Do you have family members in another country who would like to immigrate to the US? If you are a US citizen and own a business, you should consider the possibility of sponsoring your relatives for an employment-based immigration visa. The wait times can be much shorter for employment-based (EB) visas than for family preference (F) visas, and you can sponsor more distant relatives for an EB visa than you can for an F visa.
There are no annual quotas for immediate relative (IR) visas, but these are only available to a U.S. citizen’s spouse, parent, or unmarried child under age 21. There are quotas, and often substantial waiting lines, for family preference (F) visas, which are available for adult children and siblings. The wait times for family preference visas can be five, 10, or even 15 years, no matter what country your relatives are coming from. And you cannot sponsor a cousin, nephew, or aunt for a family-based immigration visa at all.
If your relative is of college age, consider having them first come to the U.S. on an F-1 visa, which will enable them to stay in the U.S. until they finish their degree. Students in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math can then stay in the US and work for an additional year under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and extend for an additional two years under the STEM OPT program.
If your relative has at least a four-year degree and you can afford to hire them for an appropriate position within your business, you can sponsor them for an EB-3 “professional” visa. If your relative holds an advanced degree, such as an MBA or other master’s degree or higher, they may qualify for an EB-2A visa. As long as your relative is not coming from China, India, or the Philippines, there is currently no extra waiting time beyond the time it takes to prepare your application and have it work its way through the USCIS approval process. The waiting lists for EB-2 and EB-3 visas for immigrants from China and India are at least five to 10 years long, while prospective immigrants from the Philippines have at least a two-year wait.
If you own a business and want to sponsor an employment-based immigration visa for a niece, uncle, cousin, or other relative, a seasoned Chicago immigration lawyer can help you identify the best visa category to apply for and ensure that the application process goes smoothly. Call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100.
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