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US visas

There are many types of immigrant and non-immigrant visas, including work visas, student visas, and marriage visas.

Enrique Javier Nunez Elorza | Oct 13, 2019

How to go from Green Card to Citizenship in Just 3 years!

Be a Green Card Holder! The first step is to be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). If you are an LPR, your 3 or 5 year wait time begins the moment your residency begins. If you are a Non-Permanent Resident, you need to first get your Green Card. Most people get a green card either through a family based petition (Spouse, Children, Parents, or Brothers and Sisters) or through a work visa. There are more ways, but these are the most common. Be married to a U.S. Citizen! If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you only need to wait three years, either from the date of marriage (3 years married) or from the date of LPR Status. You will need 3 years in both of these categories. Be Eligible for Citizenship! To become eligible, you must be 18 years old, have at least one and a half years Physical Presence in the United States, Be able to read, write and speak english, Be able to pass the civics and history test, and be a person of Good Moral Character. Not be Ineligible! Some people are ineligible for citizenship based on unpaid or unfixed taxes, unpaid child support, or criminal records.If any of these apply to you, Chances are these issues may be resolved by good attorney. Many times, Attorneys can set you up with payment plans for child support and the IRS and document why certain criminal offenses do not make you ineligible for citizenship. Nobody is perfect, and you don't need to be in order to become a citizen. If you have any of these issues, we highly recommend reaching out to a qualified attorney.

Ajla Husic | Oct 9, 2019

Green Card for Artists, Musicians and Performers

Criteria Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability The U.S. created the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card category in order to attract individuals with talent and ability. Although many of the individuals who use this visa category are in the STEM fields, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the EB-1 category also applies to individuals in the arts. The Extraordinary Ability Green Card can be a great fit for any type of artist, whether their art form is in the fine arts, applied arts, or the performing arts. To qualify for a green card under this category as an artist, you must be at the very top of your particular field. This means that you have received sustained recognition at the international or national level and that other’s in your field recognize you for your artistic achievements. For those who receive a major internationally recognized award, such as the Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Golden Globes, or the Academy Awards, this alone may be used to demonstrate extraordinary ability. Although winning an Oscar would certainly be an extraordinary achievement, it is not the only way to show immigration officials that you are an artist with extraordinary abilities. There are ten (10) other criteria of which three (3) must be shown in order to qualify for the Extraordinary Ability Green Card. While the requirements may appear tailored to researches and academics rather than artists, with some skillful and creative argument artists can also explain how a particular artistic achievement fulfills the required criteria. Self-Petition for an EB-1(A) Green Card Individuals don't need an offer of employment to apply for the Extraordinary Ability Green Card. Individuals can submit an application on their own behalf and explain how they qualify for at least three (3) of the ten (10) criteria.

Ajla Husic | Oct 9, 2019

USCIS Revises Interview Policy for Two Year Green Cards

USCIS Policy USCIS issued a policy memo that went into effect on December 10, 2018, which provides guidance to USCIS officers on waiving the interview requirement for filing I-751 Petitions. Individuals who obtain status through marriage, in certain circumstances, receive a conditional Green Card for two years. The conditions must be removed in order to maintain valid legal status. The I-751 is an application to remove the conditions on a Green Card and if approved the individual would receive a regular 10 year Green Card. The new policy applies to all I-751 petitions received by USCIS on or after December 10, 2018. The policy is more expansive than the previous policy, which required interviews only when there was insufficient evidence of the bona fides of the marriage, and/or in waiver cases, there was inconclusive evidence to establish eligibility for a waiver. Additionally, the prior policy encouraged use of Requests for Evidence (RFE) to obtain additional information in lieu of transferring the petition to the local USCIS office for an in-person interview. What Does This Mean? For those who received their visa at a U.S. consulate overseas or entered the United States as a K visa holder and were never interviewed by USCIS will be required to attend an in-person interview, even if they are able to establish, through initial evidence, that the marriage is bona fide. This applies to individuals who file jointly with their spouse and to those who file individually and need a waiver because of divorce, death of the spouse, or other qualifying reasons. This new guidance suggests that more I-751 petitions will be transferred to local USCIS offices and scheduled for an in-person interview. The processing times for I-751 petitions are already facing substantial processing delays and have increased from an average of 12 months to 18 months. The increase in interviews is likely to cause significant delays in obtaining a final decision on the I-751 petition.

Romy B Jurado | Oct 8, 2019

How Much To Invest For The E-2 Visa

Defining “Substantial” As stated earlier, there is no minimum investment amount that will qualify for the E-2 Visa. Instead, whether an investment qualifies is determined on a case-by-case basis, as every business is different and, therefore, every business has different needs. Whether an amount is sufficient depends on: 1. The type of business the applicant will be running, and 2. The cost of turning the E-2 business into an operational enterprise. When it comes to the E-2 Visa investment requirement, the word “substantial” comes up very often. The U.S. government uses an elaborate series of tests to determine whether an E-2 investment is “substantial.” If you are planning to start a new business from scratch in the United States, your E-2 investment must be sufficient to ensure your business can operate successfully. For your investment to be sufficient entails that your E-2 investment must cover all costs of establishing the market and begin operations within a reasonable timeframe. On the other hand, if you are planning to purchase an existing business, if you purchase fair market value, your investment is likely to be considered substantial. However, the nature of the company remains an essential factor that the USCIS will take into account. The Problem with Low Start-up Amounts Some businesses require lower investment amounts. However, when it comes to the E-2 Visa, low startup expenses can hurt your chances of approval because only actual expenses of the E-2 business will count towards the investment. While a shoestring budget can be great for many startup founders, it probably will not be enough if you are a foreign investor looking to obtain an E-2 visa. The smaller the investment, the harder it is to prove it will be enough to ensure the E-2 business becomes operational and hires U.S. workers. The more significant the investment, the higher your chances of obtaining your E-2 Visa. This is why it is often a good idea to: 1. Get employees and co-founders on board early; 2. Prepay your lease and your suppliers; and 3. Include intellectual property assets when calculating the E-2 investment amount. The U.S. Government Will Ultimately Decide How Much is Sufficient Consular officers and the USCIS generally have much flexibility when it comes to approving or denying E-2 Visas. Typically, some consulates are more stringent than others when it comes to deciding whether an E-2 investment is substantial. While some investors have been granted E-2 Visas after investing only $25,000 into their E-2 businesses, the U.S. government will ultimately determine whether your investment qualifies. However, this should not discourage you. There are some things you can do to improve your chances of meeting the E-2 Visa investment requirement. The first step you need to take is to hire an experienced immigration attorney to help you prepare your E-2 Visa application. Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. can help you. Give us a call today at (305) 921-0440 or send us an email to [email protected] or via WhatsApp to learn more about our services and schedule an initial consultation with one of our E-2 Visa experts.

Romy B Jurado | Oct 7, 2019

E-2 Visa – Staying Out Of “Marginal” Territory

How to Stay Out of Marginal Territory To prove that you are not investing in a marginal business, you need to set forth precise projections regarding the number of U.S. workers your E-2 enterprise will be hiring within five years after it becomes operational. If you are starting a new business from scratch, this determination will typically be somewhat speculative. Thus, why hiring some U.S. workers immediately upon securing your E-2 Visa is a step in the right direction, as it bolsters to the credibility of your 5-year business projections. To prove that your E-2 investment will not be marginal it is vital to show the USCIS that you will run your E-2 business at such a scale that there is simply no way it can operate successfully without a workforce. Another relevant factor is the capacity to make a significant contribution to the economy of the United States. The USCIS will measure this economic contribution by looking at the projected return on the E-2 investment. When it comes to staying out of the marginal territory, having a comprehensive business plan is key. The business plan you include in your application should contain detailed information about the number of U.S. workers you will be hiring on a year-by-year basis, as well as profit and loss projections and business growth strategies for the next five years. Your goal here is to show the USCIS that your E-2 business will grow over the long run, and you must include your strategies to make this growth happen. To obtain the E-2 Visa, showing that your business has the potential to grow tells the USCIS it will generate enough money to hire more U.S. workers in the future and, therefore, have a positive impact on the economy of the United States. In addition, having other sources of income or a substantial amount of money in a savings account is a good idea. Such sources of income in savings accounts help establish that you will not be relying entirely on the E-2 business to support yourself and your family. U.S. Workers vs. Economic Contribution Often, demonstrating that your E-2 business will create a significant number of jobs for U.S. workers is enough to fulfill the marginality requirement of the E-2 Visa. However, other times, hiring a large pool of U.S. workers may not be necessary if you can show that your E-2 business will make a significant contribution to the economy of the United States. The Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) clearly states that substantial evidence on one of these two factors will suffice. Work with an E-2 Visa Attorney Marginality is subjective, which makes it hard to understand what it actually takes to fulfill this requirement. The help of an Immigration Attorney can maximize your chances of obtaining your E-2 Visa through a smooth application process. Hiring a lawyer is not a requirement – it is a necessity. Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. can help you. Give us a call today at (305) 921-0440 or send us an email to [email protected] or via WhatsApp to learn more about our services and schedule an initial consultation with one of our E-2 Visa experts.

Romy B Jurado | Oct 2, 2019

Creating a Business Plan for Your E-2 Visa Application

Step 1: Research Your Market The first step in developing a business plan for your E-2 Visa application is to conduct thorough research on your market to answer questions such as: Who are your ideal customers? Where do they live? How would you reach them? Is there a demand for your products or services? How many people would be interested in the products or services you offer? Step 2: Write Your Business Plan The next step is to sit down and draft your E-2 business plan – the core element of your E-2 Visa application. Your E-2 business plan will help the consulate officer who is reviewing your application gauge your E-2 business’ likelihood of being successful and making a significant contribution to the economy of the United States within five years. Your business plan should, among other things: Describe your company, emphasizing the reasons why you believe it will be successful and what advantages it has over its competitors; Highlight your expertise and understanding of the market; Explain how you will attract and retain customers and generate sales; and Outline business growth strategies. Step 3: Secure Your Investment Funds The next step is to secure adequate funds to own and operate your new business in the United States. The applicant must control the E-2 investment funds. Such control means the money you invest must come from a personal bank account. Loans secured by your assets and documented gifts will also qualify. In addition, you must be able to prove you obtained the funds legally. To qualify for an E-2 Visa, you must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family while you build your E-2 business. As an E-2 Visa holder, you cannot work for a business other than your E-2 business. There is no minimum amount of capital required to obtain an E-2 Visa. However, your investment must be “substantial” to qualify. The amount of capital you must invest will depend on the type of business you are running. Step 4: Hire an E-2 Visa Attorney Becoming a business owner in the United States requires drafting and following the steps of a comprehensive business plan. However, there is no reason to go on this journey alone. An experienced business immigration attorney who knows how this wonderful visa category works can dramatically increase the chances of approval. At Jurado & Farshchian, P.L., the things our immigration experts can do include: Reviewing your E-2 Visa application to find areas that require further work; Assisting with the collection of all the documents necessary to support your E-2 Visa application; Helping you draft a comprehensive E-2 business plan that meets all the E-2 Visa requirements; and Ensuring your E-2 Visa application is in the best possible shape to help the consulate officer make an informed decision.