A Boutique Immigration Law Firm Serving the Bay Area
Recent Posts
  • President Biden's efforts to turn back Trump's immigration policies

    President Biden's efforts to turn back Trump's immigration policies...

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  • Historic Immigration Delays

    Due to the Trump Administration’s immigration policies...

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  • Womens History Month

    The American dream belongs to all of us.

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  • First Month in Office - Biden's Immigration Changes

    Here are some of the changes President Biden implemented in his first month in office...

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  • New Year, New Immigration Policies

    With our new President in place, there is much to be excited about. Even on his first day, President Biden proposed bold new legislation and changes to our immigration system...

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  • Immigration Policy Changes and Big Court Wins from 2020

    There were over 100 immigration policy changes in the last four years. However, we end 2020 with several recent significant immigration wins from the Courts...

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  • Practice Pointer: Observations on the October 2020 Visa Bulletin

    Immigrants on Student Visas will No Longer Be Required to Take In-Person Courses On July 14, 2020, international students were relieved to learn the Trump administration rescinded a new rule requiring ...

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  • Trump Administration Reverses Course on Foreign Student Restrictions

    On July 14, 2020, international students were relieved to learn the Trump administration rescinded a new rule requiring them to take in-person courses to remain complaint with student visas...

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  • Understanding How the Trump Administration Is Dismantling Asylum

    Recent Immigration Restrictions Threaten Asylum Norms President Trump has made reducing immigration a priority for his administration, introducing a variety of executive orders – many of questionable ...

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  • Public Charge

    A NY Federal District Court ordered that USCIS must stop applying the “public charge” rule, which is essentially a wealth test for all green card applicants. USCIS has said that it will fully comply ...

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  • USCIS Filing Fees

    USCIS announced that it will be raising its fees by an average of 20% in order to meet its operating costs. Unfortunately, this fee increase is due to USCIS’ inefficiencies, mismanagement and ...

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  • DACA

    Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the White House announces it is reducing protections for Dreamers and DACA applicants – thereby, throwing their lives into turmoil and limbo again. Congress must ...

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  • What the Recent Supreme Court Ruling Means for DACA

    Understanding the Supreme Court June 2020 Decision The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is no stranger to legal challenges, having been contested in various maneuvers since its ...

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  • Trump Administration Suspends H-1B and Other Work Visas

    On June 22, 2020, the Trump administration suspended an array of work visas, including the popular H-1B visa, through at least the end of the year...

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  • USCIS to Re-Open on June 4th

    USCIS is re-opening some of its offices to the public on June 4th. It will send notices to applicants and petitioners with their scheduled appointments and interview dates...

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  • Join me for a Live Q&A Session!

    These are challenging and unpredictable times, and I'd like to make myself available to answer your questions. So, please join me for a live Q&A session! I will be live on Facebook...

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  • How Does Trump's Executive Order Impact Me?

    At The Alagiri Immigration Law Firm, we hope all of you are staying safe and healthy. My team is committed to keeping you informed and providing exemplary services during this crisis...

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  • President Signs Order Halting Immigration for 60 Days

    In an effort to limit competition for jobs in the U.S., President Trump has signed a proclamation that suspends immigration to the U.S. for 60 days for those...

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  • Q&A: Can I Apply for Unemployment Insurance?

    At The Alagiri Immigration Law Firm, we hope all of you are staying safe and healthy. By practicing social distancing, we are doing our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus...

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  • How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Your Immigration Process?

    The most immediate concern surrounding the coronavirus is, of course, our health. But the pandemic has wreaked havoc on business operations, government services, individual finances, and the national economy....

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  • How Could the Public Charge Rule Affect Your Case?

    The Department of Homeland Security officially implemented the public charge rule on February 24, 2020, and it will likely impact the application results of thousands...

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  • How Do I Bring My Foreign Fiancé to the United States?

    If you are engaged to a person who lives abroad and you want to bring them to the United States so you can get married, then you will need to help your fiancé obtain a K-1 visa so they can enter the country...

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  • Trumps Plan to Prevent Asylum Seekers from Working Undermines the Right to Seek Asylum

    At The Alagiri Immigration Law Firm, our team of lawyers is committed to defending the rights of immigrants who have fled persecution and hardship in their home countries to come to the United States...

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  • Trump's Health Insurance Rule Blocked by Preliminary Injunction

    Last month, we told you about President Trump’s proclamation which orders immigration officials to only accept visa petitions if the applicants are able to prove they have the financial means...

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  • Trump Administration Wants to Deny Your Visa If You Can’t Afford Health Care

    As we have discussed in some of our previous blogs, the Trump administration has taken sweeping steps throughout the President’s tenure to crackdown on legal immigration. In its latest effort...

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  • Federal Appeals Panel Reviews Indefinite Detention of Immigrants

    Judges in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed to have issues with the Trump administration subjecting immigrants to indefinite detention...

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  • Immigrants and Foreign Travelers Soon Required to Provide DHS with Social Media Usernames

    Beginning in 2020, the Department of Homeland Security will require foreign travelers and immigration benefits applicants to submit their social media accounts and usernames...

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  • Priya Alagiri featured in Half Moon Bay Review article Local leaders condemn proposed 'public charge' rules

    Click here to read Priya Alagiri's feature in Half Moon Bay Review article Local leaders condemn proposed 'public charge' rules.

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  • EB-1(A) Green Card Application and Requirements

    Read more about the EB-1(A) Green Card Application and Requirements on this new page on our website...

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  • Expedited Removal Set to Expand

    On July 22nd, the Trump administration announced it would be expanding fast-track deportation regulations. Under the expansion, undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the U.S...

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  • The EB-1 (A) Visa Process

    The EB-1 (A) is a subcategory of the first-preference employment-based visas. This type of visa is specifically reserved for individuals who have an extraordinary ability in sciences...

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  • Obtaining an O-1 Visa

    Athletes, entertainers, artists, businesspersons, scholars, and scientists from other countries might sometimes be called upon to perform work temporarily in the U.S. Those individuals with a high level...

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  • Temporarily Working in the US on an H-1B Visa

    The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows a foreign employee to live in the US on a temporary basis for work. An employer may file a petition for an H-1B visa to temporarily employ individuals who...

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  • Trump Administration Is Changing the H-1B Application Process

    Since 2016, the Trump Administration has been executing many questionable and controversial immigration reforms. On November 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security released a new proposal...

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  • Trump Administration Is Changing the H-1B Application Process

    Since 2016, the Trump Administration has been executing many questionable and controversial immigration reforms. On November 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security released a new proposal...

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  • Aspiring Immigrants Face New Green Card Hurdles

    Since his inauguration, President Trump has been implementing increasingly controversial and detrimental changes to the legal immigration process. At the end of 2017, the Trump Administration and the U.S...

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  • The US Visa in My Passport Says: "Visa - R" and "Type/Class - b1/b2". How Long Am I Allowed to Stay in US on Business For?

    When you arrive in the U.S., immigration officials will indicate on your I-94 card how long you can stay in the U.S. Be sure not to stay beyond the date indicated. Typically, B1/B2 visa holders can stay up to 6 months...

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  • What Specific Package of Changes to Law and Policy Are Included in "Comprehensive Immigration Reform?"

    Comprehensive immigration reform typically refers to a set of legislative proposals and efforts to overhaul the current immigration system, which many believe is severely broken...

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  • Can a Permanent Resident Get a Driver's License or Permit

    In general, to get a U.S. driver’s license you must show proof that you are legally permitted to live or work in the U.S. If you are a green card holder, then you can apply for a replacement green card if you’ve lost yours...

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  • How can a non-US citizen start a small business in the US?

    They can work for an employer for typically a year under OPT after graduation and then they can find an employer (or the same employer) to sponsor them for an H1B afterward (that’s a very common route).

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  • How Long Will It Take to Get a Green Card Through Marriage?

    If you are in the U.S. and married to a U.S. citizen, the process to obtain permanent residence takes on average six to twelve months. The application requires submitting a comprehensive package...

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  • Process to get H1B Visa stamped into my passport?

    If your H1B was approved while in the U.S. and you leave the U.S., you have to go through the visa stamping process in order to re-enter the U.S. The H1B visa stamp in your passport authorizes you to enter the U.S...

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  • Denaturalization: Can you be Denaturalized?

    The Trump Administration announced a new initiative in its war on immigration: a “denaturalization task force" targeting naturalized citizens...

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  • The Judges Have Spoken

    In the past two weeks, the US courts have submitted several decisions regarding some of the Trump Administration's more polemic immigration policies, from family separation to long-term detention...

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  • Your Social Media for Your U.S. Visa

    New regulations from the U.S. Department of State may require all visa applicants - including those applying for simple tourist visas - to provide their social media accounts on their visa application forms...

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  • Why Are People Calling to Abolish the Ice?

    Amidst the Trump Administration’s polemic immigration policies, a new movement to “Abolish ICE” is getting national attention...

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  • How to Hire International Employees

    Hiring international workers takes time - a lot of it. The decision to bring in workers from abroad is a serious one, and it requires a significant amount of time and resources to make it happen...

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  • What Are the Statistical Chances of a Uk Citizen Obtaining a US Visa?

    It’s not so much your country of citizenship that counts, but instead the type of work you will be doing in the U.S. The type of visa you would apply for is dependent on the type of work you will be doing here...

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  • World Refugee Day

    World Refugee Day, which falls on June 20th, is meant to raise awareness of the growing international refugee crisis - and it's more of a crisis than many imagine...

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  • Why Are Us Immigration Officials Separating Families?

    "If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple," stated Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month...

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  • What Are Necessary Steps to Keeping United States Permanent Residency Once Obtained?

    A very common reason for losing permanent residency is remaining outside the U.S. for a long period of time. Staying outside the U.S. for more than 6 months could raise questions upon your return...

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  • How does the H1-B fiscal year cap work?

    Generally, first time H1B applicants are subject to the cap, which means they cannot apply for the H1B prior to April 1st and cannot start working for the employer prior to October 1st...

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  • How much of a risk it is to travel out of US when H1b is in processing?

    Traveling in such instances is not advisable. If you are applying to change to H1B status from another status, then traveling outside the U.S. will abandon your request to change to H-1B status...

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  • Sorry Trump: The Best Immigrants Are African

    White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was recently quoted saying that most undocumented immigrants 'don't have skills' to integrate into the U.S...

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  • Is It Harder to Get an H-1b Visa If You Work for a Start up Compared to Working for a Well-Known Company?

    If by “well known,” you mean old, big and profitable, then, yes, it’s harder to get H-1B visas for startups in comparison. The H-1B visa was initially intended for use by large companies to bring in highly skilled labor...

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  • Given a Choice, Is the L-1 Visa or the H-1b Visa the Better Option?

    In general, I would say the L-1A (versus the L-1B) visa is more optimal than the H-1B visa. Here are some of the reasons why...

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  • Love and Immigration in the USA

    U.S. immigration is getting more and more complicated by the day. Thankfully, though, the immigration process for family members is still relatively straight forward...

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  • What kind of work visa should a Canadian get for a marketing job in the US?

    If you have a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, then you can look into the H1B visa. If you are already with a company, then you can look into the L1 visa for an intra-company transfer...

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  • For the E-1 visa, is it possible for me (owner of the company) to apply for the visa for myself (as an employee of my own company)?

    The E visa is one of the few visas that allows foreign nationals to start up their own companies in the U.S. Along those lines, therefore, the answer is, yes, you apply for the visa yourself as the E1 treaty trader...

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  • Us Asylum: The History of Asylum and What It Means Today

    The Caravan of migrants that has so infuriated Trump has reached the Mexican-American border, prompting intense reactions from both sides of the immigration debate...

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  • How Long Will My Green Card Application Take?

    In January 2018, USCIS revised its methodology for calculating your green card processing time. This was in response to complaints that the case processing times USCIS posted on its website were inaccurate...

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  • What kind of visa is required for a 3 month internship in the US?

    For temporary employment like internships (paid or unpaid), then technically the H3 temporary trainee visa or the J1 exchange visitor visa would probably be the most appropriate...

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  • How can a start-up help expedite the visa application process for a future employee/co-founder?

    Generally, I would say the major visa hoops are putting together the visa application package (which can be onerous depending on the type of visa), responding to USCIS’s Requests for Further Evidence...

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  • What Is the Eb-2 National Interest Waiver Green Card Category?

    The EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) category is a sub-set of the general Employment-Based 2nd preference (EB-2) immigrant visa category...

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  • Pereira v. Sessions

    Wescley Pereira came to the U.S. from Brazil on a six-month tourist visa in 2000, and never left. He eventually made a home for himself on Martha’s Vineyard, where he works as a handyman...

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  • How Can a Canadian Citizen Get a Green Card While on the Tn Visa and Owning 50% of a Start Up?

    TN visa holders are unfortunately not permitted to apply for permanent residency (although there may be some strategic workarounds). Many TN visa holders wanting to apply for permanent residence...

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  • The Immigration Court Backlog

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instituted new immigration court quotas in an effort to speed up case handling and reduce the immigration courts' huge case backlog...

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  • Trump Sends Troops to the Border

    Trump is sending up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the border - the U.S.-Mexican border - in an effort to combat, in Trump's own words, the "lawlessness that continues at our southern border...

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  • Can a Canadian Dental Assistant Get a J-1 Visa to Work in the U.S.?

    Yes, I believe the J-1 visa could apply to dental assistants, in particular, the J-1 visa trainee program. The J-1 trainee program specifically permits health-related occupations. For more information...

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  • Why U.S. Companies Are Hiring H-1bs

    Many U.S. companies state that they sponsor employees for H-1B visas because of the lack of local computer science and engineering talent. Schools in the U.S. are, in fact, failing to produce...

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  • If I'm a Green Card Holder, Can I Sponsor My Spouse for a Green Card?

    Yes, as a legal permanent resident (“green card” holder), you can sponsor your spouse, children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) for a green card under the family-based 2nd preference visa category...

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  • Do hotels and other similar types of establishments sponsor visas?

    Hotels and other hospitality establishments are more likely to sponsor workers for H-2B visas or J-1 visas. The H-2B visa allows employers to bring temporary workers to the U.S. to help with seasonal...

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  • California Sues the Federal Government over a Census Question - Why Does It Matter?

    Last week, The Commerce Department announced it would reinstate the citizenship question on the 2020 Census to help enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act...

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  • I Am a U.S. Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) and Will Be Marrying My Girlfriend in My Home Country (Pakistan) Who Does Not Have U.S. Citizenship or a Visa. How Can My Wife Get in to U.S. to Live with Me and How Long Is the Procedure to Bring Her Here

    You can petition for your wife by filing the Form I-130 but unfortunately, the wait time for a visa for spouses of permanent residents is currently about 2.5-3 years.

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  • Why Doesn't the U.S. Make It Easier for Chinese and Indian H-1b Visa Holders to Immigrate?

    There was a bill that was put forward in Congress eliminating the per country numerical limitations for employment-based immigrant visas. If passed, the bill would significantly reduce the wait times for Indian and Chinese nationals...

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  • What Is the Timeline for Obtaining an H-1b Under Premium Processing?

    USCIS is required to adjudicate the H-1B application within 15 days of receiving the premium processing request. With premium processing, USCIS communicates with the employer via email (as well has regular mail)...

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  • My Wife Is on h1b. Can She Take a 1-Week Summer Job in Her Field at Another Employer?

    It is difficult to answer this question without more details, but generally an H1B visa holder can have more than one job as long as there is an approved H1B for each job...

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  • What Is a Sanctuary City?

    With Sanctuary City's a hot topic in the news, many are left wondering, exactly what is a sanctuary city? While there is no legal definition of a “Sanctuary City,” the term typically refers to the resistance by local governments...

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  • The Us Immigration "Culture of Fear"

    I've been receiving calls from young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area who are living in fear that their undocumented family members will be harassed, arrested or even deported in the recent ICE raids in the area...

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  • I Am on h1b1 and Lost My Job. I Am Looking for Job, but in the Meantime I Was Planning to Change Status to an h4 Dependent Visa. Do I Need to Leave the Country to Change My Visa Status?

    Based on the information you provided, you should apply for your H4 change of status immediately. Technically, you are no longer in visa “status” because you lost your job...

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  • A Nation of Immigrants

    This week, the USCIS changed their mission statement, removing the phrase "Nation of Immigrants," causing many to question what is the true role immigrants have played in American society throughout history...

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  • Can I Startup a Company on an f1 Student Visa?

    Unfortunately, if you are currently in school on an F-1 student visa, you are not permitted to start and work for your own startup company. However, if you have graduated and have...

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  • Could Daca Dreamers Face Deportation?

    After last week's open-floor Senate debate on immigration, there were high hopes that we'd see a bipartisan immigration bill pass in Congress. The week ended rather anticlimactically...

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  • I have my I-140 approved. Can I switch employers at this stage? Does the new employer have to file new H1B or they can apply for an extension based on my approved I-140?

    I think you’re mixing up a few immigration rules. If you’re an H1B visa holder, then you can transfer to a new employer any time you’d like regardless of whether you have an approved I-140...

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  • The Economics of Us Immigration

    Immigration has a huge effect on the country, which might be why it's such a polemic topic. Whatever your stance on immigration may be, you have to admit that immigration plays a major role in shaping the nation that we are...

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  • The Three Pillars of Immigration Reform

    On Monday, the Senate began an open-ended debate on immigration reform, in an attempt to build a new immigration bill from scratch on the Senate floor...

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  • Is It Relatively Easier for International Students in the U.S. to Do a Startup Than h1b Workers? If So, How?

    It is easier for an international student to startup a company than an H1B visa holder if the student gets an Occupation Practical Training (OPT) work permit after graduation, since OPT holders...

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  • What is the process to convert H1B visa status to H4 visa status?

    It’s a fairly simple process. You would have to file for a change of status using the Form I-539. Among other things, you should provide proof that you are married to your H1B visa holder and that you have remained in status...

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  • What Is Chain Migration, and Why Does the Green Card Lottery Matter?

    From our country's founding until the 1880s, US borders were considered 100% open. While this isn't strictly true - the Naturalization Act of 1790 excluded the free movement of people of color or slaves...

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  • What Are the Steps for a Startup to Apply for a J-1 Visa on Behalf of a Trainee or Intern?

    The first step for any company wanting to host a J-1 intern or trainee is to find a J-1 sponsoring organization. This sponsoring organization is the one with whom you’ll work to get the J1 visa for your intern or trainee...

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  • How can a foreign entrepreneur startup a company in the U.S.?

    Being in the center of innovation in Silicon Valley, this is a commonly asked question and the following lays out some visa options to explore...

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  • Trump Immigration News

    Trump's first year in office saw huge changes in immigration policy - Trump Immigration News has been rampant. Numerous Travel Bans were ordered and revoked...

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  • I have a green card case filed under the EB-3 visa category. Can I move it to the EB-2 visa category?

    This question is a common one, especially since the EB-3 visa category is severely retrogressed for all foreign nationals and has been for some time. Unfortunately, though, it is not possible...

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  • Tps Ends for Salvadorans

    The US government announced it will revoke "TPS El Salvador" - that is, the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans living in the United States, following the fate of formerly protected Nicaraguans...

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  • What Can I Do on a B1 B2 Visa?

    Many people want to know: what can I do on a B1 B2 visa? If your visa says R-Type B1 B2, we've covered how long you can stay here. But other common question are...

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  • Ycombinator, Techstars and Other Incubators Are Funding Foreign Entrepreneurs. Do the Incubators Have a Visa Program or Must the Entrepreneurs Secure Tourist or Student Visas?

    No, the incubators do not have a specific visa program. Foreign entrepreneurs would most likely use the B-1 business visitor visa to attend these incubator programs...

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  • What Is an American Diversity Lottery Visa?

    It is a Congressionally mandated program that provides 50,000 visas annually to individuals who have been selected from a random drawing. Persons entering the lottery must meet certain...

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  • Us and Turkey Lift Reciprocal Visa Restrictions

    In a great start to 2018, the US has announced it will resume non-immigrant visa services for Turkish citizens in its Ankara embassy, a move which was immediately reciprocated by the Turkish Consulate...

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  • Changes Made to the H-1b Visa (Skilled Worker Visa)

    On Dec. 14, the Trump administration announced it will revoke the rule that permitted spouses of highly-skilled foreign workers the right to work in the US...

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  • What are the factors influencing successful or unsuccessful E-2 visa applications?

    Speaking very generally, Consular Officers have said that the most common reason for unsuccessful E-2 visa applications is lack of sufficient documentation...

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  • 6 Things You Should Know About Religious Asylum in the United States

    Recent world news has put religious persecution in the spotlight. From the Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt to stories of Syrian Christians being commanded to “convert or die,” we see people around...

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  • Daca & Dreamers: An Update

    Dreamers remain in limbo as Senate and House members struggle to get a vote called on DACA. A Mid-December Update on DACA and the Dreamers...

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  • Green Cards and Permanent Residency

    There are several ways to get a green card but the two most popular ways are through an employer or family sponsor. A typical path for someone like yourself is to change status from an F1 to an H1B if your employer is willing...

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  • Us Startup Visa Goes Live

    Federal judge orders the US Startup Visa program into action, overruling an attempt made by the Trump Administration to delay this Obama-era program...

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  • Temporary Protected Status Program Ends for Nicaraguans and Haitians

    The US has announced that in January 2019 it will terminate a temporary program that gave Nicaraguan immigrants protection from deportation following natural disasters in their country...

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  • If someone needs a letter of recommendation for an O-1 visa and the letter is a bit over-the-top, do you just sign it anyway?

    Support letters should be a true representation of your accomplishments. Inaccurate information could come back to hurt you, for example, when applying for a green card through the EB1 visa category...

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  • Is it legal to go through an incubator process under B-1 Visa?

    Typically, B1 visas are appropriate in order to participate in incubator programs. These programs normally involve attending trainings, meeting V.C.s, connecting with mentors, refining strategies, etc...

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  • Can I pursue further studies in the U.S. while on an H-1B visa?Can outside investors invest in my startup for the E-2 Visa?

    Yes, the short answer is that investors can invest in your U.S. startup for the E2 visa. However, the majority of your startup must be owned by citizens (or entities) of your country...

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  • YCombinator, TechStars and other incubators are funding foreign entrepreneurs. Do the incubators have a visa program or must the entrepreneurs secure tourist or student visas?YCombinator, TechStars and other incubators are funding foreign entrepreneurs. Do

    No, the incubators do not have a specific visa program. Foreign entrepreneurs would most likely use the B-1 business visitor visa to attend these incubator programs...

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  • Can I pursue further studies in the U.S. while on an H-1B visa?

    As an H-1B visa holder, you are permitted to take classes. However, the primary purpose of your being in the U.S. must be your H-1B employment and you must continue working for your H-1B employer in the same capacity...

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  • k1 "Fiancé Visa" Streamlines the Marriage Process for Citizen/Noncitizen Couples

    Marriage between citizens of different countries can be complicated. For U.S. citizens seeking to marry foreign citizens, the K-1 visa can eliminate one of the most significant obstacles: geography...

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  • Can I do freelance work while on an H-1B visa?

    No, unfortunately not. You may not have any employment outside of your approved H-1B employment. Any other employment would require another work visa...

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  • Can I have a valid H-1B and F-1 visa at the same time? In my case, I'm currently working on a H-1B visa and seeking to get a F-1 visa for my further studies. Is it possible to continue working part-time along with my graduate studies?

    You may not need to change your status to an F1. You may pursue further studies while on an H1B visa as long as the primary purpose for your being in the U.S. is the H1B employment.

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  • How Does Divorce Impact Immigration Status?

    In 2016, 81,486 immigrant (i.e. “green card”) visas (IR-1) were granted to spouses of U.S. citizens. Another 51,979 conditional green card visas (CR-1) were granted to spouses who had been married...

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  • What happens when I get laid off while I am on an H1-B visa? I have an H1-B visa and I am working full time. What happens if I get laid off one fine day? Do I need to go back to my country immediately? Or can I get status for a time frame to search for job

    If you lost your job while on an H1B visa, you would technically be out of visa status. However, many H1B visa holders lose their jobs and stay here until they find their next job...

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  • 7 Things the White House Is Hoping You Won't Notice About the Trump Immigration Policy

    Last week, Donald Trump announced that the administration was ready to work with Congress to “…ensure safe and lawful admissions; defend the safety and security of our country; and protect American workers and taxpayers...

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  • 5 Things to Know About Removing the Conditions on Your Green Card

    Certain immigrants are granted permanent residence on a conditional basis. A conditional green card is valid for two years only (versus a permanent green card which is valid indefinitely)...

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  • Can one person apply for both the H1B Visa and a NIW based Green card at the same time?

    Yes, you can apply for both at the same time. They are two separate processes. The H1B visa is also a “dual intent” visa, which means that permanent residency can be pursued in conjunction with an H1B...

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  • What Parts of Arizona's Immigration Law Were Struck down by the Supreme Court?

    The Supreme Court found that three key sections of the Arizona immigration law are unconstitutional...

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  • 5 Things You Should Know About Traveling Under Trump Travel Ban 3.0

    On September 24, Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation widely referred to as “ Travel Ban 3.0. ” The proclamation effects US travel by foreigners, and is officially titled “Enhancing Vetting...

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  • I currently work on H1B for my employer,and my AOS (I-485) is pending, priority date is current and I've already got my EAD. Can I start my own company in USA now? Or should I wait until my green card is approved?

    Usually, it’s recommended that people in your situation stay working on their H1B visas until their AOS applications have been approved. If you start working on your EAD, then you’ll no longer be in H1B status...

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  • Can I start a company if I'm in the US on a student F1 visa?

    You may not work for the company on an F1 visa. You may be able to start and work for a company with other types of visas...

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  • Deported Dreamer Returns to Fight Back

    Months before the White House announced the end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez says he was deported to Mexico despite having been granted protection under DACA...

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  • What Are the Reasons for Losing Your Green Card?

    A very common reason for losing permanent residency (i.e. your green card) is remaining outside the U.S. for a long period of time. Staying outside the U.S. for more than 6 months could raise questions upon your return...

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  • What should Dutch entrepreneurs do to emigrate to the U.S.?

    In terms of visas to start a business here, you can look at the E investor visa. If you already have a company in the Netherlands, you might be able to apply for an L intra-company transfer visa...

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  • Congress Must Save Daca - and Not Just for Dreamers

    Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer say they’ve brokered a deal with Trump for a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program...

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  • Trump Administration Stands Alone in Effort to Dump Daca Dreamers

    On Tuesday, the White House announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Criticism immediately poured forth from many sectors, including activists, industry and elected officials.

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  • How can you move to Silicon Valley to create or work at a startup if you're not an US citizen?

    The two visas that can be used to start a business in the U.S. are the E visa and the L1 visa. The E1 treaty trader visa allows individuals from E1 treaty countries to enter the U.S. for the purpose of carrying...

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  • Arpaio Pardon Highlights the Worst Attributes of the Trump Presidency

    When Donald Trump pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the White House statement made reference to Arpaio’s “more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation,” and specifically spotlighted Arpaio’s...

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  • Is there any legal way for international students on F-1 visas to incorporate and run their own startup while maintaining the F-1 visa status. How would this change after graduation (and the end of the F-1 visa)?

    F1s can only work in the U.S. under certain circumstances. On-campus employment is allowed, but off-campus employment is only allowed for work which is related to the student’s field of study (through Curricular Practical Training)...

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  • How can the spouse of an H1B visa holder obtain an EAD or work permit?

    A spouse of an H1B visa holder comes in on the dependent H4 visa and is not allowed to work. Volunteering for a typical volunteer position, however, is permissible – like for a religious or charitable organization...

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  • Can a H1B holder work for a startup as a co-founder?

    I assume this means that this would be your primary job. Based on recent cases, USCIS seems to have taken the position that H1B visa holders cannot work for a company in which they have a majority interest.

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  • Can a person on a H1-B visa work in his/her free time on a bootstrapped project as a minority shareholder and/or as a volunteer?

    Generally, H1B visa holders may only work as volunteers for positions which are typically unpaid positions (like at non-profits, charitable orgs, etc.). Volunteering for a position that is typically a paid position...

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  • Raise Act Falls Short of Promise

    A few days before his inauguration, Donald Trump promised that his immigration plan was going to be “very firm” but would “have a lot of heart,” but the RAISE Act falls short...

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  • What Are the Official Rules to Keep Ones Green Card Valid?

    There are several “rules” green card holders must follow, such as filing tax returns, not voting in elections, and refraining from criminal behavior. However, the most common issue that comes up with green card holders is the travel restriction...

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  • How hard is it to get an EB-1 for a researcher working in a small startup?

    EB1 cases are very difficult to win because the standard is so high, but is definitely possible with the right documentation and legal help. EB1 visas are reserved for the most able and accomplished in their respective fields...

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  • Can I leave the US without AP or H1B while my I-485 is pending?

    If you do not have a visa, then you would need the Advance Parole document to re-enter the U.S. You must have the AP granted prior to departing the U.S. If not, then you may not be permitted to re-enter...

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  • U Visa Protects Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse and Other Crimes

    Non-citizen victims of crime are often hesitant to seek help from law enforcement, and this uncertainty makes them easy prey for criminals. In 2000, Congress took a large step toward alleviating...

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  • Can I Start a Company While in H1B?

    Based on recent cases, USCIS seems to have taken the position that H1B visa holders cannot work for a company in which they have a majority interest. Generally, USCIS’s reasoning for denying...

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  • Options for Non-Citizen Victims of Domestic Violence

    Victims of domestic violence often feel trapped and helpless. Finding options for separating themselves from an abuser and building a better life in a safe place is daunting, and may even seem impossible...

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  • Can you work for the next company right after you get your H1B (i.e. doing a H1B transfer). If so, how long does it take for the transfer?

    A valid H1B visa holder can transfer to another job as long as he or she is in lawful status and has not engaged in any unauthorized employment. The process for an H1B transfer is the same as the process...

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  • What Is the Process for a Canadian Citizen to Obtain a U.S. Green Card?

    There are several ways to get a green card but the two most popular ways are through an employer or family sponsor. A typical path for someone like yourself is to change status from an F1 to an H1B if your employer...

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  • Trump Administration Places Delay on Entrepreneur Visa

    The Trump administration delayed the International Entrepreneur Rule, raising questions about the entrepreneur visa and it's future...

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  • Celebrating Independence Day with 15,000 New American Citizens

    The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated the 4th of July with more than 65 naturalization ceremonies around the country. Between June 30 and July 4, USCIS administered...

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  • Can I travel outside the U.S. while my H1B application is pending?

    Unfortunately not. If you depart while your H1B change of status application is pending, then the USCIS will deem the application to have been abandoned. The H1B petition, however, will still be active...

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  • What are the best ways to get a U.S. working visa for an entrepreneur?

    There are two types of visas categories one can fall under to work in the U.S. – a non-immigrant visa or an immigrant visa. The non-immigrant visas are temporary in nature and typically require employer sponsorship...

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  • Is my company eligible to sponsor an H1B?

    I would not let being a small company dissuade you from sponsoring an H1B employee. Many believe that small companies cannot successfully petition for H1B visas. However, even though small or startup companies...

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  • How difficult is it to get an E3 visa without a degree?

    You would need 12+ years of industry-related experience, and would need to have your work experience evaluated by independent experts to see if it is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree...

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  • Trump Travel Ban Just Won't Die - U.S. Supreme Court Allows Limited Ban

    In January, the Trump administration said a temporary us travel ban was necessary to allow the administration time to review procedures and ensure the safety of the United States...

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  • Nine Things You Should Know About Daca and Dreamers

    In 2012, President Obama signed a controversial executive order creating the DACA program, which offers temporary amnesty to undocumented individuals who arrived in the United States as children...

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  • Is It Possible to Work on Short-Term Consulting Projects in the U.S. on a b1/b2 Visa?

    If you’re coming to the U.S. to perform productive labor, then you would need a work visa like the TN or H-1B visa. If you’re coming simply to meet with clients, obtain information, or other such similar activity...

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  • What is the best way to find a job in San Francisco when you don't have a green card ?

    Generally, you would need an employer to sponsor you for a temporary, non-immigrant visa. Or, if you have sufficient funds, you could look into an investor E visa...

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  • Trump's Immigration Losing Streak Continues with 9th Circuit Ruling

    Late last month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Maryland court’s injunction preventing version two of the Trump travel ban from taking effect. The Trump administration immediately began...

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  • 5 Things You Should Know About a Marriage Based Green Card

    The foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen can apply for a marriage based green card as an immediate relative of the U.S. citizen spouse. The immigrant spouse can petition for legal residency on this basis whether...

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  • How to get a job in Silicon Valley startup as a non-US citizen, without having a company sponsor?

    Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options for a person in your position. If you are able, you can work for a multinational company abroad for one year and then come in under the L1 intra-company transfer visa...

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  • 4th Circuit Upholds Trump Travel Ban Injunction

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the differences between the first and second Trump travel bans, and the preliminary injunctions issued to prevent enforcement of the most recent ban...

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  • Can a spouse of a US citizen living abroad obtain a work visa based on the marriage only?

    No unfortunately not. If you are coming here to work, then you would need your employer to sponsor you for a work visa. Depending on the type of work you will be doing, there might be other visas you can use to enter...

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  • Can a non-US citizen with a visa that doesn't allow employment (like J-1) apply for a work visa without leaving the country?

    An individual in J1 status who is subject to the 2 year foreign residency requirement cannot change status to another visa in the U.S. unless a waiver has been granted. This individual would have to apply...

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  • Is It Permissible for a B-1/B-2 Visitor to Enroll in School in the U.S.?

    No, in general, B-1/B-2 visa holders are not permitted to attend school in the U.S. In order to attend school, the B-1/B-2 visa holder must apply for a change of status to either an F-1...

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  • If I'm in the U.S. on the b1 or b2 Visitor Visa, Can I Change Status to Another Visa Category or Do I Have to Leave the U.S. to Apply?

    When a person enters the U.S. in the B1 or B2 visa category and then files an application for a change of status to another non-immigrant visa category or for an adjustment of status...

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  • Appellate Court Tackles Second Trump Travel Ban

    On May 15th, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will be hearing argument for and against the new Trump travel ban - Trump's second executive order restricting travel from certain countries...

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  • Does Giving Birth to a Child in the United States Affect One's Chance of Obtaining a Green Card / Citizenship?

    This issue is a hot topic as of late. If you google the terms “anchor babies,” you will get a lot of information. Basically, the child is a U.S. citizen but the parents do not become permanent residents...

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  • Federal Judge Issues Injunction Halting Sanctuary City Executive Order

    Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s bid to withhold federal funding from US Sanctuary Cities. The judge ruled that federal funding could not be withheld because...

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  • Trump's "Buy American Hire American" Executive Order and the H-1b Visa

    On April 18, President Trump signed an executive order, nicknamed the "Buy American Hire American" executive order, with the stated purpose of stimulating the U.S. economy.

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  • How to Get a Green Card?

    There are several ways to get a green card in the USA. A Green Card is the common term for permanent residence status in the US, and depending on your situation and type of eligibility you will need...

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  • Can I Travel with an H1B Visa Pending?

    You must not travel outside the U.S. if you are applying to change to H1B status from another status. Traveling outside the U.S.while your H1B is pending will abandon your request to change to H-1B status...

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  • What Are the Most Reliable and Efficient Ways for a Foreign Adult to Get Us Citizenship?

    A common and fast way to become a U.S. citizen is through marriage to a U.S. citizen. This way, you can apply for U.S. citizenship 3 years after obtaining your green card...

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  • Why Doesn't the U.S. Make It Easier for Chinese and Indian Citizens to Immigrate?

    The wait time to obtain an employment-based immigrant visa (rather than a family-based immigrant visa) for Chinese and Indian citizens is significantly longer than for citizens of other countries...

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  • Can I Get a Green Card If My Child Is Born in the USA?

    This issue is a hot topic as of late. Having a child born in the US as a way to secure your place in the United States is commonly referred to as having an “anchor baby.” One website describes "Anchor baby"...

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  • How Do I Sponsor My Spouse for a Green Card?

    Yes, as a lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder), you can sponsor your spouse, children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) for a green card under the family-based...

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  • Want to Know How to Get a Green Card?

    Want to Know How to Get a Green Card? You're not alone. There are several ways to get a green card in the USA. "Green Card" is the common term for lawful permanent residence status in the US...

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  • Which Is Better: The L1 Visa vs H1B Visa?

    Given a choice, is the L-1 visa or the H-1B visa the better option? In general, the L-1A (versus the L-1B) visa is more optimal than the H-1B visa. Here are some of the reasons why...

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  • Keeping a Green Card

    For immigrants who aren't planning on spending 100% of their time in the United States, keeping a green card can be almost as difficult as getting one in the first place. It's important...

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  • Do Hotels Sponsor Visas?

    If you're wondering, "Do Hotels Sponsor Visas" - the answer is yes, they do. Hotels and other hospitality establishments are more likely to sponsor workers for H-2B visas or J-1 visas...

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  • Who Can Get a J1 Visa?

    Yes, I believe the J-1 visa could apply to dental assistants, in particular the J-1 visa trainee program. The J-1 trainee program specifically permits health-related occupations...

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  • How Fast Is H1B Premium Processing?

    USCIS is required to adjudicate the H1B application within 15 days of receiving the H1B premium processing request. With premium processing, USCIS communicates with the employer...

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  • How Can I Bring My Wife to the Us to Live with Me?

    "I want to bring my wife to the us to live with me" is a different question for US Citizens than it is for Green Card holders. As a Green Card holder, you can petition to bring your foreign wife...

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  • Can I Switch Employers on an H1B Visa?

    I think you’re mixing up a few immigration rules. If you’re an H1B visa holder, then you can transfer to a new employer any time you’d like regardless of whether you have an approved I-140...

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  • Can an H1B Visa Holder Work as a Volunteer?

    Generally, H1B volunteer work is only permitted for positions which are typically unpaid positions (like at non-profits, charitable orgs, etc). Volunteering for a position that is typically a paid position...

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  • Will changing jobs affect my green card process?

    Whether a job change will affect a foreign national’s permanent residency (“green card”) process depends on where he or she is in the process. Below is a very general overview of the consequences...

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  • What Is an EB2 Green Card?

    The EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) category is a sub-set of the general Employment-Based 2nd preference (EB-2) immigrant visa category...

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  • What Can I Do on an H1B Visa?

    You may not have any employment outside of your approved H-1B employment, which rules out any type of freelance work...

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  • How to Apply for a J1 Visa

    The first step in applying for a J1 visa for any company wanting to host a J-1 intern or trainee is to find a J-1 sponsoring organization. This sponsoring organization is the one with whom...

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  • How Important Is the O1 Visa Recommendation Letter?

    The O1 visa recommendation letter is a very important part of the application. Support letters should be a true representation of a person's accomplishments. Inaccurate information could come back...

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  • How Difficult Is It to Get an EB1 Visa for Research?

    How hard is it to get an EB1 for a researcher working in a small startup? An eb1 visa for research is very difficult to win because the standard is so high, but is definitely possible with the right documentation...

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  • How Can I Get an E2 Visa Application Approved?

    Speaking very generally, Consular Officers have said that the most common reason for unsuccessful E2 visa applications is lack of sufficient documentation. There are no requirements regarding...

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  • Can an H1B Spouse Work?

    How can the spouse of an H1B visa holder obtain an EAD or work permit? H1B spouses are permitted to work under certain circumstances. If the H1B has a green card process under way, then the H4 spouse...

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  • Can a Foreign Entrepreneur Startup a Company in the U.S.?

    How can a foreign entrepreneur startup a company in the U.S.? Being in the center of innovation in Silicon Valley, we get a lot of questions about the foreign entrepreneur startup visa process...

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  • Can I Change My Visa Status in the Us?

    According to the USICS, if you want to change visa status in the US, you (or in some cases your employer) must file for a change of status with USCIS before your authorized stay expires...

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  • Can I Get a Green Card Through Startup Ownership?

    TN visa holders are, unfortunately, not permitted to apply for permanent residency, although there may be some strategic workarounds. Many TN visa holders wanting to apply for permanent residence request...

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  • Do Spouses of U.S. Citizens Automatically Get Work Visas?

    No, unfortunately not. If you are coming to the US to work and do not have a Green Card, then you would need your employer to sponsor you for a work visa. Depending on the type of work you will be doing...

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  • Can I Expedite a U.S. Visa Application?

    Generally, there are no ways to technically expedite a visa application. I would say the most time consuming aspects are putting together the visa application package (which can be onerous depending...

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  • How Can I Get My H1B Visa Stamp?

    If your H1B was approved while in the U.S. and you leave the U.S., you have to go through the visa stamping process in order to re-enter the U.S. The H1B visa stamp in your passport authorizes...

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  • How Can Entrepreneurs Get a Visa to the USA?

    In terms of visas to start a business here, you can look at the E investor visa. If you already have a company in the Netherlands, you might be able to apply for an L intra-company transfer visa...

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  • Can a Non-Us Citizen Start a Business in the U.S.?

    Neither US citizenship nor residency is required to start a small business in the United States. Some small business opportunities may allow you to reside in the United States if you qualify for an L-1 or E-2 visa...

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  • Is There a U.S. Visa for Internships?

    For temporary employment like internships (paid or unpaid), then technically the H3 temporary trainee visa or the J1 exchange visitor visa would probably be the most appropriate...

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  • Can an H1B Visa Holder Have Multiple Jobs?

    In theory she could take a one-week summer job, however she would need a separate H1B visa to work for a second employer. Due to the cost - both in time and money - of an H1B visa, it would be rare that an employer...

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  • Is My Company Eligible to Sponsor an H1B Visa?

    Is it only large corporations that can sponsor h1b visa employees, or can my small to mid-sized company sponsor h1b visa employees as well?...

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  • What Questions Are Asked in the Test Given to Prospective Citizens of the United States?

    The U.S. naturalization test has an English and Civics component. The English portion tests your ability to read, write and speak English. The Civics portion tests your knowledge of U.S...

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  • Why Is U.S. Immigration More Difficult for Indian and Chinese Citizens?

    Many people wonder why US immigration for Indian and Chinese Citizens is more difficult than for citizens of other countries. While technically it is not more difficult, there are longer wait times...

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  • My Us Visa Says "Visa R Type/Class b1 b2" - How Long Can I Stay?

    People often ask what is the length of stay for the b1/b2 visa. When you arrive in the U.S., immigration officials will indicate on your passport and Form I-94 how long you can stay in the U.S...

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  • How to Get US Citizenship?

    Many people want to know how to get US citizenship, or what is the 'best' or fastest way to become a citizen of the United States. A common and relatively reliable way to become a US Citizen...

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  • How Can I Revoke an Affidavit of Support for a U.S. Immigrant?

    The Affidavit of Support, or financial sponsorship, is seen as a legally binding contract, so if the immigrant's green card application has been approved, it will be difficult to revoke your affidavit of support...

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  • Can I Get a U.S. Driver's License with a Green Card?

    The answer to this is yes! To get a U.S. driver’s license you must show proof that you are legally permitted to live or work in the U.S. This means that if you are a green card holder, then you can apply...

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  • What Are the Questions on the U.S. Citizen Test?

    The U.S. naturalization test or US citizenship test has two components - English and Civics. The English portion tests your knowledge of the English language, such as your ability to read, write and speak English...

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  • Are Arizona's Immigration Laws Legal?

    The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (introduced as Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and thus often referred to simply as "Arizona SB 1070") is a 2010 legislative Act in the U.S. state of Arizona...

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  • What Is the Diversity Lottery?

    The Diversity Lottery, also commonly known as the Green Card Lottery, is a program that issues green cards through a random lottery process for applicants from countries that are underrepresented...

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  • What Is Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

    Comprehensive immigration reform typically refers to a set of legislative proposals and efforts to overhaul the current immigration system, which many believe is severely broken...

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  • What Are the Chances of a U.K. Citizen Getting a U.K. Visa?

    As a British citizen, you are eligible to enter on the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows for temporary stays up to 90 days with no visa. In the case of the Visa Waiver Program...

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  • Do Dutch Citizens Need a Visa to Visit the USA?

    As long as they are visiting as a tourist or business (B1) visitor and plan to stay less than 90 days, Dutch Citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States. The Netherlands, like most European Union Countries...

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  • Priya Alagiri Speaks to New York Times About Trump's Immigration Policies

    Priya Alagiri recently spoke to the New York Times about how President Trump's immigration policies may affect technology companies. Silicon Valley employers, in particular, question the potential impact...

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  • Understanding the Top 4 Employment Visas

    Are you a foreign national interested in working in the US? You will need a work visa to be legally employed in the United States. There are several types of work visas available for foreign nationals...

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  • Missed out on an H-1b Visa? Consider the L-1 Visa

    The H1B visa has long been the US work visa choice for companies seeking to hire a foreign national. It is one of the most common and sought after visas to work in the U.S. However, when the H-1B cap...

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  • Doma Overturned: U.S. Citizens Can Now Sponsor Same Sex Spouses for Green Cards

    This week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned as unconstitutional the government’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which means that now same sex married couples can receive the same Federal benefits...

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  • 3 Ways to Startup a Company as an Immigrant Entrepreneur

    I often get asked for advice as to how can a foreign national or foreign citizen startup a company in the US. The following are three us entrepreneur visa options for immigrant entrepreneurs...

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  • 5 Things You Can Not Do on a U.S. Business Visa

    A B-1 visa, commonly known as a US business visa, allows a foreign national the opportunity to visit the U.S. for business purposes. B-1 visa holders are permitted to enter the U.S. to engage in a wide...

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  • Rejected by U.S., Foreign Entrepreneur Heads to Canada

    This animation highlights the problems facing foreign entrepreneurs. The Bulgarian entrepreneur depicted had attended a top business school in the U.S. and came up with an idea that VCs would fund...

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  • The Next Steve Jobs Is Foreign Born, U.S. Educated and on a Plane Home

    Who’s the next Steve Jobs? He’s foreign born, U.S. educated and likely on a plane home. When I explained to Sudhir, an Indian citizen with a Masters Degree in engineering from a top U.S. university...

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  • Why Aren't There More Foreign Female Entrepreneurs?

    The voice on the other end of the phone caught me off-guard. Young, energetic and slightly accented, the voice asked whether the recently announced immigration policies could help her to start a company...

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  • The Case for Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Startups

    With the recent introduction of the Startup Visa Act in Congress, the issue of the U.S.’s immigrant “brain drain” has come up fairly frequently. President Obama even referred to the problem in his last State...

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