Family-Based Immigration to the United States

For citizens or permanent residents who have family living abroad, the family-based immigration system allows their family members a simplified process for immigrating to the United States. Family-Based immigration is currently the largest source of immigration to the U.S., comprising about 65% of immigration per year, or over 80% of immigration in the past decade. Because most other forms of visa applications have a Read More

Am I Eligible for a T-1 Visa?

The United States Congress passed into law the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2000, creating protections for immigrants who have become victims of coercive labor practices in the U.S.or trafficking into the U.S. (including having to pay for work visas from abroad). Regardless of your documentation status in the U.S., if you were subjected to abuse from an employer, you may be eligible to Read More

U.S. Visas for Entrepreneurs

Many immigrant entrepreneurs have come to the U.S. and started businesses that changed entire industries. Google co-founder Sergey Brin came from Russia, former YouTube chief technology officer Steve Chen was born in Taiwan, and Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger was Brazilian. If you want to come to the United States and make your own business dream a reality, you’re in good company. Immigrants who want to start or Read More

Overview of EB-5 Visas

If you are not a current resident of the United States, you may be looking into the available options. As an investor, there may be specific opportunities you could pursue in order to obtain permanent U.S. residency.  One of the most popular are EB-5 visas. If you are interested in obtaining your EB-5 visa, get an experienced immigration lawyer at RelisLaw on your side. You can get started by calling our office at Read More

Should You Apply for an E-2 Visa?

Many types of visas that allow foreign nationals to lawfully reside in the U.S. require applicants to contribute, in some way, to the nation’s economy. Employers sometimes need specialized foreign talent to fill gaps in their workforce. Other times, foreign nationals may use their own money to get a U.S. visa. One of the most popular types of work-based visas is the E-2 visa, or treaty investor visa. Our firm has Read More

What to Know About Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitions

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law providing an avenue for abused individuals (women or men) to seek U.S. legal status. Normally, a non-citizen close family member without legal status must rely on the citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family member to obtain legal status. This arrangement becomes untenable when the citizen or LPR inflicts extreme physical, emotional, or psychological Read More

Visas for Victims of Criminal Activity: U Visas

Out of terrible circumstances can come opportunities for non-residents of the U.S through the U nonimmigrant status (U visa). Victims of certain crimes, known as “qualifying criminal activities,” may be able to obtain a U visa if they cooperate with law enforcement. Besides creating a legal avenue for non-residents to stay in the U.S. for four years, U visas allow individuals to petition for a green card.  Qualifying Read More

Employers: What to Know About L-1A Visas

One of the best options for international companies looking to transfer employees to U.S. offices is the L-1 visa. L-1 visas are nonimmigrant, meaning they do not provide a direct path to citizenship for visa holders.  There are two tiers of L-1 visas: L-1A and L-1B. L-1B visas are used by employees who have some kind of specialized training or knowledge but are not managers or executives. This blog will focus on Read More

What to Know About O-1 Visas

Non-U.S. citizens with “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics—as well as non-U.S. citizens with “extraordinary achievement” in the movie or television industry, with national or international recognition for those extraordinary achievements—might be eligible for the O-1 visa. O-1A visas are reserved for those in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, and Read More

A Closer Look at the EB-2 National Interest Waiver

EB-2, the second preference category of employment-based visas, usually requires employer sponsorship before the USCIS will bring over foreign talent. Employers must show that they completed the labor certification (PERM) process and are therefore justified in offering the job to a noncitizen.  In some cases, though, foreign talent may obtain an EB-2 visa without employer sponsorship or, even, a job offer from a U.S. Read More