Manhattan Employment Immigration Attorney
Providing Legal Assistance to Those Seeking to Work in the United States
The United States is one of the most economically prosperous centers of the modern world, with innumerable employment opportunities for its citizens and foreign nationals alike. You may be interested in living and working in the United States permanently, or a specific job or opportunity in the country may be of special interest. Either way, you will need to engage in some form of employment immigration to legally enter, live, and work in the U.S.
Our Manhattan employment immigration lawyer can work to accomplish your career goals in the United States. In addition to assistance with various types of temporary work visas, we have experience helping our clients obtain green cards through employment-based immigration. We aim to give each of our clients the respect and attention it deserves, so we will carefully evaluate your individual circumstances, guide you through your employment immigration options, and leave no stone unturned in pursuing your goals.
Obtaining a Green Card Through Employment-Based Immigration
It is possible to procure a green card, which grants you lawful permanent residency, through a sponsoring employee. However, the United States only grants a limited number of employment-based green cards per year, making the process extremely competitive. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines the allocation of immigrant work visas through a descending, preferential scale. Understanding how this system works and how best to leverage it can be the difference between obtaining and not obtaining a green card.
USCIS grants immigrant work visas in the following preferential categories:
- EB-1: Priority Workers, Including Those of “Extraordinary Ability.” The first preference category targets those who can demonstrate “extraordinary” ability in their field. Those who qualify under “extraordinary” conditions do not need a sponsoring employer. EB-1 visas can also be granted to executives or managers who seek to transfer into the United States via an international corporation. 40,000 visas are initially reserved for this category, and any excess applicants get prioritized should there be deficiencies in other categories.
- EB-2: Advanced Degree Professionals. Workers with a Master’s degree, Juris Doctor, medical degree, or similarly advanced foreign degree can qualify for this second preference category. They will need to be sponsored by an employer for a position that requires the skills of the advanced degree. Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree can sometimes also qualify if they can 5 years of progressive experience in the relevant profession. 40,000 visas are reserved for this category.
- EB-3: Professionals, Skilled Workers, and Unskilled Workers. The third preference category encompasses workers with Bachelor’s degrees (and without 5 years of progressive experience), workers without a degree but at least 2 years of relevant work experience, or those able to fill a full-time, “unskilled” job that is not seasonal or temporary. Regardless, EB-3 visa applicants will need an employer to sponsor them. 40,000 visas are set aside for this category, with 10,000 of that specifically earmarked for unskilled workers.
- EB-4: Miscellaneous. The fourth preference category covers several types of “special” immigrant cases. These can include longtime U.S. government workers, religious clergy, and retirees of certain international organizations. We can advise you on whether you might qualify for an EB-4 subcategory.
- EB-5: Investors. The fifth and final preference category requires a financial investment on the part of the applicant. As of 2020, an EB-5 applicant must invest a minimum $900,000 into a United States business in which they take an active role. 10,000 visas are allocated for this category, but only a limited number can be given to applicants from any given country. In recent years, applicants from China, Vietnam, and India have exceeded the individual country threshold and necessitated the creation of a wait list.
There is almost always a tremendously high demand for employment-based green cards, meaning your placement on the preferential category system could be critical in whether you receive a visa. Our Manhattan employment immigration attorney understands how to best position applications to give our clients optimal odds of success.
Form I-140 Petitioning and Appeals
When you are pursuing a green card through employment-based immigration, you will need to work with your sponsoring employer when they submit Form I-140 to USCIS. Form I-140, or the Immigrant Petition for the Alien Worker, seeks to authorize you to work in the United States on a permanent basis, after which you can apply for your green card.
If USCIS rejects your Form I-140, you often have options. USCIS will include an explanation for why your petition was rejected in these situations. An essential supporting document may have been omitted, or a portion of the form was filled out incorrectly, for example. For easily fixable situations like this, you can work with your sponsoring employer to simply petition a second time. You will have to submit the entirety of the application again in addition to any corrections or additional documentation and within a certain time limit .
You and your sponsoring employee also have the option of appealing a rejection, though this is not always the most efficient way to proceed. To request a formal appeal, you will need to file Form I-290B within 30 calendar days of receiving your rejection (or 33 days if the decision was delivered by mail).
Pursuing an appeal is typically only a productive option if the reasons for your Form I-140 denial extend beyond simple mistakes. If USCIS is not convinced the employer is offering a prevailing wage, for example, even though the compensation is empirically competitive, an appeal may be your only option. Unfortunately, appeals can take many months to process, which may be incompatible with your employer’s more immediate needs. Some sponsoring employers will therefore elect to simply apply again with bolstered evidence versus waiting for an appeal to be adjudicated.
There are also temporary work visas known as “nonimmigrant visas”.
Our Manhattan employment immigration lawyer can assist you with the following dual intent / nonimmigrant visas:
- H-1B visas – for highly educated and/or skilled workers in specialized positions
- L visas – for intracompany transfers of executives, managers, and skilled employees in an international company
- O visas – for workers with extraordinary abilities or achievements
- P visas – for professional artists, entertainers, athletes, and coaches
- E visas – for treaty traders and investors
Being Sponsored While Outside the United States
If you have a valid job offer from an employer in the United States and you have the qualifying education and/or experience, you can be sponsored to come to the United States without first having to work for the employer. The employer can offer the job and complete the entire process with our office. Once you are issued an immigrant visa, you can then enter the United States with your permanent residence and begin working for the employer.
The road to living and working in the United States permanently can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if your employer is willing to sponsor you but is unfamiliar with the process of facilitating your work visa. Our founding attorney at John Nicelli & Associates has helped process thousands of labor certifications that have led to many clients receiving their permanent residence. We have ample experience working with communicating with employers and USCIS to minimize complications and complete all of the necessary steps as accurately and efficiently as possible. Our team understands how important a successful outcome is, which is why we give each case the individualized attention and respect it deserves.
Thank you guys for what you have done for me!- Giuseppe S.
I would recommend his services to anyone.- Jeremy G.
Amazing!- Agustina G.
Highly professional & truly amazing lawyer.- Boleck L.
John Nicelli is a GREAT LAWYER, he got my wife processed after we got married.- George L.
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