How Law firms help small Business

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Family and Employment-Based Preferences

Within each family and employment preference, the INA further allocates the number of LPRs issued visas each year.

The family preferences are based upon the closeness of the family relationship to U.S. citizens and LPRs.

The employment preferences are based upon the professional accomplishments and skills needed by U.S. employers.

As Table 1 summarizes the legal immigration preference system, the complexity of the allocations becomes apparent.

Note that in most instances unused visa numbers are allowed to roll down to the next preference category.

Employment-based visa allocations not used in a given year roll-over to the family preference categories the following year, and vice versa.

Table 1. Legal Immigration Preference System Category Numerical limit Total Family-Sponsored Immigrants Immediate relatives Aliens who are the spouses and unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens and the parents of adult U.S. citizens Family-sponsored Preference Immigrants 1st preference Unmarried sons and daughters of citizens 2nd preference (A) Spouses and minor children of LPRs (B) Unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs 3rd preference Married sons and daughters of citizens 4th preference Siblings of citizens age 21 and over Employment-Based Preference Immigrants
1st preference
2nd preference 3rd preference— skilled 3rd preference— “other” 4th preference 5th preference
Priority workers: persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, science, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; and certain multi-national executives and managers Members of the professions holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional abilities in the sciences, art, or business

Skilled shortage workers with at least two years training or experience, professionals with baccalaureate degrees Unskilled shortage workers”Special immigrants,” including ministers of religion, religious workers other than ministers, certain employees of the U.S. government abroad, and others Employment creation investors who invest at least $1 million (amount may vary in rural areas or areas of high unemployment) which will create at least 10 new jobs 480,000 Unlimited

This provision states that the employment 3rd preference “other workers” category is to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under NACARA.

As part of the Immigration Act of 1990, Congress added a fifth preference category for foreign investors to become LPRs. The INA allocates up to10,000 admissions annually and generally requires a minimum $1 million investment and employment of at least 10 U.S. workers.

Less capital is required for aliens who participate in the immigrant investor pilot program, in which they invest in targeted regions and existing enterprises that are financially troubled.16 Employers who seek to hire prospective employment-based immigrants through the second and third preference categories also must petition the U.S.

Department of Labor (DOL) on behalf of the alien.

The prospective immigrant must demonstrate that he or she meets the qualifications for the particular job as well as the preference category. If DOL determines that a labor shortage exists in the occupation for which the petition is filed, labor certification will be issued.

If there is not a labor shortage in the given occupation, the employer must submit evidence of extensive recruitment efforts in order to obtain certification.



In order to present your “Application for a temporary Worker Visa” you must be eligible.

You must first have a job offer from an American employer for duties to be performed in the U.S.

imust be offered at least the prevailing wage that is paid in the same city for that type of job or the

-actual wage paid to co-workers by the employer)

You must qualify for the job you have been offered with the correct background.

You must be performing services in a specialty occupation with a college degree or its equivalent in work experience unless you are a known fashion model.

You must not have been convicted of any criminal immigration offense.

You must not be subject to any deportation proceeding.

Considerations: When you qualify for a Temporary Specialty Worker Visa, your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 can obtain visas simply by providing proof of their family relationship to you. Your family members can stay in the U.S. legally.


The individual completing and executing THE AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT Form is called a “sponsor.” To qualify as a sponsor the individual must be (i) be age 18 or older, (ii) a U.S. citizen or national, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States, and (iii) live in, hold domicile, in the United States, Washington D.C. , or a U.S. territory or possession.

Additionally, the sponsor must be:
– The individual who executed/filed Form I-130 immigration petition, “Petition for Alien Relative” on behalf of the individual seeking permanent resident status.
– The individual who executed/filed Form I-129F, “Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)” on behalf of the foreign national fiancé(e).
– The petitioner of Form I-140, “Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker”, where the petitioner or petitioning company s owner(s) is a relative of the beneficiary and the relative owns 5% or more of the company.
– The parent(s) adopting an orphan.

An additional person if the original “sponsor” does not meet the financial requirements. Such an individual is called a “joint sponsor.” Where necessary, more than one joint sponsor may be used, however each individual must personally qualify as a “sponsor.” Each joint sponsor is “jointly and severally liable” on the affidavit for any criminal or immigration violation of the immigrant.

What are the Financial Requirements the “Sponsor” Must Meet?

The sponsor must have an income or assets or a combination thereof that meets at least 125% of the stated poverty guidelines. In deference to the sacrifices made by our U.S. armed forces, sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces need only meet 100% of the stated poverty guidelines. Moreover, all household members of the sponsor are considered when determining whether the sponsor meets the poverty guidelines. Under this provision, members of the household may even include individuals whom the sponsor does not directly support. The following persons are considered household members of the sponsor:

– Individuals related, by blood, marriage or adoption, to the sponsor, such as a spouse and all children. “Children” are considered as persons under age 21, irrespective of parental custody.
– Parent(s) of the sponsor are also included in this determination if residing with the sponsor.
– Any other person listed as a dependent on the sponsor s IRS income tax return.
–  Any person for whom the sponsor has previously executed an AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT.


Under the U.S. Immigration law, U.S. Visas allow entry into and travel within the country. The two main types of visas issued to individuals seeking to relocate to the United States permanently are:

–   Non-immigrant visas, for visitors traveling to the U.S. for a specific time. If an alien from another country wants to enter the U.S. temporarily, he or she must apply for a non-immigrant visa.

–   Immigrant visas, for those who wish to live permanently in the United States.

 The U.S. Department of State (DOS) manages consulates and embassies around the world, where applicants must start their application process.

More precisely, a U.S. Visa is an official authorization that is attached to the passport, which permits entry into the country and travel within it. Citizens of a foreign country who seek to enter the U.S. for a short period must comply with U.S. visa immigration law and specific procedures to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Usually, the application process has to be done in the country where the applicant resides, at a consulate or embassy.

If the applicant has criminal conviction, he/she may be found inadmissible under criminal and immigration laws.

There are different types of non-immigrant visas, which are classified by the reason the visitor is seeking to enter the U.S. These include:

–        foreign government officials

–        visitors for business and for pleasure

–         aliens in transit through the United States

–        treaty traders and investors

–         students

–         international representatives

–         temporary workers and trainees

–         representatives of foreign information media

–         exchange visitors

–         fiancés of U.S. citizens

–         intracompany transferees

–         NATO officials

–         religious workers, etc.

Most non-immigrants can be accompanied or joined by spouses and unmarried child under 21 years old, or dependent, children. In general, students and business people are among the majority.

Each non-immigrant visa is given an expiration date according to what the law allows.

As for immigrant visas, a person who wishes to immigrate to the United States must have a petition approved by the USCIS before applying for an immigrant visa. The petition is generally filed either by qualified relative or a potential employer at a USCIS office in the United States. Types of immigrant visas are:

–         family-based visas

–         employment-based visa

–         special immigrant visa

–         Diversity visa

Which USA Visa is the Best?

We are often asked for this. All wants to know what the best USA visa for their is. The answer is always the same: It depends!

Are you coming to the U.S. just to visit on holidays? Do you want to attend school here? Work here? Do you have family here? These are all things that can affect which visa you should be applying for.

Of course, you can always consult with our experienced immigration attorneys and we are happy to help you determine which visa is best for you –New Jersey Immigration lawyers or New York Federal Deportation Lawyer

We have also put together the following guide, which gives an idea about the various visas and which one might be best for you.First of all, though, it’s important to know the 3 general visa categories.

Nonimmigrant Visas
Nonimmigrant isas are temporary and may include various temporary work, study and holiday isas, all of which offer the opportunity to stay in the US for a few years.

The essential thing to know about nonimmigrant visas is that they are reserved specifically for those who don’t intend to try to immigrate or remain in the US. Most of these visas require applicants to prove that they will stay in the country only temporarily— for example, by maintaining a permanent residence in their home country.
Visa types that fall into the nonimmigrant visa category include the B-i visa for individuals wanting to temporarily enter the US for business purposes, the B-2 visa for those wishing to come to the US for tourism, pleasure or medical treatment, the M and F isas for students wishing to study at a US academic institution and the J visa for those wishing to do an educational exchange in the US.

Immigrant Visas.
 Immigrant visas are for those wiio wish to legally immigrate to the United States, meaning they want to live and work in the country permanently. The requirements for immigrant visas are generally the most stringent— and will require the greatest amount of time and paperwork.

There are various routes to permanent residency (a green card) in the US. These visas most often require sponsorship, either by an immediate family member (like a spouse or fiance(e), parent, brother or sister) or by an employer.
An exception to the sponsorship requirement is offered by the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which provides visas to residents of countries with low rates of immigration to the US without requiring a sponsor. Special immigrant visas are also available for certain religious workers and adopted children, among others.

Dual-Intent Visas.
 Dual-intent visas are interesting because though they are technically not an immigrant visa, they waive the major requirement of nonimmigrant isas: proving you do not plan to remain in the US. Dual intent basically means that the visa holder does intend to immigrate at some point in the future, although he or she currently wishes to maintain nonimmigrant status in the US.
Visa types that fall into the dual-intent visa category include the H-iB visa for specially* occupations, such as academics or physicians, and the L-i visa, which is designated for intra-company transfers. Note that the L-i visa is specifically designated for employees who are in an executive, managerial or othenvise specialized role in the company. Dual intent also extends to H-4 and L-2 dependents of H-i and L-i visa holders.

The Role of Governmental Agencies in the EB-5 Program

The organizational structure of the EB-5 program can be quite complex.

Let‟s take this time to clarify the various US governmental agencies associated with the program.

To begin with, there is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service or USCIS, which is at the forefront of the EB-5 field. This agency is charged with the review and approval of all regional centers across the United States from its headquarters in Laguna Niguel, California.
It is also responsible for the review and determination of all petitions for conditional residency with the filing of a form called the I-526-Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

This essential, yet seemingly simple form will be discussed in future chapters.

Upon receiving regional center designation, a regional center agrees to abide by the regulations governing the program, and verifies such compliance in their annual compliance report.

This annual report is submitted to and reviewed by the USCIS. Upon submitting the I-829 petition, requesting the lifting of conditional residency, the USCIS is also responsible for determining the legitimacy of the application.
As you can see, USCIS oversees the entire EB-5 process.

Therefore, it is imperative for you, as a sponsor or investor, to be well organized throughout the process right from the beginning. Please consider acquiring a large three ring binder with many transparency pages to contain all of your U.S. immigration documents and receipts.

You will receive many documents from your attorney and from the government; therefore it is essential that you maintain all records in a sensible and organized manner.

Keep a list of each and every document, receipt or instruction you receive as it is easy to get confused with the multitude of documents and legal complexities.

The other government agency that you, as an investor, will need to address is the U.S. State Department.

This agency will review the individual immigrant investor application and assess whether there is any basis for inadmissibility.

There are various reasons to support a rejection of the application which include but are not limited to: prior criminal record, fraud convictions, etc.

Thus, while an approval of the I-526 application is laudatory, it is not the final step until the State Department issues its sealed envelope of approval.

Following the State Department‟s approval, the investor and his or her family will physically enter the US and will be inspected at a port of entry.

This inspection is conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. An officer will review the approval notice and stamp, an approval called an I-551, to ensure and date the formal entry into the U.S.

Once the new resident has been admitted, he or she will undertake all normal internal applications with which a U.S. resident must comply. These include but are not limited to acquiring: a U.S. social security number from the Social Security Administration, a driver‟s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State in which he or she will live with his or her family, and we also recommend a state identification document.

Immigration Trends

Immigration to the United States is not totally determined by shifts in flow that occur as a result of lawmakers revising the allocations.

Immigration to the United States plummeted in the middle of the 20th century largely as a result of factors brought on by the Great
Depression and World War II.

There are a variety of “push-pull” factors that drive immigration.

Push factors from the immigrantsending countries include such circumstances as civil wars and political unrest, economic deprivation and limited job opportunities, and catastrophic natural disasters.

Pull factors in the United States include such features as strong employment conditions, reunion with family, and quality of life considerations.

A corollary factor is the extent that aliens may be able to migrate to other “desirable” countries that offer circumstances and opportunities comparable to the United States.

Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, multiple fiscal years. Aliens legalizing through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 are depicted by year of arrival rather than year of adjustment.

The annual number of LPRs admitted or adjusted in the United States rose gradually after World War II, as Figure 1 illustrates.

The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) data present those admitted as LPRs or those adjusting to LPR status.

The growth in immigration after 1980 is partly attributable to the total number of admissions under the basic system, consisting of immigrants entering through a preference system as well as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, that was augmented considerably by legalized aliens.19

The Immigration Act of 1990 increased the ceiling on employment-based preference immigration, with the provision that unused employment visas 19 The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 legalized 2.7 million aliens residing in the United States without authorization.

In addition, the number of refugees admitted increased from 718,000 in the period 1966-1980 to 1.6 million during the period 1981-1995, after the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980.

Many LPRs are adjusting status from within the United States rather than receiving visas issued abroad by Consular Affairs before they arrive in the United States.

In the past decade, the number of LPRs arriving from abroad has remained somewhat steady, hovering between a high of 481,948 in FY2012 and a low of 358,411 in FY2003.

Adjustments to LPR status in the United States have fluctuated over the same period, from a low of 244,793 in FY1999 to a high of 819,248 in FY2006.

As Figure 2 shows, most of the variation in total number of aliens granted LPR status over the past decade is due to the number of adjustments processed in the United States rather than visas issued abroad.

In any given period of United States history, a handful of countries have dominated the flow of immigrants, but the dominant countries have varied over time. Figure 3 presents trends in the top immigrant-sending countries (together comprising at least 50% of the immigrants admitted) for selected decades.

The figure illustrates that immigration at the close of the 20th century was not as dominated by 3 or 4 countries as it was earlier in the century.

These data suggest that the percountry ceilings established in 1965 had some effect.

As Figure 3 illustrates, immigrants from only three or four countries made up more than half of all LPRs prior to 1960.

By the last two decades of the 20th century, immigrants from seven to nine countries comprised about half of all LPRs and this pattern has continued into the 21st century.

Although Europe was home to the countries sending the most immigrants during the early 20th century (e.g., Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and the United Kingdom), Mexico has been a top sending country for most of the 20th century and into the 21st century. Other top sending countries from FY2001 through FY2010 are the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Colombia and Cuba (Western Hemisphere) and the Philippines, India, China, South Korea and Vietnam (Asia).


US Immigration Law Handbook

Hand Book of Immigration Law

Immigration Law Course Outline

A Guide for New Immigrants


Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form)


Immigration and Nationality Act




On Normative Effects_stamped

A comprehensive collection of historical and current documents on immigration law and policy


Criminal Immigration Defense in Federal Court

In New York, over twenty percent of residents are foreign-born. Many of them are non-citizens who may be easily subject to detention and deportation for criminal convictions. Immigration crimes face very arduous opposition in Federal Court.

Crimes may involve anyone who facilitate illegal immigration. Even lawful permanent residents may be removed, arrested, or denied naturalization.

Federal criminal charges implicate complex procedures and trials. Understanding the broad immigration consequences of a conviction for a non-U.S. citizen requires a special knowledge and the ability to see and asses the case from many angles.

Immigration crimes usually include illegal entry or re-entry and marriage fraud. The hardest consequences you could face for them, are: denial of naturalization, bar to re-entry, and removal.

If you enter the United States illegally, crossing land or sea borders without authorization by an immigration officer or without a visa issued at a consulate, you commit an EWI, Entry Without Inspection. The law will require you to leave the U.S. and ask for help in a consulate abroad, where you will be assessed for your eligibility to receive a visa.

In addition, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an individual who is unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days but less than one year, will not receive a visa to the United States during a period of three years (Three-year ban).

A person unlawfully present for more than a year, will not get a visa for a period of 10 years (Ten-year ban).

An alien living in the U.S. for more than one year, who is removed or have left the United States and then tries to commit unlawful re-entry, will receive a permanent prohibition of entry (Permanent ban). People sentenced in Federal Courts for unlawfully re-entry, usually receive a two years prison sentence.

Marriage fraud occurs when the marriage is contracted under false pretenses, in order to avoid the immigration laws of the United States. As a matter of fact, immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, may obtain permanent residency or even the Green Card. Marriage fraud is a federal felony offense that carries serious punishments and immigration consequences. The Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act of 1986 amended section 1325 by adding 1325(c), which provides a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $ 250,000 fine for any “individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws”. Moreover, the alien may be removed from the United States and he/she will not be allowed to get any future visa or the Green Card .

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is authorized to cancel any citizenship or naturalization certificate in case that it was illegally obtained or created by fraud.

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) was established in 1984 to create sentencing guidelines for the Federal Courts and recollecting data on federal criminal cases convicted under the Federal sentencing guidelines.

If you are facing federal charges, it is critical to consult with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. Your criminal defense lawyer has to handle your case properly preventing immigration problems. He/she will be able to achieve the best possible outcome in a given case.

Employment in the US: Work Permits

The EB-5 program confers U.S. residency upon those fortunate enough to attain approval. Along with U.S. residency, the investor, his or her spouse, and working age children will be allowed to receive work status approval.
Initially, such approval will derive from an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and thereafter through the resident alien card, also entitled an I-551.

U.S. immigration has many work permit structures available, none of which are more flexible or extensive than those granted via residency benefits.

Remember: EB-5 status confers U.S. permanent residency; other work permits are deemed temporary or nonimmigrant. The work benefit is automatically conferred on a green card holder.

No further application is necessary.

When filing for an adjustment of status, the beneficiaries may wish to apply for an early employment authorization document prior to the final adjudication for conditional residency.

This is called an EAD and normally has a maximum duration of one year.

Work and travel privileges for those applying for the lifting of conditional residency are normally extended automatically with the filing of the I-829 application.

How does employment-based immigration work?

Second preference: Professional holding advanced degrees and aliens of exceptional ability

This category is for members of the profession holding advanced degrees or their equivalent, or who, because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States and whose services are sought by an employer in the United States. A bachelor’s degree plus five years professional experience in the profession constitutes the equivalent of an advanced degree. Also, the beneficiary will be disqualified if he or she was ever involved in criminal and immigration violations.

Third preference: Skilled workers, professionals holding basic degrees, and “other” workers:

Skilled workers must have two years training or experience, and the job may not be temporary or seasonal. A professional must hold a United States or equivalent baccalaureate degree and be a member of one of the professions. The job offered must require a baccalaureate degree for entry into the particular occupation.

“Other workers” include non-temporary or seasonal unskilled laborers.

Fourth preference: Special immigrant religious workers:

The worker must be a member of the religious denomination for two prior years; the religious denomination must be a nonprofit, tax exempt religious organization recognized in the United States, and the alien must be coming to the United States to carry on work as a minister, professional or other worker. This category was created in the Immigrant Act of 1990, and contained a Coram Nobis provision which caused the program to end on September 30, 1997. As of the date of writing of this article, there had been no formal extension of this program by the United States Congress.

New York Federal Deportation Lawyer

Unless you were born in the United States or were born abroad from one or two U.S. citizen parents, you need a Visa or a Green Card to live and work in the United States.

Even after you get a Visa, you must obey the rules and conditions of your status. You also have to maintain an outstanding record of good conduct and avoid criminal convictions. Otherwise, you can be placed in deportation proceedings by the U.S. Government. A legal paper called Notice To Appear (NTA) will be served to you, and will explain you the grounds for removal.

If that happens, a New York Federal Deportation Lawyer must be retained as soon as possible. Several remedial measures can be taken to preserve your legal residency in the United States.

First, it is possible to contest the charges of removability while in immigration court. The U.S. government will be represented by a trial attorney, but they will have the burden of proving you are removable from the country.

Second, even if you are found to be removable, you may be able to apply for reliefs from deportation, such as a Waiver of Cancellation of Removal.

Finally, if you are ordered deported by an immigration judge, you can file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

What is Immigration Prosecutorial Discretion?

Prosecutorial discretion is the authority of an agency or officer to decide what charges to bring and how to pursue each case. A law-enforcement officer who declines to pursue a case against a person has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion.

The authority to exercise discretion in deciding when to prosecute and when not to prosecute based on a priority system has long been recognized as a critical part of U.S. immigration law. The concept of prosecutorial discretion applies in civil, administrative, and criminal contexts. The Supreme Court has made it clear that “an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal immigration proceedings, is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion.”

Prosecutorial discretion may be exercised at any stage of an immigration case. Specifically, prosecutorial discretion may be exercised when deciding whether to: issue a detainer; initiate removal proceedings; focus enforcement resources on particular violations or conduct; stop, question, or arrest a particular person; detain or release someone on bond, supervision, or personal recognizance; settle or dismiss a removal case; stay a final order of removal; pursue an appeal; and/or execute a removal order.

Once an arrest is made, a prosecutor screens the case to determine if it should be prosecuted or dropped.

The decision to prosecute is based on the following factors: 

         the sufficiency of the evidence linking the suspect to the offense

         the seriousness of the offense

         the size of the court’s caseload

         the need to conserve prosecutorial resources for more serious cases

         the availability of alternatives to formal prosecution

         the defendant’s culpability (moral blameworthiness)

         the defendant’s criminal record

         the defendant’s willingness to cooperate with the investigation or prosecution of others.

Prosecutorial discretion “programs” also exist, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and deferred action for domestic violence victims who are seeking a green card based on a relationship to a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, exercises prosecutorial discretion because has limited resources and needs to use those resources carefully to meet its priorities. In addition, by exercising prosecutorial discretion, ICE can quickly close some cases that are less important and can save time and resources for important cases.

Receiving prosecutorial discretion can be not easy at all. Prosecutorial discretion does not give everyone who wants it an avenue for relief.

What are the Worker Visas in the U.S.?

There are two categories for workers entering the U.S. They are permanent visas and temporary visas. If your work only calls for a temporary stay for employment, you would need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa with the assistance of a good immigration lawyer.

If you wish to live in the USA permanently, you need a green card or immigrant visa.

The H1B is a temporary visa for workers. Applicants for this visa must have a level of expertise in their field. Technology and biotech firms most commonly use this visa. Persons working for the Department of Defense also qualify. The H1B requires that you have a temporary intent to reside in the United States on a temporary basis. You must hold a highly specialized knowledge, which you can apply as well as a bachelor s or higher degree in your specialty. Many jobs qualify for a H1B visa including accountants, business executives, computer programmers, designers, engineers, journalists, pharmacists, and scientists.

Green cards or immigrant cards allow you to remain in the U.S. on a permanent basis for live and work. Worker s Green Cards fall into five preference categories Worker s Green Cards fall into five preference categories.

The categories are as follows:

  1. Priority workers:  multinational executives, outstanding researchers, and persons ofextraordinary ability. They receive 29% of Green cards.
  2. Members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability:  requires both a job offers and a certification. They receive roughly 29% of Green Cards.
  3. Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers: includes degree holders and skilled workers. Approximately 29% of Green Cards are given to this preference.
  4. Special immigrants: students, workers, investors, returning resident, and court dependent. 7% of Green Cards are disbursed in this preference level.
  5. Employment creation investors Green Card: allows for a conditional Green Card, allowing that the business remains in place meeting certain qualifications. Approximately 7% of Green Cards are given here.

Immigrant Detention

Certain removable aliens cannot be removed from the United States because they do not have travel documents permitting them to return to their country of origin or because the aliens are more likely than not to be subject to torture if returned to the country of origin.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) that such aliens could only be detained following an order of removal for so long as is reasonably necessary to bring about that alien’s removal from the United States, but that the INA “does not permit indefinite detention.

The Court found that the presumptively reasonable limit for the postremoval-period detention is six months, but indicated that continued detention may be warranted when the policy is limited to specially dangerous individuals, such as terrorists or those in other special circumstances, and strong procedural protections are in place. Following the Court’s ruling in Zadvydas, new regulations were issued to comply with the Court’s holding.

ICE generally can only detain an alien beyond the initial 90-day removal period if ICE determines that the alien is likely to abscond if released or that the alien poses a danger to the public, or if ICE is likely to obtain travel documents for the alien in the near future.

Under regulation, ICE may not detain an alien for more than six months unless the alien’s removal is likely in the reasonably foreseeable future, except in special circumstances, including aliens who are detained on account of having a highly contagious disease that is a threat to public safety, serious adverse foreign policy consequences of release, security or terrorism concerns, or being considered specially dangerous due to having committed one or more crimes of violence and having a mental condition making it likely that the alien will commit acts of violence in the future.

Can I appeal a deportation order?

In the U.S. illegal immigrants and Green Card holders may be deported if the commit certain crimes involving moral turpitude or certain aggravated felonies. Most immigrants are misguided during their criminal proceedings, and that is why the U.S. Supreme Court held that every immigrant has a right to know the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction by a qualified immigration law attorney.

The BIA reviews decisions by immigration judges and has appellate jurisdiction over family-based immigrant petitions under INA  204 (a) as well as orders of removal and applications for relief from removal, and motions for reopening and reconsideration of decisions previously rendered. BIA may affirm, reverse, or remand the decision of an Immigration Judge. However, BIA decisions are the final administrative action in a given case.

As a matter of fact, in most cases if the BIA affirms the lower court’s decision, then you can still appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals (U.S. Circuit Courts). U.S. Court of Appeals are the intermediate appeal courts of the United States federal Court System. Sometimes a motion to reopen to the BIA may seem a better solution, but appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals may be the best solution.

A Court of Appeals takes decisions upon appeals from the District Courts within its federal judicial circuit, and in some cases from other federal courts or administrative agencies. U.S Courts of Appeal have 179 judges authorized by Congress and Article III of the U.S. Constitution and nominated by the President of the United States.

There currently are thirteen Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, considered among the most powerful and influential courts in the United States and the final word on most federal cases. Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction over certain appeals based on their subject matter. Finally there are eleven District Court Circuits, well geographically defined.

The United States Courts of Appeals have strong policy influence on U.S. immigration and criminal law, setting legal track records in regions with millions of inhabitants.

Some immigrants resort to fraud as a mean to obtain immigration benefits. However, marriage fraud is a serious immigration violation with long-lasting consequences.

To apply for a Green Card through marriage, you must show that you are legally married and have obtained a valid marriage certificate.

You must put together all your documents showing bona fide marriage, including attachments like:

  • lease or mortgage contracts showing joint occupancy or ownership;
  • birth certificates of children;
  • joint financial records like: joint bank accounts, tax returns, loans, or insurance.

The E-1 and E-2 Visa for the Status of Importer/Exporter and Investor.

The E-1 and E-2 Visa for the Status of Importer/Exporter and Investor.

The “E” visa will allow foreign citizens of designated countries to be eligible for the status of the E visa as importer, exporter or investor. In order to qualify as importer/exporter (E1) in the United States, a business person will have to trade goods or services and be able to manage the company.

At the present time, E1 visas are defined as the trading of goods and particular services such as banking services, financial services and within the airline industry.

However, the trading of goods and services has recently been extended with no specific restrictions as to type of goods or services, including the transfer of technology.
An individual can benefit from a non-immigrant E1 visa if:

1. He (or his company) are foreign nationals or a foreign corporate entity has at least 50% stock interest in the U.S. company. 2. He comes to the United States in order to transact multiple transactions (50% or more of gross volume of the U.S. company) between his home country and the United States; 3. He is involved in administrative operations or has specialized qualifications which are essential to the operations of the U.S. employer; 4. He leaves the United States upon expiration of his visa.
In order to qualify for an E2 investor visa, the investor must develop and manage the operations of a company in which he has invested or is in the process of investing a “sizeable” amount of money.

An E2 visa can be issued if it has been ascertained by the U.S. Consulate that:

1. This person is a foreign national or that his U.S. company has 50% or more foreign shareholders; 2. The U.S. company in which he has invested, will invest or has already invested a “sizeable” amount of money (generally greater than $100,000 of risk capital) in a real commercial business in the United States; 3. That person has been appointed to administer the company or possesses specific qualifications which are essential to the functioning of the company; 4. His investment is not his only source of income; 5. His investment is real or is imminently in the process of becoming a reality; 6. That person will leave the United States upon expiration of his visa (generally up to 5 years).
Importer/exporter or investor visas can be obtained in any American Consulate or Embassy in the world, normally in the country of the last residence of the applicant.

The E visa can be delivered to companies belonging to one individual investor or to multinationals. It is equally available for key personnel of companies which meet the investor requirements. Its approval time can vary, usually no greater than four months if there are no complications.
The E visas are generally issued for periods of 5 years and can be renewed indefinitely with Consular or State Department approval or revalidation.

They can be extended in the U.S. for 2 years by applying to the Immigration Service in the area where the head office of the company is located.

The importers, exporters and investors can live in the United States as long as they maintain their eligibility according to the requirements of the treaties.
Permanent residency, through use of the E-2 visa, is available only under very narrow circumstances and should be analyzed carefully before proceeding.

E2 Treaty Trader Visa | E-2 Investor Visa Lawyer
E2 Investor Visa Lawyer | E-2 Investment Visa | Immigration Attorney

Declare yourself a “non-immigrant” on your tax returns

There are two types of border crossings which are of focus at this time.

The first involves the initial border crossing after approval for residency abroad at the U.S. embassy.

The second is the border crossing when returning to the U.S. from a trip abroad while a resident of the United States.

As to the initial border crossing, at the final interview, the consul will approve the application for residency and hand the investor a precious sealed envelope with the approval notice.

Along with the investor‟s immediate family, the sealed envelope must be presented to any Department of Homeland Security official at any approved port of entry such as at an international airport, seaport, or land post within four months of the interview.

The immigration officer will open the envelope, assess its authenticity and then stamp the passports of the entrants with a red I-551 stamp to demonstrate lawful entry into the U.S.

The actual residency cards will be received in the mail approximately three months thereafter, as they will be ordered to be manufactured, however the stamp will be valid for one year.

The second entry concerns those investors who have become residents of the U.S., however are either away for long periods of time or experience high frequencies of absence.

For individuals who fall into this category, it is essential that they carry an up to date binder with documents which demonstrate that they intend to remain residents of the United States.

Such documents include U.S. tax returns, real estate tax bills, current credit card charges, evidence of family continually living in the U.S., etc.

This „empowerment binder‟ will allow the officer to review the residency in a better light with regard to the intent of the green card holder to remain a resident of the U.S.

Each investor should ensure that he or she retain a valid passport and a return airline ticket to the U.S.

Filing an Affidavit of Support Form for a Relative

What is an Affidavit of Support for immigration?

If you are bringing a relative to live permanently in the United States, you must accept legal responsibility for financially supporting this family member. You accept this responsibility and become your relative’s sponsor by completing and signing a document called an affidavit of support. This legally enforceable judgment lasts until your relative becomes a U.S. citizen or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years.)

For Whom is an Affidavit of Support for immigration required?

You must complete and submit affidavit of support form if you are bringing a relative to the United States. An affidavit of support, is required for all immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (which include parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21, including orphans) and relatives who qualify for immigration to the United States under one of the family-based preferences:

First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.

Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents and the unmarried sons and daughters (regardless of age) of lawful permanent residents and their unmarried children.

Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their unmarried minor children.

Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their unmarried minor children.

You must also complete an affidavit of support form if you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and filed an employment-based immigration petition for a relative or if you have a significant ownership interest (5 percent or more) in a business that filed an employment-based immigrant petition for your relative.

Persons whom US Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved as self-petitioning widows or widowers or battered spouses and children are exempt from this requirement.

Hiring Your USA. Attorney

It is entirely normal for clients to inquire from any law firm how their legal fees are being expended.

As clients do not have the opportunity or sometimes the experience in working with a lawyer in the United States, this chapter will outline the type of work which a law firm should accomplish on a daily basis on your behalf as related to your matter.

While some cases may differ from others, most integrate the following services which are performed on your case.

As always, notwithstanding good intentions and hard work, results are always the key to any association.

You should be comfortable in the knowledge that the law firm you engage only accepts matters which are reasonably acceptable under current immigration laws of the United States.

The following are some, but not all, of the services that a U.S. law firm may render as applicable to your matter: 
Private consultation at initial meeting

  • Case evaluation and determination
  • Form preparation and photocopy
  • Ffile preparation and presentation
  • Telephone communications with client, consul, and administration
  • Follow-up meetings and organization
  • Paralegal preparation of file, coordination, and supervision
  • Administrative preparation with government agencies
  • Consular precertification where applicable
  • Legal research
  • Passport verification
  • Review of legal documents
  • Assembly of evidence
  • Corporate structuring where applicable
  • File follow-up after closure
  • Emergency on call service
  • Accounts verification on call
  • Family immigration planning and development Short-term and long-term immigration
  • Instant fax and email access planning
  • Website information
  • Coordination with government agencies where necessary
  • Communication with community leaders and contacts
  • Use of strategic alliances with specialist attorneys such as tax, patents and trademarks, real estate, or others
  • Calendaring of visa expiration or eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits
  • Development and use of professional relationships worldwide
  • Explanation of services and interaction in your mother tongue
  • File status report on call
  • Acceptance of payment by check, all major credit cards, wire transfer, or cash
  • On-site travel for client assistance where necessary

In light of the services to be performed, it is evident that retaining a U.S. attorney to assist you with your immigration case is essential.

You should be charged a reasonable fee according to the Fee Agreement for Legal Services.

The Right to U.S. Immigration Status

The U.S. immigration law is neither logical nor precise because the immigration department must adjust to international political as well as economic pressures.
Moreover, there are always new developments in this field. We will tell you about several cases which required litigation and how they were settled. They illustrate the situation as it presents itself now in the U.S.
Let us take the case of Maria. During eight years, she worked as an administrative assistant of a company. She speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and French fluently.
Having applied for an H-1 visa, the official responsible for her file turned down her application on the basis that her professional reputation had not been sufficiently well established in order to receive a visa.

The Appeals Court reversed the official’s decision alleging that her long experience and her qualifications, as compared to those of others, were sufficient in order to grant her an H-1 visa.
Let us now study the case of a couple which was going to be deported following a decision by the Appeals Court.

The woman was pregnant and the child was born after the trial.

The birth of the child, although it did not represent a decisive fact, allowed the judge to reconsider the decision rendered and to decide to re-open the procedures for further consideration.
At the age of sixteen Anna came to the United States as a tourist from her home country having a B-2 visa. Thirtysix days after her arrival, she decided to study in the United States. Being only sixteen years old she went to the Department of Immigration in order to fill in an I-20 (and I-506) application form in order to transform her visa from tourist to student F-1.

The official decided that because her application had been made so quickly after she had entered the United States she had the preconceived intention to become a student as soon as she arrived to the U.S.

When an appeal was made, the district director decided that she had no pre-conceived intention because of her age, the duration of her stay (36 days) and encouragement from her family.

So she was able to obtain her visa and pursue her studies.
Mr. Zett was the beneficiary of an L-1 intracompany visa.

The court decided that the foreign company making the request did not necessarily need to conclude international transactions, did not require exclusive and absolute control of the subsidiary nor had a high proportion of properties and management in common with shareholders.
From a visa perspective the beneficiary is eligible to be considered for an L-1 visa as long as he or she is employed by the foreign company even though he or she may have shares in both the U.S. and foreign companies which are by law considered to be separate legal entities.
In a case involving the L-1 visa the beneficiary was sent to the U.S. by a foreign company. While being employed by the U.S. company and with its knowledge, he pursued specialized courses in the United States. During weekends he established an office at his home in order to take care of company contracts during his spare time.

At the end of his studies, the company decided to keep him in the United States and requested an L-1 visa for him.

The official decided that because of the fact that he was present in the United States for his studies, he had therefore not been employed during the past year by the company which was applying; in consequence he was not eligible for the visa.
This decision was reversed by the regional commissioner who alleged that these studies for specialization did not constitute an interruption of his employment by the company which, had the intention of establishing its head office in the United States.

More information in

Civil Appeals Procedures in New Jersey

You are allowed to file an appeal if you think New Jersey Court has judged your civil case without legal considerations. The process is lengthy and intricate, and the assistance of an experienced appeals lawyer is crucial.

An appeal does not automatically make you eligible for another trial. The purpose of the appeal is to examine the minutes of the trial conducted earlier to see if anything was done unlawfully.

Cases in Which there is no Right to Appeal

If your case was decided by an arbitrator or referee (essentially, outside the court), and the jurisdiction to the arbitrator was conferred through mutual agreement between the parties, the case becomes ineligible for appeal.
If you don’t file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the original decision (20 days, in some cases), you lose your right to appeal
The appeal procedure is extremely time-sensitive. You must move quickly in order to get your case reconsidered by the court.

Filing the Appeal – The Process

Here’s the step-by-step process you need to follow in order to file your case for appeal. Consult an appeals lawyer to get assistance through these steps. Federal Appeals may have different rules. ( Law Offices of Simone Bertollini New York Immigration Attorney)
1. The appeal needs to be filed within 30 days of the judgment.
2. You’ll need to submit an undertaking in the form of a bond or a certified check in order to halt the enforcement of the judgment.
3. Alternatively, you can acquire a stay order from the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court in order to halt the enforcement of the judgment.
4. Fill in the “Notice of Appeal” form and create two copies from it. Get one copy served to the opposing party by a process server (someone over the age of 18 and not involved with your case). The second copy will serve as your record for the appeal. The original document is to be filed with the court.
5. Pay the court fees for your appeal and notify the court clerks.
6. In addition to this, you’ll need to apply for the transcript of the minutes of the trial. If a Court Reporter was present during your trial, you’ll need to contact him/her for the transcript. The Court Reporter is legally allowed to charge a fee against the transcript.
7. In case the Court Reporter was not present during your trial, you’ll need to get the audio of your trial transcribed by authorized parties. You’ll need to submit a written request with the court clerk in order to obtain the original transcription of your case.
8. Read through the transcript, address any problems with the content and file your objections/amendments with the opposing party within 15 days of receiving the document.
9. Original copies of all communication between the two parties need to be filed with the court in addition to the Notice of Appeal. If you wish to provide additional supporting documents, you can do so by consulting the court clerk.
10.Once the final decision has been made by the court, it will be mailed to all involved parties on their stated addresses.

Why Do You Need Immigration Lawyer New Jersey?

Are you a foreigner planning to settle down in the United States and become its citizen? Then you must find an immigration lawyer in New Jerseyto advise you on what needs to be done. For an immigrant to settle down in any country it is vital for them to know all the legal nuances related to immigration. An immigration lawyer is the best person to give you advice and guide you in the right way for doing everything correctly. Your immigration lawyer will be your legal representative that will help you in settle down in a country.

Finding out an immigration lawyer to help you out is not at all a difficult process. The internet is the best source for you to find out the best and the most capable immigration lawyer in New Jersey. The internet is a storehouse of information and it is all up to you to make use of the information in the best possible way. You can search for immigration lawyers from a lawyer directory. Also you can find a good immigration lawyer in New Jersey by talking to people who have already used the services of the lawyer. Make sure you hire the services of the best immigration lawyer in New Jersey.

There are many issues that need to be taken care of when you want to immigrate to United States.  Some of the issues that need to be taken care of are legal rights of immigrants, duties of immigrants and obligations if there are any for immigrants. The work of the immigration lawyer is to basically make their clients naturalized citizen of the United States. It is the duty of the lawyers to make sure that their clients are fully aware and have complete knowledge about what they are supposed to do, what they are not supposed to do and what rights they have in the country as immigrants residing there.
It is not an absolute necessity to hire the services of lawyer, but it always better to hire lawyer’s services so you can have a clear picture about your rights and duties. Also a lawyer will be able to tell you exactly what legal rights you have and what things you need to do. Basically the lawyer will be able to help you out with everything legally related to the issue of immigration. It is always better to have a good knowledge about all the legal aspects related to immigration.
Immigration laws keep changing and are complicated. So it becomes all the more important for immigrants to seek the services of an immigration lawyer. Immigration lawyers keep updating themselves constantly about all the changes that are being made in the immigration law in the United States. The immigration lawyer will ensure that you are never caught unaware about anything related to your immigration to the United States.
If you are serious about settling down in United States and becoming a naturalized citizen, you will feel secured and comfortable due to the presence of an immigration lawyer. You will be able to know and deal with any legal obstacles with the help of your immigration lawyer. If you encounter any legal problem that lengthens the process of immigration, your lawyer will always there to help you out of the situation.

How does Italian family law work?

Italian family law has seen many reforms in recent decades. For example, law permits abortion since 1978 but, from the other side, same-sex marriages are still forbidden.

Among the principles expressed in the Italian Constitution of 1948, the Article 31 says that:

“The Republic assists, through economic measures and other provisions, in the formation of the family and the fulfillment of its duties, with particular regard for large families.

It protects maternity, infancy and youth, promoting the institutions necessary for such purposes.”


Moreover, in the article 29 we can find that:

“The Republic recognizes the rights of the family as a natural society founded on matrimony. Matrimony is based on the moral and legal equality of the spouses within the limits established by law to guarantee the unity of the family.”

Marriage is the fundamental requirement to grant families full protection in particular to children. Notwithstanding, the Republic protects children born out of wedlock and their mothers.

The number of unmarried couples has increased dramatically and the necessity of granting them some form of protection has become irrefutable. However, over 75 per cent of Italian weddings are performed in churches.

The Italian Civil Code, the procedural code and the related statutes regulate civil and religious marriages, annulment, separation and divorce. It is a complicated document that can only be interpreted by a good Italian Lawyer.

Catholic marriage requires both parties to be baptized and confirmed Catholics, as well as to attend the pre-matrimonial course. Couples must choose between shared or separate ownership of their worldly goods in the event of divorce. So pre-nuptial agreements in Italy should also be dealt with careful consideration.

The legal separation in Italy is temporary and does not break up the marriage, but divides the legal communion. Italian divorce is the legal dissolution of the bonds of matrimony.

Divorces are complex issues in Italy and have been possible only since 1970. The marriage should have taken place in Italy or one of the spouses should be Italian or an Italian resident. Sometimes foreign law may take precedence over Italian law even if one of the spouses is Italian. Couples divorcing by consent generally wait three years to be divorced but contested divorces must wait five and even cost many thousands of euros. A judge usually offers the spouses either to reconciliate or to formally separate for one year.

The mother is usually given the custody of the children, with access for the father. Once the children reach the age of ten, they can decide which parent they want to live with.

T<span “=”” style=”line-height: 14.95px;”>he Hague Convention of October 25, 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a multilateral treaty that provides children the protection from the harmful effects of abduction, entered into force in Italy with the law No. 64 of January 15, 1994 (Implementation Act of the European Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of October 25, 1980).

Following ratification, the Convention entered into force in Italy on May 1, 1995. The Central Office for Juvenile Justice at the Ministry of Justice has been designated the Italian Central Authority.

An Italian law firm is often necessary for both types of divorce and every kind of legal family issue, as well as all the related to children adoption, abduction, custody, and so on.


The origin of habeas corpus can be found in the Constitution, statutory law, and case law. The Suspension Clause of the Constitution, Art 1, Section 9, Clause 2, states: “The privileges of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of Rebellion or of Invasion the public Safety may require it”.

Despite the fact that the Constitution does not specifically create the right to habeas corpus relief, federal statutes provide federal courts with the authority to grant habeas relief to state prisoners and to those that have been detained for violation of criminal immigration laws. Only Congress has the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, either by its own affirmative actions or through an express delegation to the Executive. The Executive does not have the independent authority to suspend the writ.

Federal statute, 28 U.S.C.  2241- 2256, outline the procedural aspects of federal habeas proceedings. There are two requirements for habeas review:

  • the petitioner must be in custody when the petition is filed, and
  • a prisoner who is held in state government custody must have exhausted all state remedies, including state appellate review.

Any federal court may grant a writ of habeas corpus to a petitioner who is within its jurisdiction.

In the first Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress explicitly authorized the federal courts to grant habeas relief to federal prisoners. From the time of the Civil War, the Supreme Court continuously expanded the availability of habeas relief, allowing for habeas relief to state prisoners if they were held in custody in violation of federal law.

Federal courts granted habeas relief to state prisoners by finding that the state court lacked the proper jurisdiction. Post-World War II reforms further expanded the writ and habeas corpus became a tool by which criminal defendants sought to uphold their civil rights against illegal state action.

In 1996, Congress narrowed the writ of habeas corpus through the passage of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which has three important aspects:

  • first, it imposes a one-year statute of limitations on habeas petitions;
  • second, unless a United States Court of Appeals gave its approval, a petitioner may not file successive habeas corpus petitions;
  • third, habeas relief is only available when the state court’s determination was “contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States”.

The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA) and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCM) further narrowed the scope of habeas relief, providing that prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay may not access the federal courts through habeas corpus; instead, they must go through the military commissions and then seek appeal in the D.C. Circuit Court.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus can also be used in cases of unlawful immigration law detention.

However, the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush (2008) expanded the territorial reach of habeas corpus, ruling that the Suspension Clause affirmatively guaranteed the right to habeas review. Thus, alien detainees designated as enemy combatants who were held outside the U.S. had the constitutional right to habeas corpus.

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the legal protections of “the Great Writ” persist.

What is illegal immigration in the U.S.?

In the United States, illegal immigration refers to the act of foreign nationals violating American immigration policies and laws through the entering or remaining in the country without receiving proper authorization from the Federal Government.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), amended by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) determine removal proceedings whether a non US citizen, or alien, should be deported, sent back to his home country, from the US.

The deportation process usually begins with the Department of Homeland Security issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA). Deportation can occur as a result of an immigrant being convicted of a criminal act; in lieu of incarceration, that individual may be given the option of expulsion from that particular country or nation.

The Notice to Appear states your name and the country in which you were born and it orders you to appear in front of an immigration judge. Moreover, it provides you with other information such as:

  • the reason why you’ve been ordered to appear;
  • how you allegedly broke the law;
  • your right to have an attorney;
  • the consequences of your failure to appear at the hearing.

You are then scheduled to attend a hearing before an immigration judge. An attorney represents the government at these hearings; you can also have legal representation of an immigration lawyer, but it must be “at no expense to the government.”

If the judge determines that you can be deported, you can apply for relief from removal. If you are eligible, another hearing will be held.

What is Business litigation?

Business litigation involves business clients in disputes in business transactions or relationships, with other businesses, government entities, or groups of individuals. Business entities involved in business litigation are partnerships, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, holding company, joint venture, corporation, or business trust. Parties may include consumers, businesses, shareholders, or employees. As an example, an investor suffering from excessive financial loss as a result of unethical behavior by a broker, may pursue business litigation.

Often business disputes can’t be resolved through negotiation or arbitration proceedings. So business litigation is a way to remedy the situation. Business litigation is a complex area of law which includes a variety of contractual and tort claims. Examples of claims, requiring counseling and handling include but are not limited to:

  • tortious interference with contract
  • bankruptcy
  • business torts
  • antitrust
  • internet law disputes
  • breach of contract
  • partnership or insurance disputes
  • privacy and data security
  • unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • securities fraud
  • breach of fiduciary duty.

Business litigation does not mean that a lawsuit has to be filed in Court, but can take place outside the bounds of the courtroom.

An attorney specializing in national and international business litigation with a considerable experience managing and resolving class actions in many areas, will counsel you. He will be able to save you or your company a significant amount of money by seeking a resolution through mediation, arbitration or other means of alternative dispute resolution.

After a successful completion of a two-year pilot program, the Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court (BLS) was launched in 2000. The BLS, a permanent session of the Superior Court, offers a forum for business and commercial disputes, benefiting from individualized case management.  The BLS is made up of two full time sessions committed to the efficient resolution of business disputes or other complex cases. The Business Session was extended including cases from Suffolk County, Essex, Middlesex and Norfolk Counties.

Who Operates the Regional Center?

A regional center is normally created and operated by experienced developers or business people who seek to begin or expand existing businesses.

It is therefore essential for you to receive and assess their credentials and their ability to ensure that the project will be so created and that the job creation requirement will also be fulfilled as a result of the program.

Although the USCIS oversees the overall EB-5 program, investors must be aware of the limitations pertaining to each and every regional center in order to make a qualified judgment.

As the number of USCIS approved regional centers continues to increase at a rapid pace, it becomes ever more difficult for an investor to make a well-informed decision.

Our recommendation is for each investor to visit and interface with no less than six regional centers before finalizing an investment  decision.

A credible certified public accountant or EB5 attorney may be able to refer you to qualified professionals within the EB-5 field and/or offer assistance while you are weighing the options available to you.

Be sure to review and analyze all reports exhibiting the actual and projected cash flow for the regional center.

If possible, speak with other investors, request the regional center‟s scorecard as to their success rate, and try to assess the mix of nationalities in the program.

Additionally, it would be beneficial to review the developer‟s overall history both in a general business context and EB-5 specific projects.

A positive determination is if the developer has standby credit for the erection of any new project, backup plans, and exit strategies to be applied as needed.

Clearly, the sponsor must not have a criminal record or any evidence of prior bankruptcies. In addition to discussions with the principal sponsor, the investor should engage the services of partners, development and management personnel, and other service providers who are hired to support the project in its entirety.

All parties and entities are subject to your review before finalizing your investment.

Do not rely solely on the terms and conditions of an escrow agreement to have the funds returned in the event that the project does not materialize.

Federal Defense Lawyer in New York

If you commit a crime, you will be prosecuted and tried by a State Court, unless you committed a crime punishable by a Federal statute.
Federal offenses have very severe sentencing guidelines. Moreover, over 90% of the federal criminal cases result in a conviction.

Federal Defense Lawyer in New York can help you protect your rights since the day at the arrest to the jury trial. The fact that you have been arrested and charged with a crime does not mean automatically that you are guilty.

Before trial the Federal Government will have to disclose all the evidence that they have against you, such as witnesses, photographs, videos, and other forensic evidence. Then, your attorney can make motions to suppress evidence that was obtained unlawfully and exclude the testimony of witnesses that would be more prejudicial than probative at your trial.

To get convicted, the U.S. Government will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offense charged. All of the 12 members of the jury must agree that you are guilty. If a reasonable doubt as to your innocence exists, you must be acquitted.

What is a Writ Of Habeas Corpus?

The Writ of Habeas Corpus from the latin “you have the body” also known as “the Great Writ”, is a Court order to a person (prison warden) or a government official who has restrained a prisoner. As stated in the U.S. Constitution, in Article I “The writ of Habeas corpus is the remedy to be used when any person is restrained in his liberty. It is an order issued by a Court or judge of competent jurisdiction, directed to anyone having a person in his custody, or under his restraint, commanding him to produce such person, at a time and place named in the writ, and show why he is held in custody or under restraint”.

The Habeas corpus concept was first expressed in the Magna Charta and first used by the common-law Courts in 13th and 14th century England. The writ was made available in the U.S. Federal Court to state prisoners through the Habeas Corpus Act of 1867.

The rights of the writ of Habeas corpus are granted in the U.S. Constitution in Article I.  Section 9, Clause 2 states that “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it”. The U.S. Constitution forbids Government from suspending proceedings for Habeas except under extraordinary circumstances such as during times of war. The clause was appealed in 1861 when President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ and authorized his Civil War generals to arrest anyone they thought to be dangerous.

The individual being held, or his/her representative, can petition the Court against the State or Federal agent. Petitions are usually filed by people serving prison sentences and authorized by statute in Federal Courts and all State Courts.

The writ must be in writing and must name the custodian as the respondent. Sometimes the convict is given the opportunity to present a short oral argument in a hearing before the Court, to establish evidence for the petition. The habeas petition must show that the Court ordering the detention, made a legal or factual error.

The writ of Habeas corpus is technically a procedural and extraordinary remedy and it is mainly used as a post-conviction help for State or Federal prisoners.

Federal Courts grant writs of Habeas corpus only when serious constitutional violations have occurred.

It gives a Court the power to release a prisoner and is a guarantee against any illicit detention. On the contrary, it does not necessarily protect other rights, such as the entitlement to a fair trial. The writ gives prisoner the right to ask an appellate judge to set them free or order an end to improper jail conditions. If the prisoner argues successfully that the incarceration is in violation of a constitutional right, the Court may order the prisoner’s release.

The writ of Habeas corpus was created to safeguard citizens against unjustified imprisonment. Federal courts expanded Habeas relief to include a broader definition of “custody” than mere arrest, including most faults found at trial. The current use of Habeas corpus includes cases involving extended detention of illegal immigrant or lawful permanent residents convicted of a crime, and the best immigration lawyers can use it to attack the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. The writ is also available to civilian and military prisoners claiming jurisdictional barriers to their continued detention or incarceration.

The writ of Habeas corpus is used by the attorney of a detainee to establish that the detention is illegal, so the Court may order the police to justify the detention. The detainee may be released on bail if the police fails to convince the court of the need for the continuation for his or her detention.

Investor Accreditation Qualification

While many investors may seek to enter a specific regional center as a participant, they may find that their personal situation prevents them from doing so.

To start, the investor must demonstrate that he or she has a net worth of $800,000 or greater.

This may include cash, real estate, investments, their personal residence, and the like.

The individual must also be able to provide the last five years of tax returns from their home country or at least demonstrate a clear source of funds and path of funds.

The investor and their family must have no basis for ineligibility, which would include

NO criminal record of any serious nature that would prevent a consul from accepting the application after the I-526 has been approved.
All of these issues are normally addressed in the regional center‟s initial investor accreditation questionnaire which must be completed and reviewed by their counsel to ensure entry into the regional center corporate structure.

Investing in a regional center is similar to joining a private club: there are rules and regulations to ensure the success and happiness of all members.

You must also assess your fluency and ability in reviewing extensive legal documents such as securities documents, business, marketing, and economic plans, and other documents which the regional center may offer you to review.

Receiving Your Green Card in the Mail

Once approved for U.S. conditional or full residency, the prospective resident will receive, at the home address listed in the U.S., the actual I-551 residency card.

The “green card,” which is now white, will be sent via regular mail.

The residency card(s) may also be mailed to the attorney‟s office if so directed.

This chapter is of great importance in that numerous administrative errors may still arise in the delivery of the card itself. It is imperative that investors be aware of such potential errors.

To begin with, the actual manufacturing facility may have a delay or breakdown in production.

As such, the I-551 stamp on the passport becomes critical for work and travel purposes and acts as temporary evidence of permission of such.

Second, the U.S. postal service will simply mail the card to the recipient without regard to whether the investor is home or will receive the card in the regular mail.

There is no evidence of receipt of the card or its mailing.

Therefore, those who will be away for extended periods of time must ensure that someone is watching the mailbox, looking out for the brown envelope containing the green card.

It is normally very nondescript and can be confused with other mail.

Third, there is a distinct possibility that the presiding officer failed to order the residency even though residency was approved and conferred at the interview overseas or in the US.

For such situations, contact the Customer Service line in order to determine the source of the error and have it corrected.

Do not rely on the U.S. postal service for delivery of this coveted card.


Unless you are applying for creation of record based on continuous residence since before January 1, 1972, or adjustment of status under a category in which special rules apply (such as asylum adjustment, Cuban adjustment, special immigrant juvenile adjustment or special immigrant military personnel adjustment), you are not eligible for adjustment of status if any of the following apply to you:
–  you entered the U.S. in transit without a visa; you entered the U.S. as a nonimmigrant crewman; you were not admitted or paroled following inspection by an immigration officer.
– your authorized stay expired before you filed this application; you were employed in the U.S. prior to filing this application, without INS authorization; or you otherwise failed to maintain your nonimmigrant status, other than through no fault of your own or technical reasons, unless you are applying because you an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (parent, spouse, widow, widower or unmarried child under 21 years old), a K-1 fiancé or K-2 fiancé or K-2 fiancé dependent who married the U.S. petitioner within 90 days of admission or an “H” or “I” or special immigrant (foreign medical graduates, international organization employees or their derivative family members);
– you are or were a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor, are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement and have not complied with or been granted a waiver of the requirement;
– you committed criminal immigration violations;
– you have an A, E or G nonimmigrant status, or have an occupation which would allow you to have this status, unless you complete Form I-508 (I508F for French nationals) to wave diplomatic rights, privileges and immunities, and if you are an A or G nonimmigrant, unless you submit a complete Form I-566.
– you were admitted to Guam as a visitor under the Guam visa waiver program.
– you were admitted to the U.S. as a visitor under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, unless you are applying because you an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (parent, spouse, widow, widower of unmarried child under 21 years old);
– you are already a conditional permanent resident;
– you were admitted as a K-1 fiancé but did not marry the U.S. citizen who filed the petition for your, or were admitted as the K-2 child of a fiancé and your parent did not marry the U.S. citizen who filed the petition.
– You received an order of deportation in a U.S. immigration court

Italian business law

Italy encourages foreign investment by offering foreign entities the same incentives, subsidised loans, or cash grants, available to entities owned by Italian nationals.

Italian business law offers a limited number of Italian business entities in order to constitute the structure of the Italian company. Foreign investors can set up a business activity in Italy by establishing:

as a one-man enterprise (Ditta Individuale);

an Italian company;

a secondary registered office (Sede Secondaria) or branch (Filiale) of a foreign company;

a Representative Office (Ufficio di Rappresentanza) of a foreign company.

Italian Partnerships (Società di Persone) are based on an imperfect autonomy of the assets, so that the assets of the partnership and the ones of its partners are joined together.

Italian Corporations (Società di Capitali) are Italian limited liability companies, characterized by the perfect autonomy of the assets. The assets of the corporation are not mixed up with the ones of its partners.

Italian Partnerships and Corporations are regulated by the Italian Civil code, extensively reformed in 2003, and other special laws.

The two most common types of Italian limited liability companies are the “Società per azioni” (abbreviated S.p.A.) a joint stock company or company limited by shares, and the “Società a responsabilità limitata” (abbreviated S.r.l.) a limited liability company. The minimum required starting capital for an S.p.A. is € 120.000. The minimum required starting capital for an S.r.l. is € 10.000. Both SpAs and Srls can be formed by a sole shareholder, whether a legal or natural person having Italian citizenship.

Business operations in Italy may be either directly or through Italian subsidiaries. An Italian branch of foreign company enables the company to operate in Italy with prompter, cost-effective structure, than if a full subsidiary were established in the foreign country.

It’s also possible to establish a Representative Office in a relatively rapid way, declaring to the local Chamber of Commerce within 30 days of the effective date of the beginning of the activity. It requires a resolution by the Board or other competent body of the foreign company. The resolution must warrant the opening of the office, designating the individual delegated with the power to manage. Moreover it’s important to add an updated Certificate of Good Standing. ACertificate of Good Standing, called “Certificate of Existence” or “Certificate of Authorization” is a state-issued document that shows that your corporation or limited liability company has met its statutory requirements and is authorized to do business in Italy. It confirms that your business is up-to-date on its state fee payments, has filed an annual report, and has paid its franchise taxes.

An Italian lawyer may assist U.S. and foreign and corporate clients on all range of Italian tax and business law issues. Your attorney may help you, if you want to move to Italy and plan the transition, providing you a pre-immigration planning with all the information on the Italian tax return, tax jurisdiction, and reporting of income earned abroad.

Targeted Employment Areas

We have briefly touched on the subject of targeted employment areas, which are commonly known as „TEAs‟. It is important that you have a good understanding of their functioning.

Before a regional center is created, the developer will research the census tracts as determined by the department of labor of his state. Based on this official information, he can then determine if the project qualifies as a TEA under population trend guidelines; wherein the population cannot exceed 20,000.

The census tract must be recent and based on the most current census information obtained by the state.

Each county and area within the state will have a census tract as they often rely on federal funding for supplementary support. If a TEA is not identified, then the default position is always a $1 million dollar investment threshold for the investor.
An alternative method used to qualify as a TEA is determined by the unemployment levels in the area in which the sponsor seeks to locate the project.

As such, if the unemployment level surpasses 150% of the national average as determined by the Department of Labor statistics, then the sponsor has an opportunity to outline the territory for his TEA.

The advantage, of course, is that the sponsor will be able to offer the investment to foreign nationals at the $500,000 level. level in the country is 10%, For example, if the average unemployment then the sponsor will need to identify unemployment levels at 15% or higher.

The purpose is to encourage local economic stimulus through sponsorcreated programs.

With such unemployment levels, the investor must be cautious of the economic prospects of the program.

Accordingly, it is important to ensure that the sponsor has a clearly identified and successful track record of prior projects and approvals.

Do you know who is coming to America?

Immigration maybe have been something to solve during the last  risis, but this problem still needs a solution.

While illegal immigrants sneaking the border is a primary concern,
it’s not bad idea to know who is really coming to USA and from where.

This is a short look at this information from which the people came to America,
How many immigrants had family, how many have asylum when they arrived on shores.
Investors, Immigration Attorneys, Deportation cases are other issues must be study. 

EB5 Visa For US Immigration

The purpose of the EB5 is to encourage investment in the USA. It’s a way of bringing in more money which ultimately helps the economy.
The program requires $1,000,000  into a businesses and create 10 jobs.
Once an investor meets this, he is permitted to legally live permanently in USA.
It is very important talk wih an Immigration Attorney to get more information about the eb5 in America.
In the EB5 context, Enterprise means any profit activity formed for conducting any kind  business including, such as:
A sole proprietorship Partnership Holding company Joint venture Corporation Business trust or other entity
A good Immigration Law firm handles commercial litigation cases including, but not limited to:

Cases arising out of contracts between U.S. corporations and Italian companies Breach of contract cases Enforcement of foreign judgments, enforcement of mediation settlement agreements Foreign intellectual property disputes Enforcement of national and international arbitral awards State and Federal Appeals
This Infografic show the Anatomy of an EB5 Investment.

Hiring an Immigration lawyer in New Jersey and New York

Having problems together with your immigration status? managing immigration law will be extremely complicated, usually requiring a specialised immigration law lawyer to handle your case.

If you are hiring an lawyer to handle immigration proceedings of any kind, it’s an honest plan to figure with an professional person that focuses on this field. while several general attorneys will offer legal facilitate for immigration services, only a few will offer the in-depth analysis and agency that an immigration law professional person will offer. the other reasonably professional person might not have the main focus and talent required to win your case.
A large concern once hiring immigration lawyer is their ability to remain on the newest immigration policies.

Immigration law changes often, usually changing into additional complicated.

Associate in Nursing professional person must sit up to this point on these changes to make sure that once fighting your case, they’re representing you with full information of immigration law.  Thus, once yearning for lawyer as immigration professional person, it’s best to analysis whether or not the firm keeps a record of immigration law changes as proof that they will maximize effective illustration of their purchasers. conjointly look to ascertain if the firm has membership within the yank Immigration Lawyers Association, as that’s usually an honest sign that the firm keeps up to this point with the newest changes in immigration law.
When deciding that immigration law professional person to rent, rummage around for a productive record within the specific space of immigration law within which you wish legal help. this could embrace family-based migrator visas, deportation or detention, employment-based visa petitions, or different special immigration petitions or comes. select a business firm that’s well-known for winning cases therein specific facet of immigration law.

From Past to Present: EB-5 Legislation

The EB-5 program is the result of a legislative effort to promote job creation and the infusion of foreign capital into the U.S. economy.

This structure was developed during a time when the U.S. economy was thriving and represented an underlying promise of continued strength.

However, this writing, in light of the restricted credit market and elevated unemployment rate, it is evident that the U.S. is in the midst of tumultuous economic times.

Unlike the financial strength that the U.S. exuded at the time that the EB-5 program was enacted, a new source of capital investment received through foreign investors, which will result in the development of numerous new employment opportunities for Americans, provides a promising opportunity for growth and redevelopment across the nation.

The EB-5 program provides a glimpse of hope to political leaders, developers, U.S. workers, and foreign investors alike.

It has taken many years to improve and enhance the benefits of the EB-5 program in order to ensure that it meets its goals and the expectations of its beneficiaries.

The USCIS is actively engaged in the process and works diligently to continuously modify its regulations.

Together, with the various regional centers across the U.S., the USCIS is expanding its knowledge through the daily successes and challenges of the program.

Although Congress has extended the program numerous times, at present the EB-5 program is scheduled to sunset on September 30, 2012, Congress now understands that to ensure its continued success the program must receive a permanent extension to guarantee the security of duration and consistency.

This permanent extension is contemplated in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill of 2010.

More information by Litigation Law Firm –

Do You Have the Exceptional Work Skills?

The philosophy of the American government as far as admission is concerned, is that it must protect the American worker.

Only those who can contribute to the national economy, to the cultural interest or to the well being of the U.S. have the right to work in the UnitedStates. We are not referencing exceptional cases of refugees who are forced to flee their countries for political or economic reasons.
We will talk here about the “H” category as now redefined in the Immigration Act of 1990 as the “Employment Based First, Second, or Third Category”.

We know that those who wish to immigrate permanently to the United States must obtain a “Green Card”, which is essential in order to have the right to such permanent residency and to work.

Let us now look at options which give the lawful “right to work”.
The difference between the “H” visa and the “Employment Based Preference” is that the latter gives the right to permanent American residency whereas the “H” visa is temporary and is only valid initially for three years with a possibility for renewal for an additional two years.

This means that if you wish to work in the United States and you possess the required qualifications, you are eligible for an “H” visa as long as you retain your residence abroad.
The “Employment Based Preference” indicates a permanent relocation to the new U.S. residency.
The qualifications for the two categories vary greatly.

An “H” visa requires recognized talents whereas the “Employment Preference” requires exceptional talents which are out of the ordinary and which must be recognized by specialists in the profession.

For example, a singer who is well known in her city would be a possible candidate for an “H” visa, but unless she has had sustained fame nationally or internationally she may not be able to obtain an ” Employment Based Preference” to become a permanent resident.
Frequently in the field of immigration, interpretations are not always consistent. The same candidate for a visa may be simultaneously eligible for an “H” and/or for “Employment Based Preference”.
How can one prove that one has exceptional qualities?

By producing a file full of diplomas, certificates of competency, affidavits of specialists, articles from newspapers, and any documentation attesting to the expertise of the individual, the applicant is arming himself for positive reply.

Those who work in the artistic fields must present proof of publicity, advertising and especially engagement contracts.
In the case of union disputes or a strike, a certificate obtained ahead of time from the Department of Immigration will be postponed to a future date if the holder is not in the United States yet. It is the union which must decide to accept a non-American wishing to exercise a job which is controlled by the union; the labor certificate will only become valid if the union grants its consent.
The “Employment Based Preference” requires the offer to the foreigner of an existing job.

This offer can be made by a third party, by the individual himself if he has hired an American employee and maintains a going enterprise, or by the agent of a foreign artist. A labor certification is not required for the H category since it is a temporary visa (see exceptions noted in chapter one). Note, however, that a labor certification attestion (LCA) is required for the H1 visa.
The H visa has two major advantages. First, it allows the immediate family and support staff to accompany the beneficiary. It also allows you to hold on to the tax advantages of your country of origin in certain circumstances where you maintain direct, consistent and permanent ties to your home country. Note that there have been numerous changes to the immigration statute in connection with visas for those in the entertainment field and you are encouraged to review Chapter One for this purpose.

More information here: – O1 VISA LAWYER / O1B Visa – and Law Offices of Simone Bertollini Immigration Lawyer in NJ –

Business Visas

The United States and foreign countries have attempted to facilitate investments and exchanges as well as professional commercial services between business people who are American and qualified foreign nationals thus allowing them to cross international borders with a greater degree of frequency and legal authority.
Four visa categories have been established relative to such movement: 1. The B1 visa for business visitors; 2. The H visa for professionals; 3. The E1 and E2 visa for importers/exporters and investors; 4. The L1 visa for intracorporate transfers;
In order to be able to use one of these temporary visas within their framework, it is imperative that applicants be business people. The agreements define a business person to be one who is involved in the trade of goods or services or who is an active investor.
The principal objective of the immigration status is to ease travel for business people, be they American or foreigners, between reciprocal countries on the condition that they do not intend to establish a permanent residence in the U.S.A.

The B-1 Visa for Business Visitors.
In order to be able to enter temporarily in the United States, a business visitor must declare the specific reasons for his visit and should be included in one of the seven professional categories.
They are the following:
research and design; business expansion; manufacturing and production; marketing; sales; distribution; active sales service; general services such as: management, financial services, public relations, advertising and tourism.
Professionals and people who do business without being paid in the United States, will have to acquire a B-1 visa at the American Consulate in their home country.
Moreover, a person can enter the United States with a B1 visa for the purpose of after sales service on equipment or machinery bought in a foreign country.
This will apply for the life of the guaranty or service agreement.
The business visitors not listed above with a B1 visa will be equally admitted without another visa for as long as they can prove at the border, that they come temporarily to the United States to do legitimate business, to attend a conference, or for any other legitimate business reason and as long as they are not paid a salary while in the United States.

The EB-5 Program: Job Creation, Capital Infusion, and Immigration through Investment,

The EB-5 program is congressionally mandated and has been in existence since 1990. Congress intended the program to create jobs for Americans and stimulate investment, at the rate of ten direct jobs per investor family.

Subsequently, a Pilot Program which created the Regional Center concept was passed into law.

The regional center pilot program allows U.S. sponsors to create investment opportunities in which the investor could place their  funds. The benefit of this investment opportunity is that the job creation component would become the responsibility of the Regional Center sponsor instead of investors.

In this case, the law allows the sponsor to create ten jobs directly and indirectly within a prescribed geographic area known as census tracts.

The word „directly‟ implies that the U.S. employee hired by the Regional Center will be working full time for 35 hours per week and that a W2 form, demonstrating the employee‟s income, will be filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The word „indirect‟ or „induced‟ refers to those jobs which are „deemed‟ to have been created in the community as a direct stimulus result of the new Regional Center.

All businesses must have been created after 1990. Thus, while each investor family must generate ten jobs for US residents or citizens, the direct and indirect jobs may be combined in order to meet the requisite total. The job creation component is established pursuant to an economic model which is developed by qualified economists and submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as part of the application for regional center designation.

It is clear that the EB-5 program has had a checkered history, among which there were minor setbacks along the way. However, through legislation enacted in 2001, Congress demonstrated that it wanted to ensure the preservation of the EB-5 program through an increased structural approach. Since then, the program has demonstrated a greater level of security, although the program does require, intrinsically, that each investment carry an investment „risk‟.

What is this risk? First, the investor must assess and determine the financial risk of the project. Second, he must ensure that the documentation and approvals at both the USCIS and consular levels are met. Third, initially the investor will only be receiving a two year conditional residency.

Ultimately, this will translate into permanent residency status only when the sponsor creates the project and can prove that the jobs necessary to the lifting of the conditional status have been created (a total of ten direct and indirect jobs per investor).

That being said, the future of the EB 5 program is very promising. An increasing amount of people are aware of its existence, its utility, and its benefits. The number of investors signing up with responsible and viable regional centers is continuing to grow as they view the program as a fast track to US residency wrapped in a valuable investment.

More politicians and economic development officers understand the nuances of the program which has now created thousands of jobs and generated billions of dollars into the US economy.

The eb5 pilot program is a logical and natural win/win platform for the U.S. economy, U.S. sponsors, and foreign investors.

More information about : International Business Litigation

Can I get a green card if I have a criminal conviction?

Can I get a green card if I have a criminal conviction?

Under U.S. immigration law, the term Moral turpitude refers to an action that is morally reprehensible and intrinsically wrong.

Most of the immigration offenses are included in the category of crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), or aggravated felonies. U.S. federal immigration law makes an alien convicted of a CIMT or who admits committing the essential elements of a CIMT ineligible to enter the U.S., obtain a temporary O-1A visa or a green card, with only very few exceptions available.

The CIMT is one of the oldest and most common ground of forced removal from the United States, along with the removal of aliens that committed entry without inspection. It was introduced for the first time in 1891, providing the removal of people guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Although it was introduced in the U.S. federal law more than one hundred years ago, there is still no clear definition of what it is a CIMT. While the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that a CIMT refers to acts that are per se vile or involving fraud or deception, the federal district courts have expressed different interpretation of this subject.

The crimes involving moral turpitude generally fall into three different categories:

  • Crimes against property (blackmail, arson, burglary, receipt of stolen property);
  • Crimes committed against the U.S. government (tax evasion, corruption, fraud against the government);
  • Crimes committed against the person (statutory rape, murder, aggravated assault, robbery, child neglect).

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the conviction of a CIMT makes a foreign national ineligible to come to the U.S. or obtain immigration benefits. If the immigrant is already in the country, he or she could be precluded from even getting a Green Card or become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The laws on crimes of moral turpitude is constantly changing and only an immigration lawyer that is familiar with the local criminal laws and the federal immigration regulations is thus able to provide a comprehensive analysis of the case. You may apply for the “Petty Offense Exception” if:

  • you were less than 18 years old at the time of the crime;
  • the sentence was imposed more than 5 years ago;
  • the maximum penalty for the crime does not exceed 1 year in jail and actual sentence was less than 180 days in jail.

Another way to get a Visa despite a conviction for a CIMT is to apply for a Waiver under the Section 212(h) of the INA.

An Introduction to US Immigration

The U.S. immigration system is essentially divided into three categories for those seeking permanent residency: Close Family Ties: such as spouses, parents, brothers and sisters or adult children;  Education: those with at least a bachelor‟s degree and preferably a master‟s degree or those with no less than 12 years of work experience; Money: those with no less than $500,000 or $1 million to invest in a qualified Regional Center in the United States or their own enterprise.
Realistically, those with family ties will seek to apply for residency through this process if: such ties are of a close degree, the waiting period is not long, and the petitioner, or sponsor, has the financial ability to endorse such an application.

Those with a higher education, referred to as „skilled or professional workers‟, will need to identify a US sponsor willing to hire them for a specific job, at a specific salary, with a specific job description.

Often times this poses a serious challenge for any foreign national as US employers generally seek to hire employees from within the US. Furthermore, the employer must demonstrate that it is financially solvent during the entire process time period in order to ensure that the employee will continue to be gainfully employed at the end of the process.

Consequently, we are left with the “Money” alternative.

The EB-5 Pilot Program was created as a job creation and foreign investment program specifically to encourage high net worth individuals to migrate to the US, stimulate the US economy, and make a valuable contribution to society.
While there are no English language skills requirements, the individual has several other qualifications which they are required to meet; most of these qualifications will be discussed throughout this book.


Removal proceedings begin with a Notice to Appear (NTA), which is a document issued to noncitizens who the government believes are inadmissible or removable, and who will not be subjected to a summary form of removal such as reinstatement of removal or expedited removal. In other words, it is issued to place an individual in a full removal proceeding before an immigration judge, which will determine whether the noncitizen is to be removed or allowed to remain in the U.S. Various officials within DHS are empowered to issue NTAs in a variety of circumstances.

The NTA explains why the government thinks you should be deported from the U.S. and it normally provides you with your first court date.

It is extremely important that you appear at all of your immigration court dates. You cannot send someone (even your immigration attorney) to appear in your place. If you do not appear at your scheduled hearing, the hearing will take place in absentia (in your absence), and the judge will likely order you deported. In this situation, all the government has to do is prove that the NTA was properly served on you, and that you are removable.

If you miss your court hearing, you may move to reopen the case, but only if you can:

–        show “exceptional circumstances” for being absent;

–         prove that you did not receive notice; or

–         prove that you were in state or federal custody.

Under INA 239(a)(1) (2012), an NTA should include:

–         the nature of the proceedings;

–         the legal authority under which the proceedings are conducted;

–         the acts or conduct alleged to be in violation of the law;

–         the charges against the noncitizen and the statutory provisions alleged to have been violated.

The nature of the proceedings is represented on the NTA by three checkable boxes labeled:

–         “You are an arriving alien”;

–         “You are an alien present in the United States who has not been admitted or paroled”, or

–          “You have been admitted to the United States, but are deportable for the following reasons stated below.”

The NTA not only provides notice of the charges against the noncitizen but also serves as notification of the time and place of his hearing before the immigration judge (“IJ”). It is possible to change venue after the NTA has been filed by filing a motion to change venue and demonstrating good cause. You can apply for a change of venue at any time during your case, but the judge is more likely to grant you your request if you apply early. If you plan to request a change of venue, you should do so at the master calendar hearing.

If an individual hearing is held, you will be given the opportunity to give testimony and have witnesses testify on his or her behalf. At the conclusion of the hearing, the immigration judge will either make an oral decision on the matter, or will release a written decision at a later date.

If you have been ordered deported, you have 30 days from the date of the decision to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).


You may apply for a replacement, if you have been issued a Declaration of Intention, Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, or Repatriation Certificate, or to apply for a special certificate of naturalization as a U.S. citizen to be recognized by a foreign country which has been lost, mutilated, or destroyed, or if your name has been changed by marriage or by court order after the document was issued and you wish a document in the new name.

If you are a naturalized citizen who desires to obtain recognition as a citizen of the United States by a foreign country, you may apply for a special certificate for that purpose.

good immigration lawyer will prepare and send your immigration form with the proper documentation to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service

What is the extraordinary ability visa?

Only U.S. citizens are allowed to live and work in the United States. U.S. citizenship can be acquired by birth in one of the 50 States (or U.S. territories), or by birth abroad from one or both U.S. citizen parents.

Those that are not U.S. citizens are allowed to enter the country if they have a Visa. There are two main categories of Visas: immigrant Visas and non-immigrant Visas.

The O-1 Visa is for aliens of extraordinary ability that are coming temporarily to the United States to work in their field of specialization for a sponsoring U.S. employer. The O-1 is one of the most sought Visa categories, because:

It is not subject to annual quotas

It can be used by J-1 Visa holders that are subject to the 2-yesr rule

No minimum salary is required by law

There is a low filing fee to be paid to USCIS

The processing time is much quicker than any other Visa

On the other hand, it is not easy to qualify for an O-1 Visa. First, the job must fit into one of the O-1 Visa categories, which are the arts, education, athletics, science, and business. Second, the foreign worker must have acquired national or international recognition in his or her field. There are several criteria provided by USCIS to prove national or international acclaim, and at least 3 must be satisfied.

These criteria include:

Receipt of a nationally or internationally-recognized award
Judging the work of others
Substantial recognition by peers
Membership in associations of distinguished reputation
Employment in a leading or essential capacity
Receipt of a high salary
Original contributions of major significance in the field
Other comparable evidence

Al  Also, a peer consultation letter must be included in the petition. If the O-1 Visa is approved by USCIS, the foreign worker can go to a U.S. Consulate and apply for a Visa stamp. Once arrived in the United States, he or she will have to apply for a Social Security Number.

The O-1 Visa is granted for a period of 3 years. It can be extended for periods of 1 year at a time. It is a dual intent Visa, meaning that an application for permanent residency (Green Card) can be filed while the alien is in the U.S. on O-1 Visa status.

Generally, O-1 Visa holders can apply for the EB1 Green Card for extraordinary ability. This Visa is the best possible, and it allows self-sponsorship.

However, it is worth to note that the EB-1 petitions require much more evidence than O-1 Visa petitions, and that only the best immigration lawyers have sufficient experience with these kinds of Visas. It is estimated that USCIS rejects approximately 50% of the EB-1 petition received.

Declare yourself a “non-immigrant” on your tax returns. Border Crossings.

There are two types of border crossings which are of focus at this time.

The first involves the initial border crossing after approval for residency abroad at the U.S. embassy.

The second is the border crossing when returning to the U.S. from a trip abroad while a resident of the United States.

As to the initial border crossing, at the final interview, the consul will approve the application for residency and hand the investor a precious sealed envelope with the approval notice.

Along with the investor‟s immediate family, the sealed envelope must be presented to any Department of Homeland Security official at any approved port of entry such as at an international airport, seaport, or land post within four months of the interview.

The immigration officer will open the envelope, assess its authenticity and then stamp the passports of the entrants with a red I-551 stamp to demonstrate lawful entry into the U.S.

The actual residency cards will be received in the mail approximately three months thereafter, as they will be ordered to be manufactured, however the stamp will be valid for one year.

The second entry concerns those investors who have become residents of the U.S., however are either away for long periods of time or experience high frequencies of absence.

For individuals who fall into this category, it is essential that they carry an up to date binder with documents which demonstrate that they intend to remain residents of the United States.

Such documents include U.S. tax returns, real estate tax bills, current credit card charges, evidence of family continually living in the U.S., etc.
This „empowerment binder‟ will allow the officer to review the residency in a better light with regard to the intent of the green card holder to remain a resident of the U.S. Each investor should ensure that he or she retain a valid passport and a return airline ticket to the U.S.


The term conviction means that a court has entered a formal judgment of guilt in your case. If a formal judgment has not yet been entered, you may still be “convicted” if:

–         A judge or a jury has found you guilty, you have entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere,

–         or you have admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and

–         The judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty, fine, community service, or

–         restraint on your liberty to be imposed.

Basically, if you were found guilty or you admitted sufficient facts of your guilt and you somehow

have been punished for your actions, you probably have a conviction for the purposes of your immigration court proceedings.

In 1996, the definition of conviction changed and the courts have been determining which criminal convictions have immigration consequences.

Some convictions are no longer considered convictions in criminal court but are still considered convictions for the purposes of removal proceedings. For instance, the following are considered convictions for immigration purposes:

–      “Deferred adjudications” are convictions that are given in “specialized courts” (such as drug courts and domestic violence courts) whereby a judge accepts the defendant’s plea and orders treatment. Upon completion of this treatment, the judge vacates or reduces the defendant’s original plea. Therefore, the conviction is vacated or reduced for criminal purposes. However, the initial plea combined with the judge’s order to attend a program is still considered a conviction for immigration purposes;

–         The Second Circuit has held that an expungement of a non-drug offense may be a conviction for immigration purposes.

–       Convictions that are vacated for reasons solely related to rehabilitation or immigration hardships, rather than because of procedural or substantive defects in the underlying criminal proceedings, may still be considered convictions for immigration purposes.

On the other hand, the following are not considered convictions for the purpose of removal proceedings:

–         Youthful offender adjudications (as defined by Federal law);

–          A conviction that a trial or appeals court vacates because it was legally defective, and

–         A disorderly conduct violation.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, a criminal conviction can result in deportation, denial of citizenship, and denial of re-entry into the U.S. A criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges and maintain your immigration status.


Naturalization is the legal processes affecting the choice to adopt the nationality of a nation by an individual who is not a citizen of that country at the time of their birth. In the U.S., there are many requirements that must be met before an individual can obtain citizenship, or in some case, dual citizenship.

 Following are the requirements for U.S. Citizenship: 

–         the applicant must be 18 years old or older at the time of filing for naturalization

–         the applicant must be a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years before being eligible for naturalization

–         the applicant must be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application

–         the applicant must have continuous residence in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up to the time of admission to citizenship

–         the applicant must have lived within the State or one of its territories with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence for at least three months prior to the date of filing

–         the applicant must demonstrate good moral character for 5 years prior to filing for naturalization, and during the period leading up to the administration of the Oath of Allegiance

–         the applicant must have an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law, and

–        the applicant must be able to read, speak, write, and understand English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government.

 One of the requirements of U.S. Citizenship through naturalization is to take the naturalization test to demonstrate that you are able to read, write and understand English and that you have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government.

 Naturalization Process

 Generally, the naturalization process includes the following steps: 

–   an individual must determine his or her eligibility to become a U.S. citizen

–   must prepare Form N-400 Application for Naturalization

–   submit Form N- 400 Application for Naturalization

–   go to the biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment, if required

–   complete the interview

–   receive a decision from USCIS on your Form N- 400

–   receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance

–   take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States

–   Understand your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen



What is a business Green Card?

The requirements for the immigrant entrepreneurs are, in general, as follows:

Fifth preference: Employment creation investor:

(i) The investor must normally invest $1 million in a new United States business and create jobs for ten United States workers. If, in fact, the investor is investing in a high unemployment area of the United States, called a “target area”, or a rural area of the United States with a population of below 20,000, the required investment amount is cut to $500,000. The list of target areas are provided by relevant state authorities. You should consult with a qualified immigration attorney.

(ii) For the investor who wishes to bail out a troubled business, the investor must invest the required sum and simply maintain the status quo of the employees. (It is not clear at this time whether the number of employees must be a minimum of ten.)

(iii) For the investor who is infusing capital into an ongoing business, which is not in trouble, the investor must increase its net worth by 40% or increase its number of employees by 40% over a two-year period.

The investor must show that his or her investment funds were not obtained through any criminal immigrationviolation.

The employment creation visa yields a conditional or probationary stay of two years for the investor and his or her family, at the end of which he or she must prove that he or she met the requirements of his or her particular route to this green card, as referenced in the initial business plan.

Consequences of CIMT Convictions

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) are serious in nature and can result in severe punishment. CIMT cover a broad range of crimes, including things such as theft and forgery or crimes that result in bodily harm is either threatened or caused by an act that is reckless, including murder, assault, manslaughter, rape and the majority of sex offenses. There is actually no statutory definition for CIMT, so

For immigrants, admitting to or being convicted of CIMT can result in admissibility. Being convicted of such a serious crime can result in you being able to stay in the U.S. or return to the country. Because of the design of the wording for CIMT, many crimes could fall into that category if the court system chooses to do so.

Just one charge and conviction could be the end of your dreams of living in the U.S. An experienced defense attorney can fully assess the situation and complete an investigation that will reveal all of the facts. Only with seasoned legal help do you have the chance to avoid admissibility to the U.S.

Here are the consequences:

  • If an individual is convicted of one CIMT, he or she may be sentenced to a year of longer if the crime was committed within 5 years of being lawfully admitted to the U.S. or the crime was committed within 10 years of being admitted to the U.S. if the alien has legally been given permanent resident status under the guidelines of being an informer of criminal terrorist activity.
  • An individual becomes inadmissible if the crime warrants a penalty of more than a year imprisonment or if the sentence is for more than 6 months in jail. He or she is also inadmissible if convicted of two or more CIMT acts.
  • If inadmissible because of CIMT, naturalization is barred for five years.

CIMT are a serious matter that require experienced legal counsel to help maneuver through the courts and to offer expert guidance.

What is International family law?

Family and child law matters involve statutes, private international law treaties and human rights. Moreover, such cases need to be resolved sensibly and effectively because of their emotional component aside from financial and legal issues. Any adoption or divorce can be stressful and the complexities of international law can add psychological strains. Sometimes international factors complicate the situation and an italian lawyercould be essential for its outset. Couples or solicitors do not realise that there are international family law elements to their case.

Some of the most common international child law cases include:


Child abduction

Custody, support or maintenance

Relocation and removal of children

Parental kidnapping

Establishing (or disproving) paternity

Assisted reproductive technologies

Immigration law issues

Each year thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from abroad and many families in other countries adopt U.S. children. Inter-country adoptions are ruled over by both the laws of the country in which the child and parents live. Moreover, the law prevent an international child abduction due to a custody dispute between a U.S. citizen parent and a foreign national. The Hague Convention of October 25th 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty that provides the children’s protection from the harmful effects of abduction. The International Child Abduction Remedies Act (or ICARA) is a United States federal law and establishes procedures to implement the Hague Convention. It promotes international cooperation in the area of child abduction, ensuring “the prompt return of children to the state of their habitual residence when they have been wrongfully removed”. Custody and support orders are subject to modification. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.  Nowadays, 92 States all over the world, are party to the Convention.

On the other side, some of the most common international family law cases include:

Domestic and international divorce

Disputes over where to issue divorce proceedings

Domestic violence

Protective orders and injunctions

Gender based violence and forced marriage

Rights between same-sex couples

Grandparent rights

Property distribution

Freezing assets to prevent them being moved to another country

Most of family law proceedings take place because of the conclusion of a marriage or couple relationship. Family law makes it extremely important to seek advice from a qualified lawyer. The lawyer is usually able to help people understand the international divorce laws and process of separating assets. Every State has a set of laws in place to determine the rights of the parties.


The most common reasons non-permanent residents (visa holders) are deported or removed from the United States are if they entered the U.S. without inspection or without valid entry documents, or if they entered legally on a visa, but then overstayed the period of time they were authorized to remain.

Visa holders should be prepared to prove that they are entering the United States for allowable functions and that they intend to leave in accordance with the terms of their visa. In instances of inspections at the U.S. border, however, foreign nationals can in fact be determined “inadmissible” and will not be allowed entry into the U.S.

Those individuals are generally either allowed to retreat their applications for admission into the U.S. or are simply denied entry into the U.S. and must immediately depart.

Even lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have remained outside the United States for more than one year, must be prepared to provide evidence at the port of entry that their absence was caused by circumstances beyond their control.

Any individual that is in the U.S. may be subject to deportation or removal if he or she:

–         is present in the U.S. in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act or any other U.S. law;

–         is an inadmissible alien according to immigration laws in effect at the time of entry in the US or adjustment of non- immigrant status;

–         terminated a conditional permanent residence;

–         violated non-immigrant status;

–         was convicted of criminal offenses;

–         committed marriage fraud to gain admission to the U.S.;

–         aided any other person to enter the U.S. illegally;

–         engaged in activities that endangers public safety or creates a risk of national security.

Generally, removal proceedings begin with a Notice to appear (NTA) issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and filed with the immigration court. A Notice to Appear contains general information about the immigrant (name, country of origin, etc.), but also states the reasons for the deportation or removal.

Moreover, when an alien is determined to be removable, if eligible, they can apply for a form of relief to avoid having to leave the U.S. The types of relief are usually divided into two categories: discretionary relief or administrative/judicial relief.


Under most circumstances, if you are in the U.S. without legal status, it is not a crime. Anyhow, once an alien has been removed or deported from the States, he or she may not return. If you will be found into the United States after being deported, you will be charged with illegal reentry, a federal immigration crime.

In fact, Title 8 U.S. Code 1326 states that is illegal for any person who “has been denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed or has departed the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal is outstanding” to enter, attempt to enter, or at any time be found in the United States. This means that it is a federal crime for an individual to be in the United States following any sort of removal action.

Under Title 8 U.S. Code 1326, the “basic statutory maximum penalty for reentry after deportation is a fine under Title 18, imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.” However, if a person was removed because of a felony conviction or convictions for three or more misdemeanors, the penalty can be up to 10 years in prison as well as a possible fine. If the conviction was for an aggravated felony, then the possible punishment is a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a fine.

An immigrant that is convicted of illegal reentry has virtually no chance to obtain any immigration benefit. Illegal reentry is an aggravated felony under U.S. immigration laws. A conviction can be avoided only through the skilled representation of a good criminal and immigration lawyer.

Green Card for through family reunification

U.S. Citizens can sponsor their immediate relatives for a green card. Immediate relatives include spouse, unmarried child under the age 21 and parents. Immediate relatives do not have to wait in line for visa number or priority dates to becomes available. This is because immigration law provides that there are unlimited number of visas available in this category.

This type of green card is also known as “family based” green card and there are two main steps:

US citizen files form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative);

after filing Form I-130, the US citizen will receive a Notice of Action(Form I-795) stating that the application has been either received or approved by USCIS. After receiving this notice, you are eligible to file for Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status). When you file I-485, you must include a copy form I-130 receipt or approval. Note that you can apply form I-485 even if I-130 application is pending.

After you file form I-485, you and your lawyer will get a notice asking you to appear for biometric collection. Biometric collection involves taking your picture and fingerprints. The notice will include a specific location and time at which you have to appear for biometric collection.

You may also be called for an interview at the nearest USCIS office.

At this time, remember that you must provide all original documentation provided with the initial application. After the interview and all other processes are complete, you will get the final decision in the mail.

If you applied for a green card, sit tight, because the wait could be very long. The most common and easy way to keep track of your application, in other words, to check your green card status, is through the USCIS website.

You will be asked to enter your Receipt Number, which you have been provided from the USCIS after you applied for your permanent resident card. As a matter of fact, after you apply for green card, you will get a receipt notice (Form I-797) by mail.

With this receipt number, you can easily check green card status, go to the USCIS website and enter your receipt number. Once you click the ‘Check Status’ button, you will be provided with the current status of your green card application.

How do I immigrate to the United States?

An Immigrant Visa is issued to a foreign national who intends to live and work permanently in the United States. In such cases, a relative or employer sponsors the individual by filing an application form with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). The application is then sent to the appropriate U.S. Consulate or Embassy. An intending immigrant must present the immigrant visa at a U.S. port-of-entry prior to the expiration of the immigrant visa. An intending immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident once the immigrant visa and accompanying paperwork is reviewed and endorsed by a CBP Officer.

Nonimmigrant visas are issued for several reasons. Generally, an individual applies directly to the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad for a tourist (B-2) or business nonimmigrant (B-1) visa. However, those who want to enter the United States for studying or working may require certain authorization and documentation prior to applying for a nonimmigrant visa. Issuance of a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States but it indicates that a U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate has reviewed the application and that officer has determined that the individual is eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. It will be then the CBP Officer at the port-of-entry to conduct an inspection to determine if the individual is eligible for admission under U.S. immigration law.

Green card is the informal name for an ID card attesting to the permanent resident status of an immigrant in the United States.

The steps to becoming a Green Card holder (permanent resident) depend on whether people currently live inside or outside the United States.

The main Green Card categories are:

�         –  Green Card Through Family
– Green Card Through a Job
– Green Card Through Refugee Status

Sometimes, Green Card applications are denied, and only a top litigation lawyer will be able to file a motion to reopen or to reconsider with the USCIS or the immigration court.

What is a Regional Center?

A regional center is no more than a defined geographical area in the U.S within which a sponsor seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, the creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.

The regional center can be as large as an entire state or as small as a one square city block.

In developing and operating a designated regional center, the regional center seeks to exploit a specific use for its benefit and those of foreign investors.

In doing so, the regional center ascertains the target market and demographic to which the regional center will deliver its services. The following is a sample of the uses that a regional center may chose in modeling its projects:

  • Film & TV Production
  • International Traffic & Cargo
  • Commercial Office Space
  • Higher Education
  • Airport & Seaport Operations
  • Tourism
  • Mixed Hotel, Office, Retail &
  • Residential space
  • Light & Heavy manufacturing
  • Renovation of obsolete buildings Historical sites &
  • similar Institutions Construction and renovation
  • Gaming & Casino sector
  • Apartments & Condominiums Banking/ Lending
  • Mining and exploration
  • Health Services
  • Manufacturing & Research
  • Hotel, Leisure Resort
  • Trade Schools/ Culinary Schools Technology and
  • technology transfers Transportation
  • Conference Centers & Exhibition space
  • Cruise Line support
  • Performing Arts
  • Mixed use : Real Estate
  • Harbor facilities
  • Marine Sector
  • Air Cargo
  • Warehouse Distribution

Regional centers are presumed to require a $1 million investment per investor family, unless the project is situated in a Targeted Employment Area („TEA‟).

This  „TEA‟ can be located either in a rural area where the population is determined to be 20,000 or less, or, where the unemployment of the defined area is no less than 150% of the national average. For example, there are many resort projects which are located in mountain areas, where the local population did not exceed 20,000 in the last census count.

Other projects may be situated in areas which are in need of rejuvenation and where the unemployment levels are high.

Under either scenario, the Congressional intent is to provide and encourage the much needed economic activity and development to these often remote or blighted areas.

Sponsors of regional centers undertake a great deal of responsibilities to develop, manage, and complete the project.

Their duties and obligations are incorporated in the parameters of documents known as the Private Placement Memorandum, Subscription Agreements, and Operating Agreements.

These documents govern the conduct of the sponsor and the investor and must be strictly respected and abided by all policies.

No document can be signed within the U.S. as the program is strictly designed for foreign nationals.

Family Based Immigration in the United States. How does it work?

This visa category permits the immediate relatives of United States citizens to immigrate without waiting in a quota or preference line. Mere marriage to a United States citizen or permanent resident does not automatically create resident status in the United States. The United States relative must file a petition on behalf of the foreign relative, and the foreign relative must undergo an interview by the United States government for admissibility to the United States as an immigrant. However, less immediate ties than a spouse or parent of a United States citizen require that a person apply for his or her visa through a series of categories which may or may not be current at the time the person’s application is approved. A United States citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to sponsor a relative to immigrate.

There are FOUR basic categories of family preference:

First, adult sons and daughters of United States citizens;

Second, spouses, and adult sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents or green cardholders;

Third, married children of United States citizens; and

Fourth, brothers and sisters of United States citizens.

A bulletin is issued by the United States Department of State showing the status of the various visa categories in relation to the preferences for the worldwide countries which have not over-subscribed the system as well as a breakdown for those countries which are over-subscribed. There is varying waiting periods in these categories, depending on the backlog of prior applications on a worldwide basis and on a per country basis in the case of certain high demand countries. Also, some cases are delayed because a waiver of inadmissibility is required. These waits are unpredictable, and can change from month to month, since the waiting line depends upon the number of people with earlier priority dates on their approved applications who actually complete the process when the time comes that the visa is available.

Non-Immigrant Visas: which are the most common?

B-1 visa: Visitor for Business:

The alien may engage in commercial transactions not involving gainful employment, such as negotiating contracts, litigation, recognition of foreign judgments, consulting with clients or business associates. He or she may also participate in scientific educational, professional, religious, or business meeting. He or she may receive no salary or remuneration other than payment of expenses incidental to his or her temporary stay.

B-2 visa: Visitor for Pleasure:

This category permits entry for tourism, social visits to friends or relatives, health purposes, social conventions, participation in amateur musical or sporting events with no remuneration.

F Visa for Students and Trainees

Academic Student:

The applicant must have a foreign residence which he or she has no intention of abandoning, be a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study, and seek to enter the United States temporarily solely for the purpose of studying at a recognized school. The applicant may study only at the school he or she designates and which has been approved. The applicant must have available sufficient funds and outside financial support to ensure he or she will not become a public charge or accept unauthorized employment. He or she must be proficient in English or receive training to make him or her proficient, intend to depart the United States at the conclusion of his or her studies, and be qualified to attend the particular institution.

All students are given permission to be in the United States for “duration of status,” that is for the period of time needed to complete the educational program plus 60 days. If a student does not leave the U.S. by the end of the 60 days, he or she may be charged with criminal contempt.

At the end of the course of study a period of work authorization may be requested for the purpose of gaining experience in the field of study, known as “practical training.” If qualified, the student may also change non-immigrant status to a temporary non-immigrant work visa or adjust status to a permanent resident visa.


Depending on your immigration status and/or criminal record, you may be subject to mandatory detention. If you are in mandatory detention, you will have to fight your removal proceedings (make the requests for forms of relief) from inside the DHS detention center or the jail or prison contracting with DHS. You will not be released from the detention center until your removal proceedings are completed.

If you win your immigration case, then you will be released. If, however, you lose and are ordered deported, you will remain in the detention center until you leave the U.S.

Noncitizens who are deportable for certain crimes (including possession of a firearm) must be detained. In 2000, the BIA held if you were released from physical custody after criminal arrest (regardless of whether you were sentenced to incarceration) after October of 1998, you are subject to mandatory detention.

In 2003, the Supreme Court decided the government is allowed to hold noncitizens who have been convicted of any crime that we are going to explain below, in mandatory detention without a bond hearing. So, if you were convicted of any of the crimes listed below and released from physical custody after October of 1998, you are subject to mandatory detention and are ineligible for a bond. If you are in this situation, you will have to defend your removal proceedings from within the detention center.

Mandatory Detention of Inadmissible Noncitizens

If you are an inadmissible noncitizens, you may be subject to mandatory detention if you have committed any offense listed in INA 212(a)(2); 8 U.S.C.  1182(a)(2) (2006) or INA  212(a)(3)(B); 8 U.S.C.  1182(a)(3)(B) (2006).

Some of the grounds for inadmissibility that make you subject to mandatory detention include, but are not limited to:

–        one CIMT, although the petty offense exceptions apply;

–         a controlled substance offense;

–         a drug trafficking offense;

–         two or more offenses with aggregate sentences of five years;

–         prostitution;

–         or a domestic violence offense or violation of an order of protection.

Mandatory Detention of Deportable Noncitizens

Some of the grounds for deportability that make you subject to mandatory detention include, but are not limited to:

–         two CIMTs at any time;

–         an aggravated felony;

–         a controlled substance offense, with the exception of possession of thirty grams of marijuana for personal use; or

–         a firearms offense.

You may also be subject to mandatory detention if you are a suspected terrorist.

If you are not subject to mandatory detention, but you are being detained in an immigration detention center (not the same as serving your criminal prison sentence), you may be able to request a bond hearing, sometimes referred to in immigration court as a “Joseph Hearing”.

A bond is similar to paying bail for your release from prison. If you are released on an immigration bond, you may be able to defend your removal proceedings from outside of the detention center. To prove eligibility for bond, you must demonstrate that you do not meet the requirements for mandatory detention and that you are not an arriving alien.

What is Voluntary Departure?

Most people refer to the process of obtaining permanent residency status for immigration purposes as “getting a green card”. The green card is a card that is issued as proof that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has granted its approval for you to be in the United States as a permanent resident. Once you have been issued a green card, or a permanent residency status, you can freely live and work in the U.S.

If you are a green card holder, you should keep in mind that your “LPR” represent your legal status in the United States; as long as you comply with the terms and responsibilities of your status and renew your green card on a regular basis, you are considerate a lawful resident. If you do not comply with the U.S. regulations, if you have been committed for a crime, and so forth, you could be removed from the country and be in need of a lawyer.

Voluntary departure is a form of removal viewed as an extreme option because it does not allow an alien to remain in the United States. Through a voluntary departure an alien can avoid the consequences of a formal removal order, which as opposed to the former, includes fines and temporary or permanent bars to re-admission in the United States.

If an alien was in the U.S. unlawfully, he or she may still be barred from re-entry for a number of years, even though the departure was voluntary.

If you have been granted voluntary departure, you must leave the U.S. within a period specified by an immigration judge. In same cases, there is a bond of at least $500 to ensure that the alien leaves during the assigned period.

Moreover, if voluntary departure is granted before the competition of removal proceedings, an alien must depart within 120 days. Instead, if the departure is granted at the end of removal proceedings, an alien must depart within 60 days. A non-citizen who fails to departure the U.S. within the time specified in the voluntary departure order becomes subject to civil penalties. A civil monetary penalty may range between $1000 and $5000.

Another consequence if you fail to depart the U.S. on time has to do with your chances of obtaining future U.S. immigration status. You will face an automatic ten-year bar from being granted cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, change of status, registry, and further voluntary departure.

The ten-year bar is probably the most severe consequence to failing to depart under a voluntary departure order. If a non-citizen fails to voluntarily depart, the voluntarily departure order becomes an order to removal. Aliens should only apply for an order of voluntary departure if they really intend to and are able to timely depart and satisfy any other conditions imposed.

How Do I Become a United States Citizen?

You may become a citizen in one of three ways:

Birth in the US – The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that anyone born in the US is a citizen of the US even if they hold dual citizenship.  Therefore, children born in the US are citizens whether their parents are citizens, permanent residents, temporary visa holders or illegal aliens. The only children born in the US to whom this rule does not apply are the children of foreign diplomats.

Naturalization – In general, you must satisfy the five following requirements in order to become a citizen through naturalization:

Residency – Most persons must first attain permanent residence before applying for naturalization. The primary exception to this rule are persons who served in the U.S. armed forces during a period of hostilities designated by the President.

You must be a permanent resident for five years before becoming naturalized although the law permits you to apply for naturalization 90 days prior to completing the residency period.

If you are married to a US. citizen, you may be eligible for naturalization within three years if you have been married to a US citizen for three years, your spouse has been a citizen for the entire three-year period, and you are living in “marital unity”.

If you are a member of the US armed forces, you may be eligible to naturalize without any specific period of residence if you are a permanent resident, you have served on active duty for a period of three years or more, and you are serving honorably, or were given an honorable discharge. If you have been discharged, you must apply for naturalization within six months to take advantage of this rule.

If you are the spouse of a US citizen who is assigned to work abroad by the US government or by certain designated companies or organizations, residency rules may not apply to you.

Departure from the US for a period of six months or more creates a rebuttable presumption that you have abandoned your residency. A departure for one year or more creates a conclusive presumption (not subject to appeal that you have abandoned your residency. Some people who obtain Re-Entry Permits in order to exit the US for more than one year may preserve their residency but may still break their residency for naturalization purposes unless they take further steps to preserve it.


Asylee or refugee status is a legal status given by the U.S. government to you if you apply for it and show likelihood that your life or freedom would be threatened in your home country “because of … race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

This means that you must show that you are being persecuted because of your membership or participation in one or more of these categories.

Aliens presently living in the United States who legitimately fear persecution in their home country may apply for asylum. The main difference between asylum and status as refugee is physical presence.

In fact while an alien can apply for refugee status while outside the United States, the same does not apply to applicant seeking to apply for asylum.

A person applying for asylum must already be in the United States or at least make an application at a point of entry. A person does not need to be in legal status to be approved for asylum, and can even be in deportation proceedings.

However, before asylum is given, an application must follow different requisites and meet eligibility guidelines.

In general, a person must apply for asylum within a year of arrival in the United States. Still, a person can be in the country longer if he or she can show that extraordinary circumstances related to the individual’s lack of filing within a year arose. A person may be able to apply even if a year has passed, if material circumstances that affect the person’s eligibility for asylum have changed. They can include changes in the individual’s own circumstances, his or her home country or other events.

Of course, if an individual who has previously applied for asylum and been denied by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals, he or she is barred from applying for this status again, unless he or she can show changed circumstances.

Moreover, if the individual has dual citizenship and can move to another country that will be safe for him or her and the third country agrees to this arrangement, asylum will not be granted.

If an individual was stopped at the border he or she may have to attend a hearing in which they describe their circumstances. The immigration will then determine if the individual has a credible fear of returning to their home country. The judge will also look to humanitarian concerns, such as your age or poor health.

In order to apply for asylum an individual may file Form I-589,if is an available option. Within your application, you must submit an affidavit in which you describe the facts involved in your case. Furthermore, you may need to state evidence that helps substantiate your claim, such as membership cards or documents that show that you are part of a particular group that is being persecuted, medical records that show that you were harmed or tortured and newspaper articles.

Once you submit your application for asylum, you must attend an asylum interview where you will need to discuss information in your application, affidavit and background.


How do I get a Visa to visit the U.S.?

Citizens of certain countries may not require a U.S. tourist visa if the trip is less than 90 days. This is known as US Visa Waiver Program; however, there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for the VWP. Not all countries participate in the VWP, and not all citizens of participating countries qualify for the VWP.

Instead, if you wish to visit the U.S. for more than 90 days, you may require a Visitor Visa, which is also known as B2 Visa. Visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to people entering US temporarily for pleasure, tourism, or medical treatment.

Visitor visa is also known as B1/B2 visa and it is subject to approval. Just as all non-immigrant visas, you must apply and get the visitor visa stamped in your passport.

Tourist visa B2, is granted for a specific purpose only such as tourism, medical treatment, etc., so if you’re entering the US with this visa, you should not be involved in study, business or work. Instead, if the purpose of your trip is business, you may apply for a B1 Visa (US business visa).

As for the length of stay in U.S. with this visa, can be 6 months or even less, which is subject to grant at the port of entry at US airport on arrival.

The tourist visa does not allow to work, and violators may be subject to deportation from the U.S.

In order to obtain a Visitor Visa, each applicant must have a valid passport, submit the application form, pay the fee, and appear for the visitor visa interview at the nearest applicable US consulate in their country.

What is the B-1 Business Visa?

The B1 Visa or “Visitor for Business” Visa is intended for Business travelers who come to the United States for business activities of temporary nature and related activities that do not require actual labor work. The B-1 is a non-immigrant Visa and is obtained at the U.S. Consulate of the Country where the foreign national resides.

While in the United States as Business visitor, an individual may:

  • Attend business meetings;
  • Negotiate business and real estate contracts;
  • Participate in academic conferences;
  • Discuss planned investment or purchases;
  • Solicit sales;
  • Make investments or purchases;
  • Control the operations of a Company in which the foreign national has invested;
  • Receive temporary training from a U.S. Company;
  • Settle an estate;
  • Interview and hire staff;
  • Conduct research.

It is generally not allowed to work with a B-1 Visa, although there are very limited exceptions to this rule, such as the B-1 in lieu of the H-1B. Running a business and

gainful employment require a working visa application. If you are caught working on the B1 Visa, you may be placed in deportation proceedings and you will need to retain a defense lawyer.

Those entering with a B1 visa will generally be granted 6 months admission by the immigration officer at the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP). The maximum allowable period is one year and the CBP officer has absolute discretion to decide the length of the stay (1 to 12 months). If you are denied entry to the United States, you can file an immigration appeal. It may be possible to obtain a six-month extension to the visit visa as long as the candidate will be maintaining his or her visitor status. The B1 Visa can be issued for a single entry or for multiple entries.

If you are in the United States in another valid nonimmigrant status, you may be eligible to change to B-1 status, filing a Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status).  If you are from a Visa Waiver Program country, the denial of the B-1 Visa will automatically revoke an already approved travel authorization, and might prevent you from getting one.

Spouse and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. If they were to accompany you, they would have to apply for a B-2 tourist visa.

Stay of Removal Application – Stay of Removal Immigration – Motion to reopen

Stay of Removal Application – Stay of Removal Immigration – Motion to reopen

Deportation is the process of expelling a foreigner from the country.
As a non-citizen facing deportation, you may want to postpone removal while you attempt to get your case reopened or reconsidered.

Pursuant to INA  242(b)(3) and 8 U.S.C.  1252(b)(3), filing a petition for review of a removal order does not automatically stay the petitioner’ removal from the United States. However, the Courts of Appeals may issue a judicial stay of removal to prevent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from deporting a person while his/her petition for review is pending before the court.
A stay motion is filed with the Court of Appeals with jurisdiction over the petition for review of the removal order. An emergency stay motion is a motion that is presented in the Court without the normal “five business days notice” requisite. It is a special motion used for considering a decision quickly in order to avoid irreparable harm. An emergency motion provides immediate relief as the response is delivered quickly than a normal one by the court.
In the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware), an Emergency Stay response will be due within 7 days, with 3 days for a reply, if the motion requires expedited consideration. To the extent possible, clerk must be given advance notice by phone that an emergency motion will be filed.

Get more Information here:


criminal and immigration attorney will prepare and send your immigration forms with the proper documentation to the “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service”.

And we will inform you what documents you need to bring with you the date of the interview with the US Immigration Service, which include the certificates of dispositions of any criminal case ever filed against the applicant.

The lawyer prepares forms for applicants nationwide and internationally.

The requirements to file the application forms with the Immigration Services are all the same all over United States and the world. The lawyer will be with you during the complete process no matter where you live regarding your US immigration case.

He or she will keep you informed about any changes from the “US Citizenship and Immigration Service”.

Finally, the immigration lawyer will help you until you have your residency or green card.

How Do I Qualify for a Temporary Work Visa?

There are a number of types of visas which allow you to be employed in the U.S. What follows is a short list of some of the most common types of temporary work visas:

Treaty traders (E-1) – If you are an owner or a key employee of a business which conducts a substantial volume of trade between the U.S. and your country of citizenship, you may be entitled to prosecutorial discretion and be found eligible for E-1 status.

To qualify, your country must have an appropriate treaty with the U.S. Countries which have E-1 treaties with the U.S. include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.

Treaty investors (E-2) – If you are an owner or a key employee of a company where a substantial amount of capital has been invested in the U.S. and jobs have been created for U.S. workers, you may be eligible for E-2 status.

To qualify, your country must have an appropriate treaty with the U.S. Countries which have E-2 treaties with the U.S. include Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, the Congo, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Moldovia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia and Zaire. A number of other E-2 treaties have been signed, but are awaiting ratification by either the U.S. or the other country involved.

Can a Green Card holder be deported from the United States?

The Green Card guarantees to an immigrant the right to live and work permanently in the United States. The Green Card is granted for 10 years, except that spouses of U.S. Citizens are granted a 2-year Green Card of they have been married for less than 2 years. Previously, the Green Card was granted without conditions even to spouses of U.S. citizens, but Congress changed the law in an attempt to curb marriage fraud. Also, older Green Cards did not have an expiration date.

The right to a Green Card can be revoked by the Federal Government. The main and most common reason for revocation of Green Card and deportation from the United States is the commission of a crime of moral turpitude of an aggravated felony. There are other grounds for revocation of a Green Card. For example, an immigrant can be placed in removal proceedings if he or she has spent too much time outside the United States. Abandonment of residence is a ground for revocation of lawful permanent resident status.

In all cases, a Green Card holder will have the right to contest the grounds of removal and have a fair trial. The Notice to Appear is the document that contains the allegations against the immigrant, and it is filed with the immigration court. The court will schedule a first hearing, called master hearing, where the immigrant will be informed of the charges against him, and the court will note any form of relief sought by the immigrant.

At the next hearing, there will be a trial, where both the government attorney and your deportation lawyer will present the case to the Court. If the court enters a deportation order, it must be appealed with the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days.

Immigration appeals
 can be extremely complicated and technical, so that you should carefully pick your lawyer. If the BIA confirms the immigration court ruling, you can still appeal to a U.S. Court of Appeals and seek a stay of deportation while the appeal is pending.


Theft is a crime of taking of someone else’s property without his/her permission and depriving him/her permanently. Thief is someone who carries out an act of theft.

In some jurisdictions, theft is considered to be synonymous with larceny while in others it has replaced larceny. States that still have retained larceny have usually codified the common law definition within the State’s penal code.
However, theft has a very broad legal meaning which may include more than one category of crimes. In fact the term is used for some crimes against property, such as burglary, grand theft, larceny, robbery, embezzlement, library theft, identity theft, or fraud. Many jurisdictions create degrees of theft crimes.

Even if the 18 U.S. Code Section regulates certain categories of theft, there is a regulation at State level and theft is prosecuted by the State in which it occurred. One of the most important example is the California Theft Act of 1927 which introduced a variety of common law crimes in the robbery and nowadays distinguishes between two great types of theft:

– Grand theft:

It is the most serious category of offenses and can have severe consequences. It occurs when someone steals something worth more than $ 1000;

Property can be money, labor or property;

It is punishable by up to one year in jail or prison, and can either be seen as a misdemeanor or felony;

In most States, stealing an automobile or other vehicle is charged as “grand theft auto” and may be punished by imprisonment.

  1. – Petty or “petit” theft:

It refers to relatively minor crimes, also known as misdemeanors and it is the default category for all other robberies. The stolen property value is below a certain value specified by law.

Petty theft is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or six months in jail.

Thieves who continue to steal may become subject to life imprisonment in certain States. Those that are not U.S. citizens can also be subject to deportation. If you have been arrested or charged with a theft crime you should hire a criminal immigration lawyer with experience representing clients charged with theft crimes.

Different types of U.S. visas

Foreign nationals that want to visit the United States must obtain a visa from one of the U.S. Consulates unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or Visa Waiver Program countries. The same rule is valid for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are U.S. territories.

U.S. Visas were granted to 8.9 million foreigners visiting America and to 482,000 immigrants in 2012.

A Visa must be obtained unless an individual is

a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country;

a citizen of Canada, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau;

a British Overseas Territories Citizen from Bermuda or the Cayman Islands;

a citizen of the Bahamas;

a U.S. lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder).

There are different rules for Mexican citizens.

There are about 185 different types of U.S. visas, divided in two main categories:

Nonimmigrant visa – for visits of limited duration, such as business, employment or studies.

Immigrant visa – to permanently move to the U.S. At the port of entry, an immigrant visa holder is inspected and processed for a green card. Upon approval (admission stamp by a CBP officer) a stamp is placed on the foreign passport and it prove permanent resident status for 1 year.

In order to move permanently to the U.S., a foreign national must either have an immigrant visa or a dual intent visa, which is one that allows an immigrant to pursue permanent resident status while in possession of a temporary Visa. The H-1B Visa is the most common non-immigrant Visa allowing dual intent.

Coming to the U.S. on a work visa generally involves a  3-step process. First, the U.S. employer files a petition with USCIS requesting the Visa the best suit the foreign worker. If the employer’s petition is approved, it only authorizes the foreign worker to apply for a visa; the approved approval notice (Form I-797) is not an actual visa. The worker then applies for a visa at a U.S. consulate abroad, and is usually interviewed in his native country. If the U.S. consulate approves the visa, the foreign national is then allowed to come to America. At the U.S. border, airport, or other point of entry into the country, the foreign worker is inspected by an immigration officer of the U.S. CBP office.


Non-immigrant visas are issued to foreign citizens who wish to remain in the United States for, depending on the particular non-immigrant visa, a temporary period of time. There are more than 40 non-immigrant visas categories available, each one used for a different and very specific purpose.

If your original reason for coming to the U.S. changes, you may be required to change your original non-immigrant status before you engage in other activities.

If you are in the U.S. you may apply to change your status if :

–         you were lawfully admitted into the U.S.;

–         you have not committed any act that would make you ineligible to receive an immigration benefit;

–         you submit an application for a change of status before the expiration date on your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record,. There are limited circumstances under which USCIS will excuse a late filing of such an application.

If you were admitted in any of the following non-immigrant categories, you will not be able to change your status:

–         C visa (aliens in transit)

–         D visa (crewmen)

–         K1 fiancée or K2 Dependent of Fiancée visas

–         S visa (witness or informant)

–         TWOV (transit without visa)

–         WT or WB visas (under the Visa Waiver program, you would have been issued a green form I-94W, non-immigrant visa waiver Arrival-Departure Record )

–         J1 Visa (subject to the 2 year foreign residence requirement)

–         M1 visa (Vocational Student changing to F1 or H if the M training helped him or her qualify for the H classification)

If you are in any of the above categories, you must depart the United States on or before the date of your I-94 expires.

If your status expired before you filed an application with USCIS to change your status, or if you have violated the terms of your status, such as by working without authorization, then you are out of status and can be placed in removal proceedings. If you have fallen out of status, the USCIS cannot grant you a change of status and you must depart. In fact, overstaying the period of time for which you were granted admission may also have a negative effect on your ability to get other benefits or to return to the U.S. in the future.

Please consider that a change of status is not automatic, and that the USCIS processing times can vary and it may take up to 6 months before a decision is made.

The USCIS will look at your situation, your current status, the reasons you want to change your status and why you did not applied for this type of visa before entering the U.S.

If the USCIS receive your application before your current non-immigrant status expires, you may remain in the U.S. until the USCIS makes a decision on your application. If, for any reason, the USCIS will not grant you a change of status, you must immediately depart.

DACA For Young Immigrants

DACA ( Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was created on June 15, 2012, by President Obama and consists in a new policy calling for deferred actions for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Deferred action is a limited immigration benefit by Department of Homeland Security. It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings.

Individuals meeting the criteria below can apply for DACA:

         are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;

         came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;

         have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present;

         entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012;

         were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

         are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;

         have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and

         do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. 

All the applicants will be required to provide the criteria detailed above and be able to pass a biographic and biometric background check.

If you desire to apply, the total fees for the application, including an application for an Employment Authorization and background check, will be $465, plus any fee to pay to the immigration lawyers.

A fee exemption under very limited circumstances is available for individuals who are in foster care, are disabled, or have medical-care-related debt and whose income is below 150% of the poverty level.

Keep in mind that even if you have been granted of deferred action, it does not grant legal status. Moreover, you can travel outside the States if you apply for and receive advanced parole before the travel.


What is mandatory immigration detention?

An alien, non-citizen, with criminal convictions may be subject to detention and deportation or even removal from the United States.

If an immigrant is subject to removal is much likely to be detained by immigration authorities. The agency in charge was previously known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and today better-known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Immigration and Nationality Act and federal regulations state that the government must take an alien into custody and hold him or her without bond if he or she have been convicted of certain removable offenses and released from jail after October 8, 1998.

If the alien was convicted of a removable offense but not sentenced to jail, there might be a chance that he or she can still be eligible for bond.

Moreover, if an alien think that is entitled to bond, he or she must write to the immigration court and ask for a ‘Joseph Hearing” and trying to convince the judge that the mandatory detention law does not apply to him or her. You will need a good immigration lawyer.

However, some non-citizens do not qualify for release at all, even if they would be willing to pay a bond. The immigration laws require that noncitizens be detained by immigration authorities after they are released from criminal custody, and that they remain detained while removal proceedings are pending against them. This applies any time after release, unless they can successfully win a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus.

The grounds for mandatory detention include various grounds of inadmissibility from Section 212(a) of the I.N.A. — but an actual conviction is not required in all cases.

If you are a lawful permanent resident or overstayed your visa or were admitted into the U.S. in some manner, you may be subject to mandatory detention if you were released from jail after October 8, 1998 and convicted of any of the following crimes:

         Two crimes involving moral turpitude at any time after your admission in the U.S.;

         An aggravated felony;

         A controlled substance offense;

         A firearms offense.

If you are a lawful permanent resident returning from a trip outside the United States or entered without inspection or are seeking admission into the United States, you may be subject to mandatory detention if you were released from jail after October 8, 1998, and convicted of any of the following crimes:

         One CMIT;

         Controlled substance offense;


         Two or more offenses with aggregate sentence of 5 years incarceration;

         Drug trafficking offense;

         Domestic violence or violation of protection order.

How do I get an L-1 Visa?

The L-1 visa or “Intracompany Transferee” is a non-immigrant visa, which allows companies operating both in the United States, and abroad, to transfer certain classes of employee, in the managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge, to U.S. subsidiaries.

Even though L-1 visa was created for large multinational companies, it allows a start-up foreign company, which does not yet have a U.S. subsidiary, to expand its business and services. With the aim of creating a branch or subsidiary, a skilled executive or manager may enter the United States to set up a new office and will be eligible for a maximum stay of one year.

The employee must have worked at one of the locations of the corresponding American company, for at least a year out of the last three.

There are two types of classification for the L-1 visa:

  1. Managers and Executives: L -1A visa

L-1A visa is issued to people who have been employed for at least 1 out of 3 years, with managerial duties in a foreign corporate office. L-1A visa is granted for a period of three years, which can be extended for other two up to a maximum of seven years. L-1A creates a direct path to permanent residency.

  1. Employees specializing Office: L- 1B visa

L-1B is designed for employees considered skilled people with “specialized knowledge” that is with an advanced level of knowledge of products, services, research, management, or procedures and its applications in international markets.

It has become progressively more difficult to obtain L-1 Visas. If you petition was denied, you have the option of filing an immigration appeal.

Some large multi-national companies that are frequent users of the L-1 preference establish in advance an intra-companies relationship, through the “L-1 Blanket Petition Program“. The approval of a Blanket Petition does not warrant an official L-1 classification.

Spouses and children (unmarried and below 21 years of age) of the L-1 visa holders may seek admission through an L-2 visa, granted for the same period of residence of the worker. The spouse may apply for work authorization.

L-1 Visa holder must abide the conditions on their Visa. If they do not, they are subject to removal proceedings, which would require assistance of a defense lawyer.

How do I get a U.S. Visa?

How do I get a U.S. Visa?

If you want to visit the United States for more than 90 days, you must apply for a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. On the other side, if you come from one of the qualified visa exempt countries under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you can visit the United States for a maximum stay of 90 days, without a visa and through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to initiating travel. It is important to know that you cannot work while in the U.S. on a Visa Waiver, because that would be a ground for deportation proceedings initiated against you.

The type of visa required under the U.S. immigration law will depend on the reason of your travel, the period of time and other factors. You can apply for a nonimmigrant visitor visa if you want to enter the United States temporarily for business immigration matters (B-1 visa) or tourism (B-2 visa) more than 90 days.

Nonetheless if you qualify neither for the VWP nor under a B visa, you will need a nonimmigrant visa. Nonimmigrant visas are for workers, business people, or students, who want to taccomplish concrete purposes in the United States for a specific period of time. Petitioners have to prove they have strong ties to their country and intend to depart the United States after their stay.

Immigrant visas are for people who want to live permanently in the United States and become lawful permanent residents, whether or not they plan to seek employment there. Petitioners must first obtain an immigrant visa and must be sponsored by a U.S. employer, citizen relative, or lawful permanent resident. The sponsor has to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), before applying for an immigrant visa. Moreover, you can become a lawful permanent resident and permanently living and working in the United States, if you have a relative citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident (Family based Immigrant visas). Your relative will need to sponsor you and prove he/she has enough assets to support you.

If you try to enter the United States without the appropriate visa, you may be denied your admission by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to the port of entry (airport, seaport or land borders). The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will determine whether you can be admitted to the United States or not.

The State Department establishes the steps and fees for each visa application. You can apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. You will need to demonstrate that you meet all the requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. The visa points out that a U.S. consular officer has decided that you are eligible to enter to the United States for a specific purpose.

Italian dual citizenship services

Italian dual citizenship services

Under the jus sanguinis principle, anyone of Italian descent can claim his or her citizenship. It will be considered citizenship at birth, and no pledge of allegiance will be required. The process consists in claiming the right of Italian citizenship.

One crucial step of the process is the documents procurement.

Also, when there are discrepancies in the documents, a One and the Same Court Order is often required by Italian Consulates.

Getting all your ancestors’ records is something that you might be able to do on your own. If you are not ready to pay attorneys’ fee, please refrain from contacting my firm. You can find all the instructions on the Italian Consulate’s website.

If you have an immigration law problem, you need to see an immigration law attorney!

If you have an immigration law problem, you need to see an immigration law attorney!

Don’t take chances with your ability to visit or stay in the U.S. on a long term basis.

Your best choice for solving your legal problems is a legal professional, a person trained to deal with the infinite number of
things that might come up in your situation.

YOUR situation isn’t exactly like anyone else’s – so don’t trust a blank form or a novice sitting in front of a

word processor to make important legal decisions for you.

Think a lawyer is expensive?

Think again!

We provide high quality service for affordable fees. Installment plans are available.

Check our services and fees here…you might be surprised how affordable it is to hire a professional!


The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is an immigration Visa classification designed to foreign nationals of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and advanced degreed professionals such as: Masters, P.h.D, and so forth. P.h.D students may qualify as well.

The National Interest Waiver is a procedure created to bypass the Labor Certification process, as administered by the Department of Labor and which ordinarily is a duty in obtaining permanent residence through the EB-2 employment-based  green card category.

The main requirement is a three-part test. You must meet all three parts to qualify for a national interest waiver:

•         What you do must be of “substantial intrinsic merit“;

•         The benefits of your work must be “national in scope” (as opposed to being purely “local”); and,

•         You must establish that your past record of achievement demonstrates that you can benefit the national interest to a “substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.”

Benefits of the National Interest Waiver:

–         an alien do not require a Labor Certification (PERM)

–         an alien can file his own green card petition with the USCIS on his behalf.

You must be a person with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, or an advanced degree holder.

To be classified as a person with exceptional ability, you must provide documented proof of at least three of the following:

–         An official academic record showing the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;

–          Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience;

–          license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;

–          Evidence that you command a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability;

–         Membership in professional associations;

–         Documents that prove recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

To obtain a national interest waiver, you must file a Form I-140 petition, Form ETA 750B, and supporting documents directly with the appropriate Immigration Service Center. You may also file your permanent residency application at the same time as your I-140 Petition, and receive work and travel authorization.

Board of Immigration Appeals / Form eoir 29 – eoir 26

Board of Immigration Appeals /  Form eoir 29 – eoir 26

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice, is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It is located at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

The BIA hears appeals from decisions made by immigration judges and by district directors of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Moreover, the BIA is responsible for the recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives requesting permission to practice before DHS, the immigration courts, and the BIA.

The BIA reviews decisions by immigration judges and has appellate jurisdiction over family-based immigrant petitions under INA 204 (a) as well as orders of removal and applications for relief from removal, criminal immigration matters, and motions for reopening and reconsideration of decisions previously rendered. In most cases, if the BIA affirms the lower court’s decision, then you can still appeal in a U.S. Court of Appeals.


What is eoir 26? Eoir 26 form | Eoir 26 instructions

Personal Injury and Auto Accidents

Injury law has a bad reputation.  I used to think that those who sued someone for an accident were taking advantage of an unfortunate situation.  However, my opinion changed when I had to deal with an insurance company after my own accident!    I was travelling through a neighboring state and was hit by a tire that came off the trailer of a semi-truck, hub and all.  He should have been charged with criminally negligent homicide!

The accident was serious, almost totaling the car I was in.  I was lucky and came away only with a knee injury.

Believe it or not, the insurance company for the trucker denied my claim!  I was shocked!   Since then, I have heard the same story from many others in similar situation.   That accident was one of the reasons I became an attorney.

Let’s discuss some of the basics of injury law.  First, the definition of a personal injury.  In most instances we are talking about an incident which occurs as the result of the actions of a negligent party, which results is the proximate cause of an injury to another party.  Personal injury comes in many forms, including accidents caused by negligent conditions (slippery floors in supermarkets), accidents caused by negligent actions (business communicating untrue and damaging statements about a competitor to customers ) and the most common accidents of all, auto accidents.

There are special areas of injury law which require special elements of proof.  However, in most cases you may recover damages for an injury if you are able to show four elements:
– The other person was negligent
– His or her negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries
– You were not contributory negligent
– You hold a valid immigration status, such as green card or citizenship.


An adjustment of status (ASO) is available for individuals — usually family members, fiancés, students or temporary resident employees of a U.S. business — who wish to apply for permanent residency (a “green card”) in the U.S. without traveling back to their native country to go through consular immigration processing.

Section 245 of the INA (Immigration & Nationality Act) is the statute that governs this process.

Adjustment of status must be distinguished from “change of status”, which generally applies to non-immigrants switching from one non-immigrant status to another.

Individuals admitted to the U.S. in a non-immigrant, refugee or parolee category may have their status changed to that of lawful permanent resident if they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and one is immediately available.

In October 1994, section 245(i) of the INA was enacted. This allowed certain alien residents, who entered without inspection or overstayed their authorized stay, but who were differently eligible for immigrant status to remain in the U.S. and adjust to permanent resident status by paying an additional penalty fee, thus avoid deportation proceedings.

Section 245(i) is no longer available unless the individual is the beneficiary of an application for labor certification or a preference petition (under section 204 of the INA) filed on or before April 30, 2001.

The individual who wishes to adjust status must then usually file a petition to make this request. If the individual is basing his or her request on family status, the eligible United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident must file Form I-130 on the immigrant’s behalf.
Individuals who are seeking adjustment based on employment must usually have their current or potential United States employer file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker for the immigrant.

In some instances, an immigrant may be able to file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with their immigrant petition. Typically, this option is available for individuals who are the beneficiaries of a family based Visa. Other individuals who have a visa that is immediately available to them may also be able to file both petitions at the same time.
Otherwise, an individual must check visa availability and priority dates with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services site. A Form I-485 cannot be filed until there is a corresponding available visa.

Benefits of Adjustment of Status

•         The applicant is granted legal permission to stay in USA while the application is processed.

•         An adjustment of status applicant is granted permission to work in United States while his case is pending. This is known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

•         Another advantage is the permission to travel. The applicant can travel between the US and other countries. This travel document is known as Advance Parole.

•         It is also possible to apply for a green card besides the application for status.

•         The applicant does not have to leave USA to receive an immigrant visa

 All forms required for permanent residency can be found on the USCIS website

 Moreover, immigrants may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS office. Prior to the interview, the applicant will receive notification of the date, time and location for the interview. During this process, they will be required to answer questions under oath. Additionally, the immigrant must provide original documents as requested by USCIS.

Can a misdemeanor affect my immigration status?

In the United States federal criminal code, crimes are divided into two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The distinction is one of maximum punishment. A misdemeanor, according to federal law, is a crime punishable by five days to one year in jail regardless of the sentence imposed. Misdemeanors carry lower penalties than felonies, but higher than administrative infractions, such as tickets and municipal ordinances.

Under 18 U.S.C.  3559, the term “serious violent felony” means:

(i) a Federal or State offense, by whatever designation and wherever committed, consisting of murder; manslaughter other than involuntary manslaughter; assault with intent to commit murder; assault with intent to commit rape; aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse; abusive sexual contact; kidnapping; aircraft piracy; robbery; carjacking; extortion; arson; firearms use; firearms possession; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above offenses; and

(ii) any other offense punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another or that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

Immigration laws categorize crimes differently. For example, a significant misdemeanor is a misdemeanor as defined by federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and, regardless of the sentence imposed, is

  • an offense of domestic violence;
  • sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • burglary;
  • unlawful possession or use of a firearm;
  • drug distribution or trafficking;
  • driving under the influence; or,
  • If not an offense listed above, is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days; the sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.

Any time a non-citizen is convicted of two CIMT that did not arise from a single act of misconduct, the DHS will initiate removal proceedings. This is true even if the crimes are misdemeanors.

A misdemeanor theft conviction might be classified as a CIMT under the immigration law and is a ground of removal if it occurred during the first five years in the U.S. or if you committed two of them. The distinction between whether theft is a misdemeanor or a felony is dependent on the value of the cash or property stolen. Many states consider theft of up to $500 a misdemeanor and larger amounts to be a felony (larceny).

If you were convicted for a controlled substance violation (including paraphernalia), whether in the U.S. or another country, at any time after admission, you may be denied your Green Card renewal and you will go through removal proceedings. This is true regardless of whether your state’s law classifies the crime as a misdemeanor. There’s an exception for a single offense involving possession for personal use of 30 grams or less of marijuana. Although possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is not grounds for denial of your Green Card and removal, it is ground for inadmissibility.

Even if the sentence was for 90 days or less, USCIS specifically states that it retains discretion to determine that the crime was a significant enough misdemeanor. If your application is denied, you must consult with one of the best immigration lawyers.

Any time an alien is convicted of a misdemeanor crime there are potential criminal immigration consequences. Among these is the possibility that the Green Card renewal application will be denied.

Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) lists those classes of aliens who are ineligible to receive visas, for admission to the U.S., and the classes of aliens who may apply for waivers of ineligibility. Before an applicant can obtain a waiver for a nonimmigrant visa, the reviewing consular officer, or the Secretary of State, must recommend a waiver to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has ultimate authority to grant or deny the waiver.

L-1 Visa to Green Card

If you are from another country, you may be confused about all the paperwork that is required in order to get the documentation that is required to make you legal so you can live and work in the United States. These are complicated documents that must be completely accurately by a qualified law firm in order to ensure a smooth transition and the approvals that you need.

L-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that specifically enables companies to transfer their employees to U.S operations. This is a work visa that allows you to come to the U.S. and perform your duties with your company. You can apply for a green card, which gives you permanent residency, while you have an L-1 Visa.

If you choose to apply for a green card, your L-1 Visa won’t be in jeopardy and you can still leave the country while your application is being considered. The requirements for the L-1 Visa to Green Card application are complex, and there are some differences of note between the L1A and the L1B.

In order to qualify for an L-1 A Visa, you must be the manager or executive of a company for at least a year before coming to the U.S. If you have an L-1 B Visa, you are an intracompany employee with specialized knowledge. With an L-1 B Visa, you will have to apply for labor certification in order to apply for a green card. Labor certification requires that your employer show there are no minimally required U.S. workers available to fill your position at their company.

An L-1 Visa offers “dual content”, which means you can continue to live and work in the U.S. as usual after you have applied for your green card. After you have worked in the U.S. for a continuous year you can opt to apply for a green card to stay in the U.S. permanently. It is wise to seek assistance when you are wanting to convert from an L-1 Visa to a green card. An expert is trained in how to properly complete the paperwork so the transition will go more smoothly.

How do I extend my work visa in the U.S.?

Extending your work visa it is not a simple process, but it can be done while you are in the U.S. To do so, you must file a request with the USCIS, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services utilizing Form I-765.

More precisely, to extend an employment authorization card, an application from renewal must be filed around 90 days prior to the expiration date printed on the Card.

Form I-765 must be filed to renew an employment authorization document. You can file this form online or you can choose to file the paper form. The USCIS will take into consideration only forms that are filled out completely and accurately, this is why we recommend that you work closely with of the best immigration lawyers.

Applicants who seek to extend their work permits need to gather the required supporting documents:

         photocopies of the previously issued work permits and Form I-797;

         USCIS approval notice of the permits they hold, along with their application for renewal;

         If they have applied for adjustment of status, they need to submit copies of the receipts of notices of their pending applications for permanent resident status.

Your application for Visa extension will not be approved if you have violated the terms of your Visa or if you have been convicted of a crime. There are very serious immigration consequences of a criminal conviction.

Moreover, applicants need to submit two passport style photographs and the form filing fee of $380 by using a check or money order.

How long us naturalization processing time? Naturalization waiting time

How long us naturalization processing time? Naturalization waiting time

Citizenship in the United States is a status that entails specific rights, duties and benefits.

Citizenship is understood as a “right to have rights” since it serves as a foundation for a bundle of subsequent rights, such as the right to live and work in the United States and to receive federal assistance.

There are two primary sources of citizenship: birthright citizenship, in which a person is presumed to be a citizen provided that they are born within the territorial limits of the United States, or other circumstances existing at the time of their birth (for example, citizenship of a parent),[and naturalization, a process in which an immigrant applies for citizenship and is accepted.

How can an immigrant get a Green Card?

Employment – Up to 140,000 persons are permitted to immigrate annually based upon their employment. Priority workers (persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, outstanding researchers and professors, and certain executives and managers of multinational companies) and persons of exceptional ability and holders of advanced degrees may immigrate if they are able to demonstrate to the Labor Department that there are no U.S. workers qualified and available to assume their jobs, or that their presence in the U.S. is in the “national interest”. Professionals with bachelor’s degrees, skilled workers and a limited number of unskilled workers may immigrate if their employers can demonstrate the unavailability of qualified U.S. workers to the Labor Department. Finally, a small number of “special immigrants”, primarily religious ministers and other religious workers, are permitted to immigrate through employment.

Investment in the United States – Up to 10,000 investors and their families may immigrate to the U.S. annually. To qualify, you must invest a minimum of one million dollars ($500,000 if the investment is made in a rural or high- unemployment area) in a new commercial enterprise and employ a minimum of ten full-time U.S. workers.

Asylum (Refugee status) – The U.S. accepts approximately 100,000 refugees and asylees annually. Refugees apply abroad to immigrate to the U.S. They must demonstrate that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home countries. Asylees are similar to refugees except that they are present in the U.S. when they request asylum.

Visa Lottery – 55,000 people each year are chosen at random to immigrate from millions of applicants for the diversity visa lottery, with frequent changes in the rules regarding who can apply. This is because most persons who immigrate to the U.S. through relatives and employment are from Asia and Latin America. The aim of the visa lottery is to insure “diversity” in immigration. For example, persons born in “high-immigration” countries (Canada, Mexico, China (PRC and Taiwan), India, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Poland, United Kingdom, Jamaica, El Salvador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic) are ineligible to apply for the visa lottery in certain years.

Cancellation of Removal Proceedings – Even someone who is not legally present in the US, may under certain circumstances, be eligible for permanent residence: An alien in removal proceedings may apply for a green card from an Immigration Judge if he has been in the US for at least ten years before being placed under removal proceedings; is a person of good moral character; and can demonstrate that it would be an” extreme hardship” to his US citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent(s) or child if he were forced to leave the US. These applications are complex and you will need to hire the best immigration lawyer. The Immigration Judge may grant permanent residence to such a person at his discretion, subject certain restrictions.

How do I get a Business Green Card?

There are different ways to obtain a U.S. Visa, but while non-immigrant visas are for people who usually plan on returning back to their home country after a short period of time, so called, and most wanted, “green-card” are for those who intend on leaving in the United States temporarily.

Getting permanent resident status in the United States is not easy, but certain types of categories may open the door for immigrants. In fact, if you are looking to move in the United States for good, one of the main ways to immigrate is getting a business green card, which is based on an investment in the U.S. After 5 years of permanent residency, it is possible to apply for American Citizenship .

After a family sponsor, business green card applications are considered the second common way to obtain a permanent legal status in the U.S.

The typical employment-based petition is based on a Permanent Labor Certification process (PERM). It is typically a three-step process:

first, the employer must complete the PERM process

second, once the DOL approves the PERM, you and your employer have to file an EB3 visa petition with USCIS. This petition gives USCIS information about you and your employer’s company, as well as your job position and opportunity.

third, the employer conducts recruitment, it has between 60 and 180 days to file the LC.

Moreover, the U.S. employer requests a permanent labor certification by completing an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (“ETA Form 9089”).

This application describes the job duties, educational requirements, training, experience, and other special capabilities that the alien must possess to do the work, and a statement of the prospective alien’s qualifications.

At this point, DOL Makes a Decision on Labor Certification. This process involves approving, denying, or auditing the LC.


Permanent visas to the United States can be divided into three basic categories; those based upon relatives, employment and investment. U.S. law provides for refugee status however this is not an active category nor is it a topic of this information packet. Except for immediate relatives most immigrant visas are subject to quotas which have resulted in waiting periods for most immigrants. The length of the waiting period depends upon the type of visa and nationality of the applicant. The spouse and children under 21 are entitled to a visa along with the principal applicant.

1. Immediate Relatives
This category includes spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens. This group is not subject to quotas. Processing time is usually four to six months.
2. Relatives Subject to Quotas
1st Preference – unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, ie; children over age 21, currently there is no waiting period.
2nd Preference – spouse, children and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents. The waiting period is about three (3) years for most countries.
3rd Preference – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (i.e. ; married children of any age). The waiting period is over 2 (two) years for most countries.
4th Preference – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. The visa has a waiting period of eight or more years depending upon the country.
3. Employment Based Immigration
There are now (since October 31, 1991) three general employment based categories in three separate priority groups. There will be more visas available in the top priority groups than in the bottom and consequently shorter waiting periods NOTE: The legislation came into effect in October of 1991 and therefore visas are immediately available in all three categories at this time.
a) Priority Workers: There are three categories of “Priority Workers”:
Aliens with extraordinary ability: These aliens must meet the high standard of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. To meet this standard, there must be a showing that the alien has received sustained national or international acclaim, with recognition in his or her field being demonstrated by “extensive documentation”. The alien must be coming to the United States to continue working in the same field, and his or her entry must be shown “to substantially benefit prospectively the United States.” The 1990 Act does not require that such aliens have a firm job offer to be admissible in this category.
Outstanding professors and researchers: To enter in this academic category the alien must be internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area; have three years of teaching or research experience in that area; and be coming to the United States to take a tenure-track teaching position with a university or institution of higher education, or a comparable research position, either academic or with a private employer. If the position is with a private employer, that the employer must have at least three full-time research employees, and must be able to document its accomplishments in an academic field.
Certain multinational executives and managers: This category encompasses aliens entering the United States to work for an employer, or subsidiary or affiliate thereof, for which they have worked abroad for at least one of the three years immediately proceeding entry. The bill specifies, however, that if a claim is made that managerial or executive capacity is based on the number of staff, consideration will be given to whether that number is appropriate to the organization’s size and functions and its stage of development.
“Managerial capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily manages the organization or a department , subdivision, function or component of the organization; supervises and controls the work of other supervisors, professionals or managers or manages an essential function within the organization or a department or subdivision; supervises other employees, has the authority to hire and fire, or recommend such actions as well as other personnel actions, or if no supervision occurs, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed, and exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority. A first line supervisor will not be considered to be acting in a managerial capacity unless the persons supervised are professionals.
“Executive capacity” means an assignment within the organization in which the employee primarily directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization ; establish the goals and policies of the organization , component or function; exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors or stockholders.
b) Aliens: Members of a profession holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business: To qualify under the first provision, the alien must hold an advance degree, or the equivalent. To show exceptional ability, the law specifies that it is not enough that the alien possesses a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from an educational institution, or license or certificate to practice a particular profession or occupation. Both categories must show that their entry will “substantially benefit” the United States` economy, cultural or educational interest, or welfare. The alien must also have a job offer from a United States employer, although this requirement may be waived in the case of the alien of  exceptional ability.
c) Skilled Workers, Professionals and Other Workers:
Skilled workers are workers who can perform skilled labour that is not temporary and requires at least two years training or experience, and for which there are no qualified United States workers available.
Professionals who are members of the professions who hold a baccalaureate degree.
“Other Workers” are those capable of performing unskilled labour that is not temporary; again, qualified, United States workers must be unavailable.
Please note that for category (b) and category (c) the prospective immigrant must obtain a job offer (in most cases) and obtain “labour certification” which is a formal process by which the department of labour must certify to the Immigration and naturalization Service that there are no ready, willing and able American workers to fill the position at the prevailing wage rate.
4. Investment Based Immigration
Each year there will be 10,000 visas available to investors setting up businesses in the United States. The investment must be at least 1 million dollars, and 10 U.S. citizens or permanent residents must be employed (other than the immigrant and his family). The investment can be made by way of cash or property based upon the fair market value. The regulations allow for the investment to be financed so long as the investor is personally liable for the borrowed fund, and the liability is not secured by the assets purchased.
The investment can be made by establishing a new business, by the purchase and expansion of any existing business or by investing in a pre-arranged group investment whereby numerous immigrants contribute 1 million each by cash and/or debt in a large project. There are numerous projects now available and many more are expected within the next few months.
In rural areas or areas targeted as areas of high unemployment the investment is reduced to $500,000.

Internet Defamation

Internet users can access information and communicate with each other giving them a false sense of freedom in their communications. Moreover Internet has complete accessibility distinguishing it from traditional print or broadcast media.

Defamation refers to a legal claim involving injury to one’s reputation is any false, intentional, and unprivileged statement of fact, either written (libel) or spoken (slander) that harms someone’s reputation. It has many forms including novels, paintings, or songs among others. Cyber defamation is a slander conducted through the Internet. It’s another form to state or spread defamatory comments and it is against the law. In order to be defamatory, the statement must have been published, have caused injury, and have been false and unprivileged.

The main issue of a defamation claim is falsity. If the statement harm another’s reputation but is true, it will not create liability for defamation.

Internet defamatory libel could be made online (public comments on media websites, blogs, and chat rooms) or through social medias (Facebook, Twitter, and so on). Internet gives any anonymous person an opportunity to express his/her opinion like statement, article, or news item across the world in an instant. Posting statements or pictures online to harm a person’s reputation may be against internet law. Websites are controlled by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or, sometimes, by the company’s information technology department.

Moreover the U.S. Constitution sets some limits on what States can do in the context of free speech. Defamation law has differences from State to State, but there are normally some common accepted standards. Penalties for Cyber defamation vary from country to country, and in the U.S., from State to State. The Government can’t imprison someone for making a defamatory statement, unless it is also a criminal immigration matter. On the other side, under some special circumstances, defamation can be treated as a criminal matter.  In the U.S., about 75% of defamation lawsuits are filed in State courts and the remaining 25% in Federal Courts. At times criminal libel laws are old and infrequently prosecuted.

Statements are defined defamation if were made with malice, that is knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether or not it was false. Generally, “public people” (such as celebrities and movie stars) have less protection from defamatory statements and have a higher threshold in proving someone committed defamation. Some statements are protected by absolute privileges, a complete defense to a defamation claim (for example statements made by witnesses in judicial proceedings).

If a person is acting with malice or out of spite, it may be necessary to file a report with the police depending on local law. If you have been defamed online, you should contact a qualified attorney to discuss your legal options and the best course of action.

The “H” Visa for Professionals.

The “H” Visa for Professionals. More than forty professionals are listed as being deemed “professional”: such as:

  • Computer system analysts,
  • Engineers,
  • Accountants,
  • Dentists,
  • College, university or seminar professors,
  • Scientists,
  • Architects,
  • Lawyers,
  • Nurses,
  • Medical, laboratory or clinical technicians.

Athletes are no longer on this list as they have their own P category.
The H visa allows these professionals to enter into the United States pursuant to consular application.

However they have the right to be employed by an American company and to be remunerated in the United States.
Although we define a “professional” as being a person holding a university diploma, this diploma is not required for all professionals who can substitute experience and notoriety therefore.

Conversely for others, such as librarians, a master’s degree is required. In the case of professionals in hotel administration and journalism, a bachelor’s degree is required as well as three years’ experience in order to enter the United States.

Doctors are only eligible as H1 candidates in the fields of clinical teaching or research but are not allowed to practice ( direct patient care).


How to Choose a Good Lawyer

The first step in choosing an attorney is understanding whether you need one.  If you are not sure of the solution to your problem or whether you need a lawyer to help you, you probably do.  A lawyer knows how to identify legal problems and advise you of the solutions. He can review your family situation, finances, property ownership, employment, investments and business interests. If legal action is required, your lawyer can recommend a strategy.

I recommend that everyone review their family legal papers about once a year to see if the documents reflect your current needs. Marital difficulties are fraught with legal pitfalls. Also, any time you’re injured in an accident of any kind, including a work related accident, you should consult with your attorney to determine your rights and your eligibility for aWrit of Coram Nobis.    Sometimes a specific event such as the birth or death of a loved one will cause you seek legal advice, and if you prepare for possible contingencies in advance, you can save problems later on.

It is important to see your lawyer early; before a problem occurs, or if there is already a problem, before it becomes more aggravated and costly. For example, if you are seriously injured in an auto accident, contact a lawyer promptly so that evidence can be gathered from the accident site and witnesses interviewed before the memories fade. If you are going through a divorce, be sure to see your own lawyer before signing a separation agreement.

Your criminal and immigration lawyer should be a person who has a solid background in the type of problem which you are encountering. Ask him if he handles your type of case and what experience he has in the area. He should be a person you can talk to and feel comfortable with and have confidence in. Do not be afraid to ask for explanations of the law of your case and of the procedures and steps needed to solve the matter. Most importantly, do not be afraid to discuss the cost of the legal work which you anticipate having done. Professional ethics require that your attorney fully explain his method of billing and services to be performed for that compensation.

What is a Labor Certification?

In many cases the only way to obtain U.S. permanent residence (“green card”) is for an individual to find an employer in the United States who is willing to assist by applying for a Labor Certification on his/her behalf.

The Labor Certification is a process whereby through very strict regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is satisfied that a full and proper recruitment has been made of U.S. workers and that the U.S. Government standards have been met to establish that there is no U.S. worker currently qualified, willing and able to fill the position offered to the foreign worker.

The job has to be advertised in publications acceptable to the DOL and any applications are sent directly to the State Employment Service Agency (SESA) for the employers’ review and backgrounds checks to insure that the alien was never convicted of any crime that could affect immigration status. All applicants who appear to qualify must be interviewed and may only be rejected for lawful job related reasons. If there are qualified workers, it is probable that the case will fail. If the agency unreasonably delays processing of a PERM application, it is possible to file a petition for aWrit of Mandamus.

Depending on where in the U.S. the job is located, the process can take up to 3 years or more. Once approved, the case can be forwarded to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to complete the permanent residence application. This can be in the U.S. at the Immigration and Naturalization Service or out of the U.S. at a U.S. Consulate in the area having jurisdiction over the employee.

An individual may be exempted from the Labor Certification process if an employer can demonstrate it has extensively recruited through sources normal to its industry, for the six months preceding the filing of the Labor Certification application. This application can then be considered for Reduction in Recruitment or “fastrack” processing. Examples of employment based categories not requiring a Labor Certification are multi-national executives or managers (EB-1(c)), aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, outstanding professors and researchers, applicants performing services in the “national interest”, and the permanent investor visas (EB-5).

How to Bring a Fiancé or Fiancée Into the United States?

Entry Visas and Green Cards are available for Fiancés, Husbands or Wives of U.S. Citizens.

A good immigration attorney advises people about the most effective ways to obtain entry and permanent resident status for noncitizen spouses and fiancés. Contact an attorney to discuss your situation and your family immigrationoptions with an experienced lawyer.

If you are an American citizen engaged to marry a non-U.S. citizen who lives abroad, the K-1 visa will allow entry on terms that can expedite permanent residence (i.e., green card) status. K-1 visa applications are subjected to close scrutiny, however, and the advice of an experienced fiancé visa attorney can help you avoid mistakes while presenting the proper documentation in the right form at the proper times.

If a disqualifying circumstance applies in your situation, we can work proactively to seek a waiver of inadmissibility or show alternative grounds for bringing your intended into the country.

There are two main options for bringing the noncitizen husband or wife of a U.S. citizen into the country. One has the advantage of entering the country with permanent residence status as the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, but it can take up to a year to complete the application, interview and approval process. The other option allows entry as a nonimmigrant under a K-3 visa. The approval and entry process is much faster, but you’ll need to apply for adjustment of status after entry in order to obtain the green card.

Whether your best approach is to enter as an immigrant relative or on a nonimmigrant K-3 marriage visa will depend on your family’s needs and circumstances.

More about the o 1b visa

An O visa is a classification of non-immigrant temporary worker visa granted by the United States to an alien “who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements,” and to certain assistants and immediate family members of such aliens.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are three types of O visas: O-1A – individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry) O-1B – individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry. O-2 – individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. “For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an ‘integral part’ of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be ‘essential’ to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1.” O-3 – individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1s and O-2s.

What is Immigration fraud?

To enter or remain in the United States and be eligible for various immigration related benefits, aliens must comply with a number of document requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. Under the INA, an alien who uses, acquires, or produces fraudulent documents for immigration-related purposes may be subjected to civil penalties and denied certain immigration benefits, including the ability to enter or remain in the United States.

There are different types of immigration fraud:


Immigration Fraud by Marriage

The most common way to gain lawful residency in the United States it is through marriage. Even though, marrying a US citizen remains the most appealing way, there are strict federal laws in place to prevent marriage frauds to obtain immigration benefits. In fact, since the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986, aliens who derive their immigrant status based on a marriage of less than two years are considered “conditional” immigrants.

During the first two years of marriage, immigrants must apply at a USCIS office for an interview with an officer who has the power to remove the conditional status. The couple will need to provide more evidence that they live together in a marital union.

Conditional status may be terminated, if the alien cannot show that the marriage is valid, making him/her deportable. If a person has been charged with marriage fraud may be denied later applications for citizenship and/or may be barred from the United States as a criminal immigrationoffender.

Immigration Services Scams

The US government has revealed a multi-agency initiative to fight the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL). The initiative targets unauthorized “attorneys” from preying on immigrant communities by providing services they are not qualified to provide or by guaranteeing immigration benefits. On a licensed immigration lawyer can represent you in Court.


Immigration Frauds through Documents

Immigration document fraud it is another common way to obtain “LPR” in the US and it refers to the manufacture, sale or use of counterfeit identity documents such as birth certificates, social security cards or passports.

An example of document fraud is lying about the intention in coming to the US in a visa application.

A person found guilty of document fraud can face massive consequences, including monetary fines and criminal sentences. It is, of course, a deportable offense.


How does Asylum work in the United States?

Asylum – Those who have a well-founded fear of persecution if they return to their home country may apply for asylum if their fear is based on any of the following grounds:

Political opinion

Religious belief



Membership in a particular social group

If a person is granted asylum, after one year he may apply for permanent resident status.

Withholding of deportation – Similar to asylum, with the following two exceptions

The alien is not permitted to apply for permanent residence, and

USCIS is only prohibited from placing in deportation proceedings the alien to the country where he fears persecution, not to third countries which are willing to accept him.

Legalization and Registry – Once an illegal alien has been found qualified for legalization or “amnesty” by USCIS, the deportation hearing will typically be terminated since the alien will have attained the legal right to remain in the United States.

Registry is another means of attaining lawful permanent residence in the United States. It is available to aliens who have resided continuously in the U.S. since prior to January 1, 1972, who are persons of good moral character, who are not deportable on certain aggravated grounds, and who are not ineligible for citizenship. Registry may be applied for affirmatively, not only as a defense to deportation.

Voluntary Departure – If you are ineligible for all of the above forms of relief from deportation, you should still consider applying for voluntary departure. Departing voluntarily from the U.S. avoids both the stigma and the legal impediments to return to the U.S. imposed by deportation.

Voluntary departure is available to aliens who are not deportable on aggravated grounds, who have the means to pay for their departure from the United States, who agree to depart within a period of time granted by the Immigration Judge, and who can establish good moral character during the previous five-year period.

All forms of relief from deportation, except withholding of deportation, may be granted at the discretion of an Immigration Judge. Final orders of an Immigration Judge can be challenged with an immigration appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and from there to the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals.

How do I change my address with USCIS?

The notice of change of address applies not only to Non-immigrant Visa Holders, such as F-1, H-1B, O-1 Visa and so on, but as well to green card holders. Providing the USCIS with your change of address it is a condition of a requirement of an individual’s stay in the United States. Visitors who do not comply with the change of address requirement during their stay in the United States will be considered “Out of Status”.

You must report a change of address within 10 days of moving within the United States or its territories. This process is straightforward and allows you to complete everything online.

You can change or update your address online, please visit the USCIS website It will ask you if this change of address is for an application or petition currently in progress. This will help USCIS to ensure that you receive any notices or documents without delay.

The first form you will need to complete is form AR-11. Once you complete this form, the system will prompt you to complete the second step and update your address on any pending or recently approved applications and petitions.

If you fail to update your address, you may face harsh consequences. You may be subject to deportation and other stiff penalties.


The immigration consequences to a criminal conviction may be very complex and directly affect the immigrant’s ability to stay in the United States. An alien who has been convicted of a crime that affects the immigration status, still has hope in mitigating the immigration ramifications of the conviction. A post-conviction sentence modification may be effective in avoiding a conviction for immigration purposes or to eliminate an aggravated-felony ground of deportability. Motions to correct criminal sentence rules vary by State.

A criminal sentence modification results in a reduction of the criminal sentence. A criminal sentence can be modified after the trial is done, even if the offender is already in jail. During trial, the defendant may request a sentence modification at any time during the sentencing portion of trial. A sentence illegally imposed must be corrected within 120 days. A sentence is illegal when the court goes beyond its authority by acting without jurisdiction or imposing a sentence in excess of the statutory maximum.

If the judge concludes that the new factors are in the defendant’s favor, they have discretion to modify the sentence accordingly.  A Motion to correct criminal sentence allows modification when:

An error was made in the sentence and needs to be corrected;

The defendant has assisted in another criminal case by cooperating with prosecutors to provide information or testimony;

Other factors can be applied, such as a sentence reduction based on the offender’s age, terminal illness, or changes in state sentencing guidelines.

The defendant and the immigration attorney will need to file a motion and the judge will then conduct a hearing on the motion. You must file motion under 28 U.S.C.  2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct in the United States district court that entered the judgment that you are challenging. If you want to challenge a federal judgment that imposed a sentence to be served in the future, you should file the motion in the federal court that entered that judgment.  You may challenge the judgment entered by only one court. If you want to challenge a judgment entered by a different judge or division (either in the same district or in a different district), you must file a separate motion. A 2255 motion is often the correct remedy for prisoners who have been sentenced illegally or unfairly. Section 2255 expressly provides for challenges to a sentence on specified grounds.

Once the motion is under review, the defendant must demonstrate that there are new factors in existence that would justify a criminal sentence modification. New factors may be facts or a set of facts that:

Are unknown to the trial judge at the time they imposed the original sentence;

Frustrates the aim or goal of the original sentence;

Are not in existence at the time of sentencing;

Are unknowingly disregarded by all parties.

In most jurisdictions, if the initial sentence is greater than 3 years, the prosecutor must agree to have the motion reviewed. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held in a published decision that reductions in criminal sentences nunc pro tunc (with retroactive legal effect) should be recognized for immigration purposes. This is an important legal ruling that can help immigrants with certain criminal convictions obtain immigration benefits or avoid deportation.

Non-U.S. citizens with criminal convictions, placed in deportation proceedings or seeking immigration benefits, should seek representation by knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorneys. Your attorney can help determine whether criminal sentence modification is available for your case, and can help you file the proper motions and requests. The immigration consequences to criminal convictions can be harsh and complex, ranging from delays to naturalizing as a U.S. citizen to triggering deportation proceedings.

How can you become a citizen of the United States?

Naturalization it is the main way for a foreign person to become a U.S. citizen.

American citizenship can be obtained by those who have resided in the United States as a permanent resident (Green Card holder) for a certain number of years.

Obtaining citizenship allows, among other things, to:

– be able to remain outside the United States indefinitely, without the restrictions that are imposed on the Green Card holders who have not obtained a re-entry permit;

– sponsor close family members for a U.S. Green Card;

– acquire the right to vote;

– hold high-level governmental positions;

– get a U.S. passport.

The applicant must meet a few requirements, depending on the individual’s situation.

The general requirements for naturalization are:

– to be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

– to be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.

– to show that he or she has lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply.

– to demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.

– to show that he/she has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.

– to be able to read, write, and speak basic English.

– to have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).

– to be a person of good moral character.

– to demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

If the application for citizenship is denied, you can file Form N-336 to request a hearing with an immigration officer. At the hearing, you have the right to be represented by an immigration attorney. If the denial is sustained, a litigation law firm will be necessary to file a complaint in a Federal District Court.

The L1 Visa for Intra-Corporate Transfer

The L1 Visa for Intra-Corporate Transfer.

When a foreign company wishes to transfer to its American subsidiary, affiliate or joint venture, an executive, manager, or an employee having specialized knowledge and having been employed by the company during no less than one year preceding the application,

It can do so after having obtained the consent of the Department of Immigration. It is necessary however that the American subsidiary, affiliate, joint venture, or branch office be created and that the foreign mother company holds 51% of shares or that shares be split 50%-50% with dual veto power between the foreign and U.S. companies.

Understanding the L-1 Intra-Corporate Visa.
How many times have you listened to advice by people who, in good faith, wanted to help you but misled you in trying to obtain a visa or work permit to the United States?

We will show you that it is not necessary to be misled by utilizing the typical example of an L-1 visa, intracorporate transfer, favoring companies, associations, and all other legal entities which are constituted in a country other than the United States and who establish ties with the U.S..

A foreign general contractor who had been in his business for a long time, decided to settle in the United States, following a slowdown of the market in his home country.

After obtaining his visa, his company must continue to function abroad for a reasonable period of time, that is to say that no matter what its charter (federal or provincial) it must continue its activities.
On arrival to the United States, this entrepreneur creates a company having the same (or similar) functions as the foreign company, which becomes the parent company; as long as the operations of this new company are not illegal he will be able to constitute it and to manage it.

Since, however, he has interests both abroad and in the United States, he will have to travel often and the L-1 visa applied for by the foreign company to transfer him to the parent company in the U.S. will allow him to do so at will. Moreover he will have the possibility of living more than 183 consecutive days per year in the U.S.

This limit is imposed on non-Americans (special attention should be paid to the tax aspect of this situation since you may involuntarily become a tax resident of the United States by the duration and status of your stay in America).

This visa is valid for a period of one to three years with a possibility for renewal up to seven years. Consequently, if the presence of this applicant is necessary for the management of the American company he will be able to stay in the United States in order to work. He will not however be able to work for another company.
If at the end of the first year (or any time thereafter) he decides to become a permanent resident of the United States and that the U.S. operation is proved viable he will, thanks to his multinational executive or managerial status, be able to have his status changed from non-immigrant to immigrant.

The waiting period is approximately three years unless that person has exceptional talents.

He will be able to continue working for the company during that period.
The L-1 visa applications are prepared in the intended jurisdiction of operations then sent to the Regional Adjudication Center for INS analysis. One must allow approximately six months in order to obtain approval.

That is the time required in order to complete a file and have it studied. If the individual is in the United States, his tourist visa can be changed to an L-1 visa. If he is abroad, his visa is sent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to the embassy or to the consulate of the city in which the parent company is established. In some countries, approval of the request is sent to a designated point of entry.
Our entrepreneur, enthusiastic as he is, worries because the company has not made any profits in the past year and has not declared them. He must know that the immigration department is interested in knowing about profits of the foreign company its sales and the number of employees.

In order to satisfy its requirements, the foreign company must have generated a ‘respectable’ sales figure of over $150,000.

Law Offices of Simone Bertollini – Immigration Lawyer in NJ

How Do I Obtain Permanent Residence (Green Card)?

As a Permanent Resident, you have the right to live and work in the U.S. for the rest of your life. You must pay taxes, contribute to social security, and register for the military draft if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26. However, you may not vote or hold public office, and certain jobs are not open to you. You are restricted in the amount of time that you may spend outside of the U.S. and are limited as to which relatives you may sponsor for permanent residence. If you are convicted of a serious crime, or otherwise violate the immigration laws, such as immigration fraud, you may be subject to expulsion from the U.S. unless you get your conviction vacated with a Coram Nobis petition.

You may become a permanent resident by any of the following methods:

Relatives in the United States – Most of the persons who become permanent residents each year are sponsored by close relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. U.S. citizens may petition for their spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters (whether they are married or single, and whether they are minors or adults). Permanent residents may only petition for their spouses and their unmarried sons and daughters.

Immediate Relatives (parents, spouses, and children of U.S. citizens – children being unmarried and under 21 years of age, and, in the case of a parent of a U.S. citizen, the petitioning son or daughter being at least 21 years of age, widows and widowers of U.S. citizens provided that the widow(er) was the spouse of the citizen for at least two years prior to the citizen’s death and was not legally separated from the citizen at the time of his or her death) have first claim on “relative” visas, without regard to number limitations.  The number of immediate relatives who are granted visas is subtracted from the total number of family – sponsored visas available. Regardless of how many immediate relatives are granted visas annually, at least 226, 000 visas will be available to persons in four Family Preference categories:

1st Preference – Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (23,400 annually, plus any unused visas from the 4th Preference category, if any).

2nd Preference – Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents (114,200 annually, plus the amount by which visas allocated to the family preference categories exceeds 226,000, plus unused visas from the 1st Preference category, if any).

3rd Preference – Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (23,400 annually, plus unused visas from the 1st and 2nd Preference categories, if any).

4th Preference – Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (65,000 annually, plus unused visas from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Preference categories, if any).

How can I get a Visa in the United States?

The economy in the United States is the best in the world, and that’s why millions of people every year want to come to live and work in America.

U.S. immigration laws are very strict. While it is quite easy to get automatic citizenship by birth in American soil, it is extremely complicated to get a work Visa or Green Card. Many immigrants obtain a Green Card (lawful permanent residency) by sponsor of a U.S. Citizen relative, such as a spouse, parent, sibling, or child over 21 years of age.

Those that do not have American relatives have to apply for a work Visa. The main problem is to find a sponsor, which is an American company that is willing to offer full time employment. After, the company will have to apply with a labor certification with the U.S. department of labor, to ensure that the rights of U.S. citizen workers are not violated. In fact, the U.S. government requires that companies give preference to workers that are either U.S. Citizens or that are Lawful Permanent Residents.

In addition, some work Visas are subject to an annual cap, and when USCIS receives more petitions that the number of Visas available, a lottery takes place. This could be a very stressful and frustrating situation.

Generally, artists Visa, and Visas for individuals with extraordinary ability get a strong preference. For instance, the O-1 Visa is not subject by annual caps, and can also be used from J-1 Visa holders that are subject to the 2-year residency requirement. It can also be used by H-1B Visa holders that have already spent 6 years in their status and are not eligible for further extensions.

Also, the EB1 Visa is one of the very few immigration classifications that allows self-sponsorship. An alien of extraordinary ability in the science, business, athletics or arts can simply apply for a Green Card even without a formal job offer. The reason is that U.S. laws strongly favors individuals with talent that will improve the economy and the level of workforce.

E-1 OR E-2 VISA?

The “E” visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means that it is issued for a certain amount of time as set by a treaty and can be renewed at any time. The E visa it is available only to those people who are nationals from a country that has a specific type of treaty with the United States.

There are two main types of E visas: the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa, and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.

There are few primary requirements of an E visa:

–         the alien must be a national from a country with a specific treaty with the U.S.

–         the company also must be considered a national from the same country as alien (this means at least 50% ownership of the company must be held by qualifying people from the country)

–         there must be “substantial” trade (E-1) or investment (E-2)

–         the individual must serve the company in either a managerial function or a function with “essential skills”.

–         There is no set amount that qualifies as “substantial”.

Because the E visa is a non-immigrant visa, the applicant must leave the United States upon the expiration of E status.

 The E-1 Treaty Trader Visa is available to people who will enter the U.S. “solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or in technology” primarily between the United States and the foreign country of which the person is a national.

A “substantial” trade can depend on several factors, including the volume of trade, the number of transactions and the continuous course of trade.

 On the other hand, an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, is available to people who enter the U.S. “solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital”.

The investment must be active, not passive. Which means that the business should have some employees or sub-contractors and definitely have the potential to add more employees.

In this case, a substantial investment can depend on different factors including the amount of investment compared to the total value of the enterprise, the usual amount required in a similar enterprise and the investment cannot be marginal. An immigration law firm can help you establish E Visa eligibility.

 Another advantage for an E Visa holder is that spouses and children can also gain status through this visa and spouses can get a work authorization.



The immigration laws of the United States permit the immigration of certain “immediate relatives” to the U.S. People who want to become immigrants are divided into categories based on a preference system.

The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, who include parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the application filed for them is approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. An immigrant visa number will be immediately available for immediate relatives of American citizen.

A legal immigrant is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. There is a process for your spouse to become a legal immigrant.

If your spouse is living inside the U.S., he or she may apply to adjust his or her status as a lawful permanent resident. He or she may apply for an employment authorization card immediately.

If your spouse is outside the U.S., he or she may apply for his or her residency at the American embassy.

The main mission as an Immigration Lawyer

Today we’re looking at what it’s like to be an immigration lawyer, so stick around.
Alright, as you may already know, we explore career paths both in and out of law to help you find a career that fits you and help you succeed using your law degree.
Today’s guest is an immigration lawyer cofounded this firm after working in all areas of immigration law at three different immigration firms.
She’s got a lot of great stuff to share with us today, so let’s meet her.
Definitely.  Thank you for being here.  We’re excited to learn all about the Immigration Law practice, so we’re going to be asking you questions about a typicalday, who fits this path best, how to break in and how to succeed!
So let’s start witht his.  Tell us about your practice and what you do as an Immigration Lawyer.
I have a firm that I just started with a partner in January and we have a few associates that work for us and a few staff members.
We practice all areas of ImmigrationLaw, which includes family-based and removal defense and employment-based immigration.
However, employment-based is sort of its own world, so for this session I’m going to just focus on the family and removal-side of immigration.
So, to focus on the family-removal side, basically for family-based immigration,it involves a lot of family members petitioning other family members, either through marriage or parents petitioning children or children petitioning their parents, either for those immigrants who are here in the US or if they’re outside the country and they would counselor process in.
The removal part is the litigation part of immigration Law.  So, for those who like to go to court and argue and talk to judges, removal defense is the place to be.
For removal defense, we go to court, and Immigration is trying to deport our clients, either because they’ve been here undocumented or ran out of status or they might have committed somecrimes.
So essentially, removal defense is just asking the court through legal avenuesto try and keep our clients here.

What is the main mission as an Immigration Lawyer?
It is basically helping people who are not from America to stay in America. Essentially for family-based and removal defense, yes.  It’s basically,our purpose is to allow people to either come here or stay here.  Most of our clients, for a removal defense, are people who’ve been here many, many years – either, you know,average, probably 20 plus years.
They’ve been undocumented and they have – their whole family is here; their children, grandchildren and there’s also other clients who don’thave those facts as well but our main mission in immigration Law is to allow people to stayhere in the United States.

How Do I Get a Temporary Visa?

US immigration laws allow persons born in foreign countries to enter the U.S. temporarily as tourists, to do business, to attend school, to be employed, and to engage in a variety of other activities.

Temporary visas are identified by a letter of the alphabet followed by a hyphen and a number. For example, several million people visit the U.S. each year as “B-2” tourists. Many thousands of “F-1” academic students and “M-1” vocational students attend schools and universities. Between 50,000 and 65,000 persons are granted temporary “H-1B” professional working visas annually.

Temporary visas are also known as “nonimmigrant” visas. They are issued by U.S. Embassies and Consulates located around the world. U.S. consular officers presume that you intend to stay permanently in the U.S. unless you can demonstrate through strong ties to your home country that you will not remain in the U.S. after the expiration of your authorized stay.

If your application is approved, the consular officer will affix a visa to your passport. The visa contains your photograph as well as other identifying information. Nonimmigrant visas expire after a certain period of time and may be valid for one or more entries into the U.S.

The issuance of a visa does not guarantee that you will be admitted into the U.S. The INS Immigration Inspector at the airport decides whether to admit you into the U.S. and for how long. You can be denied admission if you have a conviction for criminal mischief. If the Immigration Inspector denies you admission, you have the right to request aCoram Nobis hearing before an Immigration Judge. The Judge has the authority to overrule the Immigration Inspector.

Can my Green Card be revoked?

A Green Card is a document that allows its holder to live and work permanently in the United States. People that reside outside of the United States can apply for a Green Card with a U.S. Embassy abroad, after they received the approval of their petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Welcome To The Usa

One of the most common ways to obtain a Green Card is through family reunification. If you are the spouse, child, or sibling of a U.S. Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, you may be entitled to come to the United States with an immigrant Visa. The process starts with the filing of an I-130 petition by your U.S. relatives with the USCIS. A formal interview will be required for all applicants, except for children age 13 or younger.

Once the petition is approved and the case processed by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the immigrant will receive his Green Card, which will allow him or her to live in any of the 50 States and work without restrictions. If the petition is denied, you can file animmigration appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The Green Card is granted for a period of 10 years, except that the expiration is 2 years for spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents that have been married for less than 2 years when the Green Card is granted.

In some cases, the Green Card can be revoked. One common ground is divorce from the sponsoring spouse. The immigrant can seek a waiver of the joint filing, but only after obtaining a divorce according to the family law rules of the States he or she resides. A divorce can be a very long and complicated matter, and some courts have so many cases pending that slow down the process and create enormous delays.

Another common ground for revocation of Green Card is the commission of a criminal offense. While not all the offenses will result in the deportation of an immigrant, it is extremely important to be represented by a good criminal defense lawyer that knows the court rules and the law. Sometimes, even if a crime was committed, there may be a legal justification for it which will excuse the accused from punishment.

How do I get a U.S. Work Visa?

There are many ways to enter the United States for work-related purposes, but some ways are better than others are, if your goal is to achieve permanent residence status en route to naturalization and citizenship. If you wish to enter the U.S. for employment or business with a green card, or if you are a non-U.S. citizen working here on a nonimmigrant visa and want to adjust your status to permanent residence, contact an experienced immigration attorney for advice about the alternatives that will work best in your situation.

A good lawyer advises foreign nationals about their employment-based immigration options. Your entry visa and adjustment of status options will depend on many different factors, ranging from your country of origin and current residence to your educational, professional or technical credentials. Additional options are available for businesspeople and investors who are prepared to contribute to job creation or economic development in the U.S.

Some people can obtain permanent residence upon entry if they can qualify for an EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4 or EB-5 visa. There are three kinds of EB-1 workers: those with extraordinary skills and experience in certain fields, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives or managers. The other EB categories cover different kinds of specialized workers from degreed professionals to religious workers. The EB-5 classification offers a green card to investors ready to commit significant amounts to economic activity.

The attorneys can explain whether your application might fall under any of the EB categories, but more commonly, foreign nationals enter the country under any one of many different kinds of nonimmigrant visas, then seek adjustment of status to a permanent residence after a year or two of successful work in the U.S. An experienced family immigration attorneys can also advise an employment-based client about the possibility of permanent residence through a family relationship or marriage.

With the right immigration lawyer, you can find the right immigration and permanent residence options for foreign nationals employed in many different fields, such as:


Legal (including avvocato)

Teaching or research

Software development

IT professions

Fine arts, entertainment or professional sports

Medicine and health care

Business management

Banking and finance

Restaurants, retail or international trade

Green Card document.

A Green Card is a document that proves that an immigrant is legally authorized to live and work in the United States. A Green Card is obtained through a family-based or employment-based petition filed by a family member or an employer. Once the petition is approved, the Green Card can be achieved either by Consular Processing or by adjustment of status.

After 5 years of holding a Green Card, it is possible to apply for naturalization as a U.S. citizen.

Can the USCIS revoke Green Card status? Yes, in certain circumstances.

First, a Green Card can be revoked if it was obtained with fraud. Fraud can take place in many different ways, such as marriage fraud or document fraud.

Second, a criminal conviction for a serious crime can lead to removal proceedings and revocation of lawful permanent residency.

Finally, there could be involuntary loss and revocation of the Green Card, if the immigrant spends more than 1 year outside the United States and does not have a re-entry permit.


If you marry a U.S. citizen, you will not get a U.S. citizenship right away, but you may become eligible for a U.S. green card, which can lead to U.S. citizenship.

A “Conditional Green Card” is what you may receive from the immigration authorities, due to concern that recent marriages are more likely to be shams.

A conditional resident has the same rights as a permanent resident. He or she can travel in and out of the U.S., accept employment without separately applying for a work permit and start working toward U.S. citizenship (when approved for permanent residence).

You may apply to remove your conditional resident status if:

–         you are still married to the same U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident after two years;

–         you are a widow or widower of a marriage that was entered into in good faith;

–         you entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage was ended through divorce or annulment;

–         you entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse;

–         you are a child and cannot be included in the application of your parents for a valid reason;

–         the termination of your conditional resident status would cause extreme hardship to you.

For more specific eligibility requirements you may see Form I-751.The USCIS Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, can be filed regardless of whether you are physically present in the U.S. at the time that you file. However, you must return to the U.S. with your spouse and your children in order to comply with the interview requirement.

If you fail to file Form I-751 within the 90-day period before your second anniversary as a conditional resident, your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against you. You will receive a notice from the USCIS telling you that you have failed to remove the conditions, and you will also receive a Notice to Appear at a hearing. At the hearing you may review and confute the evidence against you. You are responsible for proving that you complied with the requirements.

The Form I-751 can be filed after the 90-day period if you can prove in writing to the director of the Regional Service Center that there was good cause for failing to file the petition on time. The director has the discretion to approve the petition and restore your permanent resident status.

If you are unable to apply with your spouse to remove the conditions on your residence, you may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement.

You may request a waiver of the joint petitioning requirements if:

–        Your deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship.

–       You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but the marriage ended by annulment or divorce, and you were not at fault in failing to file a timely petition.

–     You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but during the marriage you were battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by your U.S. citizen of legal permanent resident spouse, and you were not at fault in failing to file a joint petition.

What are the naturalization requirements in the United States?

Physical Presence – You must demonstrate that you have been physically present in the US during at least half of the required period of residency. That is, you must actually reside in the US for two and one-half out of the five years immediately preceding your interview for naturalization, or one and one-half of the previous three years.

Loyalty – You must renounce your allegiance to your home country and pledge loyalty to the US when you take the oath of allegiance to the US at your naturalization ceremony. Despite this renunciation, some countries continue to consider you as a citizen of your former country of citizenship. It is wise to check with the embassy of your country of citizenship prior to becoming a naturalized US citizen.

Good Moral Character – You must submit a completed fingerprint chart to the government as part of your application for naturalization. The chart is forwarded to the FBI which notifies USCIS whether you have a criminal record if the FBI delays your case, you case retain an immigration lawyer to file a Writ of Mandamus. Applicants with serious criminal records and those who obtained their green cards through fraud may not be able to establish good moral character. Some may even be susceptible to deportation.

English – You must be able to speak, read, write and understand simple words and phrases in the English language. Some elderly, longtime permanent residents and those with certain disabilities are exempt from the English requirement.

History and Government – You are required to pass a short examination regarding the history and government of the US.

Obtaining citizenship through your parents – You may become a US citizen “by acquisition” at birth if one or both of your parents were US citizens at the time of your birth. If only one of your parents was a citizen at the time of your birth, that parent (or grandparent in some cases) has to have lived a specified period of time in the US prior to your birth in order to transmit citizenship to you.

You may also become a US citizen through your parents “by derivation” if you become a permanent resident and your parent(s) naturalize while you are below a certain age.

To obtain proof of citizenship, you may apply for a U.S. Passport or for a Certification of Citizenship or Naturalization at any time.

How do you get a Green Card through investments?

The EB-5 Immigrant Visa is an investment visa Green Card. EB-5 visa or Pilot Immigration Program was created by the Congress in 1990, to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Foreign investors must meet specific United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requirements to obtain their permanent residency through the EB-5 visa program. EB-5 visa does not require you to have a job offer from an U.S. employer (sponsor).

There are two ways to obtain an EB-5 Visa: either through an approved Regional Center, the so called Immigration Pilot Program or through a direct or private investment.

A Regional Center is any economic unit, public or private, involved in the economic growth, improving regional productivity, job creation and increasing domestic capital investment. It is a feasible solution for immigrants who are not interested in the management and control of a company but are interested in granting a Green Card by investment.

A direct investment can be done in any legitimate productive activity that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified American employees.

The investment must be of at least $ 1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time workers (a minimum of 35 hours per week). If the investment is implemented in a rural area (outside an urban area with a population of at least 20,000 people) or an area of ​​high unemployment (at least 150% of the national average), the investment can be of at least $ 500,000.

Upon EB5 approval, the investor will be granted conditional permanent resident status. If the petition to remove conditions is not timely filed, the investor will be placed in deportation proceedings.

The EB-5 investment can take the form of money, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, or property, and is valuated based on U.S. dollar fair-market value. The for-profit activity may be:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation
  • Business trust or other entity

Among all business visas, the EB-5 is the most desirable, as it ensures the permanent immigration status (Green Card) in the United States for the main investor, spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Only 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year.

Immigrant Investor initiative & Business Immigration

Immigrant Investor initiative are created by countries to induce foreign individuals to make substantial investment to gain the right of residence and citizenship. This is also known as Business Immigration.

Targeted inbound foreign direct investments can be accomplished by these projects. Most Countries can specify which parts of the economy the foreign investments must be directed to.

For example, in the United States, the EB5 immigrant visa program is one of the most famous Immigrant Investor programs. This program requires foreign entrepreneurs to invest at least $500,000.

Furthermore, the program mandates that jobs for Americans must be created. Once the investment is made, the applicant can get a U.S. Green card for himself and his immediate family members. Only 10.000 EB-5 Visas can be granted each year, but the cap is almost never filled.

After 5 years of lawful permanent residency, it is also possible to apply for U.S. Citizenship. It is important to note that U.S. law does not prohibit Dual Citizenship.

In Canada, there is one of the most famous and sought after business investor programs. Quebec, the second province in Canada by population, run its own VIP Immigrant Investor Program.

Its requirements have been the same since its creation, and it has become one of the most affordable ones. As of June 26, 2010, the requirements for the program were heightened and the program was suspended while the new changes became effective. The new updated program was reopened on December 1, 2010.

Nowadays, the program is severely backlogged, with an estimate wait time of 12 years.

Some applicants will consider other alternatives, such as other investment programs, while other will simply wait for the backlog to clear. Some experts are predicting a swing away from Canada to other destination countries. It will depend on the awareness of foreign entrepreneurs of other investor immigration programs.

To qualify for this program, an investor must have at least two years of business investment experience, have minimum net worth of CAD$1,600,000; and make a cumulative investment of at least CAD$800,000. Finally, the applicant must meet strict health and security requirements.

Created by the federal government to promote business immigration, the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program (CANIIP) enables qualified investors to obtain permanent resident status (Canadian Green Card). Under this investor program, qualified applicants and their immediate family members will receive permanent and unconditional Canadian residential visas, and will be able to apply for Canadian citizenship after a certain number of years of residency in the country.

Other similar programs exist in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria and other countries of the European Union. St. Kitts and Nevis offers a very attractive economic citizenship program that foreign investors can join with a qualified real estate purchase or investment into the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.

Do you get deported with a crime of moral turpitude?

A crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) refers to an act that is intrinsically wrong and morally reprehensible.

Many immigration offenses are included within the category of Crime Involving Moral Turpitude, or crimes involving moral indecency. The U.S. immigration law makes ineligible to enter the United States, obtain a Visa or a Green Card, for any alien who has been convicted of a CIMT or who admits committing acts that constitute the essential elements of a CIMT, with few exceptions.

The CIMT is one of the oldest ground of “removal” from the United States. It appeared in the American immigration law for the first time in 1891, condemning to expulsion all those individuals found guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude. Although it was contemplated in the American law more than 100 years ago, there is really no criminal immigrationlaw that specifically and exhaustively defines a CIMT. While the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruled that a CIMT involves intentional actions that are per se vile or implies fraud or deception, various federal courts have adopted different interpretations of these conditions.

The crimes involving moral turpitude are generally divided into three main categories:

  • Crimes against property (blackmail, arson, robbery, burglary, receipt of stolen property);
  • Crimes committed against governmental authority (tax evasion, corruption, fraud against the government);
  • Crimes committed against individuals, family and sexual morality (statutory rape, murder, second or third degree assault, disorderly conduct, child abuse or pornography).

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), one or more convictions to one of the above categories of crimes renders a person ineligible to enter the U.S. and obtain a temporary visa or Green Card. If the immigrant is already in the United States, the acquisition of a Green Card or citizenship through the naturalization process can be denied. Also, the immigrant be placed in deportation proceedings by the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, aiding the commission of a CIMT is also considered a CIMT, and is punished and penalized to the same extent.

The law on crimes of moral turpitude is constantly evolving and changing and just a good immigration lawyer that is familiar with the local criminal laws as well as with the immigration code is able to provide a comprehensive analysis of the case.


This is the worst category of crimes for immigration purposes because being convicted of an aggravated felony makes you ineligible for most forms of relief and subjects you to mandatory detention.

The term “aggravated felony” is a term created for the purposes of immigration law and has no connection to the definition of “felony” in state or federal criminal law. So, even if your criminal conviction was not called a “felony” under state law, it may still be considered an aggravated felony for purposes of your immigration proceedings. This area of the law is very complex, so only the best immigration lawyers have the necessary skills to represent immigrant charged with these serious crimes.

For example, some state misdemeanor convictions are considered aggravated felonies. Even so, sometimes a state felony conviction is not considered an aggravated felony. Furthermore, many crimes become aggravated felonies if the sentence imposed is for one year or more, even if it is a suspended sentence. This is why it is important to know not only what your convictions are for and how long your sentence was. Other crimes may be aggravated felonies regardless of what the sentence was.

An aggravated felony is defined in the INA.

Following are examples of aggravated felonies:

–         Crimes of violence for which the penalty was at least one year;

–         If physical force was used or most likely could have been used in committing the crime, the crime may be considered a crime of violence and, therefore, an aggravated felony.

–         Murder;

–         Rape;

–         Sexual abuse of a minor;

–         Drug trafficking;

–         Firearms trafficking;

–         Theft or burglary for which the penalty imposed is imprisonment for at least one year;

–         Child pornography;

–         Prostitution business;

–         Crime of fraud or deceit or tax evasion if the loss to the victim exceeds $10,000;

–         Some types of money laundering in excess of $10,000;

–         Failure to appear for service of sentence;

–         Crime related to commercial bribery;

–         Crime relating to obstruction of justice, perjury or subornation (encouragement) of perjury, or bribery of a witness, where the penalty imposed is one year or more in prison (felony or misdemeanor);

–         Smuggling aliens;

–         Conviction related to failure to appear before a court on a felony charge that could result in a sentence of two or more years;

–         An attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above.

 In most federal courts, a conviction for any offense listed as an “aggravated felony” is grounds for deportation, even if the crime was not considered an “aggravated felony” at the time of conviction. In other words, whenever Congress adds a new offense to the list of “aggravated felonies” in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), lawfully present immigrants who have previously been convicted of such crimes become immediately deportable. As a result, any addition to the list of “aggravated felonies” will apply to prior convictions unless Congress affirmatively states that it will only apply to future convictions.

An “aggravated felony” is one, but not the only, basis to deport immigrants convicted of a criminal offense. Removal proceedings may also be initiated against immigrants convicted of one or more crimes involving “moral turpitude,” a wide category of offenses that includes, but is not limited to, most crimes that qualify as an “aggravated felony.” Immigrants convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude are subject to deportation, but do not face the additional consequences associated with a conviction for an “aggravated felony.” The immigration laws also permit deportation for convictions of various offenses.

What is the B1 Visa for Business?

The B1 Visa or “Visitor for Business” Visa is intended for Business travelers who come to the United States for business activities of temporary nature and related activities that do not require actual labor work.

The B-1 is a non-immigrant Visa and is obtained at the U.S. Consulate of the Country where the foreign national resides.

While in the United States as Business visitor, an individual may:

– Attend business meetings;
– Negotiate business and real estate contracts;
– Participate in academic conferences;
– Discuss planned investment or purchases;
– Solicit sales;
– Make investments or purchases;
– Control the operations of a Company in which the foreign national has invested;
– Receive temporary training from a U.S. Company;
– Settle an estate;
– Interview and hire staff;
– Conduct research.

It is generally not allowed to work with a B-1 Visa, although there are very limited exceptions to this rule, such as the B-1 in lieu of the H-1B. Running a business and gainful employment require a working visa application. If you are caught working on the B1 Visa, you may be placed in deportation proceedings and you will need to retain a defense lawyer.

Those entering with a B1 visa will generally be granted 6 months admission by the immigration officer at the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP). The maximum allowable period is one year and the CBP officer has absolute discretion to decide the length of the stay (1 to 12 months).

If you are denied entry to the United States, you can file an immigration appeal. It may be possible to obtain a six-month extension to the visit visa as long as the candidate will be maintaining his or her visitor status. The B1 Visa can be issued for a single entry or for multiple entries.

If you are in the United States in another valid nonimmigrant status, you may be eligible to change to B-1 status, filing a Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status).  If you are from a Visa Waiver Program country, the denial of the B-1 Visa will automatically revoke an already approved travel authorization, and might prevent you from getting one.

Spouse and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. If they were to accompany you, they would have to apply for a B-2 tourist visa.

What are the types of U.S. Visas?

Specialty Occupations (H-1B) – Up to 65,000 professional employees may receive visas annually to work for U.S. employers. The employer must certify to the government that you will be employed in an occupation for which the minimum entry requirement is a university degree. In addition, the employer must pay you at the average or “prevailing” wage rate for persons in your occupation and geographic location. Usually, H-1B status will be granted in three-year increments, with a maximum duration of six years. H-1B employees include, but are not limited to, accountants, architects, computer programmers/systems analysts, dentists, engineers, financial analysts, medical technologists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, researchers, scientists and teachers.

Exchange Visitors (J-1) – The U.S. Information Agency (USIA) permits a wide variety of organizations and universities to sponsor persons as exchange visitors.   Some programs allow you to be employed while other programs are for students only.  Programs which involve governmental funding, skills enumerated on the USIA’s Exchange Visitors Skills List, or graduate medical training subject you to a two-year foreign residency requirement. This means that upon completion of your program, you are obligated to return to your home country for a minimum of two years. “The foreign residency requirement may be overcome by (1) obtaining a “no objection” letter from your native country (not available to those pursuing medical residencies or fellowships in the US), (2) showing that your spouse or children who are either US citizens or permanent residents will suffer “exceptional hardship” if you are required to return to your home country for two years, (3) demonstrating that you have a well-founded fear of persecution if you return to your home country (more similar to the asylum requirements); or (4) sponsorship from certain interested governmental agencies. In each of these cases, approval from the USIA and/or the INS is required”. If your Visa is denied, you should hire an appeals lawyer.

Intracompany Transferees (L-1) – If you are an executive, manager or a person with specialized knowledge who is employed by a company abroad, you may transfer to the U.S. branch of the company (or to a parent, affiliate or subsidiary company in the U.S.) to assume a similar position. To qualify, you must have been employed in a similar position for the foreign-based company during one of the past three years before you entered the U.S. The maximum duration of L-1 status is seven years for executives and managers and five years for persons with specialized knowledge.

Persons of Extraordinary Ability (O) – If you are a person of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, you may be granted an O-1 visa. If you are accompanying an O-1 visa holder in an artistic or athletic performance, you may qualify for an O-2 visa.

Athletes and Entertainers (P) – If you are an athlete who has performed individually, or as part of a group or team, at an internationally- recognized level of performance, you may be issued a P-1 visa. P-1 visas are also available to entertainers who perform in a group which has attained international recognition. Artists and entertainers who enter the U.S. under a reciprocal exchange program may be granted P-2 visas while those entering in a culturally unique program may receive P-3 status.

Religious Workers (R-1) – If you are coming to the U.S. as a minister or have a religious vocation or occupation, you may qualify for an R-1 visa. You must have been a member of the religious denomination for the previous two years and be coming to the U.S. to work for a bona fide nonprofit religious organization. The maximum duration for R-1 status is five years.

Family members – In each of the above categories, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany you to the U.S. However, as a general rule, family members are not permitted to work in the U.S.

Can an illegal immigrant fix his immigration status?

Those that were not born in the United States and have not acquired U.S. Citizenship from their parents, will need a Visa or Green Card to enter the country.

Generally, a tourist Visa can be requested at a U.S. Consulate abroad by filling out an application and presenting documents of having strong ties to his or her country of residence.

Work Visas are granted to workers that are sponsored by an American company, and are subject to very strict rules. Because it is very complicated to obtain a work Visa in the U.S., many immigrants come with a tourist Visa and just stay in the country illegally. Many immigrants that are unable to even obtain a tourist Visa decide to enter the country illegally, by walking through the Mexican or Canadian borders.

Immigrant with illegal status have very limited options to regularize their position with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Generally, those that overstayed their Visa can only get a Green Card if they marry a U.S. Citizen. Further, those that entered the country without a Visa have to go through a complicated waiver process, which require the assistance of the best immigration lawyers.

Other ways to change to a legal status are provided by special laws, such as the U Visa or the VAWA provisions. Finally, many illegal immigrant get legal status when the U.S. Government passes immigration reforms and amnesty laws.

Another common ground of ineligibility for immigration benefits are criminal convictions. Unfortunately, many immigrants do not understand the immigration consequences of criminal convictions  when they plead guilty to even minor offenses, such as shoplifting or possession or controlled substances.

If your Visa or Green Card is denied, you will be given a written explanation of the denial reasons. You will be able to appeal a negative decision to a higher authority, which will be the Administrative Appeals Office or the Board of Immigration Appeals.


The following are some basic, frequently asked questions in regard to U.S. immigration law and

visas. Since immigration law is rapidly changing and highly complex, this web site is intended

to provide general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice on visa related

matters and immigration law.

  1. What is “labor certification?”  The United States immigration law states that an alien labor certification is a

certification by the Department of Labor that there are not workers who are qualified, able,

willing, and available at the prospective place of employment, and employment of an alien

won’t adversely effect the working conditions and wages of similarly employed workers in the


  1. What is an “immigrant” versus a “non-immigrant”? According to U.S. immigration law, an immigrant is an alien who intends to stay in the U.S.

on a permanent, or non-temporary, basis. A non-immigrant is an alien who is coming to the U.S.

for a temporary period for a specific purpose. It is possible for aliens to remain in the U.S.

for extended periods of time by virtue of a non-immigrant visa.

  1. What is the length of time for which a non-immigrant visa valid?  The maximum length for which the visa is valid depends upon the type of visa and, in some

instances, the alien’s specific circumstances. The length of stay in the U.S. and the date the

alien must depart depends upon the INS. period of stay granted by the INS.

  1. Is it possible for possible for a person to have “dual citizenship” Under certain circumstances, it is possible to have dual citizenship. This depends upon a

number of factors, including, how the citizenships were acquired, the actions of the

individual, the timing of the acquisition of the citizenships involved, and laws of the

country involved.

  1. Is every foreign national who intends to enter the U.S. required to obtain a visa? Generally, yes.

If you would like to inquire about assistance with an immigration law or visa issue, please

Contact the Firm.

If you have further questions, please visit our links page.

Under the U.S. immigration law,

Under the U.S. immigration law, any alien convicted of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT), or who admits to have committed a CIMT, or the elements of a CIMT, is inadmissible to the USA. Moreover, many immigration crimes are included in the CIMT (or crimes involving moral indecency) category.

In the common law, “Moral Turpitude” refers to an act which is morally reprehensible, inherently base, vile, or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between persons or to society in general.

CIMTs are the oldest reasons of “removal” from the United States and were introduced in the U.S. immigration law for the first time in 1891, condemning to expulsion all those guilty people “who have been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude”.

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruled that a CIMT involves a behavior that is itself vile or involves fraud or deception, but various Federal Courts have different forms of interpreting these conditions. Persons are potentially ineligible for a visa under Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) if they are convicted of a statutory offense which involves moral turpitude.

The crimes involving moral indecency are grouped into three main categories:

–  Crimes against property (blackmail, arson, robbery, burglary, receipt of stolen property, counterfeit godos, larceny, theft, or securities fraud);

  1.    –  Crimes committed againstgovernmental authority (tax evasion, corruption, fraud against the Government);
  2.    –  Crimes committed againstindividuals, family and sexual morality (statutory rape, murder, second or third degree assault, disorderly conduct, child abuse or pornography, spouse abuse, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, attempted murder, accessory after the fact to murder).

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the conviction of a crime which corresponds to this list, can make a person ineligible to enter the United States and to obtain a visa. To avoid ineligibility, you must file a criminal appeal. If the person is already present in the United States, the acquisition of a Green Card or the naturalization process can be denied. Most criminal convictions are based on state law. Crimes punished by only fines or even less have still been held to be CIMTs.

If the conviction was committed for a “Petty Offense”, the alien may still be admissible. In the case of a Petty Offense, the maximum possible penalty for the crime should not exceed imprisonment for one year and the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of six months. The Petty Offense exception is not available if more than one CIMT offense was committed or admitted. The exception can often be relied, to exclude CIMT grounds. You may apply for a Petty Offense if:

–  you are less than 18 years old;

– in some cases of purely political offenses (such as political rallies of opposition, in a politically repressed country);

– the sentence took place more than 5 years ago;

– the maximum penalty for the offense shall not exceed one year in prison and the offender was not sentenced to more than 180 days in prison.

Another way to atone for a CIMT, is to qualify for a pardon (Waiver), under the Section 212 (h) of the INA. This section allows exceptions when the sentence imposed was more than 15 years ago, the admission would not affect the security of the United States and the immigrant was later rehabilitated.

Finally, exemptions may be granted when the alien proves a condition of extreme hardship for the spouse, child and parent legally residents, if banned from entering in the United States.

The law on CIMTs is constantly changing, and only a lawyer familiar with local criminal laws as well as the Immigration Code, can provide a full analysis of your case.

The plaintiffs and defendants of a lawsuit are the litigants, and are generally represented by a litigation law firm

A lawsuit (or legal action) is a civil action filed in a tribunal in which a plaintiff, someone asserting to have suffered a loss as a result of a defendant’s actions or inactions, asks a legal or equitable remedial measure.

The defendant must reply to the plaintiff’s legal papers, or a default judgment may be entered. If the plaintiff wins the case, judgment is in his favor, and many court orders exist so that enforcement of a right, the award of damages, or impositions of a temporary or permanent injunction may be accomplished. A declaratory judgment is often sought to prevent future lawsuits.

A lawsuit generally involves the resolution of disputes between private parties, corporations or non-profit organizations.

The phases involved in a lawsuit are referred to the word “litigation”. The plaintiffs and defendants of a lawsuit are the litigants, and are generally represented by a litigation law firm. The word litigation is also used in criminal proceedings.

The civil and criminal procedure rules control the phases of a lawsuit in the common law-based legal system. Procedural rules are also amended and changed by other statutory laws, precedential decisions, and constitutional rules that set the rights of the parties involved in legal proceedings. The substance and extent of procedural laws change greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (State or Federal), and even from court to court within the same judicial district or federal appellate circuit. The procedural rules are crucial for the trial because they impose the timing of the lawsuit’s stages, and what the parties can file (and when), such as motions to dismiss, motion to suppress evidence, motion for summary judgment, or motions to reopen criminal cases.

Why are Regional Centers Created?

Aside from creating an enticing platform for U.S. residency, the regional center concept is premised upon the thought that pooling investor funds into one project is safer and constructive when compared to the risks associated with creating, managing, and developing an individual investment project.

Furthermore, U.S. developers like to expand the diversity of their investor pool and provide a fresh source of capital as they welcome foreign investors.

This process further reduces the risk of liquidity as many transactions are allequity with little or no bank financing.

Since the primary motivation for many investors is U.S. residency, a small but reasonable return on their capital is usually expected and provided.

The job creation component is a motivating factor underlying the development of the regional center program.

This requirement is of great interest to Congress as well as the U.S. economy as a whole. Dependent on the total number of investors, a regional center may be required to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs which will satisfy both the project and the lifting of the conditional status of the investor.

This requirement is fulfilled relatively early on in the process as the job component must be demonstrated no later than 24 months after an investor receives his or her conditional U.S. residency.

While there is no bar to individual investors creating their own EB-5 application, this investment would require the creation of ten direct jobs, continued on-site management, and the risk of having to infuse greater capital to keep the business active. However, when investing in a Regional Center, an investor is relieved from those obligations as the Regional Center satisfies the job creation requirement, provides its own daily on-site management and development, and has no additional requirements for capital participation.

Additionally, during this period when traditional methods of financing have become limited and in many cases restricted, the EB-5 program and the regional centers created as its consequence, have opened the door welcoming a new form of alternative financing.


In 1990, Congress created the EB-5 program to benefit the U.S. economy by attracting investments from qualified foreign investors. Under this program, each investor is required to demonstrate that at least 10 new jobs were created or saved as a result of the EB-5 investment, which have a requirement of a minimum $1 million, or $500,000 if the funds are invested in certain high-unemployment or rural areas.

In 1992, Congress increased the economy impact of the EB-5 program by permitting the designation of Regional Centers to pool EB-5 Capital from multiple foreign investors for investment in USCIS approved economic development projects within a delimited geographic region.

More than 25 countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, use similar programs to attract foreign investments. The U.S. program is more demanding than many others, requiring substantial risk for investors in terms of both their financial investment and immigration status.

The EB-5 immigrant visa is an investment-based opportunity for a green card.

As a general rule, you may obtain a permanent resident status (also known as green card) through the EB-5 visa if you fulfill two major requirements:

–         an investment of $1 million of legally obtained capital in a commercial enterprise in the U.S., and

–         create 10 jobs for U.S. workers.

As mentioned before, the “investment” requirement can sometimes be lower. For instance, if you invest through a “Regional Center” or within a “Targeted Employment Area,” then the investment requirement is only $500,000. (“Targeted Employment Areas” include “rural areas” or “high unemployment area”).

In general, the EB-5 visa has the following advantages over employment-based green card options and achievement-based green card options:

–         Does not require a PERM labor certification. That is, there is no need to show there is a shortage of U.S. workers to perform your job.

–        Does not require a permanent job offer in the United States. In comparison, if you instead use the more common business-related green card category, EB-1C Multinational Executives or Managers (which is the “permanent” version of the L-1A Multinational Executives or Managers nonimmigrant visa), you have to prove that you have a permanent job offer.

–        Does not require you to maintain your existing home-country business. If you want to abandon your business operations outside the United States, you can shut down those operations and still obtain your green card in the United States. (You should always check with your immigration lawyer before shutting down your overseas business, though.) In comparison, under the EB-1C Multinational Executives or Managers green card option, you must maintain your business operations in your home country throughout the green card application process.

–        Does not require Extraordinary Ability (or “national interest” level achievements) in business. You need to demonstrate to have $1 million in legitimately obtained money to invest in the United States.

–       Does not require you to be a citizen of a Treaty Country, line the E-2 Visa or the E-1 Visa.


Can U.S. citizenship be revoked?

It is possible for a naturalized U.S. citizen to have his or her citizenship revoked. Former citizens who are denaturalized are subject to removal, known also as deportation, from the United States. On the other hand, natural-born American citizens may not have their U.S. citizenship revoked against their will, but they can renounce their citizenship on their own.

Generally speaking, a person is subject to revocation of naturalization on the following grounds:

–         Person Procures Naturalization Illegally;

–         Concealment of Material Fact or Willful Misrepresentation;

–         Membership or affiliation with certain organizations;

–         Other than honorable discharge before five years of honorable service after naturalization.

1)    Person Procures Naturalization Illegally. When filling your paperwork and answering your interview questions related to the naturalization application process, you must be absolutely truthful. Procuring naturalization illegally simply means that the person was not eligible for naturalization in the first place. Even if the USCIS fails to recognize any lies or omissions at first, the immigration service may file a denaturalization action against you after your citizenship has been granted. Examples include failure to disclose criminal activities or lying about one’s real identity.

2)    Concealment of Material Fact or Willful Misrepresentation. A person is subject to revocation of naturalization on this basis if:

–         as a naturalized U.S. citizen you misrepresented or concealed some fact;

–         the misrepresentation or concealment was willful;

–         the misrepresented or concealed fact of facts were material; and

–        as a naturalized U.S. citizen you procured citizenship as a result of the misrepresentation or concealment.

3)    Membership or affiliation with certain organizations. Your citizenship may be revoked if the U.S. government can prove that you joined a subversive organization within five years of becoming a naturalized citizen.

4)    Other than honorable discharge before five years of honorable service after naturalization. Since you may become a naturalized citizen by virtue of serving in the U.S. military, your citizenship may be revoked if you are dishonorably discharged before serving 5 years. Examples include desertion and sexual assault.

The denaturalization process occurs in federal court and follows the standard rules of federal civil court cases. You will need to be represented by a very experienced criminal immigration lawyer. Because of this reason, it is not an immigration case even though it affects immigration status.

Civil Appeals Procedures in New York

You are allowed to file an appeal if you think the City Court has judged your civil case without legal considerations. The process is lengthy and intricate, and the assistance of an experienced appeals lawyer is crucial.

An appeal does not automatically make you eligible for another trial. The purpose of the appeal is to examine the minutes of the trial conducted earlier to see if anything was done unlawfully.

Cases in Which there is no Right to Appeal

If your case was decided by an arbitrator or referee (essentially, outside the court), and the jurisdiction to the arbitrator was conferred through mutual agreement between the parties, the case becomes ineligible for appeal.

If you don’t file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the original decision (20 days, in some cases), you lose your right to appeal

The appeal procedure is extremely time-sensitive. You must move quickly in order to get your case reconsidered by the court.

Filing the Appeal – The Process

Here’s the step-by-step process you need to follow in order to file your case for appeal. Consult an appeals lawyer to get assistance through these steps. Federal Appeals may have different rules.

  1. The appeal needs to be filed within 30 days of the judgment.
  2. You’ll need to submit an undertaking in the form of a bond or a certified check in order to halt the enforcement of the judgment.
  3. Alternatively, you can acquire a stay order from the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court in order to halt the enforcement of the judgment.
  4. Fill in the “Notice of Appeal” form and create two copies from it. Get one copy served to the opposing party by a process server (someone over the age of 18 and not involved with your case). The second copy will serve as your record for the appeal. The original document is to be filed with the court.
  5. Pay the court fees for your appeal and notify the court clerks.
  6. In addition to this, you’ll need to apply for the transcript of the minutes of the trial. If a Court Reporter was present during your trial, you’ll need to contact him/her for the transcript. The Court Reporter is legally allowed to charge a fee against the transcript.
  7. In case the Court Reporter was not present during your trial, you’ll need to get the audio of your trial transcribed by authorized parties. You’ll need to submit a written request with the court clerk in order to obtain the original transcription of your case.
  8. Read through the transcript, address any problems with the content and file your objections/amendments with the opposing party within 15 days of receiving the document.
  9. Original copies of all communication between the two parties need to be filed with the court in addition to the Notice of Appeal. If you wish to provide additional supporting documents, you can do so by consulting the court clerk.
  10. Once the final decision has been made by the court, it will be mailed to all involved parties on their stated addresses.

Can you get a Green Card through marriage?

Marriage to a United States Citizen – If you marry a citizen in the US, you may submit an application for permanent residence to the USCIS office having jurisdiction over your residence. Typically, USCIS will issue you a work card and a travel permit (also known as an “advance parole”) while you wait to be interviewed. Depending on the USCIS office, waiting times for marriage interviews range from two months to over one year.

USCIS will determine if you are residing together by examining your identification, wedding photographs, tax returns, insurance policies and by questioning you and your spouse. If USCIS has any doubts as to the bona fides of your marriage, they may question you and your spouse separately, and may conduct an investigation at your places of residence and employment.

If your marriage occurs abroad, you must process the immigration paperwork at the U.S . Embassy or Consulate in your country. The procedure is roughly the same as in the U.S. except that the waiting time usually ranges from three to six months.

If the marriage is less than two years old when you become a permanent resident, your green card will expire two years after you become a permanent resident. You and your spouse will be required to submit a joint petition to USCIS to remove this two-year condition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the expiration of your green card. If the marriage has terminated because of death or divorce, or if you are the victim of criminal mischief, you may apply with USCIS for a waiver of the joint petition requirement.

How Do I Avoid Deportation if I am In the United States Illegally?

If an Immigration Judge finds you to be illegally present in the United States, it does not necessarily follow that you will be deported. Criminal and immigration laws provides you with many types of relief from deportation:

Waiver – The immigration law enumerates various grounds by which an alien in the United States may be subject to deportation. A common ground of deportability provides that an alien may be subject to deportation if he was excludable when he entered the United States. There are many grounds of excludability found in the law.

Eligibility for waivers of deportability and excludability depend upon your ability to show “extreme hardship” to certain close family members who are US citizens or permanent residents if you are forced to leave the US. For example, if you have resided in the US for seven years, at least five of which were as a permanent resident, you may be able to qualify for a waiver of many grounds of deportability and excludability. However, recent laws severely limit your ability to obtain such a waiver if you were convicted of any wide range of crimes.

Cancellation of Removal – A deportable alien may apply for permanent residence from an Immigration Judge through Cancellation of Removal if he meets the following requirements:

Continuously physical presence in the U.S. for at least ten years before being placed in removal proceedings (absence of less than 90 days, or 180 days in total do not affect the continuity of one’s physical presence).

Good moral character.

No convictions of certain designated (criminal) offenses, such as possession of a weapon.

Showing that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his US citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent or child.

Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence – A deportable alien who is an “immediate relative” because he is the parent, spouse, widow or child of a US citizen may be eligible to apply to the Judge to adjust his status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Also qualified to apply for adjustment of status is any alien whose priority date for permanent residence is “current”.

Aliens who obtained conditional permanent residence based upon their marriage, or the marriage of their alien parent, to a US citizen or permanent resident may have their legal status terminated by the INS if they fail to meet certain requirements. However, once INS places them under deportation proceedings, they may renew their applications for permanent residence before an Immigration Judge. The same holds true for an alien who becomes a conditional permanent resident based on investment.

How to File a Regional Center Application

With limited and restricted financial options, developers are seeking alternative financing through the EB-5 program.

This may include all equity participation by the investors, or a hybrid of partial financing and EB-5 investors.

Each regional center application and project is accompanied by a comprehensive business plan.

A regional center application is filed with the USCIS in Laguna Niguel, California.

It is a long and pain staking process which will include the necessary reports for the proposed regional center and will include a Business Plan, Econometric Models, Marketing Information, SEC documentation, and Immigration components.

The detailed submission is collated by experienced counsel and submitted for review to USCIS, which can take several months to conclude its review.

If the USCIS has further questions or concerns, it can issue a Request for Further Evidence, known as an RFE.
This is not unusual as no regional center application is perfect, although some are approved on the first submission.

Once approved, the regional center will be able to operate within a prescribed geographical area for one or several specific uses.
If the purpose is not applied for within a reasonable period of time, normally one year, the regional center can lose its accreditation.

This is a serious situation if any investors are already committed to the project.
Finally, it is always helpful to identify a regional center which has a defined purpose and project.

regional center which does not contain a specific project from the beginning is doomed to flounder seeking the first project or opportunity.
Today, there are a wide variety of projects to choose from, thus such wishful projects are no longer necessary or desirable.


Laws regulating drug crimes are an area of intense interest in the United States. Many states have thought about drug law reforms, including the increasing legalization of medical marijuana, and, in a few states, general marijuana use.

Drug crimes law mainly target the use and distribution of controlled substances. Federal drug laws are governed by the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., (“the CSA”) and most states model their own drug laws after the CSA.

The immigration consequences of a criminal conviction related to controlled substances are very harsh. Only the best immigration lawyers would be able to handle deportation cases involving these complicated issues.

The CSA places drugs in five different categories, ranging from schedule I to Schedule V drugs.

Schedule I drugs are those drugs typically prohibited by drug laws as they have been deemed to have no safe accepted use. Schedule I drugs include:

  • Marijuana;
  • LSD;
  • MDMA (also known as ecstasy);
  • Heroin, and other serious drugs.

Schedule I drugs have an accepted medical use, but are also drugs for which there is a high potential for abuse. Accordingly, Schedule II drug use is permitted only with a prescription.

Schedule II drugs include:

  • Cocaine;
  • Methamphetamine;
  • Morphine, and other amphetamines.

Schedule III – V classify other drugs of varying degrees of severity and impose certain restrictions on their use, such as requiring that the user has a prescription or is over 21.

Unlike Schedule I drugs, drugs in Schedule III – V are not per se illegal, but require that the patient use them in a regulated manner.

How does custody get decided as between a parent and a third party?

Third parties may be granted custody of minor children, but this generally occurs only in extreme cases where the parents have been determined to be unfit or unable to be granted custody (i.e. in jail, etc.).

In Missouri, “the best interest of the child” is the determining factor in deciding which party is granted custody of minor children.   Courts have several factors to consider in making this determination, including the following:

the wishes of the parties

whether a parent in under deportation proceedings

the child’s relationship and interaction with others (the parties, siblings, others)

the child’s adjustment of status, community, school, etc.

mental and physical health of the parties

any history of abuse

felony sexual offense of a party (Court cannot grant custody to that party)

the child’s need for a continuing relationship with parents

either party’s intent to relocate out of Missouri

which parent is more likely to allow the child visitation with the other parent

Notably absent from this list is the misconduct of either party.   Extramarital affairs and other misconduct can be considered in awarding maintenance (alimony) or in the division of marital property, but not in the custody of minor children or in determining child support.  This is because the court is not trying to see what is fair to the parties, but what is fair to their minor children, or “in their best interest.”

How does custody get decided as between parents?

Again, in Missouri, the “best interests of the child” prevails.  See the question above for a list of considerations.

What is the terminology for custody?

Legal Custody – generally means which party is granted decision-making responsibility regarding a child’s upbringing, including where he goes to school, whether or when he needs medical attention, what religious beliefs he will be raised in, etc.  Will generally be granted to a party as “Sole Legal Custody” or to both parties as “Joint Legal Custody”

Physical Custody – refers to significant amounts of time with both parents, so that the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Missouri’s custody statute encourages joint custody arrangements where appropriate.   Will generally be granted to a party as “Sole Physical Custody” or to both parties as “Joint Physical Custody”.

What is Business Immigration?

What is Business Immigration?

Doing business include starting a business, consultations with business associates, registering a property, negotiating or enforcing contracts, getting credit, rating across borders, protecting minority investors, or resolving insolvency.

A foreign entrepreneur ready to invest and actively manage a business in the U.S. may choose a nonimmigrant or the immigrant visa pathways.

Business immigrants are normally sponsored by a U.S. employer even if some of them may self-petition if they meet the criteria for the O-1B Visafor “extraordinary ability” in their field, or if their entry in the country would be in the “national interest”.

Nationals of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) do not need a visa to perform regular business activities in the U.S, if the trip do not last more than 90 days.

On the other side, a gainful business employment for less than 90 days requires a work visa, too.

The U.S. Congress has created five basic categories of business immigrant visas.

  1. B-1 Business visa

The non-immigrant business visa or B-1 visa is issued to entrepreneurs travelling to the U.S. for a limited period of time in order to treat business.

If you are the beneficiary of a B-1 visa, you absolutely can not receive and accept any type of payment, such as salary or remuneration. The period of stay must be up to a maximum of 1 year.

  1. E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas

The E-1 (Treaty Trader) and E-2 (Treaty Investor) visas are “non-immigrant” classifications for multinational managers, executives and investors of foreign countries having a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation or a bilateral treaty investment providing for non-immigrant entries with the United States. The United States signed the Treaty with 78 countries, including Albania and Senegal, but not including Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The E-1 visa is structured for business owners and managers, or employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for large periods of time to work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade (import/export) with the United States.

Managers and executives must have been employed for at least one of the three previous years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer.

The E-2 visa is for investors who want to enter and work in the United States making a substantial investment. The investment will not be considered substantial if it is not big enough to capitalize the venture. The E-2 visa must generally be renewed every five years, but there is no limit to its renewal.

  1. H1-B visa for entrepreneurs with academic qualifications

The H1-B visa allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers with certain skills in specialized areas such as science and medicine, architecture, engineering, law, education, theology or art. Even though, a business owner can sometimes obtain a visa through the company he had formed, as long as he has the academic or professional qualifications required. The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa and is granted for an initial period of three years and is renewable for a further period of three years. The H1-B visa holder may attempt a “dual intent” and apply for a Green Card, only after the approval of a Permanent Labor Certification by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

  1. L-1 Corporate Visa

The L-1 visa or “Intracompany Transferee” allows companies, operating both in the U.S. and abroad, to transfer certain classes of employees in U.S. subsidiaries. Even though L-1 visa was created for large multinational companies, it allows a start-up foreign company to expand its business and services. The L-1A visa for Managers and Executives is granted for a period of three up to a maximum of seven years and creates a direct path to permanent residency. The L-1B visa for employees with “specialized knowledge” is initially granted for three up to a maximum of five years, but does not create a direct path to the Green Card. Nevertheless it allows the “dual intent”, and does not create problems for its grant or renewal.

  1. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Green Card

The EB-5 is the most desirable visa, because it guarantees a Green Card in the United States for the main investor, spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, as defined by international family law. The EB-5 visa is reserved for foreign nationals who make an investment of at least $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time workers (a minimum of 35 hours per week). If the investment is made in a rural area (outside an urban area with a population of at least 20,000 people) or an area of ​​high unemployment (at least 150% of the national average), can be of at least $500,000.

Adjust of Status or Application to Register Permanent Residence

Based on an immigrant petition: You may apply to adjust your status if:

  • an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you based on an approved immigrant petition;
  • you are filing this application with a complete relative, special immigrant juvenile or special immigrant military petition, which if approved, would make an immigrant visa number immediately available to you.
  • Based on being the spouse or child (derivative) at the time another adjustment applicant (principal) files to adjust status or at the time a person is granted permanent resident status in an immigrant category that allows derivative status for spouses and children.
  • If the spouse or child is in the United States, the individual derivatives may file their adjustment of status concurrently with the adjustment of status. Or file at any time after the principal is approved, if a visa number is available.
  • If the spouse or child is residing abroad, the person adjusting status in the United States should file the Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, concurrently with the principal s adjustment of status application to allow the derivatives to immigrate to the U.S. without delay, if the principal’s adjustment of status application is approved.

Based on admission as the fiancé of a U.S. citizen and subsequent marriage to that citizen. You may apply to adjust status if you were admitted to the U.S. as the K-1 fiancé of a U.S. citizen and you married that citizen within 90 days of your entry. If you were admitted as the K-2 child of such a fiancé, you may apply based on your parent s adjustment application.

Based on asylum status. You may apply to adjust status if you have been granted asylum in the U.S. after being physically present in the U.S. for one year after the grant of asylum, if you still qualify as an asylee or as the spouse or child of a refugee, unless you committed a criminal or immigration offense (also called crimmigration).

Based on Cuban citizenship or nationality: You may apply to adjust status if:

  • you are a native or citizen of Cuba, were admitted or paroled into the U.S. after January 1st, 1959, and thereafter have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year; or
  • you are the spouse or unmarried child of a Cuban described above, and regardless of your nationality, you were admitted or paroled after January 1st, 1959, and thereafter have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year.

Based on continuous residence since before January 1, 1972, You may apply for permanent residence if you have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1, 1972. If you were granted permanent residence in the U.S. prior to November 6, 1966.