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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Travelling While on a Work Visa

If you are currently working in the U.S. on one of many non-immigrant visas, it is important to know whether your category imposes any restrictions on your activities while present here. The general rule of thumb is that you must remain in compliance with the purpose for which your visa was originally issued for the entire length of your stay. For example, if you are in the U.S. on a work visa, you may not use that same visa for any other purpose – for example, to study. One of the most popular non-immigrant work visas is the H-1B for skilled, educated individuals. This is a temporary visa that allows foreign nationals to work for one specific employer. The H1-B applicant is required to continuing working for the sponsoring employer for their entire duration of their stay. If they wish to switch employers, they must submit an H1-B Change of Employer petition to the government. If you hold an H-1B, or another type of temporary work visa like an E, H, L, O or TN, and you would like to take a vacation in the U.S. either after your job ends or before you switch to a different employer, there […]
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Holiday Travel to Canada

Avoid any extra stress during the holiday season by taking care of any immigration issues before travelling. If you have an impaired driving conviction on your record and would like to travel to Canada, our team may be able to help...
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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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TN Solution for Healthcare Industries

There are various visa and employment authorization options available for healthcare professionals wishing to gain employment in the United States. For Canadian and Mexican applicants, the the North American Free Trade Agreement...
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Berardi Services at the Peace Bridge

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) encourages first time TN and L1 applicants to go to one designated ports of entry where applicants will receive optimized processing. There are fourteen total ports designated for optimized processing. This includes the Peace Bridge...
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President Trump to Terminate NAFTA

The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary trade agreement that is set to replace NAFTA. President Trump announced on Monday that he will be terminating the existing trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada and enter into a new deal with Mexico. According to Trump, it could end up being “one of the largest trade deals ever made.” The agreement includes new rules set to incentivize manufacturers to source goods and materials in North America. Amongst a number of new regulations, it will require 75 percent of auto content to be made in the United States and Mexico, an increase of about 13 percent from the current NAFTA regulations.  What about Canada? At the moment, the new trade deal is only between the U.S. and Mexico. Canada has been reluctant to join a new trilateral trade pact, but it has shown a continued interest in negotiating with the U.S. With that being said, the pressure is now on Canada to quickly resolve key differences that have ensnared negotiations between the two countries for months. Whether or not Canada joins the agreement has yet to be determined, but even if our neighbors to the north choose to opt […]
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