An overview of u.s. immigration law
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An overview of u.s. immigration law

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An overview of u.s. immigration law An overview of u.s. immigration law Presentation Transcript

  • PHYSICAL START-UP IN THE U.S. AN OVERVIEW OF U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW Caroline E. Taylor, Attorney at Law Caroline E. Taylor, LLC 3005 Lookout Place NE Atlanta, Georgia 30305 Tel: (404) 814-4199 email: ctaylor@ctaylorlaw.com
  • IMMIGRATION OVERVIEW • Initial Start-up: Travelling to the U.S. as a Business Visitor - what is permitted and what is not • Temporary Work Visa Categories - when a work visa is required - best visa options • Green Card Processing (Permanent Residency in the U.S.)
  • B-1 Business Visitor Visa • For business trips in furtherance of international trade which DO NOT involve gainful employment in the U.S. • Visa Waiver Program vs. Visa Processing - Maximum length of stay: 90-day limit under the visa waiver program/6 month limit under the B-1 visa - Extension of Status: no extensions under the waiver program/extensions available under the B-1 visa - Convenience: Must apply for visa stamp at U.S. Consulate for trips exceeding 90 days
  • B-1 Business Visitor Visa • Permissible Business Visitor Activities - Commercial transactions that do not involve U.S. employment (e.g.,merchant taking orders for foreign goods) - contract negotiation - installation, service or repair of commercial or industrial equipment purchased from company outside of U.S. and/or training of U.S. workers to perform such tasks
  • B-1 Business Visitor Visa • Permissible Business Visitor Activities - attend meetings and consultations with business associates - litigation - participation in business conventions, conferences or seminars - foreign corporate personnel to set up U.S. subsidiary - independent research (may include interns going to U.S. to observe business practices; if paid internship, interns must be employed by foreign employer and cannot be paid by U.S. employer)
  • B-1 Business Visitor Visa • Impermissible B-1 purposes: - working on behalf of U.S. company (regardless if paid by foreign company) - performing services in the U.S. - sales expansion efforts - management of U.S. enterprise
  • B-1 Business Visitor Visa • Factors: - clear intent to depart U.S. at end of stay - seeking admission for sole purpose of engaging in legitimate business activities, evidenced by specific and realistic plans - adequate financial resources - strong business ties to foreign employer - foreign residence that applicant does not intend to abandon - may not be compensated by U.S. source
  • Temporary Work Visa Categories The Most Common Work Visa Categories • L-1 Visa for Multi-national, Intra-company Transferees - Beneficiary must have one year of Executive/Managerial experience (L-1A) or Specialized Knowledge experience (L-1B) with an affiliate company abroad within the last three years prior to the US transfer -Special provisions for New Office/Start Up Situations • H-1B Visa for Professional Workers - Beneficiary must hold the equivalent to a US Bachelor’s degree through education or professional work experience, and the position must require a Bachelor’s degree -Annual Cap on the number of first time H-1B visa holders
  • Temporary Work Visa Categories The Most Common Work Visa Categories • E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader/Investor Visas -Sponsor must be Swedish owned and engage in substantial trade with the US; Beneficiary must be Swedish citizen (E-1) -Sponsor must be Swedish owned and make a substantial investment in a US company; Beneficiary must be Swedish citizen (E-2) • H-3, J-1 and Q Visas for Purpose of Career Enhancement and Training • O-1 Visa for Persons of Extraordinary Ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • Temporary Work Visa-Family Issues • Spouses (married couples only) and children under 21 may accompany the sponsored worker to the U.S. • Spouses in E, L and J visa status ONLY may apply for work authorization in the U.S. • Sponsored Worker should consider green card processing (applying for permanent residency in the U.S.): – if spouse not authorized to apply for work authorization in non-immigrant status (ex. spouse in H or O status) – if children will reach the age of 21 while family in the U.S. (once child reaches 21, they no longer have status as dependent family member in temporary visa status)
  • Employment Based Permanent Residency “Green Card” Categories • EB-1, First Preference Category: For Intra- company managers: No labor certification required. • EB-2/3, Second/Third Preference Category for Professionals: Labor Certification required to prove no U.S. workers available for the job. Substantial wait time for EB-3 category.
  • • EB-5, Fifth Preference Category for Investors: Requires personal investment of $1 Million (or $500K for economically targeted areas) in a U.S. business & the creation of at least 10 US jobs – Pending Legislation for EB-6, Startup Visa Category for Investors with $250,000 in venture capital funding in a business that creates at least 10 US jobs.
  • Immigration Law Summary BEWARE: • Visa requirements are based on voluminous federal regulations and agency interpretations • Applications are often denied due to small mistakes, such as the implication that the employee may remain in the United States for an unlimited period of time • It is therefore, highly recommended, to involve an American attorney specialized in immigration law in the visa application process in order to avoid unnecessary delays and costs