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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in employment-based immigration

Posted on in Immigration

non-immigrant visa, Chicago immigration attorneys, H1B visa, employment-based immigration, green card applicationsMuch ink has been spilled in recent months regarding the H1B visa, which is an employment-based non-immigrant visa that allows specialized professionals to work in the U.S. if sponsored by the relevant company. The current administration has made it clear that a reduced flow of such visas is a priority and, as such, there is a significant amount of misinformation surrounding the H1B visa as of this writing. If you are in a situation where you may apply for or receive one, it is important to understand the truth.

H1Bs Are Limited

Unlike many other visas, the H1B category is perpetually limited and oversubscribed, with demand far exceeding the cumulative 85,000 visas available each fiscal year. It is specifically limited to “specialty occupations,” the criteria for which is specified in the visa manual. A very small number of H1Bs are exempt from the cap, but not enough to make any substantive difference in the years-long queue.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_employment-based-immigration-Chicago.jpgWhile many immigrants make their way to the United States via their family connections, many choose to try and obtain a job in the country. In order to do so, however, they must obtain both a visa and a labor certification (and in some cases, a specific job offer, depending on the visa sought). A lot of misinformation circulates when discussing visas and supporting documents, however, so if you intend to take a temporary job in the U.S., or eventually adjust status to permanent residency, you need to know what is true and what is false.

Labor Condition Applications

Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) are requests filed by employers to the U.S. Department of Labor for permission to hire employees from abroad. They are usually filed for potential workers under H1-B visas, though on occasion they will be utilized for workers under other nonimmigrant classifications. It generally takes only a short time for an LCA to be approved, if all the relevant information is present —usually a week to 10 days.

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Posted on in Immigration

Employment-Based Permanent ResidenceMost people who seek permanent residence in the United States tend to do so via family-based petitions. If someone has an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they can apply for their spouse, child or parent to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR, or “green card” holder). However, it is also possible to become an LPR through your employer. The requirements are slightly different to those of a family-based petition, but if followed appropriately, the wait may be shorter than those for family categories.

Categories

There are five different categories under which an employer may apply for you to become a permanent resident, though two are by far the most frequently used. The categories are:

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Posted on in Immigration

Chicago immigration attorneys, employment-based immigration, family-based immigration, family-based petitions, Mevorah Law Offices LLC, visa, visa quotas, visasThe word ‘quota’ has an ugly past, especially in the context of visas. In years past it was used as a bludgeon with which to deny safety to people in need. Today, there are more exceptions and protections for those truly in need, while visa quotas are reserved for those not in immediate danger. Still, there is a lot of misinformation about how the yearly caps work. If you are planning to apply for certain categories of visas, you must understand how the quota works lest you inadvertently disqualify yourself.

Family-Based Immigration

There are two classifications for visas available to those attempting to immigrate via a family-based petition. The first is for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens such as parents, children and spouses. There is no quota limit in force in this category. The second is for what are called preference categories—non-immediate relatives or people who are the wrong age to apply themselves (such as the child of a non-immigrant visa holder who is in the process of adjusting status).

For the second classification, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows 226,000 family-based visas to be granted per year. However, it is important to note that this is a minimum, not a maximum. The statutory wording refers to “at least” that amount being issued. The number actually issued each year varies. It is arrived at by subtracting the number of immediate relative visas and paroled immigrants from 480,000, and adding the number of unused employment preference visas.

Congress attempts to seek balance in nationality and also relationship to ensure that not too many of one category are permitted entry in any one year. Per-country ceilings are established under the INA that mandate that any given country may not exceed 7 percent of the number of permanent immigrants in a given year. This is not to restrict solely for restriction’s sake, but to ensure that no country dominates the number of visas granted each year. Such a thing would become a fairness issue.

There are four categories of preference for family-based petitions. They are:

    • F-1: Unmarried children of U.S. citizens (and their dependents);

    • F-2: Spouses and unmarried children of green card holders;

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