Employment Based Visas

Every fiscal year, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of US immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. These five preference categories include priority workers and persons with extraordinary ability, professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability, skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers, certain special immigrants, and immigrant investors.  Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants. Based on your approved petition, your spouse and minor unmarried children, younger than 21, may apply for immigrant visas with you. Like you, they must fill out required application forms, obtain required civil documents, pay the required fees, and undergo medical examinations.  To be considered for an immigrant visa under some of the employment-based categories listed above, the applicant’s prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Once received (and if required), the employer must then file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. However, persons with extraordinary abilities category may file their own petitions. Employment based immigrant visa cases take additional time […]
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What to Expect When Crossing the Border

Holiday travel can be stressful if travelers do not plan ahead of time. With the holiday season in full swing, it is important to be prepared before you depart for your holiday travel destination. Everyone arriving at a port of entry to the US is subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protections officers for compliance with immigration, customs, and agriculture regulations. The more international travelers know about what to expect, the easier and quicker the process becomes.  For example, travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Travelers should have their crossing documents available for inspection and should be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad. All travelers arriving at the US-Canada border, including US and Canadian citizens, need to present documentary proof of citizenship. These documents include a Passport, U.S. Passport Card, trusted traveler card (NEXUS, Global Entry, SENTRI or FAST), Permanent Resident Card or an Enhanced Drivers License. Children under the age of 16 can present an original or copy of their birth certificate to border officials. Members of the traveling public should consult the CBP website, apps.cbp.gov/bwt, to monitor border wait times at ports of entry. This information is updated hourly […]
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B Visa: What is it? What can you do with it?

In general, when a citizen of a foreign country wishes to enter the United States, the foreign national must first obtain a visa. The visa allows a foreign national to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission of a U.S. immigration official to enter the United States. While Canadian Citizens are required to present a valid passport at the port of entry, they typically do not need a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada for the purposes of visiting or studying...
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USCIS Proposes Filing Fee Increases

On November 14, 2019, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a proposed regulation, which would substantially increase the filing fees for many types of immigration benefits. The agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking, which is published in the Federal Register, explains that the proposed regulation would increase costs for most petitioners and applicants...
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Tips for Doing Business in the U.S.

The B-1 Business Visitor Category The B-1 nonimmigrant visa category allows certain visitors to enter the U.S. for limited and specific business activities.  B-1 visitors cannot engage in any activity or perform a service that would constitute local employment for hire within the U.S., and the category is not meant for extended, long-term activity. What can I do as a B-1 Business Visitor? Generally, business activities performed in the U.S. are directly connected with and part of (or “necessary and incidental” to) the B-1 visitor’s regular work abroad.  This covers a wide range of activities such as: Attending and participating in scientific, educational, professional, or business meetings, conventions, conferences, or seminars; Consulting with business associates; Engaging in negotiations and executing contracts; Taking orders for goods produced and located outside the U.S. (NOTE:  B-1 Visitors can NOT complete or fill the actual order while in the U.S.); Researching options for opening a business in the U.S. (such as locating or entering into a lease for office space). A business visitor may also come to the U.S. to secure funding for a new business.  However, after securing the funding, the person cannot remain in the U.S. to start actual business operations or […]
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