A P visa allows foreigners to work in the United States for a limited amount of time for their P visa sponsor. This visa program is convenient in that it can be issued relatively quickly and it can remain valid for up to one year. It is even possible to extend a P visa for up to five years under certain circumstances. Not all applicants, however, qualify and many have their requests denied.
There are many different types of visas that allow people to travel, work, and live in the United States temporarily. Q-1 visas, for example, allow people to come to the United States as part of an established international cultural exchange program. Programs that qualify provide employment opportunities, practical training, and a sharing of the participants' native culture and history.
There are many benefits to the Q-1 visa program. If you are in the United States on a Q-1 visa, you may:
A new study by a Washington think tank suggests that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should seek help from the Department of Commerce to oversee the EB-5 visa program. EB-5 is an immigrant investor visa program that allows investors to temporarily live in the United States while creating jobs for local workers. Many, including the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General, believe that the EB-5 program goes beyond the mission of the USCIS and should therefore be handled by other government entities such as the Department of Commerce.
According to an Associated Press news report, recent skepticism regarding the USCIS's ability to oversee the EB-5 program stems from several failed projects. The report specifically mentions a failed Northern Beef Packers plant in South Dakota and a hotel project in Chicago.
Most Canadians enter the United States on a visa waiver program (VWP). Many Canadians, however, get tripped up and inadvertently violate U.S. immigration laws due to a lack of understanding of the VWP. The VWP is meant for short trips to the U.S. with a promise from the Canadian that he or she intends to return to Canada.
If the Canadian marries a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident, applies for work here or wants to study or open a business, they should not enter on the VWP. Instead, they should seek a visa. Your best strategy may be counter-intuitive or not very obvious. Either way, if you know you want to the stay in the U.S. it is important to contact our office for a consultation. We work with many Canadians who have already gotten themselves into problems or who are on the verge of doing so. We can help you navigate through the user unfriendly system of U.S. immigration. Contact our office to work with a team of attorneys with experience working with Canadians.
H-1B visas allow employers in the United States to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. There are a limited number of H-1B visas available for non-immigrants and only the most qualified will be considered. If you are an employer interested in hiring skilled foreign workers, researching your legal options is the first step of many to obtain a visa for your foreign worker.
Since the United States only grants H-1B visas for specialty occupations, it is important to know what qualifies as a specialty occupation. In general, a specialty occupation requires at least a bachelor's degree that is related to the employment position. H-1B visas recipients often include professionals who are skilled in biotechnology, architecture, engineering, chemistry, medicine, education, accounting, law, and the arts. Those who do not have a degree in their field must be of distinguished merit and skill. It can also help to have a state license and a sponsoring employer.
Congress created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to stimulate the U.S. economy. The program allows foreign investors to visit the United States for a limited time if they have the intention and means to invest in new businesses. If you are interested in investing here in Los Angeles or anywhere in the United States, it may be in your best interest to research the benefits of obtaining an EB-5 visa. There are 10,000 visas available annually and the application process is complex. But qualified applicants will have an opportunity to legally stay here as a permanent resident while creating jobs.
Every fiscal year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the ability to approve 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status. According to the official USCIS website, they have reached the statutory maximum for the fifth straight fiscal year. This means that 10,000 people qualified for a visa this past year by assisting the law enforcement community to investigate and prosecute crimes. Do you know someone who could likewise benefit from this visa and its accompanying work permit? If so, call our office at (800) 792-9889 for a confidential consultation.
Question for Our Attorneys From a Reader:
If I have an H-4 visa, can I start a company and simply not take any income?
U.S. employers use the H-1B visa category to hire workers in “specialty occupations,” which are usually those requiring college degrees. The good news is that the U.S. economy is improving, and therefore more and more companies will be using this category to fill job openings. The bad news is that the deadline to file H-1B applications is quickly approaching and visas could be gone the first day they become available.
Employers who wish to employ workers in the H-1B category starting on October 1, 2014 should file those applications six months before, or on April 1, 2014.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a yearly quota of 65,000 H-1B visas for the general category and 20,000 under the advance degree category. Although this number might seem quite large to some employers, it is important to remember that last year USCIS reached its quota for 2014 on April 1, 2013 and had to conduct a random lottery to determine which eligible applicants were granted H-1B status. There is no benefit to employers in waiting to file the applications, yet if they are not filed by April 1, 2014, it is likely that their employees will not be granted H-1B status for the upcoming immigration year.
It is possible to obtain a visa through your significant other and you don't even have to be married. For example, if you are a U.S. citizen, you can bring your fiancé to the United States with the intention of getting married. You could secure a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé to travel to the United States by filing an I-129F fiancé petition, amongst other required forms.
If you are living in Los Angeles or anywhere else in the United States and want to bring your fiancé here to get married, you will need an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé. Please note that California residents and residents of other states that recognize marriage equality may petition for their same-sex fiance. It is a six-page form with nine pages of instructions with a $340 filing fee. If successful, you will then be able to bring your fiancé, and even your fiancé’s children, a K-1 Visa that can lead to permanent residency and even citizenship within three years (if you are a U.S. citizen, 5 years if you are a legal permanent resident).