Immigration Law

Immigration Law


 

The complexities of dealing with legal issues related to securing visas can be overwhelming, but the attorneys at Sy and Smith have the experience to guide you through the immigration system. With some of our attorneys having experienced the immigration process first-hand, we have a personal understanding of the lengthy struggles associated therewith and the knowledge necessary to navigate through the process.

We handle immigration cases in all 50 states and throughout the world, and have years of experience in processing employment-, investor- and family-based immigrant and non-immigrant visas. As your advocates, we will treat your case like our own and work to get your case processed as quickly as possible.

 

Our Services

Immigrant Visas (Green cards)
  • Family visas
    • Marriage
    • Parent
    • Child
    • Conditional Removals
  • Work visas
    • EB-1: Extraordinary ability, outstanding professors, researchers, and multinational executives and managers
    • EB-2: Exceptional ability, advanced degrees or national interest waiver
    • EB-3: Professionals, skilled and other workers
  • Investor visas
    • EB-5: Investors visa
  • PERMs and LCAs
Non-Immigrant Visas
  • Fiancé(e)/Spouse visas: Certain Non-immigrant visas exist to allow a Fiancé (and children) or Spouse (and children) of a U.S. Citizen to enter the United States to complete the immigration process.
    • K-1: Fiancé(e).  To qualify for a K-1, the US Citizen petitioner must show that the petitioner and the K-1 beneficiary have met in person within the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition and that their relationship is real. 

      The approval of the petition is valid for a period of 4 months, although the petition may be revalidated by the director or consular officer for an additional four months from the date of revalidation upon a finding that petitioner and the K-1 beneficiary intend to marry each other within 90 days of the beneficiary’s entry into the U.S.  Children of the beneficiary may enter the United States.

    • K-3/K-4: Spouse/child.  To qualify for a K-3 visa, the beneficiary must be married to a U.S. citizen. The U.S. Citizen filed an I-130 petition on the beneficiary’s behalf, and beneficiary seeks to enter the U.S. to await the approval. An unmarried child of a K-3 visa holder need only establish that he or she is the child of a K-3 to receive a K-4 visa.
  • Student visas (F-1/M-1): To qualify for a student visa, the applicant must demonstrate the following:
    • Have foreign residence with no intent to abandon the residence

    • Bona fide student and will be pursuing a full course of study

    • Seeks to enter temporarily and solely to study

    • Will study at an institution that is approved to issue I-20s

    • Must show sufficient financial support

    • Must meet the school’s minimum academic requirements (eg. High School Diploma, TOFEL scores)

    • F-2 family members who wish to accompany an F-1 applicant

  • Tourist visas (B-1/B-2):  To qualify for a temporary business/temporary visa, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she has the intent to return home after his or her visit to the United States.
  • Work visas
    • E visas:  To qualify for an E visa, the applicant must be from a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The purpose of these visas is to provide individuals with an opportunity to come to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade. This includes trade in services or technology, principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital, under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
      •  Types of E visas
        • E-1: Treaty traders 
        • E-2: Treaty investors, executives, supervisors, or high specialized skilled workers
        • E-3: Australian nationals:  A potential alternative to H-1Bs  
    • H visas: Temporary Worker visas are nonimmigrant visa for individuals who wish to work temporarily in the United States. There are several categories of Temporary Worker visas. Some of these classifications have annual limits. Your qualifications, type of work to be performed and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law.
      • Types of H visas
        • H-1B: Person In A Specialty Occupation: To qualify, a beneficiary must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or experiential equivalent; Coming temporarily into the United States; Employer must have an approved Labor Condition Application;and the person must be paid the prevailing wage.
        • H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Workers: To qualify, a beneficiary must be seeking to enter the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Seasonal employment is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle and requires labor levels far above those necessary for ongoing operations. Employment is of a temporary nature where employer’s need lasts no longer than 1 year, except in exceptional circumstances. The employer must demonstrate that there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers who are able, wiling, qualified and available to perform the work at a time and place where the H-2A worker is to perform the work. Also, the employer must show that this employment will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The H-2A classification is for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification (usually authorized for no longer than 1 year). This classification may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year. The maximum period of stay in H-2A classification is 3 years.
        • H-2B: Skilled/unskilled workers: To qualify, an Employer must obtain approved temporary labor certification demonstrating that 1) no U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are available, and 2) employment of H-2B holder will not adversely affect wage rate and working conditions of the similarly employed U.S. workers. The employer must establish that the need for the employee will end in the near, definable, future. The period of employment must generally be one year or less unless it is a one-time event. If it is longer than one year, a new Labor Certificate is needed. The H-2B classification is for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification (usually authorized for no longer than 1 year). This classification may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year. The maximum period of stay in H-2B classification is 3 years.
        • H-3: Trainees: To qualify, the applicant must show that he or she does not intend to work within the U.S. It is designed to provide an applicant with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed in the applicant’s home country. This visa is available to temporary workers invited by an individual or organization for purposes of receiving instruction and training other than graduate medical education or training. The program must be one that is not designed primarily to provide productive employment. Applicant must have a foreign residence to which the applicant must return. The training must not be available in applicant’s home country.
        • H-4: Accompanying family members (spouse/children). Spouses and children accompanying H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visa holders will be granted an H-4 visa. The 6 year limit for an H-1 applies to H-4 dependents, but H-4s will get the benefit of any extension the H-1B obtains beyond the 6 years. A person in H-4 status is free to change his status to an H-1B because the time spent in H-4 is not counted toward the 6 year maximum. Selected in H-4 nonimmigrant spouses may apply for work authorization in the U.S.
    • J visas: To qualify, an applicant must be approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S. Prior to applying for a J visa. The J visa program is for professors, research scholars, short-term scholar, bona fide trainee or intern, college or university student, teacher, secondary school student, nonacademic specialist, foreign physician, international visitor, government visitor, camp counselor, au pair, or summer student in a travel/work program. At the conclusion of their program, Exchange Visitor program participants are expected to return to the home countries to utilize the experience and skills they have acquired while in the United States. Please note that each category of exchange has specific requirements and regulations.
    • L visas: L visas may be accorded to an individual who, within 3 years preceding his application for admission, was employed abroad continuously for one year by a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the U.S. petitioning company. The individual must seek to enter the U.S. temporarily in order to render his or her services to a branch of the same employer or a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge. An individual may come to the U.S. to open or be employed in a new office, but the petition may be approved for a period not to exceed one year, after which the petitioner shall demonstrate that he or she is conducting business in a regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the U.S. and abroad.
      • Types of L visas
        • L-1A: Intracompany transferees (executive/managerial).  To qualify, an applicant must seek to enter the United States to render services in an executive or managerial capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

          Qualified employees entering the U.S. to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

        • L-1B: Intracompany transferees (specialized knowledge). To qualify, an applicant must seek to enter the U.S. to render services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

          Qualified employees entering the U.S. to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1B employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years.

        • 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. Neither the spouse nor any child may accept employment unless he or she has been granted employment authorization.
    • O visas
      • O-1: Extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business or athletics. To qualify, an applicant must have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or, with regard to motion picture and television productions a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement, and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, and seeks to enter the U.S. to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. Although a foreign residence is not required, the visa holder must have a temporary intent to remain.
      • O-2: Applicant accompanying and assisting an O-1 visa holder. 

        Spouses and unmarried minor children of the O-1 and O-2 alien beneficiary are entitled to O- 3 nonimmigrant classification, subject to the same period of the admission and limitations as the primary beneficiary. Neither the spouse nor a child of the primary beneficiary may accept employment unless he or she has been granted employment authorization.

    • P visas: P visas are available to athletes, artists, entertainers, individually or as part of a group, and persons who are an integral part of the performance of such group. The applicants must have a residence in a foreign country and must not have the intention of abandoning it.
      • Categories
        • P-1: Athletes and entertainers (internationally recognized).  To qualify, the applicant must be an athlete or entertainer who performs as part of the a group or individually or part of a team that is Internationally recognized or a person who performs with or is an integral or essential part of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained or substantial period of time and for a performer, must be part of that group for at least on year. Must seek to enter the US temporarily to take part in competitions, event or performance.
        • P-2 and P-3: To qualify, an applicant must be coming temporarily to the U.S. to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or to perform as an integral part of the group and who seeks perform under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the U.S. and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states, and which provides temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or groups of artists and entertainers.                                                                         P-3 visas are available to alien artists or entertainers who are coming to the U.S., either individually or as a part of a group, or as an integral part of the performance of the group, to perform, teach, or coach under a commercial or non-commercial program that is culturally unique.
        • P-4 visas: Spouses and unmarried minor children of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 beneficiary are entitled to P-4 nonimmigrant classification, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the alien beneficiary, if they are accompanying or following to join the beneficiary in the U.S. Neither the spouse nor a child of the beneficiary may accept employment without having been granted employment authorization.
    • R visas: Religious workers.  Available to religious workers who seek entry to the U.S. for the purpose of conducting the activities of a religious worker for a period not to exceed 5 years.
    • TN Visas: Professional workers from Canada and Mexico. To qualify, an applicant must be a Canadian or Mexican citizen who is engaged in activities at a professional level. Business activities at a professional level means those undertakings which require that, for successful completion, the individual has at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional in a profession set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA. TN visa holders must prove that the proposed stay is temporary. They must also demonstrate that their work assignment in the U.S. will end at a predictable time and that he or she will depart the U.S. upon completion of the assignment.
Citizenship

If you are a legal permanent resident (green card holder) seeking to obtain citizenship, our attorneys can answer your questions and help you through the naturalization process.

Our attorneys assist permanent residents with applications to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Generally, a person may submit an application to become a US citizen
if he/she:

– Has been a permanent resident of the United States for five years; or
– Married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years; or
– Is currently serving in the US military.

Additionally, an applicant must satisfy the following:

– Evidence good moral character;
– Establish knowledge of U.S. history, Constitution and government;
– Demonstrate the ability to read and write basic English; and
– Meet physical presence requirements.

Deportation Defense
I-9 Compliance

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I worked with Stephanie Sy on my green card application for over four years, during which time she went over and above to ensure I was in status. As a result, I am a permanent resident. I have recommended her to several friends and institutions.

Antonio

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The information at this site is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is created by the viewing of this site or sending email to the firm. You should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.