FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
As a US citizen, you may help your relatives become lawful permanent residents of the United States by obtaining what is often referred to as a “Green Card.”
To obtain the Green Card the first step is to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the United States.
You need to file Form I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes the family relationship that exists between you and your relative. In some cases, Form I-130 can be filed together with an application for permanent residence (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
As a US citizen, can my relatives wait in the United States until they become lawful permanent residents?
No. Filing of Form I-130 does not allow your relatives to live or work in the US. Form I-130 petition only establishes your relationship with your relative.
If your relative is outside the United States, they should continue to wait outside the United States to immigrate legally.
However, if your husband or wife, unmarried child under 21 years, or parent is already in the United States after having entered legally, they can apply to adjust their status to permanent resident at the same time you file their I-130 petition.
US immigration laws give special consideration to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes your spouse, unmarried children under 21 years of age, and parents.
• There is no waiting list to immigrate your immediate relatives.
• The U.S. Department of State will invite them to apply for an immigrant visa as soon as your Form I-130 petition is approved.
• If your petition has been approved, and your relatives are currently in the United States after making a legal entry (and they meet certain other requirements), they may be able to file applications with USCIS to adjust to permanent resident status
Green Card is officially known as a Permanent Resident Card. It is a card that allows an individual to live and work permanently in the United States.
Under US immigration laws, there is a variety of ways for an individual to apply for a Green Card. Whether or not an individual is eligible for Green Card will vary depending on which immigrant category an individual is applying under.
A lawful permanent resident, referred to as a “green card holder,” is an individual from another country who has been granted permission to reside and work in any part of the United States. They have the ability to sponsor specific family members for their own green cards and eventually have the option to pursue U.S. citizenship.
An individual may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States.
A conditional permanent residence is a holder of a green card which is valid only for two years and may not be renewed.
To remove the conditions on an individual’s permanent resident status, he/she must file a petition within the 90-day period prior to the expiration of the conditional Green Card.
A fiancé(e) visa is also known as K-1 nonimmigrant visa. A fiancé(e) visa is granted to the foreign fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen who wants to bring his/her foreign fiancé(e) to the United States in order to get married. This process is initiated with the filing of Form I-129 or a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
Yes. If the child is under 21 years old and is not married, a K-2 visa may be available to your fiancé(e)’s child. Be sure to include the name(s) of your fiancé(e)’s child(ren) on your I-129F fiancé(e) petition
After obtaining fiancé(e) visa, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing Form I-765 or Application for Employment Authorization. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé(e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé(e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence.
Once the fiancé(e) and the US citizen enters into a valid marriage within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, the fiancé(e) may apply for lawful permanent resident status (Green Card) in the United States.
As an employer (or prospective employer), you may sponsor a foreign national to become a permanent resident based on a permanent job offer.
The sponsorship of an employee starts when the employer obtains an approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Form I-140 or the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker maybe filed on behalf of the foreign national with USCIS after the labor certification is approved by the DOL
US immigration laws allow a U.S. employer to file a Form I-129 or Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS on behalf of a prospective foreign national employee on the condition that there is a need to hire foreign labor because of shortage of available U.S. workers to fill certain jobs.
Once the petition is approved, the prospective employee may apply for admission to the United States, or for a change of nonimmigrant status while in the United States, to temporarily work or to receive training
If the individual is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and an immigrant visa number is immediately available, an individual may apply for lawful permanent resident status (Green Card). If the individual is outside of the United States, he may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident.
On the other hand, if the beneficiary is already in the United States, he/she may apply for the visa without having to return to his or her home country through the process called “adjustment of status.”
My employer is an individual, not a business. Can my employer sponsor me as a household employee under EB-3?
Yes, an individual employer may petition a domestic employee (e.g., nanny, babysitter, house cleaner, caregiver, driver, etc.). An individual employer is subject to the same requirements as a business employer, including the ability to pay the applicable prevailing wage. Certain requirements apply to live-in employees.
I am currently in the United States as a B-1 (and/or B-2) visitor. Am I qualified to apply for adjustment of status?
If (1) you have an approved or pending Form I-140 petition and (2) a visa number is already available for your petition or the USCIS indicates that it will use the filing dates under Chart B of the Visa Bulletin for employment-based petitions, you may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status in the United States. Please note, however, that visitors are not allowed to enter the United States using their B-1/B-2 visa with the intent of applying for adjustment of status in the United States.
I have overstayed and/or violated the terms and conditions of my status in the United States. Am I qualified to apply for adjustment of status?
If (1) you have an approved or pending Form I-140 petition and (2) a visa number is already available for your petition or the USCIS indicates that it will use the filing dates under Chart B of the Visa Bulletin for employment-based petitions, you may still be eligible to apply for adjustment of status in the United States if: you have not overstayed, engaged in unauthorized employment, or accrued unlawful presence of more than 180 days, pursuant to Section 245k of the Immigration and Nationality Act; or you are the beneficiary of a labor certification or immigrant petition that meets the requirements of Section 245i of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
What is the Business Immigration Package being offered by MTS Law Offices for entrepreneurs seeking to set up business in the U.S.
This package is offered to entrepreneurs who want to set up businesses in the United States that will temporarily or permanently employ foreign nationals to fill executive, managerial or supervisory positions, or those with special qualifications essential to the development and/or operations of the business. This package encompasses the various legal services that the entrepreneur will need from business set-up to filing petitions for foreign national employees. The consolidation of all these services in one professional team ensures that the important requirements of the immigration aspect are addressed as early as the business planning stage and at the same time the various organizational options are weighed in the context of the entity’s immigration needs.
The package includes the following:
Stage 1- Planning
We will assist you explore and evaluate your business and personal goals and formulate a feasible business plan that will help you reach these goals. At this stage, we will advise you on the various immigration options and help you identify the entity form that will meet both your business and immigration requirements. We will also advise you on capital structuring and proper documentation of investment in accordance with the requirements of the applicable visa category or categories.
Stage 2 – Registration and Post-registration
At this stage, we will perform the following services:
Drafting of organizational documents (depending on the entity type)
Establishment of the entity
Application for basic business licenses and permits (special permits and licenses required by industry- or profession-specific regulations may be subject to additional fees)
Application for Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Filing of Notice of Exempt Transaction, if applicable
Preparation of other post-registration organizational documents, such as stock transfer ledger, certificate of shares, minutes of organizational meeting, as may be applicable