6219 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60646

Employment Immigration Attorney

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Businesses and householdworkerscan obtain temporary visas or permanent residency:


PERMANENT RESIDENCY – GREEN CARDS


Companies and households can fill a more permanent position by sponsoring a potential job candidate.  A large part of our practice focuses on obtaining green cards for these needed workers. For example:


 Nanny or care givers in private households

 Truck drivers, carpenters, administrative staff, accounting staff, mechanics, sales managers, logistics workers, import/export personnel in businesses –(in almost any occupation in which there is a need for workers.)

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  • EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRATION

  • PERMANENT RESIDENCY – GREEN CARDS
  • TEMPORARY IMMIGRATION

As the American workforce tightens, it becomes even more important to sponsor future workers that can add to the company’s profitability.  

The process of obtaining a green card through employment generally takes 1 ½ to 2 years to complete and allows the immigration of the worker and their entire family.

For more information on this process, please call, email or make an appointment to come into our office.  We enjoy a high ratio of success in this area.  We will prepare all of the necessary paperwork to alleviate pressure on the sponsor and accompany our clients as required to the Immigration Service to ensure your case is completed successfully.

TEMPORARY IMMIGRATION

 

A variety of visas help bring foreign workers to the USA to work.  Persons overseas or legally in the USA can apply.  The most common types of these visas include:

 

 Non-skilled workers on seasonal employment (seasonal resorts, landscaping) (H2A)

 Skilled workers where all candidates have a minimum of a college degree (computer specialists, specialized business managers). (H1)

 Managers or workers of special skill sets and training to assist US affiliates of foreign companies (L)

 Performers and persons of special abilities in the sciences, art, or business (singers, musicians, bands, artists, researchers, business professors/experts

 

Please contact our office for more information as to the various temporary visas available and what type of visa would best fit your requirements as an employer.



What is a U.S. Visa?

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.
(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.

In this situation, when planning travel abroad, learn about visa requirements by country, see country information in the International Travel Section section of this website.)


More Information about Visas


Find out what visa type is appropriate for you


The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel.
Please visit our Visa Wizard to find out what visa type is appropriate for you.
You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions or find out about the Visa Waiver Program.
Other useful links: Visa Categories  |  Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate  |  Glossary


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Visa Denials

Visa Denials – and how to overcome them – contact our office for information on visa waivers and how to overcome visa denials.


U.S. law generally requires visa applicants to be interviewed by a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. After relevant information is reviewed, the application is approved or denied, based on standards established in U.S. law.

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While the vast majority of visa applications are approved, U.S. law sets out many standards under which a visa application may be denied. An application may be denied because the consular officer does not have all of the information required to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa, because the applicant does not qualify for the visa category for which he or she applied, or because the information reviewed indicates the applicant falls within the scope of one of the inadmissibility or ineligibility grounds of the law. An applicant’s current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, as examples, may make the applicant ineligible for a visa.


If denied a visa, in most cases the applicant is notified of the section of law which applies. Visa applicants are also advised by the consular officer if they may apply for a waiver of their ineligibility. Several of the most common reasons for visa ineligibilities are explained below. 


How does a visa applicant qualify for a visa?

You, as a visa applicant, qualify for a visa by being eligible under all applicable U.S. laws for the visa category for which you are applying. During your visa interview, the consular officer at the U.S Embassy or Consulate will determine if you are qualified for the type of visa for which you are applying.
The sole authority to approve or deny (called adjudicate) visa applications, under U.S. immigration law section 104(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, is given to consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.


What does being found ineligible mean?

If a consular officer finds you are not eligible to receive a visa under U.S. law, your visa application will be denied (refused), and you will be provided a reason for the denial. There are many reasons a visa applicant could be found ineligible for a visa. These reasons, called ineligibilities, are listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and other immigration laws. Some ineligibilities can be overcome, either by you, the visa applicant, or the U.S. petitioner, in certain immigrant visa cases. Other ineligibilities are permanent. This means that every time you apply for a visa, you will be found ineligible under the same section of law, unless a waiver of that ineligibility is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security. Learn about waivers of ineligibility.


Here are some examples of visa ineligibilities, with INA references, which are explained further below.


The visa applicant:


  Did not fully complete the visa application and/or provide all required supporting documentation - INA section 221(g)


  Did not establish eligibility for the visa category being applied for or overcome the presumption of being an intending immigrant - INA section 214(b)


  Was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude - INA section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)


  Was convicted of a drug violation - INA section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)


  Has two or more criminal convictions for which the total sentence of confinement was 5 years or more - INA section 212(a)(2)(B)


  Did not provide an adequate affidavit of support when one was required; therefore denied under public charge - INA section 212(a)(4)


  Misrepresented a material fact or committed fraud to attempt to receive a visa – INA section 212(a)(6)(C)(i)


  Previously remained longer than authorized in the United States - INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)




Can I reapply for a visa?


After being found ineligible for a visa, you may reapply in the future. If you reapply for a visa after being found ineligible, with the exception of 221(g) refusals, you must submit a new visa application and pay the visa application fee again. If you were found ineligible under section 214(b) of the INA, you should be able to present evidence of significant changes in circumstances since your last application. See more information below under INA section 214(b)

.

Can a friend or relative inquire about my denied visa application?


Department of State visa case records are confidential under INA section 222(f), so information can only be provided to visa applicants, with some exceptions. Certain information can be provided to U.S. sponsors, attorneys representing visa applicants, members of Congress, or other persons acting on behalf of and with the permission of applicants.


INA Section 221(g) - Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation


A visa denial under section 221(g) of the INA means that the consular officer did not have all of the information required to determine if you are eligible to receive a visa. This means you are not eligible for the visa now, but your case is pending further action for one of the following reasons:


Your application is incomplete and/or further documentation is required -

Applicants whose application forms or other documentation are incomplete are refused. If further documents are required to complete your case, you will be informed what is needed and how to provide it to the embassy or consulate. You will also be given a letter stating your application has been denied under 221(g) and listing which documents you need to provide.


Administrative processing - 

Further administrative processing of your application is required before a decision can be made regarding your eligibility for a visa. You will be given a letter stating this and next-step instructions after the administrative processing is complete.


Is there something I can do about a refusal under section 221(g)?


If your application was denied because documentation or information is missing, you can provide the missing documents or information as soon as possible. After submitting the documentation, your visa application can then be processed to conclusion to determine whether you qualify for a visa. You have one year from the date you were refused a visa to submit the additional information. Otherwise, if you do not provide the required additional information within one year, you must reapply for the visa and pay another application fee.


If your application requires further administrative processing, this takes additional time after your interview. Processing times can vary based on individual circumstances. For more information, review Administrative Processing.


INA Section 214(b) - Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent


This law applies only to nonimmigrant visa categories. If you are refused a visa under section 214(b), it means that you:


  Did not sufficiently demonstrate to the consular officer that you qualify for the nonimmigrant visa category you applied for; and/or


  Did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, required by law, by sufficiently demonstrating that you have strong ties to your home country that will compel you to leave the United States at the end of your temporary stay. (H-1B and L visa applicants, along with their spouse and any minor children, are excluded from this requirement.)

 
What are considered strong ties to my home country?


Ties are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your home country. Strong ties vary from country to country, city to city, and person to person, but examples include:


a) Your job;
b) Your home; and/or
c) Your relationships with family and friends.


While conducting visa interviews, consular officers look at each application individually and consider the applicant's circumstances, travel plans, financial resources, and ties outside of the United States that will ensure the applicant’s departure after a temporary visit.


Is a refusal under section 214(b) permanent?


No. A refusal, or ineligibility, under section 214(b) is for that specific application, so once a case is closed, the consular section cannot take any further action. There is no appeal process. If you feel there is additional information that should be considered related to the visa decision, or there are significant changes in your circumstances since your last application, you may reapply for a visa. To reapply, you must complete a new application form, pay the application fee, and schedule an appointment for a new interview.

 

INA Section 212(a)(4) - Public Charge


A visa refusal, or ineligibility, under section 212(a)(4) of the INA means that the consular officer determined that you are likely to become a public charge in the United States.


Is a refusal under section 212(a)(4) permanent?


A refusal, or ineligibility, under section 212(a)(4) can be overcome in certain circumstances, as explained below.


Immigrants - 

Most immigrant visa applicants are required to submit an Affidavit of Support from the U.S. sponsors who filed petitions for them. If your U.S. sponsor does not meet the requirements of the Affidavit of Support, you may present a second Affidavit of Support from a qualifying joint sponsor. Learn more about the Affidavit of Support.


Some categories of immigrant visa applicants are not required to have Affidavits of Support. These are categories where no U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative filed a petition on your behalf, including most employment-based immigrants and diversity visa (DV) applicants.


If you are applying for an immigrant visa category where the Affidavit of Support Form is not required, the following are examples of how you could demonstrate to the consular officer that you will have financial support in the United States:


a) Your own personal funds;
b) A job offer in the United States; and/or
c) Sponsorship from a U.S. resident.


Examples of sponsorship from a U.S. resident include:


a) A letter from the U.S. resident stating financial support of you while in the United States;
b) Documents showing that the U.S. resident can financially support you, such as tax transcripts, bank statements or pay stubs; and/or
c) An Affidavit of Support (Form I-134).


The consular officer will review the additional evidence of financial support you submit to determine whether it is sufficient to overcome your ineligibility under section 212(a)(4).


Nonimmigrants - 

You must demonstrate sufficient financial support during your temporary stay in the United States. Public charge denials are less frequent for nonimmigrant visa applications, but can occur, for example, in the case of a visa applicant seeking medical treatment in the United States without adequate funds to pay for treatment.

 
In order to overcome a denial for public charge reasons, you must demonstrate you will have sufficient financial support in the United States. The consular officer will review the additional evidence you submit to determine whether it is sufficient to overcome your ineligibility under section 212(a)(4).


INA Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) - Fraud and Misrepresentation


You were refused, or found ineligible, for a visa under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) because you attempted to receive a visa or enter the United States by willfully misrepresenting a material fact or committing fraud. This is a permanent ineligibility, so every time you apply for a visa, you will be found ineligible for this reason.


You will be advised by the consular officer if you can apply for a waiver of this ineligibility. 


What is meant by misrepresentation of a material fact?


Misrepresentation means that you falsely presented facts and were not truthful in an attempt to receive a visa or enter the United States. A fact is considered material, as it pertains to this section of the INA, when, had the truth been known, you would not have been eligible to receive a visa or enter the United States.


INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) - Unlawful Presence in the United States


You were refused, or found ineligible for, a visa under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) because you were considered to have been unlawfully present in the United States, if:


a) You stayed in the United States after the expiration date for the period of stay authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for you, without the required authorization to extend your stay; or

b) You entered and were present in the United States without receiving the required authorization from CBP.


When denied a visa for unlawful presence, you are ineligible for a visa for the following length of time:


a) When unlawfully present in the United States for 180 days or longer but less than one year, you are ineligible for a visa for 3 years after departure from the United States; or

b) When unlawfully present in the United States for one year or longer, you are ineligible for a visa for 10 years after departure from the United States.

 
You will be advised by the consular officer if you can apply for a waiver of this ineligibility. 


Waivers of Ineligibility


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains provisions that may allow a visa applicant who was denied a visa for a particular ineligibility to apply for a waiver of that ineligibility. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adjudicates all waivers of ineligibility. Waivers are discretionary, meaning that there are no guarantees that DHS will approve a waiver for you. If the waiver is approved, you may be issued a visa.


Can every applicant who is ineligible apply for a waiver?


No. If you are found ineligible for a visa, the consular officer will inform you if can apply for a waiver of ineligibility. The following factors will determine if you may apply for a waiver:


  Whether a waiver of ineligibility is available for the particular section of law you are ineligible under;


  You must be fully qualified for the visa you applied for, except for that specific ineligibility, in order to be able to apply for the waiver;


  If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa, generally whether the consular officer who found you ineligible recommends to DHS that you receive a waiver; and


  If you are applying for an immigrant visa, whether a waiver is available for your particular situation. (For example, for certain visa ineligibilities when applying for an immigrant visa, you can only apply for a waiver if you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent who would endure extreme hardship if you were not able to immigrate.)


How do I apply for a waiver?


Contact our office for more information about applying for waivers.  



Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

Overview


Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants.


The First Steps toward an Immigrant Visa: Labor Certification and Filing a Petition


To be considered for an immigrant visa under some of the employment-based categories below, the applicant's prospective employer \ must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Once received (if required), the employer then files an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. (NOTE: Persons with extraordinary abilities in the Employment First preference category are able to file their own petitions.)


CATEGORIES


Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability
There are three sub-groups within this category:


1. Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Such applicants do not have to have specific job offers, so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the fields in which they have extraordinary ability.
2. Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally.
3. Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. The applicant’s employment outside of the U.S.
must have been in a managerial or executive capacity, and the applicant must be coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity.


Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability


A Second Preference applicant must generally have a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. A job offer is required and the U.S. employer must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, on behalf of the applicant. Applicants may apply for an exemption, known as a National Interest Waiver, from the job offer and labor certification if the exemption would be in the national interest. In this case, the applicant may self-petition by filing the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker,


There are two subgroups within this category:


1. Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession.
2. Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.


Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)


A Third Preference applicant must have an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, filed by the prospective employer. All such workers generally require labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers) receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the Employment First Preference and Second Preference categories.


This is our most popular visa category – including persons seeking permanent residency in the USA with a wide range of experiences and education.


There are three subgroups within this category:


1. Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
2. Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.
3. Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants
A Fourth Preference applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360, Labor certification is not required for any of the Certain Special Immigrants subgroup.


There are many subgroups within this category, the most popular of which include:


1. Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization
2. Ministers of Religion
3. Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
4. Certain Retired International Organization Employees
5. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
6. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
7. Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
8. Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
9. Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11th, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11th, 2001


Employment Fifth Preference (E5): Immigrant Investors


Immigrant Investor visa categories are for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation. Select Immigrant Investor Visas to learn more about this employment-based category.


Next Steps – Fees and Visa Application


After USCIS approves the petition, if the Applicant is in the USA, they will file an application for change of status to that of a permanent resident.
If the Applicant is overseas, the approved petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once received, the NVC will assign a case number for the petition. When an applicant’s priority date meets the most recent qualifying date, the NVC will instruct the applicant to complete Form DS-261, The NVC will begin pre-processing the applicant’s case by providing the applicant with instructions to submit the appropriate fees. After the appropriate fees are paid, the NVC will request that the applicant submit the necessary documents,


Can My Family Members also Receive Immigrant Visas?


YES - your spouse and minor unmarried children, younger than 21, may apply for immigrant visas with you. Same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), along with their minor children, are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses.


Numerical Limitations


All categories of employment-based immigrant visas are issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed until the annual numerical limit for the category is reached. The filing date of a petition becomes the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain heavily oversubscribed categories, there may be a waiting period of several years before a priority date is reached. Check the Visa Bulletin for the latest priority dates.


Required Documentation


In general, the following documents are required:
• Passport(s)
• Civil Documents for the applicant. Bring your original civil documents such as birth and marriage certificates, and any required translations. Original documents and translations can then be returned to you.
Completed Medical Examination Forms – These are provided by the panel physician after you have completed your medical examination and vaccinations (see below).


Visa Interview


How Long Does It Take?


Generally, up to two years. Employment based immigrant visa cases take additional time because they are in numerically limited visa categories. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the consular officer interviews the applicant.


Visa Ineligibility


Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities include: drug trafficking; overstaying a previous visa; and submitting fraudulent documents. If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the consular or immigration officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility available to you and what the waiver process is.


Misrepresentation of Material Facts or Fraud


Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact or fraud may result in you becoming permanently ineligible to receive a U.S. visa or enter the United States. This means you must exercise caution in completing the application to ensure that your provide us with up to the minute, proper procedures.


When You Have Your Immigrant Visa - What You Should Know


If you are overseas, and issued an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you your passport containing the immigrant visa. You are required to enter the United States before the expiration date printed on your visa. When traveling, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter the United States before or at the same time as family members holding visas.


How to Apply for a Social Security Number Card


If you elected on your immigrant visa application form to receive your Social Security Number Card upon admission to the United States as an immigrant, your card will be sent by mail to the U.S. address you designated on your application form, and should arrive approximately six weeks following your admission. If you did not elect to receive your Social Security Number Card automatically, you will have to apply to be issued a card following your arrival in the United States. To learn about applying for a Social Security Number Card, visit the Social Security Administration website.


When You Are a Permanent Resident


Coming to the United States to live permanently, you will want to learn more about your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident. See Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants to review information on the USCIS website about living in the United States.

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