DE: (302) 478-2900
PA: (267) 908-5060

Non-Immigrant Visa

WILMINGTON AND PHILADELPHIA AREA NON-IMMIGRANT VISA ATTORNEY

A non-immigrant visa permits an alien to travel to the United States for a specific purpose – work, schooling, or to visit the country, friends or family.

A non-immigrant visa differs from an immigrant visa in that the non-immigrant visa only allows a person to enter temporarily, whereas an immigrant visa holder can enter and stay permanently.

The length of time someone can stay in the U.S. depends on the visa status under which they are admitted. Often a person admitted in one status can change their status or extend their visa in order to stay longer. For instance, an F-1 student may want to change his or her status to an employer-sponsored non-immigrant visa once they graduate and find employment. Several types of non-immigrant visas also allow a person to extend their status and thereby extend their stay in the U.S. We work with you to find the best solution for your visa needs.

The process can sometimes be confusing and complicated. Our firm can make it much easier, determining the visa category that is right for you and assisting you with changing status from your current category to the new category. In appropriate cases, we can also obtain legal status and work authorization for your dependent family members.

The following is a brief list of the most commonly used temporary working visa categories:

1. H-1B Specialty Occupation

This non-immigrant visa classification applies to an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation (one which typically requires a Bachelor’s degree) or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. Under current law, there is an annual limit of 65,000 aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. As many as 20,000 additional H-1B slots are available to graduates of U.S. Master’s degree (or higher) programs.

2. L-1 Intra-company Transfers

The L-1 visa permits multinational companies to transfer high-level and essential employees from their international offices to the United States. The non-immigrant would work at the affiliate or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

3. E-1 Treaty Traders

The E-1 visa allows an individual to enter the United States on a non-immigrant basis for the sole purpose of carrying on substantial trade between his or her country and the United States. The home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

4. E-2 Treaty Investor

If you come to the United States to run an enterprise in which you are invested, you may obtain the non-immigrant visa status of E-2 treaty investor. If you are an employee of a treaty trader investor you may also be qualified as an E visa holder if your duties require special qualifications essential to the business. The non-immigrant must have the same nationality as the alien employer and the home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

5. O-1 Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Highly talented or acclaimed individuals may be eligible for an O visa for entry into the United States. People who may qualify for this visa posses extraordinary ability in science, business, education or athletics and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. Others demonstrating extraordinary ability in the arts or are at the top of their field in the motion picture or television industry may qualify..

6. P Visas-Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Highly talented or acclaimed individuals may be eligible for a P visa for entry into the United States. People who may qualify for this visa are accomplished athletes, entertainers or artists considered at the top of their field.

7. TN Professionals

These visas are limited to nationals of Canada and Mexico. If you are employed in one of the sixty-three listed professions in NAFTA, you can apply for non-immigrant TN status. Most of the listed professions require either a bachelor’s degree or a licensures degree.

8. R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 visa permits religious workers to come to the U.S. to take on a religious occupation and perform services for their religious organization. The religious organization must already be established in the United States.

9. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

For those involved in an exchange program approved for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

10. F-1 Student Visa

For those wishing to study in the United States as a full time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school or other academic institution or in a language training program.

Our firm provides full-service professional legal advice and representation to help you find an immigration solution to your visa needs.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding a non-immigrant visas, contact Huang Law LLC. We offer free initial consultation, are available for evening and weekend appointments, and charge reasonable and competitive rates.
Call our Wilmington office at (302) 478-2900, or Philadelphia Office at (267) 908-5060.

 

DELAWARE AND PHILADELPHIA AREA H1B VISA ATTORNEYS

H-1B is the most popular work visa in the H class of nonimmigrant visas. In general, an H-1B visa is for a foreign worker coming to the US to temporarily perform services in a “specialty occupation” for a US employer.

What is the Attorney’s Role in an H-1B Petition?

We understand how important H1B Visas are to our clients, and that a successful outcome has a profound impact not just on an individual, but a company as well. H1B Visa applications, whether they are new H1B visas or an H1B transfer or H1B extension, do require careful attention and strong communication.

Documenting eligibility for H-1B visa petitions, both from the employer’s side and worker’s side, is not an intuitive process. Particularly in cases where the job offered is arguably not a “specialty occupation” and the employee does not have the normal qualifications, a good immigration attorney is essential to present a strong, convincing case. Special care must be made in filing the case using the proper job title and occupational code, since some occupations, even if a bachelor’s degree is normally required, may still not qualify for H1B (the key is to establish that a degree in a specialty field is generally required).

Additionally, employers must meet specific obligations by law, which includes maintaining possession of a properly prepared public access file for every H-1B petition filed. In the event of an audit in which the employer is caught failing to meet these requirements, fines and restrictions can be imposed. To protect our corporate clients from liability, we ensure that they meet their legal obligations.

How We Handle H1B Cases?

We work closely with the sponsoring employer and the intended beneficiary. We will do the following:

  • Obtain the job description and company profile from the Employer and the academic and work experience record of the Beneficiary
  • Analyze the job being offered and the beneficiary’s education and work experience to determine if the specialist/professional criteria are satisfied
  • Gather documents and data to support the application
  • Evaluate and document the prevailing wage for the job being offered
  • Document the employer’s actual wage
  • Prepare the LCA for the employer
  • File the LCA with the Department of Labor (please note that it takes around 7 business days to obtain a certified Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor)
  • Obtain an evaluation of the employee’s college education if it was obtained outside the US, to show that it is equivalent to a US degree
  • Prepare an H1B petition and employer letter of support and send them to the employer for review and signature
  • File the LCA and H1B petition with the USCIS once the DOL approves the LCA
  • H1B approvals are usually issued within two to three months from the date of filing with the USCIS, unless premium processing is used (the H1B process differs somewhat for an employee who is overseas or who has a valid H1B visa from a previous employer)
  • All cases are completed within 3-4 business days from the submission of complete file

Contact Us

To discuss H-1B visa petitions and other alternatives with an experienced immigration lawyer from Wilmington Delaware immigration law firm Huang Law LLC, feel free to contact us, or call our Wilmington office at (302) 478-2900, or Philadelphia Office at (267) 908-5060.

FAQ

What is a specialty occupation?

A “specialty occupation” is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as an occupation that requires both:

  • Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; AND
  • Attainment of a Bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

The job must meet one (1) of the following criteria:

  1. A Bachelor’s degree or higher is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position
  2. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
  3. The employer normally requires the degree or the equivalent for the position; or
  4. The nature of the duties is so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform them is usually associated with the attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Examples of specialty occupations include positions in accounting, architecture, the arts, business, computers, education, engineering, law, mathematics, medicine and health, the physical sciences, the social sciences and theology.

How many H1Bs are available every year?

Under the current law, the number of available visas per fiscal year is:

  • 65,000 in the general pool
  • 20,000 additional allotted to those with graduate degrees from US universities
  • Unlimited visas for non-profit and government research laboratories and universities
  • 6,800 of those 65,000 are reserved for the H1B1 program under terms of the US-Chile and US-Singapore Free Trade Agreements

What are the fees for filing an H1B visa and who is required to pay them?

The employer is required to pay the filing fees associated with the H1B visa petition. The fees include:

  • Filing fee of $325
  • ACWIA fee of $750 for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $1500 for employees with more than 25 employees (some exemptions may apply for this fee)
  • $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection fee (required when an employer is sponsoring an employee for the first time)
  • Public Law 111-230 requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H1B petitions (additional fee applies to petitioners who employ 50+ employees in the US with more than 50% of its employees in the US on H1B or L visas; additional fee is applicable to new and change of status petitions, but not for extensions)
  • $1,225 Premium Processing Fee (optional)
  • Attorney Fee; please call us at (302) 478-2900

May an H1B be extended beyond the 6-year maximum?

Yes. An H1B may be extended beyond the initial six years in one-year increments if an H1B visa holder has a Labor Certification, or an I-140 Immigrant Petition pending for more than one year prior to the end of the six-year period. If the H1B visa holder has an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition, the H1B may be extended in increments of three years beyond the initial six-year period.

How about my spouse and children?

H-4 visas are a special category of visa designed for the spouses and children under the age of 21 of H1B visa holders. The status allows them to stay with the principal applicant, the H1B visa holder, in the US through the duration of the H1B worker’s status. These dependents should apply directly at a US consulate for their visas; the same I-129 approval notice is valid for them as for the principal applicant.  Those in the derivative status conferred by an H-4 visa are ineligible to work in the US. However, an H-4 visa does allow a derivative to study in the US.  Spouses and children requesting a change of status or extension of stay in a dependent nonimmigrant classification must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

 

 

WILMINGTON AND PHILADELPHIA AREA L VISA ATTORNEY

L Visa Overview

L visas are for intra-company transferees who, within the preceding three years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate or subsidiary of that same employer in the US.

There are two types of L-1 visas. The L-1A visa allows multinational businesses to transfer managerial and executive personnel from foreign countries to the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated US office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

The L-1B visa allows a US employer to bring in a foreign worker who has specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests  from one of its affiliated foreign offices. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated US office to send a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one.

Advantages and Limitations of an L-1A
An advantage of the L-1A visa over work visas like H-1B is that it does not require any specific educational background. After all, some of the most successful and talented CEOs have no educational degrees at all. L-1A is also considered a “dual intent” visa, meaning that you may have immigrant visa petitions (green card) pending, and still have no problem in applying for L-1A extensions. Another advantage is that your dependents, which would be in the US on L-2 status, are able to obtain work authorization. Employers on a tight budget can also be assured that they are not required to pay the worker prevailing wage. Also, as previously mentioned, L-1A visas are available year-round.
The disadvantage of L-1A is that you have a strict 7-year limit as to how long you can extend your status. Those who initially enter the US in L-1A status, may opt to change status to H-1B to take advantage of indefinite extensions based on having a pending employment based immigration petition (green card). Changing status to H-1B may not be necessary, however, because there is potential for an L-1A worker’s employer to file for an EB-1C Multinational Executive/Manager immigration petition, which is of the highest priority (generally, there is no waiting period for the “priority date” to become current).

Attorney’s Role in an L-1A Petition

L-1A visa petitions are one of the most complex visa petitions to properly document. A professional understanding of the legal definitions relating to the US organization and the candidate is necessary in order to present an effective case. In cases where a “new office” is being established, particular attention to detail is necessary. First-hand knowledge of what the immigration service expects to receive from the petitioner is essential to success.

Contact Us
To discuss L-1A visa petitions and other alternatives with an experienced immigration lawyer from the Huang Law LLC, feel free to contact us by email or call us at (302) 478-2990.

Blanket L Petitions

Certain organizations may establish the required intra-company relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition.

Criteria for establishing eligibility for Blanket L Certification:

  • The employer and each of the qualifying organizations must be engaged in commercial trade or services, and
  • The employer must have an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more, and
  • The employer must have three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries and affiliates, and
  • The employer must meet one of the following criteria:
    • Along with the other qualifying organizations, have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period; or
    • Have US subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least 25 millions; or
    • Have a US work force of at least 1,000 employees.

The approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that an employee will be granted L-1 classification. It does, however, provide the employer with the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States quickly and on short notice without having to file an individual petition with USCIS. In most cases, once the blanket petition has been approved, the employer need only complete Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, and send it abroad to the employee, along with a copy of the Blanket Petition Approval Notice and other required evidence so that the employee may present it to a consular officer.

Application Procedure
The process for obtaining an L-1 visa is similar to the process for an H-1B.
The US employer must file a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, with the appropriate L Supplement to the Vermont Service Center. Included with the petition, must be evidence that the beneficiary has been employed overseas by the transferring organization for at least one (1) year within the past three (3) years, and that the beneficiary will be working for the same organization in the US. The petitioner must show that the beneficiary will be filling an executive/managerial position or possesses specialized knowledge.
After approval, the USCIS notifies the prospective employer and the relevant US Embassy. The beneficiary may then submit his/her visa application to a US Embassy or Consulate.

L-2 Visas
Spouses and children (under the age of 21) of L visa holders may apply for an L-2 visa in order to accompany or follow the principal applicant to the United States. Derivative applicants are generally granted L-2 status for the duration of the principal applicant’s L-1 status.

Contact Us
To discuss L-1A visa petitions and other alternatives with an experienced immigration lawyer from the Huang Law LLC, feel free to contact us, call our Wilmington office at (302) 478-2900, or Philadelphia Office at (267) 908-5060.

 

WILMINGTON AND PHILADELPHIA AREA J VISA ATTORNEY

A non-immigrant visa permits an alien to travel to the United States for a specific purpose – work, schooling, or to visit the country, friends or family.

A non-immigrant visa differs from an immigrant visa in that the non-immigrant visa only allows a person to enter temporarily, whereas an immigrant visa holder can enter and stay permanently.

The length of time someone can stay in the U.S. depends on the visa status under which they are admitted. Often a person admitted in one status can change their status or extend their visa in order to stay longer. For instance, an F-1 student may want to change his or her status to an employer-sponsored non-immigrant visa once they graduate and find employment. Several types of non-immigrant visas also allow a person to extend their status and thereby extend their stay in the U.S. We work with you to find the best solution for your visa needs.

The process can sometimes be confusing and complicated. Our firm can make it much easier, determining the visa category that is right for you and assisting you with changing status from your current category to the new category. In appropriate cases, we can also obtain legal status and work authorization for your dependent family members.

The following is a brief list of the most commonly used temporary working visa categories:

1. H-1B Specialty Occupation

This non-immigrant visa classification applies to an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation (one which typically requires a Bachelor’s degree) or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. Under current law, there is an annual limit of 65,000 aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. As many as 20,000 additional H-1B slots are available to graduates of U.S. Master’s degree (or higher) programs.

2. L-1 Intra-company Transfers

The L-1 visa permits multinational companies to transfer high-level and essential employees from their international offices to the United States. The non-immigrant would work at the affiliate or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

3. E-1 Treaty Traders

The E-1 visa allows an individual to enter the United States on a non-immigrant basis for the sole purpose of carrying on substantial trade between his or her country and the United States. The home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

4. E-2 Treaty Investor

If you come to the United States to run an enterprise in which you are invested, you may obtain the non-immigrant visa status of E-2 treaty investor. If you are an employee of a treaty trader investor you may also be qualified as an E visa holder if your duties require special qualifications essential to the business. The non-immigrant must have the same nationality as the alien employer and the home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

5. O-1 Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Highly talented or acclaimed individuals may be eligible for an O visa for entry into the United States. People who may qualify for this visa posses extraordinary ability in science, business, education or athletics and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. Others demonstrating extraordinary ability in the arts or are at the top of their field in the motion picture or television industry may qualify..

6. P Visas-Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Highly talented or acclaimed individuals may be eligible for a P visa for entry into the United States. People who may qualify for this visa are accomplished athletes, entertainers or artists considered at the top of their field.

7. TN Professionals

These visas are limited to nationals of Canada and Mexico. If you are employed in one of the sixty-three listed professions in NAFTA, you can apply for non-immigrant TN status. Most of the listed professions require either a bachelor’s degree or a licensures degree.

8. R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 visa permits religious workers to come to the U.S. to take on a religious occupation and perform services for their religious organization. The religious organization must already be established in the United States.

9. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

For those involved in an exchange program approved for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

10. F-1 Student Visa

For those wishing to study in the United States as a full time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school or other academic institution or in a language training program.

Our firm provides full-service professional legal advice and representation to help you find an immigration solution to your visa needs.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding a non-immigrant visas, contact Huang Law LLC. We offer free initial consultation, are available for evening and weekend appointments, and charge reasonable and competitive rates. Call our Wilmington office at (302) 478-2900, or Philadelphia Office at (267) 908-5060.

Huang Law LLC serves clients nationwide on immigration related matters.


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