Immigration Law

Immigrating Spouses, Parents, Sons and Daughters, and Siblings

U.S. immigration laws have traditionally favored family reunification. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), family relationships involving spouses, children, parents, sons and daughters, and siblings provide a basis for conveying immigration benefits. The USCIS creates two broad categories for family members: immediate relatives and family-based preference categories. To avoid delays, be sure to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to be certain that your case is prepared properly. If your relative does not qualify under this category, he or she may be eligible for other immigration relief.

Deportation Defense

A serious myth, fostered by the courts and the USCIS, is that the deportation process is really an “administrative determination” and not a punitive sanction. As a result of this myth and the policies which flow from it, families are divided and individuals who have resided for years in this country are deported without benefit of the constitutional protections which would be required if the punitive nature of deportation were acknowledged. As a result, knowledgeable representation in Immigration Court can be a very important protection.

Transfer of Foreign Employees to the United States

The smooth transfer of a company’s key employees to the United Sates is of great importance. Most executives, managers and employees with specialized knowledge can come to work in the United States using the L-1 intra-company transferee visa. L-1 visa holders can often make an easy transition into permanent residence. Be sure to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to see if this visa is appropriate for your situation. If the worker does not qualify under this category, he or she may be eligible for other immigration relief.

Asylum and Waivers

The Immigration Act defines a refugee as any person outside the country of her or his nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a ‘well-founded fear’ of persecution. Asylum may be available to individuals who are either already in the U.S., or at a U.S. land border port of entry, who can demonstrate that the acts they were subjected to, or have a well-founded fear of, amount to persecution. For asylum to be granted, the persecution must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Applications for asylum can be made affirmatively to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or as a defense to deportation in removal proceedings.

Global Workers

With the ever-growing global economy, multinational transfer visas are increasingly more important to a company’s well-being. We are well-versed in all visas needed by multinational companies and have developed quick and efficient procedures for our clients to hire the needed workers from their related corporations abroad.

L-1 Visas

A “qualifying corporate relationship” is required to transfer certain workers from a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office abroad. The worker must have been employed abroad for at least one year. These visas are reserved for managers, executives, and workers with specialized knowledge. This is a temporary visa issued for up to five to seven years.

E-1 and E-2 Visas

Corporations and individuals from a country that has a treaty with the United States might qualify to send workers to the U.S. on the E-1 or E-2 visa. These visas are reserved for the investor him or herself, as well as managers, executives, and essential skilled workers. The worker must be from a country that has the treaty with the U.S.

For the E-1, the company in the U.S. must engaged in substantial trade with the foreign country. For the E-2, there must be a substantial investment from the designated country abroad. These are temporary visas issued in five-year increments, as long as the substantial trade or substantial investment continues to exist. Some people refer to the E visa as “the next best thing to a green card.”

Permanent Residence for Multinational Transferees

Most managers and executives who qualify for the L-1 visa (described above) will qualify for the permanent residence classification known as EB-1. This is reserved for managers and executives who worked abroad for at least one year as a manager or executive and who will fill a position in the United States as a manager or executive for a related corporation.

The Law Firm of Gregg S. Harrison recognizes for our corporate clients that time is money. Therefore, we evaluate every multinational transferee case for eligibility for a Blanket L-1 Petition. Once a company has been approved for a Blanket L-1, the processing time to qualify a worker and obtain the L-1 visa is shortened significantly. Sometimes we can successfully have a worker transferred to the U.S. within one week’s time. Likewise, for our clients using the E visa, we will assist the company to “register” for E-2 status with the visa-issuing Consulate abroad. This saves considerable time in the application process.

Whichever visas our multinational corporate clients prefer to use for their workers, the Law Firm of Gregg S. Harrison will make the world feel like a smaller place.

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