Knowledgeable Immigration Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Business and Family-Based Immigration Law
Immigration law is a challenging area, and simply understanding the immigration process as a layperson can be frustrating. Below are answers to some of the questions most frequently asked by clients of Que Hirschi Law, PC, as we help businesses, individuals and families work through business, corporate and family-based immigration issues. If you have other questions, or if you need help with a pending immigration matter, contact Que Hirschi Law at 818-380-3019 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney.
Business Immigration FAQs
Q. What types of workers get the first preference for jobs in America?
A. More than a quarter of all employment-based immigrant visas granted every year go to workers in the Employment First Preference (E1) category. This category of Priority Workers includes persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers or executives. Specific criteria must be met to qualify in any of these groups. Call our office to determine the best visa for you and begin the process of applying or submitting your petition.
Q. What does it take to qualify for an H-1B visa?
A. In general, H-1B visa holders have earned the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree and earn the prevailing wage in a specialty occupation such as engineering, math, business or a technology field. Call our office to determine if you qualify and if an H-1B visa number is currently available, or if your petition may be exempt from the annual visa cap.
Q. Is there any way for me to obtain an employment visa without a permanent job offer or labor certification?
A. If you are a researcher or professional with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, and you can prove that your entry would benefit the U.S., you may be able to apply for a National Interest Waiver. If this waiver is granted, you would be able to self-petition for an EB-2 visa without having to demonstrate that you have a specific job offer from an employer in hand.
Q. What is the best type of investor visa?
A. As an entrepreneur or investor, there are several options available to you, but only a limited number of investor visas are granted each year, and competition is fierce. One option is an EB-5 visa, which requires an investment of at least $1,000,000, or $500,000 in certain rural or high unemployment areas. There are also requirements as to how many jobs will be created or maintained, and how involved you will be in the management of the enterprise. Other options include E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas, if you are a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The dollar amount of the investment required for these visas is less than for an EB-5 visa, and although E-1 and E-2 are nonimmigrant visas, you can petition for lawful permanent residence if you later increase your investment above the EB-5 threshold.
Family Immigration FAQs
Q. Will marrying a U.S. citizen make me a citizen also?
A. You do not acquire U.S. citizenship by marrying a U.S. citizen. However, you can enter the country on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa and marry within 90 days of your arrival. You can then file for an adjustment of status and apply for a Green Card. At that point, you can begin the process of becoming a naturalized citizen if you wish, or remain in the country as a lawful permanent resident.
Q. If I have a child while in the U.S., but I am not a citizen, will my child be a citizen?
A. Yes. Children born in the U.S. acquire citizenship at birth.
Q. If I traveled to the U.S. for marriage to a U.S. citizen, will I get deported if I ever divorce?
A. If you entered the country on a fiancé/e or marriage visa, then your legal residency status may be in jeopardy if you get divorced. Contact our office immediately for assistance. We can prepare and file an I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence on your behalf, which may be necessary for you to remain in the country as a lawful resident.
Q. Will I be allowed to apply for welfare or food stamps to help feed my family?
A. U.S. immigration law provides that an alien who has become or is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence can be subject to removal or deemed inadmissible as a “public charge.” Generally speaking, applying for food stamps will not make you considered a public charge, but applying for certain other government benefits may. Contact our office to discuss your particular situation in detail.