Whether you are an individual looking for an investor visa, a company looking to bring in talent from overseas, or a family hoping to reunite with loved ones, you must negotiate the U.S. immigration system. It can be confusing and time-consuming, but with the right help, you can successfully and efficiently secure the documents you need.
Turn to Patel Law Group for guidance on family immigration, employment-based visas, and investor options. We are ready to discuss your needs and circumstances and build a tailored approach for you. Schedule a meeting with a Texas immigration lawyer in our offices today to learn more.
Patel Law Group is a boutique law firm offering superior service for families, technology companies, medical offices, accounting, and manufacturers in most areas of immigration law. We have over 20 years of experience guiding individuals through the process of preparing documents, attending hearings, and securing visas, permanent residency, and citizenship.
We work closely with each client to evaluate their needs and get their paperwork processed as quickly as possible. Our team is experienced in reducing mistakes, delays, and roadblocks that prevent you from achieving your goals within the United States.
There are numerous laws and agencies governing immigration requirements and processes. Our team of attorneys is skilled in interpreting these to your advantage for the best possible outcome in your situation.
Laws and agencies tasked with governing immigration include:
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): Signed in 1952, the act defines and governs citizenship and immigration for those wishing to enter the United States.
Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Contains the regulations concerning Immigration and Nationality.
Department of Labor (DOL): DOL determines wage levels and ensures that the admission of foreign workers does not negatively impact the working conditions, opportunities, and wages of U.S. workers.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS is a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is primarily responsible for processing and adjudicating immigration applications.
Department of State (DOS): DOS, through its Consulates, is responsible for issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas and publishing its monthly Visa Bulletin, which provides information on the availability of immigrant visa numbers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): CBP is responsible for protecting the nation’s borders by managing the entry of foreign nationals into the U.S.
Working within this legal framework can be frustrating without the services of a skilled immigration attorney.
Whether you are a foreign national wanting to live in the U.S. permanently or a company interested in bringing in specialized talent, you will benefit from working with an employment-based immigration attorney. Visas and green cards for work can be complicated due to labor certification requirements and proof of an ongoing employer-employee relationship.
In many employment situations, the person wishing to come to the U.S. is doing so on a temporary basis and is not immediately seeking citizenship. Individuals may enter the country to work for varying periods of time without immigrating. For example, the B-1 Temporary Business Visitor visa allows them to enter for commercial or professional activities such as meetings or conferences.
However, certain activities are prohibited on a B-1, so an employment-based immigration lawyer can help you determine whether this is appropriate for your worker’s needs. Patel Law Group offers guidance for B-1s and additional temporary non-immigrant visas, such as:
The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for the purpose of pursuing academic studies at accredited U.S. colleges, universities, or other academic institutions. It is one of the most common types of visas for international students and provides a pathway to gain an education in the United States.
There are a number of potential options for international students on an F-1 student visa to gain work experience that is directly related to their field of study. This includes on-campus employment, off campus employment, Optional Practical training (OPT), STEM OPT, and Day 1 CPT. Whether you are already in the U.S. on F-1 or are seeking to change your status to F-1 the Attorneys at Patel Law Group can advise you on the best options to gain related work experience.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialized occupations. These occupations typically require a high level of specialized knowledge and expertise, such as in technology, engineering, or healthcare. Obtaining an H-1B visa can be competitive due to annual caps on the number of visas issued, making it important for employers and foreign workers to navigate the application process effectively.
The H-2B visa is a non-immigrant visa program in the United States designed for temporary, non-agricultural workers. This program is crucial for U.S. businesses, particularly those in industries like hospitality, landscaping, and construction, that experience seasonal or peak workforce demands that cannot be met by the domestic labor market alone. Employers can hire foreign workers through the H-2B program to fill these temporary positions, helping to keep their businesses running smoothly. The H-2B visa program is subject to annual caps, and both employers and workers must meet specific eligibility requirements to participate.
The L-1 visa permits organizations operating internationally to relocate employees to serve in a subsidiary, parent company, affiliate, or branch located in the United States. There are two distinct categories of L-1 visas:
L-1A visa: This category is for managers or executives being transferred to manage or oversee operations in the U.S. It typically grants a maximum initial stay of up to three years, with extensions available up to seven years. If the employee is opening a new office then the initial stay will be for one year only.
L-1B visa: This category is for employees with specialized knowledge or skills being transferred to the U.S. to provide expertise or support. It also allows for a maximum initial stay of up to three years, with the possibility of extensions.
The TN visa is a non-immigrant work visa category specifically designed for Canadian and Mexican citizens seeking employment in the United States. This visa is available to individuals who work in certain designated professional occupations, and it is based on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
To qualify for a TN visa, applicants must meet the specific education and work experience requirements for their chosen profession. These professions typically include fields such as engineering, healthcare, education, and more.
The E-2 visa is specifically designed for individuals from treaty countries who wish to invest in and operate a business in the U.S. To qualify for an E-2 visa, an applicant must make a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise and actively manage and develop that business. This visa is often seen as an attractive pathway for foreign entrepreneurs and investors seeking to participate in the American economy. One key advantage of the E-2 visa is that there is no set minimum investment amount, allowing flexibility for various business sizes and types, although generally an investment of $100,000 and upwards is recommended.
The E-3 visa is similar to the H-1B, however, it is reserved for Australian nationals. The E-3 is intended for those who work in specialty occupations that require theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge in a particular field. Ths position being filled must typically require a bachelor’s degree.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) generally allocates 140,000 visas for employment-based Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) each year. These are issued chronologically in the order they are filed, so completing the required paperwork quickly puts your request ahead in line for consideration.
The visas are divided into four preferences:
EB-1: Those with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
EB-2: Those holding advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in art, science, or business.
EB-3: Professionals, skilled workers, and other workers.
EB-5: Those who invest between $800,000 and $1,050,000.00 in a new commercial enterprise employing ten or more full-time workers.
As of September 30, 2023, the EB-4 category no longer exists.
The EB-1 visa category, also known as the Employment-Based First Preference visa, is a prestigious U.S. immigration option designed for individuals with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers. EB-1 visa holders are granted permanent residency in the United States, allowing them to live and work in the country without the need for a labor certification or a specific job offer. This visa is highly sought after for its favorable terms and fast processing times, making it an attractive choice for individuals who excel in their respective fields and wish to contribute their talents to the United States.
The EB-2 visa category, or Employment-Based Second Preference visa, is an immigration option for individuals who possess advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their respective fields. This category includes professionals with advanced degrees (such as master’s or higher) and individuals with outstanding abilities in the arts, sciences, business, or athletics. EB-2 visa applicants typically require a specific job offer from a U.S. employer and, in most cases, a labor certification. However, for those with exceptional abilities, the labor certification requirement can be waived if it is in the national interest of the United States (NIW).
The EB-3 visa category, or Employment-Based Third Preference visa, is an immigration option for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers seeking employment opportunities in the United States. It encompasses three subcategories:
Skilled Workers: This subcategory is for individuals with at least two years of relevant work experience or training.
Professionals: This subcategory is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a field that is typically required for the position.
Other Workers: This subcategory is for workers in positions that do not require higher education or specialized training.
EB-3 applicants generally require a specific job offer from a U.S. employer, and their employers must go through the labor certification process to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the job.
Patel Law Group has a particular focus on assisting those wishing to enter the U.S. as a business investor. The EB-5 visa program allows foreign investors and their families to obtain U.S. permanent residency. When an individual wants to create a new business employing at least 10 U.S. workers and using at least $1,050,000 or $800,000 in a high-unemployment area, we can help you prepare the necessary paperwork and file it.
One of the primary benefits of the EB-5 program is that it does not require a specific job offer or labor certification. Instead, the investment itself is the basis for eligibility. Once approved, EB-5 investors and their families can live, work, and study anywhere in the United States. After a conditional two-year period, they can apply to have the conditions removed from their green cards, granting them permanent residency status. The EB-5 program is often utilized by individuals seeking to immigrate to the United States while simultaneously making an investment in the U.S. economy.
Investors must also present documentation proving they are the legal owners of the capital funding their enterprise and that it was earned lawfully. Ensuring you have all the necessary documentation submitted correctly and on time goes smoothly when you rely on an investor visa lawyer from Patel Law Group.
PERM and I-140
PERM, is a crucial step in the employment-based immigration process for foreign workers (EB-2 and EB-3 only) seeking a green card through employment. It involves a complex labor certification process where U.S. employers must demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the job position, and the employment of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the job market.
Once the PERM labor certification is approved, employers can move forward with filing an I-140 petition, also known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The I-140 petition establishes the foreign worker’s eligibility for an employment-based immigrant visa, paving the way for them to potentially obtain a green card and pursue permanent residency in the United States. These two components, PERM and I-140, are integral to the employment-based immigration process, ensuring that foreign workers can contribute their skills and expertise to the U.S. workforce.
Once the I-140 is approved, depending on visa availability, an applicant will obtain the green card through either the Immigrant Visa process or Adjustment of Status.
The process for acquiring an immigrant visa of any kind is purposely lengthy and involved. It is designed this way to prevent individuals from entering the country without a thorough examination of their reasons for doing so.
At Patel Law Group, we are deeply versed and skilled in managing every step of the process for visas in our selected areas of immigration law. The steps for obtaining a an immigrant visa for individuals outside of the U.S. are:
- Submit a petition
- Wait for processing at the National Visa Center
- Pay the necessary fees
- Complete an affidavit of financial support
- Collect evidence of financial support
- Complete the online visa application (DS-260)
- Collect necessary civil documents
- Scan and upload the documents
- Prepare for your interview
- Attend the interview
- Receive notification of your visa status
While this process strictly applies to those obtaining a green card outside of the U.S. the vast majority of individuals will obtain their green card through a process called adjustment of status. This is only available for individuals residing in the U.S. in another status and allows them to smoothly transition from a temporary visa to that of a lawful permanent resident.
Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status can be completed for any existing visa holder when it becomes evident they wish to immigrate instead of returning to their home country. It allows the individual to begin the process of receiving a green card for lawful permanent residency in the U.S.
Our immigration lawyers can assist you in determining whether your specific visa type is eligible for adjustment and when.
The process for seeking an adjustment of status is as follows:
- Verify whether you are eligible to apply for a green card
- File an immigrant petition, done either by you or your sponsor/ Employer
- Determine whether a green card is available by consulting the Visa Bulletin
- File the necessary forms (I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) along with the necessary documents)
- Attend your initial appointment at the Application Support Center to provide biometrics
- Provide any additional requested evidence
- Attend your interview, if required
- Receive a decision on your petition
One of the benefits of filing for adjustment of status is that applicants can also apply for an employment authorization (EAD) and travel document (AP).
Our immigration attorneys are committed to making every step of the visa and residency journey as smooth as possible. We constantly build and strengthen our skills and knowledge of immigration law so we can provide the most successful outcome for you.
Family immigration plays a pivotal role in reuniting loved ones and strengthening family bonds in the United States. It encompasses various categories, including spouse visas for married couples and fiance visas for those planning to get married in the U.S. These visas enable spouses and fiance(e)s to be together while navigating the immigration process. Additionally, the removal of conditions on conditional green cards is a crucial step for married couples to secure permanent residency, ensuring that families can continue to thrive and grow in the United States. We are committed to helping you increase your chances of receiving these highly prized credentials.
Family-based immigration documents are distributed by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and the process is overseen by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Green cards are famously challenging to secure, but trusting in a family-based immigration lawyer from Patel Law Group can increase your chances of reaching this goal.
Becoming a U.S. Citizen (USC) is the culmination of a lengthy immigration journey for many individuals who have chosen to make the United States their permanent home. To attain USC status, one typically starts as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and then meets certain eligibility criteria, such as residing in the U.S. for a specified period, demonstrating good moral character, passing a citizenship exam, and speaking English. After fulfilling these requirements and successfully completing the naturalization process, individuals are granted the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship, including the ability to vote in elections, obtain a U.S. passport, and enjoy the full protection of U.S. laws. Becoming a U.S. citizen is not only a legal status but also a significant milestone in one’s journey toward belonging and participating fully in American society.
Our expert immigration services can guide you through the process, offering valuable assistance, resources, and support to help you achieve your goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.
At Patel Law Group, we focus on building strong relationships with our clients. We treat them like partners and put our extensive immigration experience to work to reach superior outcomes, no matter the legal issue.
When you or a loved one needs guidance on obtaining a family-based, employment-based, or investor visa for entering and working in the United States, schedule a meeting with a Texas immigration lawyer at our Dallas office. We have secured thousands of visas, and we are ready to help you.
Contact us through our online form to meet with us today.