Visa and immigration to the USA
The United States is the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration. Immigrants make up 13.5% of the total population. 43.3 million people who had been immigrants at one time were in the USA in year 2015.
In 2015 1.38 million people successfully immigrated to the USA. These individuals entered to residing permanently.
However, in addition to immigrants, an substantial number of foreigners enter the USA as non-immigrants for temporary periods of time. For the one-year period July 2015 to July 2016 there was a daily average of 208,931 entrants of which about 50% arrived by air at an International airport.
The statistics would argue that it must be relatively simple to obtain a visa for entry into the USA. However, that is not the case. Immigration law is very complex. It is second in complexity only to the US Tax code. There are more visa denials than approvals. Applications for immigration benefits have pending backlogs at the immigration offices and there are 19 million people in queue for immigrant visas.
The Feod Group has experience with all types of visas and understands the different processes required to obtain the client’s immigration goals. It has been providing comprehensive service for over twenty-five (25) years. It is a unique firm with offices in several countries (including Ukraine and the USA). Its staff consists of attorneys and retired career US Immigration Officers.
Applications made to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and or to the US State Department most often require supporting documentation. The documentation must meet “Legal Sufficiency” and be properly submitted. If not, it will be returned or denied. It is not uncommon for a completed application to contain .5 to 1 kilo of paperwork.
Seeking the advice and assistance of an established Immigration Law firm is highly recommended to avoid delays in processing times or denials of applications.
Types of US-visas: immigrant an nonimmigrant visas
US law classifies all visas as nonimmigrant or immigrant.
If you are in the US and you require our advice or legal support for your immigration case, write a request or call our office in Florida +1 904 729 4049.
Nonimmigrant visas for temporary stay in the USA
Nonimmigrant visas do not result in obtaining a Green Card. These visas are temporary, although not necessarily short-term, some can be extended, in fact, indefinitely.
Nonimmigrant visas are intended for:
– temporary workers.
Generally, applicants for a nonimmigrant visa should demonstrate strong ties to their country of residence and must show that they intend to depart the United States after their temporary stay.
Type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law should be determine depends on the purpose of intended travel and other facts.
The most common nonimmigrant visa categories are:
– B1/B2 – short-term visa is for tourism travels, visits with friends or relatives, business-meetings, professional or business conferences, medical treatment etc;
– H-1B – nonimmigrant work visa for highly qualified specialists;
– L-1 – work visa for the transfer of employees within the company (Intracompany Transferee);
– Р – work visa for entertainers and artists;
– F-1 – student visa
– J – visa for exchange program participants;
– I – visa for journalists;
– E-2 – non-immigrant visa for a foreign investor (Treaty Investor)
– K-1 – the fiancé(e) visa.
Immigrant visas for permanent residence in the United States (Green Card)
Immigrant visas in the United States are visas that directly lead to a permanent residence permit – the Green Card.
– Family immigration (Spouse visa, Family Members visas);
– Employment immigration;
– Immigration by investment.
The process of submitting documents for this type of visa starts in the United States (the preparation and filing of the petition).
Green Card through family
Obtain a Green Card (to become a permanent resident of the US) is possible through reunification with family members .
You can obtain a Green Card being:
- Immediate relative of U.S. citizen including spouse, unmarried child under 21 years of age, parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old;
- Family member of U.S. citizen in accordance with preference categories including unmarried sons and daughters, married sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens;
- -Family member of Green Card holder (Lawful Permanent Resident) including spouse and unmarried children;
- Family member of a special category, this may be a spouse or child affected by domestic violence (VAWA), a nonimmigrant K, a person born from a foreign diplomat in the United States, a nonimmigrant widow (widower) of a U.S. citizen.
Green Card through Employment
Please find below description of the ways of immigration, based on a job offer in the US, free employment or investment:
Green card through employment in the USA: you can become a permanent resident on the basis of a full time job offer in the United States. Most categories require the employer to obtain a labor certificate, and then filing an Immigration Petition for a Alien worker, form I-140;
Green card for investors / entrepreneurs who invest in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation.
Green card through free employment without a job offer: some categories of immigrants allow you to file a petition without a direct employer (self-petition). This option is available either for individuals with special, extraordinary ability, or for some individuals of national interest to the United States;
Green card for special categories of professions
There are a number of opportunities in the US that can allow you to get a Green Card if you:
- Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators
- Broadcasters in the U.S.
- Certain Retired International Organization Employees
- Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government
- Certain NATO-6 civilians
- Certain Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
- Certain Foreign Medical Graduates
- Certain Religious Workers
For all these purposes, a petition Form I-360 should be filed to the USCIS.
In some cases, you can file an immigrant petition (Form I-140 or I-360 depending on your category) at the same time as you submit an I-485 form known as “Concurrent Filing”.
If you are not eligible to adjust your status in the United States, an immigrant petition will be sent to the US consulate abroad to complete the process of obtaining a visa.
The most common immigrant visa categories are:
- Е1, E2, E3, E4, Е5 — Employment-Based Immigrant Visas;
- IR1, CR1 – Spouse of a U.S. Citizen ;
- F1, F2, F3, F4 – Family-Based Immigrant Visas
- E5/EB5 – Immigrant Investors Visa
While planning immigration, please consider that short-term visa categories are not immigrant and do not directly lead to obtaining a permanent residence permit (Green Card), but many of them assume the possibility of extension, and, as a result, also are options of immigration to the United States.
«Adjustment of status» procedure
US law provides the possibility of “Adjustment of status” – a change an alien status from nonimmigrant to immigrant, without leaving the country. Adjustment is possible in case of a significant change in the situation of the foreigner and provided that he or she did not violate the law, including immigration rules.
“Adjustment of status” is different from “Change of status” – changing one nonimmigrant status to another, also a nonimmigrant status, for example, switching from a tourist to a student status in the US, which is also permitted by law.
All visa cases and cases related to changes of statuses are proceed by our company with the participation of the head of our US office, Mr. William Slattery , which allows us to prepare the necessary documents taking into account all legal provisions and practice of immigration authorities.
How to obtain US citizenship
There are several general ways to obtain the citizenship of the United States of America:
- Birth in the United States;
- at birth outside the country, when one or both parents are U.S. citizens at the time of birth;
- for children under 18 years of age – obtaining of US citizenship through naturalization by one of the parents.
Naturalization in the USA
Naturalization is the most common way to obtain a US citizenship. Lawful Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for naturalization if they are on an immigration status for more than five years (three years if the permanent resident is married to a citizen of the United States of America).
To obtain an US citizenship through naturalization, it is also necessary to pass the English, U.S. history and civics portions of the naturalization test.
Immigration, visa, legal and business services of Feod Group
Our scope of immigration and visa services in the USA
- 1. Wide spectrum of advice on immigration laws of the United States;
- 2. Recommendations on choosing appropriate visa category;
- 3. Consultation on the identification of the required legally sufficient supporting evidence and the steps of its acquisition and preparation;
- 4. Filing of documents for visa applications;
- 5. Translations of documents (legalization, apostille);
- 6. Filling application forms and registration for the date of the interview;
- 7. Working with complex immigration issues and appeals. Visa denials cases;
- 8. Legal support in case of threat of deportation, denial of admission, other problem cases;
- 9. Change, extension of the status of stay in the US;
- 10. Filling application forms for obtaining the status of the US Lawful Permanent Resident/GreenCard;
- 11. Acquisition of citizenship.
Business and legal services
- 1. Legal support in registration of companies of all types in all states of the USA, obtaining permissions and licenses, opening bank accounts, representation of Client’s interests with state and commercial structures. Full legal and business support as well as tax planning is provided by US specialists of Feod Group;
- 2. Virtual office services in the USA;
- 3. Selection of residential property for rent or purchase (examination of the documents of a seller/landlord, legal preparation and support of rent-buy-sell deeds)
- 4. Organization of education in the United States.
Feod Group provides its clients additional services related to relocation and adaptation in the country.