Immigration Medical Exams – USCIS

Most applicants for adjustment of status are required to have a medical examination. The medical examination must be conducted by a civil surgeon who has been designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Medical examinations are needed for adjustment of status cases (Form I-485) and requests for V nonimmigrant status (Form I-539).

Finding A Designated Civil Surgeon in Your Area

For the most current list of civil surgeons in your area, please check our Civil Surgeons Locator, below. You will be asked to key in your zip code to help determine the list of designated civil surgeons close to you.

Doctors interested in being registered as a Designated Civil Surgeon should submit the following to their local District Office:

  • A letter to the District Director requesting consideration
  • A copy of a current medical license
  • A current resume that shows 4 years of professional experience, not including a residency program
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful status in the United States
  • Two signature cards showing name typed and signature below
The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

Premium Processing – USCIS

What is it?

Premium Processing Service provides faster processing of certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS provides 15 calendar day processing to those who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing fee and the relating case will continue to receive faster processing.

The processing period that is used to determine whether or not USCIS meets the 15 calendar day period will begin when the current version of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is received by USCIS at the correct filing address noted on the form. Within the 15 day calendar period USCIS will issue an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If the notice requires the submission of additional evidence or of a response to intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day period will begin upon the delivery to USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

Who is eligible?

The chart below sets forth the forms, designated classifications within each form type, and current availability and termination dates for premium processing service.

Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

Designated Classification Within Form I-129

Corresponding Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

* Availability Date

** Termination Date

Treaty Trader

E-1

June 1, 2001

 

Treaty Investor

E-2

June 1, 2001

 

Alien in Specialty Occupation

H-1B CAP

July 30, 2001

May 26, 2006 (FY 07)

August 10, 2005 (FY 06)

Alien in Specialty Occupation, Advanced Degree Exception (Masters or Higher)

H-1B CAP

July 30, 2001

July 26, 2006 (FY 07)

January 17, 2006 (FY 06)

Alien in Specialty Occupation

H-1B NON-CAP

July 30, 2001

 

Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services

H-2B CAP

June 1, 2001

November 28, 2006  (1st half, FY 07)

 

Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services

H-2B NON CAP

June 1, 2001

 

Trainee

H-3

June 1, 2001

 

Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager Capacity

L-1A

June 1, 2001

 

Intracompany Transferee, Specialized Knowledge Professional

L-1B

June 1, 2001

 

Petitioners that meet requirements may file a blanket petition seeking continuing approval of itself and some or all of its parent, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates as qualifying organizations

L-BLANKET

June 1, 2001

Aliens of extraordinary ability or achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics

O-1

June 1, 2001

Aliens providing essential support services for a principal O-1 alien

O-2

June 1, 2001

Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group

P-1

June 1, 2001

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, that performs support services which are essential to the successful performance of the principal P-1 alien

P-1S

June 1, 2001

Artist or Entertainer under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

P-2

June 1, 2001

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, that performs support services which are essential to the successful performance of the principal P-2 alien

P-2S

June 1, 2001

Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program

P-3

June 1, 2001

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, that performs support services which are essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien

P-3S

June 1, 2001

International cultural exchange aliens

Q-1

June 1, 2001

Alien in a Religious occupation

R-1

July 30, 2001

*** November 28, 2006 – December 18, 2007

NAFTA professional, Canada

TN1-CANADA

July 30, 2001

NAFTA professional, Mexico

TN2-MEXICO

July 30, 2001

  * The availability date is the date that the classification was initially deemed eligible for Premium Processing Service.

** The termination date reflects the last day that USCIS accepted filings requesting that specific classification. If a date is entered in this column, that classification is currently ineligible for filing because of cap restrictions or other processing restrictions.

*** In August 2005, USCIS’ Office of Fraud Detection and National Security completed a Benefit Fraud Assessment (BFA) for Religious Worker Petitions. (See “Related Links” on this page for a link to a summary of this Assessment.) The BFA revealed a 33 percent fraud rate.  Because of these results, and to ensure the integrity of the religious worker program, USCIS now conducts additional system checks and in most instances also a site visit of the petitioning organization, prior to adjudication. Given these additional processes, USCIS has determined that it cannot guarantee the issuance of either an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation, within 15 calendar days of receipt of a petition for nonimmigrant religious worker.

On November 28, 2006, USCIS temporarily suspended Premium Processing Service for Aliens in a Religious Occupation which is filed on Form I-129, along with the Q-1 and R-1 Classifications Supplement. USCIS is extending the suspension for another six months, with an expiration date of December 18, 2007.  This is being done because USCIS’s first and foremost mission is to ensure integrity in the adjudications process.  In the future, if USCIS is able to properly process these cases within fifteen calendar days of receipt, the Form I-129 requesting R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification will once again will be available for Premium Processing Service.  USCIS may prescribe additional conditions of availability on Premium Processing Service for religious worker petitions.  Alternatively, USCIS may publish a Federal Register Notice permanently removing the R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification from eligibility for Premium Processing Service.

For additional information relating to the Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas, use the link on this page.

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Designated Classification Within Form I-140

Corresponding Employment-Based (EB) Immigrant Visa Classification

 

Availability Date

Termination Date

Aliens of extraordinary ability

 

EB-1

November 13, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Outstanding professors and researchers

 

EB-1

September 25, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Multinational executives and managers

 

EB-1

Not Yet Available

 

Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver

 

EB-2

September 25, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Skilled workers***

 

EB-3

August 28, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Professionals***

 

EB-3

August 28, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Workers other than skilled workers and professionals

 

EB-3

September 25, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

  *** (if designated as available, please also see section on additional conditions placed on Premium Processing Availability)


May the beneficiary of a visa petition seek Premium Processing Service?

No, except in cases where the petition is eligible to be filed as a self-petition (i.e., the petitioner and the beneficiary are the same). Otherwise, only the visa petitioner, or the attorney or representative who has filed a notice of appearance (Form G-28) on behalf of the visa petitioner, may request Premium Processing Service for designated visa petition adjudications. The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the $1,000 Premium Processing fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907.

How do I verify that I am using the current version of the form?

Check the USCIS website at Immigration Forms, above, for the most up-to-date information as well as the most current version of Form I-907 which is available for download. 
If you are already in possession of a Form I-907, please use this webpage, Forms and Fees, to verify that your version of Form I-907 is still current. This can be done by comparing the Forms and Fees webpage which includes the “edition” date that USCIS is currently accepting and the edition date on your Form I-907. The edition date, which is referenced as (Rev. xx/xx/xx) is located in the lower right corner on every page of the form and instructions. If the edition date on your Form I-907 matches the date or dates, if applicable, on the Forms and Fees webpage, your version of Form I-907 is current and will be accepted by USCIS. If there is a designation “N” shown after the edition date on the Forms and Fees webpage, please note that USCIS will not accept any other editions of the form.

How do I file a request for Premium Processing Service?

You must complete and sign Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, in accordance with the instructions on the current version of the form. You must file the concurrently filed Form I-907 with Form I-129 or Form I-140 at the Service Center designated as the appropriate filing location on the instructions to the Form I-907. If you filed Form I-129 or the Form I-140 and you now wish to request Premium Processing Service, file Form I-907 with the Service Center where the Form I-129 or Form I-140 is currently pending. Submit a copy of the Form I-129 or Form I-140 filing receipt. If you received a transfer notice, it is very important that you include a copy of it and that you submit your filing to the transfer location. If a petitioner or applicant erroneously filed a concurrent or standalone Form I-907 at the wrong service center, USCIS will not reject the filing, but instead will forward the filing to the correct service center having jurisdiction over the petition or application. For an incorrectly filed Form I-907, the 15 calendar day period will start on the date the file is received at the correct service center as indicated in the Form I-907 filing instructions.

Are there any additional conditions of availability being placed on the Premium Processing Service at this time?

Yes. This will accord USCIS the flexibility to adapt to contingencies affecting its ability to provide Premium Processing Service. Premium Processing Service is available for the Form I-140 classifications indicated on the chart above provided that the case does not involve:

1. A second filing of a Form I-140 petition while an initial Form I-140 remains pending;

2. Labor Certification substitution requests; and

3. Duplicate Labor Certification requests (i.e., cases filed without an original labor certification from the Department of labor).

USCIS is prescribing these additional conditions of availability on Premium Processing for Form I-140 because of their special processing requirements, including locating and transferring other files or documents internally and requesting initial evidence from an outside agency, that make it difficult for USCIS to guarantee that it will process the case within a 15 calendar day period.

What is the fee for this service?

The fee for this service is $1,000. The Premium Processing Service fee may not be waived. In addition to the Premium Processing Service fee, all other filing fees relating to the specific form(s) for which you are requesting Premium Processing Service must also be submitted. The Premium Processing Service fee must be submitted in a separate check or money order. The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the $1,000 Premium Processing Service fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907. If e-filed, USCIS accepts credit card, debit card, or electronic transfer of funds from a checking or savings account from a U.S. bank.

Are there any additional benefits to the program?

Yes. USCIS has provided not only a unique mailing address for its Premium Processing Service customers, but it has also established a special phone number and e-mail address for each of the Service Centers. These special communication channels will be available only to Premium Processing Service customers.

USCIS is also collecting, on the Form I-907, your phone number, fax number and e-mail address so that we can send you (the petitioner or attorney) an automatic e-mail notifying you of the receipt of your Form I-907, Request For Premium Processing Service. If the underlying form for which you requested Premium Processing Service is approved, we will send an automatic e-mail notifying you of the approval. It is important that you provide this information so that USCIS may correspond with you in the most appropriate manner.

In addition and at no additional cost, USCIS will strive to provide faster processing of Form I-539 applications filed by or on behalf of dependents of the principal beneficiary of a petition for which Premium Processing Service has been requested if the Form I-539 is filed at the same time. USCIS provides this service as a courtesy. Consequently, it cannot guarantee faster processing of the Form I-539.

Does this program have any effect on the USCIS’ previous expedite practices?

Yes. The discretionary expedite requests will no longer be available for those classifications designated as eligible for Premium Processing Service; however, petitioners designated as not-for-profit entities by the Internal Revenue Service may continue requesting discretionary expedited service as they have in the past or they may choose to pay the Premium Processing fee and utilize that service. If the criteria for a discretionary expedite are not met, the not-for-profit petitioner still has the option of requesting of Premium Processing upgrade by filing Form I-907 with fee.

How will the USCIS manage those categories that have an annual limit in relation to this faster processing?

USCIS does not believe that individuals who pay for Premium Processing Service on petitions filed for nonimmigrant classifications that are subject to annual limitations will have an unfair access to these limited immigration programs.

For cap-subject H-1B and H-2B petitions, USCIS will apply a random selection process to all petitions (whether or not Premium Processing Service is requested) received on the date when a sufficient number of petitions have been received to reach the applicable numerical limit (“final receipt date”). Petitions that are accepted through this random selection process are adjudicated to completion. For H-1B cases, USCIS will return the fees to the petitioner and hold the cases that were filed ON the cut-off day but were not selected in the random process. This way, if USCIS does not use all of the projected H-1B1 Singapore/Chile cap cases (which count towards the H-1B cap), additional H-1B cap cases will be taken in order from the list of cases that were held. Those petitioners will then be notified to re-submit the fees. All H-1B cap cases filed AFTER the cut-off day are rejected along with the fees.

Cases subject to the H-2B cap that were not selected in the random process, and H-2B cases that were filed AFTER the cut-off day are rejected along with the fees. Unlike the H-1B cap cases, there is no need to hold the H-2B cap cases that were not selected because there are no special provisions that apply to the H-2B cap cases like there are with the H-1B cap cases, i.e. H-1B1 Singapore/Chile cap cases.

In order to ensure equitable access to other cap-subject nonimmigrant classifications to which USCIS does not currently apply a random selection process, USCIS will temporarily terminate the availability of Premium Processing when it becomes clear that the demand will exceed the annual numerical limitation (e.g., when the USCIS has a pending volume of petitions sufficient to reach the limitation). This termination of procedure will ensure that all petitioners have equitable access to these limited immigration programs.

Can I contact a USCIS Service Center if I have not filed a request for Premium Processing Service yet but have questions about the program?

No, you cannot contact the Service Centers directly unless you have already filed Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for the underlying Form I-129 or Form I-140. The Premium Processing toll-free phone number and e-mail addresses listed on Form I-907 are dedicated only to customers who have already submitted a request for Premium Processing Service. If you have not requested Premium Processing Service, you can call the Customer Service toll free phone number at (800) 375-5283 for general information about the program.

How do I contact the Service Center concerning the Premium Processing request that I filed?

The unique mailing address for each of the Service Centers is listed on the instructions to the Form I-907. Additional contact information for each Service Center will be provided to you on your receipt notice and will also be provided on this Website.

If you have already filed a Request for Premium Processing Service and you need to contact the Service Center, call the Premium Processing Toll Free phone number at 1-866-315-5718. You will need to have your receipt number when you call, because this phone number is only for inquiries relating to Premium Processing Service.

How can I get the results of the adjudication faster?

You can include a postage paid and self-addressed courier delivery slip with the Premium Processing Service request and it will be used to return the results of the adjudication.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

Relief from removal – USCIS

The information on this page only applies to individuals who are requesting, or who have been granted, relief from removal or protection while they are in removal proceedings in Immigration Court or before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Immigration courts and the BIA are part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) within the Department of Justice (DOJ). If eligible, individuals in removal proceedings can apply for various immigration benefits, which if granted, provide relief from removal, such as adjustment to permanent resident status, cancellation of removal, and certain waivers of inadmissibility. Eligible individuals may also seek asylum or withholding of removal, among other forms of protection relief.

If you are filing for relief or protection in immigration court, the government’s attorney will provide you with the pre-order Instructions for Submitting Certain Applications in Immigration Court and For Providing Biometric and Biographic Information to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You must follow these instructions carefully in order to have your application adjudicated during removal proceedings. As described in the joint Fact Sheet on immigration benefits in EOIR proceedings, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) implemented these procedures to ensure that the background and security checks required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are completed before EOIR Immigration Judges or the BIA grant an individual relief from removal or protection benefits. EOIR regulations effective on April 1, 2005 prohibit Immigration Judges and the BIA from granting such benefits to an alien before DHS reports that the identity, background and security checks are complete. (See 70 Federal Register 4743 (January 31, 2005)(codified at 8 C.F.R. Parts 1003 and 1208).

If the Immigration Judge grants your application, you will be given the Post-Order Instructions for Individuals Granted Relief or Protection from Removal by Immigration Court at the conclusion of the removal proceedings. These post-order instructions describe the steps you should follow to obtain documentation of your immigration status and work authorization. If relief or protection is granted by the BIA, your BIA decision will contain similar instructions for obtaining your documentation. For more information, please see also the Questions and Answers on Implementation of EOIR Background Check Regulation for Aliens Seeking Relief or Protection from Removal. You may obtain additional information on receiving documentation following your receipt of an EOIR order granting you immigration benefits at the page on this website devoted to that information.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

C Visa – USCIS

The “C” visa is intended for those individuals whose travel takes them through the U.S., without intending to actually enter the U.S.

The specific visa codes are:

  • C-1 – Alien in transit directly through U.S.
  • C-1D – Combined transit and crewman visa
  • C-2 – Alien in transit to UN headquarters district under Section 11.(3), (4), or (5) of the Headquarters Agreement
  • C-3 – Foreign government officials, members of immediate family, attendants, servants, or personal employees, in transit
  • C-4 – Transit without Visa

Note: The Transit without Visa program has been suspended until further notice. See the related link on this page.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

B Visa

The “visitor” visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) and for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2).  As examples, if the purpose of your planned travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, then a vistor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel. As additional examples, if the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or conference on specific dates, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business (B-1) visitor visa would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel.

Foreign travelers who are citizens from certain eligible countries, may also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program. 

Qualifying for a Visa

Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under U.S. law.

The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;
  • Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  • That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

Where Do I Apply for a Visitor Visa?

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

Adjustment to Permanent Resident – USCIS

If you would like to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States, you must file the following items with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Please review Supplement A to Form I-485 to see if additional fee requirements apply to you.
  • Form G-325A Biographic Data Sheet (Between the ages of 14 and 79)
  • Form I-693 Medical Examination Sheet (not required if you are applying based on continuous residence since before 1972, or if you have had a medical exam based on a fiancé visa)
  • Two color photos taken within 30 days (Please see USCIS Form I-485 for more instructions on photos.)
  • Form I-864 Affidavit of Support (completed by the sponsor). (This requirement may not apply to you if you are adjusting to permanent resident status based on an employment petition.)
  • Form I-765 Authorization for Employment (if seeking employment while case is processed). For more information, see How Do I Get a Work Permit?
  • Evidence of inspection, admission or parole into the United States (Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record). See How Do I Get an Arrival-Departure Record? for more information.

In addition:

  • If you have already been approved for an immigrant petition , you must submit a copy of the approval notice sent to you by the USCIS.
  • If someone else is or has filed a petition for you that, if approved, will make an immigrant number immediately available to you, you must submit a copy of the completed petition that is being filed for you. Such applications include only immediate relative, special immigrant juvenile or special immigrant military petitions. For more information, please see How Do I Get an Immigrant Visa Number?.
  • If you were admitted into the United States as a fiancé of a U.S. citizen and married that citizen within the required 90 days, you must submit a copy of the fiancé petition approval notice and a copy of your marriage certificate.
  • If you are an asylee or refugee, you must submit a copy of the letter or Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) that shows the date you were granted asylum or refuge in the United States. You also must submit USCIS Form I-643 (Health and Human Services Statistical Data).
  • If you are a Cuban citizen or native, you must use USCIS Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and submit evidence of your citizenship or nationality.
  • If you have been a continuous resident of the United States since before January 1, 1972, you must submit evidence showing that you entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972 and that you have lived in the United States continuously since your entry into the country.
  • If your parent became a lawful permanent resident after you were born, you must submit evidence that your parent has been or will be granted permanent residence. You must also submit a copy of your birth certificate, and proof of your relationship with your parent.
  • If your spouse became a lawful permanent resident after you were married, you must submit evidence that your spouse has been granted permanent residence. You must also submit a copy of your marriage certificate and proof that any previous marriages entered into by you or your spouse were legally terminated.

Please note that there are certain eligibility requirements for using Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). Forms are available by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting a request through our forms by mail system. For further information on filing fees, please see USCIS filing fees, fee waiver request procedures, and the USCIS fee waiver policy memo.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

Immigration through Investment – USCIS

Immigration Through Investment
Overview

Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(5), 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.

Of the 10,000 investor visas (i.e., EB-5 visas) available annually, 5,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an CIS-designated “Regional Center.”

A “Regional Center:”

  • Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service;
  • Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and ,
  • Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.

“Alien investors” must:

  • Demonstrate that a “qualified investment” (see below) is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center; and,
  • Show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.

Eligibility

Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children. Eligible aliens are those who have invested — or are actively in the process of investing — the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.

In general, “eligible individuals” include those:

  1. Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
    • creating an original business;
    • purchasing an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructuring or reorganizing the business such that a new commercial enterprise results; or
    • expanding an existing business by 140 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
  2. Who have invested — or who are actively in the process of investing — in a new commercial enterprise:
    • at least $1,000,000, or
    • at least $500,000 where the investment is being made in a “targeted employment area,” which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area as designated by OMB; and
  3. Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the United States economy and:
    • create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals; or
    • maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a “troubled business,” which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.

How do I …Seek Status as an Immigrant Investor

In order to seek status as an immigrant investor, you must file CIS Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The Form I-526 must be filed with supporting documentation which clearly demonstrates that the individual’s investment meets all requirements, such as:

  • establishing a new commercial enterprise,
  • investing the requisite capital amount,
  • proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds,
  • creating the requisite number of jobs,
  • demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable,
  • reating employment within a targeted employment area.

How do I …Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident

Once the Form I-526 is approved, immigrant investors may obtain status as a conditional resident by:

  • Filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if residing within the United States; or,

…Become a Permanent Resident Based on Investment

In order to become a lawful permanent resident, eligible investors must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of an Alien Investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional resident.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

USCIS – Immigration through employment

Immigration through Employment
Overview

An immigrant is a foreign national who has been authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. If you want to become an immigrant based on the fact that you have a permanent employment opportunity in the United States, or if you are an employer that wants to sponsor someone for lawful permanent residency based on permanent employment in the United States, you must go through a multi-step process.

  • First, foreign nationals and employers must determine if the foreign national is eligible for lawful permanent residency under one of USCIS’ paths to lawful permanent residency.
  • Second, most employment categories require that the U.S. employer complete a labor certification request (Form ETA 750) for the applicant, and submit it to the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Labor must either grant or deny the certification request. Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the United States which has been certified as underserved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are relieved from this requirement.
  • Third, USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for the person wishing to immigrate to the United States. The employer wishing to bring the applicant to the United States to work permanently files this petition. However, if a Department of Labor certification is needed the application can only be filed after the certification is granted. The employer acts as the sponsor (or petitioner) for the applicant (or beneficiary) who wants to live and work on a permanent basis in the United States.
  • Fourth, the State Department must give the applicant an immigrant visa number, even if the applicant is already in the United States. When the applicant receives an immigrant visa number, it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to the applicant. You can check the status of a visa number in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
  • Fifth, if the applicant is already in the United States, he or she must apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available.  If the applicant is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he or she will be notified and must complete the process at his or her local U.S. consulate office.

Eligibility

There are four categories for granting permanent residence to foreign nationals based upon employment:

EB-1 Priority workers

  • Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • Foreign national that are outstanding professors or researchers
  • Foreign nationals that are managers and executives subject to international transfer to the United States

EB-2 Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability

  • Foreign nationals of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business
  • Foreign nationals that are advanced degree professionals
  • Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S. which is underserved. Read more about this particular program.

EB-3 Skilled or professional workers

  • Foreign national professionals with bachelor’s degrees (not qualifying for a higher preference category)
  • Foreign national skilled workers (minimum two years training and experience)
  • Foreign national unskilled workers

EB-4 Special Immigrants

  • Foreign national religious workers
  • Employees and former employees of the U.S. Government abroad

How to Apply

If you are an employer wishing to sponsor (or petition) for a foreign national to work in the United States on a permanent basis, you must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. Detailed information is provided in the instructions for Form I-140. Filing requirements differ for each of the five categories.

The Department of State is responsible for providing visa numbers to foreign nationals interested in immigrating to the United States. To find out more about the Department of State’s visa process visit the Department of State website for specific information on how to get an immigrant visa number.

To check the status of a visa number you can review the Department of State’s visa bulletin.

Where do I apply

If you are an employer wishing to sponsor (or petition) a foreign national to work in the United States, a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker must be filed at the USCIS Service Center. Detailed filing information is provided in the instructions for Form I-140.

For EB-4 special workers, the foreign national or employer must file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, with the CIS Service Center.  Detailed filing information is provided in the instructions for Form I-360.
Other helpful sites you may want to visit if you:

  • want to find out more about the Department of State Visa Process
  • want to review the Department of State Visa Bulletin
  • want to find out more about the Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification
The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

USCIS – Immigration through family member

Overview and Process

A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process.

  1. The USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, for you. This petition is filed by your relative (sponsor) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative.
  2. The Deparment of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you. You can check the status of a visa number in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
  3. If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. This is one way you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you must then go to the U.S. consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing. This is the other way to secure an immigrant visa number.

Eligibility

In order for a relative to sponsor you to immigrate to the United States, they must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and be able to provide documentation providing that status.
  • They must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line, by filling out an Affidavit of Support

The relatives which may be sponsored as an immigrant vary depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

  • If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S:
    • Husband or wife
    • Unmarried child under 21 years of age
    • Unmarried son or daughter over 21
    • Married son or daughter of any age
    • Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old, or
    • Parent, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old.
  • If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:
    • Husband or wife, or
    • Unmarried son or daughter of any age.

In any case, the sponsor must be able to provide proof of the relationship.

Preference Categories

If you wish to immigrate as a relative of a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa number based on the preference category in which you fall.

People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS. An immigrant visa number will become immediately available. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:

  • First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
  • Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens.

Once USCIS receives your visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative), it will be approved or denied. USCIS notifies the person who filed the visa petition of the petition was approved. USCIS will then send the approved visa petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. The Center will notify the foreign national when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is available. You do not need to contact the National Visa Center, unless you change your address or there is a change in your personal situation, or that of your sponsor, that may affect eligibility for an immigrant visa, such as reaching age 21, marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574

Green Card Lottery

Overview

Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Of such visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under NACARA beginning with DV ’99. The State Department (DOS) holds the lottery every year, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. The DOS selects the approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 55,000 are issued or the fiscal year ends, the DV program is closed. If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.

Entering the Diversity Visa Lottery

You cannot enter the Diversity Visa Lottery through the USCIS website or by filing any application with USCIS. The program is managed by the U.S. Department of State.

The 2009 Lottery online entry begins at Noon Eastern Daylight Time, on October 3, 2007, and ends at Noon Eastern Standard Time on December 2, 2007. Further information will be posted here when the U.S. Department of State makes it available.

For more information on this program, please see the State Department webpage on the Diversity Visa program, in the Related Links section of this page.
Please note: There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to “complete” lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and NOT be electronic mail. To learn more, see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning in the Related Links section of this page.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
TheMiamiLaw.com
305-590-8909
866-438-6574