GTHOMAS
Sat, Dec 15, 2018

Business & Investment Visas

BUSINESS VISAS – L1

An alien who within the preceding three years has been employed abroad for one continuous year by a qualifying organization may be admitted temporarily to the United States to be employed by a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of that employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. An alien transferred to the United States under this nonimmigrant classification is referred to as an intra company transferee and the organization, which seeks the classification of an alien as an intra company transferee is referred to as the petitioner. Certain petitioners seeking the classification of aliens as intracompany transferees may file blanket petitions.

L-1A: Executive, Managerial

Executive Capacity:

  1. Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;

  2. Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;

  3. Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and

  4. Receives only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.

Managerial Capacity:

  1. Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;

  2. Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;

  3. Has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization) if another employee or other employees are directly supervised; if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and

  4. Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority. A first-line supervisor is not considered to be acting in a managerial capacity merely by virtue of the supervisor’s supervisory duties unless the employees supervised are professional.

Length of Stay:
Initial Stay is up to 3 years when coming to existing office; coming to new office-up to 1 year; extension of stay in increments of up to 2 years. Total stay limited to 7 years.

L-1B: Specialized knowledge

Specialized knowledge means special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.

Length of Stay:
Initial stay is up to 3 years when coming to existing office; coming to new office-up to 1 year; extension of stay, one increment of up to 2 years. Total stay limited to 5 years.

L-2: Spouse or Child of L-1

The spouse and unmarried minor children of the beneficiary are entitled to L nonimmigrant classification, subject to the same period of admission and limits as the beneficiary, if the spouse and unmarried minor children are accompanying or following to join the beneficiary in the United States. Neither the spouse nor any child may accept employment unless he or she has been granted employment authorization.

INVESTMENT VISAS

E-1 TREATY TRADER VISAS AND E-2 TREATY INVESTOR VISAS

Investor (E-1, E-2) Visas are based on a treaty between the U.S. and the country of which the applicant is a national. For an E-1 visa, the applicant must be entering the U.S. solely to carry on substantial trade that is international in scope principally between the U.S. and the foreign state of which he or she is a national. For an E-2 visa, the applicant must invest a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise. E visas are issued at the Consulate or Embassy outside the United States for periods up to Five Years. E visas may be renewed indefinitely, although the applicant should not intend to remain in the U.S. permanently. A full E Visa application must be submitted to the Consulate for adjudication even if an extension of stay or change to E- Visa status has been granted by USCIS.

“An alien entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join him.

  1. E-1: Treaty Trader, spouse and children

Solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, which is international in scope, either on the alien’s behalf or as an employee of a foreign person or organization engaged in trade principally between the United States and the treaty country of which the alien is a national, taking into consideration any conditions in the country of which the alien is a national which may affect the alien’s ability to carry on such substantial trade. There must be intention to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty trader (E-1) status.

  1. E-2: Treaty Investor, spouse and children

Solely to develop and direct the operations in which the investor has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States, as distinct from a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise solely for the purpose of earning a living. The investor must intend to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty investor (E-2) status.

  1. Stay:

Initial stay for E-1 and E-2 visas is two years; up to 2 years per extension. No maximum number of extensions, with some exceptions.”

INVESTMENT – EB5

Investor visas for permanent residents status are available for qualified individuals and their family members based on their investment in a new commercial enterprise which results in the creation of 10 full time jobs for US citizens or permanent residents. The minimum investment under the EB5 investor visa program is $500,000 if the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area or a rural area. Otherwise the required investment amount is $1,000,000. Many intending immigrant investors choose to invest in a Regional Center EB5 investor visa program. These Regional Centers allow qualified investors to meet the employment requirement through indirect employment methods which are generally pre-approved by the USCIS. Most Regional Center investments are located in Targeted Employment Areas allowing the EB5 investor to qualify for the minimum investor amount.

It is not necessary for the investor to reside in the location of the EB5 investment For a current list of EB5 Regional Centers in California and in other parts of the United States, please visit our website. Careful planning with independent tax and financial advisers together with Immigration counsel is strongly recommended.

Call Us for an Appointment (888) 876 7539

Citizenship & Naturalization

ADVANTAGES OF BECOMING A U.S. CITIZEN

United States citizens enjoy many benefits not granted to lawful permanent residents.  U.S. citizens have the right to vote and to hold public office, and may qualify for various jobs from which permanent residents are barred, including many aerospace and defense jobs, federal government jobs and employment as a peace officer.

Furthermore, U.S. citizens are able to petition for permanent residence for their spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters, whether single or married. Permanent residents, on the other hand, are restricted to petitioning for their spouses and unmarried sons and daughters. U.S. citizens also enjoy the travel privileges made possible by a U.S. Passport. Most importantly, U.S. citizenship, unlike permanent residence, is very difficult to revoke. For example, while a permanent resident can be deported or removed from the United States based on a criminal conviction (even a very old one), this severe penalty cannot be applied to citizens.

REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALIZATION 

One becomes a citizen by being born in the U.S., by being born abroad to parents who are citizens, or by naturalization.

Obtaining citizenship through naturalization requires that the potential citizen meet the following requirements:

1. Age

*Applicants for naturalization must be at least 18 years old.

2. Residence/Physical Presence

In general, applicants for naturalization must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residents and must have resided in the U.S. as permanent residents for a minimum of five years prior to filing, with no single absence from the U.S. of more than one year. Furthermore, applicants must have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six months but less than one year shall disrupt the applicant’s continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or residence during such period). In addition, applicants must have resided within a state or district for at least three months prior to applying for naturalization.

Those who are married to U.S. citizens or have served in the armed forces of the U.S. may, under certain conditions, qualify for naturalization after only three years of residency. The residency requirement is waived altogether for certain members of the armed forces who have served during period of hostilities, for spouses of U.S. citizens working abroad for the government or other designated employers, and for children who are petitioned by a parent.  The law requires that an applicant be physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the residency period that applies to his or her case.

3. Loyalty

The applicant must renounce his allegiance to his country of birth and pledge loyalty to the U.S. Despite this renunciation, however, many other countries, including Canada and Great Britain, recognize the dual citizenship.

4. Good Moral Character

Generally, an applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the statutory period (typically five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen or one year for Armed Forces expedite) prior to filing for naturalization. However, the Service is not limited to the statutory period in determining whether an applicant has established good moral character.   A person cannot be found to be a person of good moral character if, during the last five years, he or she was convicted of an aggravated felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, two or more offenses for which the total sentence imposed was 5 years or more, any controlled substance offense (except for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana), any offenses resulting in an aggregate period of imprisonment of at least 180 days, or two or more gambling offenses. In addition, anyone who earns his or her principal income from illegal gambling, has been involved in prostitution or smuggling illegal aliens into the United States, has been a habitual drunkard, practiced polygamy, willfully failed or refused to support dependents, or has given false testimony under oath in order to receive a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act, cannot be considered a person of good moral character.

An applicant must disclose all relevant facts to the Service, including his or her entire criminal history, regardless of whether the criminal history disqualifies the applicant under the enumerated provisions. Each applicant is required to submit fingerprints and an application listing biographical information. The fingerprints are sent to the FBI, which informs the Service about whether the applicant has a criminal record. Since some applicants with a criminal record and those who obtained their green cards through false pretenses may be susceptible to deportation/removal, it is critical for such individuals to consult with an attorney before applying for naturalization.

5. English

All applicants for naturalization must be able to speak, read, write and understand simple words and phrases in the English language. Some longtime, elderly permanent residents and applicants with certain disabilities are exempt from the English requirement.

6. History and Government

Applicants are required to pass a short examination regarding the history and government of the U.S.  Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who, on the date of filing, have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant’s ability to learn U.S. History and Government.  Furthermore, applicants who have been residing in the U.S. subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for at least 20 years and are over the age of 65 will be afforded special consideration in satisfying this requirement.

Call Us for an Appointment (888) 876 7539

Helpful U.S. Immigration Links

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Here you will find many helpful links to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Citizenship & Immigration Services.