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General Overview of U.S. Immigration Law

General Overview of U.S. Immigration Law

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  • 1. IMMIGRATION LAW PRESENTATION Dana R. Bucin Attorney Tel: (860) 548-2629 Email: dbucin@uks.com *DISCLAIMER* This presentation is not intended to provide, nor does it provide, any legal advice. By viewing this presentation you understand and expressly agree that there is no attorney- client relationship between you and the attorney who authored the presentation. Should you need legal advice, please contact a licensed attorney who practices Immigration Law. Readers of this presentation and the information contained herein should not act upon any information contained on this presentation without seeking legal counsel. 1
  • 2. Introduction General Immigration Categories  Business/ Employment  Family  Asylum/ Refugee Status  Diversity Visa Lottery  Other (VAWA, Cancellation of Removal, NACARA, Cuban Adjustment) 2
  • 3. General Principles of Immigration Law Visa Duration  Temporary (Nonimmigrant)  Permanent (Immigrant) 3
  • 4. Path to Citizenship  Non-Immigrant Visa ↓  Green Card (Permanent Residence) ↓  Citizenship through Naturalization 4
  • 5. Government Agencies  Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS a/k/a former INS)  Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  Department of State (DOS)  Department of Labor (DOL) 5
  • 6. Basic Immigration Documents  Passport issued by home country  Visa from a U.S. Consulate (DOS)  I-94 arrival/departure form (CBP/USCIS)  Employment Authorization Document (USCIS)  Notice to Appear in Deportation Proceedings (ICE)  Green Card (USCIS)  Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS) 6
  • 7. Non-Immigrant Business/ Employment Visas  B-1 Visitor Visa  L Intra-company  Visa Waiver Program Transferees  F-1 Student  E Treaty/ Traders Visa/OPT  TN Canada/Mexico  J-1 Exchange Visitor  O-1 Extraordinary  H-1B Professionals Ability  H-2B Temporary  P-1 Athletes  H-3 Trainee 7
  • 8. B-1 Business Visitor Visa  good for short-term visits (meetings, sales calls, selling up company)  limited time and limited activities  cannot actually “work” in the U.S.  must remain on foreign payroll  must possess temporary (non-immigrant) intent 8
  • 9. Visa Waiver Program  90 day limit for stay  only available to nationals of certain low fraud countries  no visa required but harsh treatment for violators  same limitations as B-1 Visa 9
  • 10. F-1 Student Visa  for the length of the academic program + 60 days grace period  Optional Practical Training for one year (EAD required) available pre- or post- graduation  Work/ Study Curricular Practical Training  longer work permit for STEM students 10
  • 11. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa  for professors, scholars, students, trainees, au pairs, foreign physicians, camp counselors, summer work/travel, government visitors, etc  need sponsoring organization  may be subject to 2 year foreign residency requirement 11
  • 12. H-1B Visa Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in the occupational area is required More procedures and record keeping Prevailing wage and LCA requirements Certain notice and attestation requirements 12
  • 13. H-1B Visa (cont’d) H-1B cap of 65,000 per fiscal year + 20,000 for advanced degrees Maximum period of stay is 6 years – extensions may be available H-1B1 – Singaporean and Chilean nationals only – per Treaties (annual cap never reached) 13
  • 14. H-2B Visa (Temporary Workers) Can be skilled or unskilled Must prove no available U.S. workers to DOL Annual cap of 65,000 met early 14
  • 15. L Intra-company Transferees Managers and Executives (L-1A) Managing function, component or department Must have worked at least 1 year for company abroad in M/E capacity within last 3 years Must be coming to U.S. in M/E capacity Maximum stay 7 years, but fairly easy to obtain green card (if applying within first 2 years) 15
  • 16. L Intra-company Transferees Employees with Specialized Knowledge (L-1B) Specific knowledge of product and application in international markets or advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures Must have worked for company abroad at least 1 year within last 3 years Maximum stay is 5 years; more difficult to get green card because requires labor certification Spouses eligible for EAD 16
  • 17. E Treaty/ Traders Visa Requires treaty between U.S. and foreign country of which majority owners of foreign company are nationals Requires substantial and active trade/investment between U.S. and foreign company Foreign national transfer must be same nationality as treaty country 17
  • 18. E Treaty/ Traders Visa  Employee performing supervisory or executive duties OR employee serving in a minor capacity who has skills which are “essential to the successful operation of the enterprise”  Two-year stay in U.S., however, new two-year period every time leave U.S. (for validity of visa)  E-3 Treaty Visas for Australian nationals – similar to H-1B, with an annual cap of 10,500 (never reached) 18
  • 19. TN Visa ForMexican and Canadian professionals Occupation must be on the NAFTA list Three year stay, but can be extended No cap 19
  • 20. O-1 Visa High standard – individual must be of the small percentage who have risen to the very top of his/her field Must obtain Advisory Opinion from peer group Can change from J-1 to O-1 w/o waiver of foreign residence requirement (but must pursue consular processing) Initial period of stay is 3 years + extension available in one-year increments (indefinitely) 20
  • 21. Immigrant (Permanent) Visa Also called the “Green Card” Priorities and Preferences Labor Certification Process (PERM) applies only to certain preferences 21
  • 22. Employment Immigrant Preferences 1. Persons of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, Multinational Executives and Managers 2. Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability 3. Skilled Workers, Professionals and Other Workers 4. Certain Special Immigrants: religious workers, NATO employees, etc 5. Employment Creators: investors 22
  • 23. Family Immigration Preferences 1. Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens 2. Spouses and Children, Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents A. Spouses and Children B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) 3. Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens 4. Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens 23
  • 24. Family Immigration  Visa Bulletin  4-9 years current processing times  Immigrant Visa Processing – how it works  K1 Fiance vs. K3 Spouse Visa  Who can bring parents? Siblings?  Naturalization – why it is highly recommended 24
  • 25. Immigration Planning  Position and job description  Anticipated length of time for the position  Does employee intend to permanently remain in the U.S. or return to home country?  Spouse and children work permits and other opportunities in the U.S. (i.e. studying)  Early planning because of caps and delays  Complex immigration system - use competent immigration counsel 25
  • 26. Outbound Immigration  Meritas Law Firms WorldWide  With offices in 60+ countries throughout Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States 26
  • 27. The End Thank You Hartford Middletown New Haven 100 Pearl Street 203 Main Street One Century Tower P.O. Box 231277 300 Middlesex Plaza 265 Church Street Hartford, CT 06123 Middletown, CT 06457 New Haven, CT 06510 Tel. 860-548-2629 Tel. 860-548-2629 Tel. 860-548-2629 27