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Whether you’re a corporation looking to have employees work in the U.S.A., an individual with a job offer in the states, or a cross-border couple who wants to live together, Berardi Immigration Law can help. Our award-winning immigration lawyers bring experience and knowledge to your immigration case with a personal touch. At the heart of our firm is a focus on client relationships, responsiveness, and our deep commitment to helping business professionals achieve their American dream.
We develop creative immigration strategies to meet the unique demands of our individual and corporate clients across all industries, locations, and situations. We help our clients navigate the complex areas of work authorization, temporary visas, and green card and citizenship applications. Based in Buffalo, New York, we’re only minutes away from the Peace Bridge. Our attorneys regularly appear at the border with our clients to present NAFTA applications to the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection officers.
Our frequent interaction with government officers, together with our experience and knowledge, provides us with a thorough understanding of the government intricacies and adjudication trends. In turn, we provide effective representation to our clients and help them live and work in a country where business opportunities have no borders – the United States of America.
U.S. immigration laws are often restrictive, complex, and inflexible when it comes to the legitimate needs of businesses to employ Canadian and foreign workers. Our team of lawyers will help you navigate the ins-and-outs of your immigration matter. Rest assured, we will handle your case competently, effectively, and with personalized commitment.
With offices in New York, California, Toronto and London, Berardi Immigration Law represents clients across the globe. Our clients range from multinational corporations with global operations, to cross-border couples living down the street from our office!
Berardi Immigration Law skillfully prepares immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions for business professionals and companies encompassing a wide variety of industries and occupations. We take particular pride in our track record in the demanding IT and STEM fields, as well as in transportation, utilities, manufacturing, health care (including hospitals and research institutes), higher education, real estate, entertainment and sports. Our attorneys are available to consult with both employers and employees to discuss their options and responsibilities within the H-1B, L-1, E-2, O-1 and TN visa categories.
We also provide our corporate clients with immigration training for HR and recruiters, immigration policy development, merger and acquisition guidance, as well as I-9 and audit compliance.
Whether you’re a small, family-owned Canadian business looking to expand to the U.S., a global company interested in transfering key personnel into the States, or a Canadian business professional with a job offer in the U.S., our attorneys will advise you on your best options.
With our headquarters office in close proximity to the Peace Bridge port of entry between Ft. Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, NY, our attorneys regularly appear with our clients from Southern Ontario and across Canada to present NAFTA applications to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian citizens can apply for TN or L-1 status in-person at the port-of-entry. Our attorneys will facilitate the adjudication process and help clarify any questions CBP may have about a particular case.
Admission Problems and Waivers for Canadians
We commonly hear from Canadians who suddenly have problems crossing the border due to an old criminal charge – something they thought was a long-ago warning, dismissal, or even pardon. For U.S. immigration purposes, however, these incidents may be problematic. If you are a Canadian and you think you need a Criminal Waiver to cross the border into the U.S., our attorneys will review your case to determine if a waiver is required, or if you might qualify for entry under the Petty Offense Exception.
The E-1/E-2 visa is available for nationals of countries that have bilateral investment treaties or treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation with the U.S.
Treaty Trader (E-1) Visa
Applicants under this category must be the same nationality as the company for which they work, and the company must be undertaking a level of trade with America sufficient to support the employee in America. The trade must be substantial – i.e. an amount of trade sufficient enough to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between America and the treaty country. Trade may include services and technology.
Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa
Applicants under this category must enter the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of capital. The amount of the required investment varies depending upon the type of business. For instance, a business consulting firm operating in an office would require a smaller investment than a manufacturing company requiring warehouse space and machinery to operate. The funds used for investment must be the visa applicant’s own funds, and documentary evidence will be required to prove this. In addition, any business undertaken as part of the investment must not be marginal in nature; rather, the business must have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income for the treaty investor and their family.
E-1 and E-2 visas can also be granted to employees if they hold the same nationality as the principal trader/investor, and if they will engage in duties that require special qualifications. Specifically, these employees must possess either executive, managerial, or supervisory duties or skills that are essential to the operation of the enterprise.
Our attorneys will help you determine if your trade or investment qualifies for an E-1 or E-2 visa.
Berardi Immigration Law represents many reputable health care organizations, as well as physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers. The visa categories we consider for foreign physicians and nurses include:
- H-1B specialty occupation visas, and analyzing for cap-exempt filing opportunities
- O-1A visas for individuals with extraordinary ability in science
- TN category for Canadians and Mexicans in the healthcare industry
- J-1 Visas and J-1 Waivers
- E-2 Investor Visas, where appropriate
Our attorneys are also adept at analyzing green card options for healthcare professionals, including PERM Labor Certifications, National Interest Waivers, EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Applications, and Schedule A green card applications for nurses and physical therapists
Berardi Immigration Law has helped hundreds of couples, including same-sex couples, live together lawfully in the United States. Applying for a green card based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is a relatively straightforward and a commonly used path to a green card, but it still involves a nuanced and demanding application process.
We understand the nuances of navigating the K-1 fiancé visa and marriage-based green card processes, and we provide guidance to our clients on the best strategy to help you reside together in America.
Once a nonimmigrant petition or green card application is approved by USCIS, a foreign national may be required to attend a visa interview before entering the United States. These interviews take place at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy outside the United States. Navigating a rigid and inflexible process that varies from country-to-country can be frustrating. Our Visa Services Coordinator can help you save valuable time and avoid expensive delays.
While most law firms leave this last step up to the foreign national, Berardi Immigration Law has an entire department dedicated to coordinating visa appointments worldwide. Our team schedules visa appointments in 190+ countries around the world. We also prepare and submit all necessary documentation and information to the government on your behalf. We assist with visa issuance fees, expedite requests, and tracking the return of the passport with the new visa back to the applicant.
Berardi Immigration Law also has a Visa Agent located in London who meets our clients outside the U.S. Embassy on the day of the interview to facilitate a smooth interview process.
Truly, we assist our clients from the very start to the very end of the immigration process. We provide the expertise necessary to ensure your visa is approved as quickly as possible.
Both in the technology industry and beyond, startup and established companies are reshaping the U.S. economy and creating inventive products that change people’s lives across the globe. The visa categories we consider for technology companies include:
- L-1 visas for owners, executives, managers or “specialized knowledge” employees of tech enterprises that have foreign offices;
- H-1B visas for professional employees and founders of tech startups. (However, due to the restrictive nature of the category, we often consider other pathways to avoid the H-1B lottery when possible.)
- O-1A or O-1B visas for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education or athletics; and
- E-1 or E-2 visas for an entrepreneur who invests personal funds into an enterprise and who is a citizen of a country that has a requisite treaty with the U.S..
Our attorneys have also successfully drafted many EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability) and EB-1B (Outstanding Researcher) Green Card petitions, which have no wait time on visa numbers available. We regularly prepare EB-2 and EB-3 PERM Labor Certification green card petitions for technology workers in the IT industry as well.