must generally complete the labor certification process.
Foreign nationals who are ministers of religion may be sponsored for permanent residence.
Up to 10,000 visas are available per year for investors in new commercial enterprises, if the enterprise will create employment for at least ten U.S. workers. Generally, an investment must be at least $1,000,000, but if an investment will be made in a "targeted employment" or "rural" area, it must be at least $500,000.
An annual mail-in lottery is conducted for nations underrepresented in Green Card issuance. A nation is considered underrepresented if less than 50,000 people from that nation immigrated to the U.S. in the past five years. Applicants are selected at random to apply for 55,000 visas.
Individuals that have held refugee or asylum status for at least one year may be eligible for lawful permanent residency.
National Interest Waivers and the J-1 two-year foreign residence requirement.
Generally, an applicant must have held lawful permanent resident status for at least five years. If the applicant has been the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the required period is three years. Applicants must also generally meet requirements for physical presence in the U.S.A., good moral character, basic English language skills, and knowledge of the history and government of the U.S.A.
In some cases, foreign nationals may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, or by derivation through the naturalization of one or both parents.
The immigration laws make it illegal to employ foreign nationals who lack INS permission to work in the U.S.A. With very limited exceptions, employers are required to verify that all employees (even U.S. citizens) are authorized to work in the U.S.A. by timely completing and maintaining Forms I-9. Penalties may be imposed against employers for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ an unauthorized worker, and/or for failing to complete and/or maintain the required documentation.
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