The Law Office of Annapolis is dedicated to assisting individuals and businesses hiring foreign workers navigate through the complex area of immigration law. Our office is located in Annapolis, Maryland and we represent clients in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Marysabel Rodriguez-Nanney, Esquire the founder of our firm has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) since 1999 and works in conjunction with a staff of highly skilled immigration paralegals. Every member of our firm is fluent in English and Spanish.
Non-immigrant visas are temporary visas that allow foreign nationals to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. The Law Office of Annapolis can assist you apply for the right type of visa.
A visitor visa allows the foreign national to travel to the United States to visit family or friends temporarily. You must apply for a visitor’s visa with your local U.S. embassy or consulate. The citizens of some countries do not require a visitors visa as they are allowed to travel to the United States for 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program.
There are two types of student visas. F-1 visas for students enrolled full time in universities, colleges, seminaries and other educational institutions and language training programs. M-1 visas are available for people pursuing non-academic or vocational studies. A student visa applicant can apply at their local U.S. consulate or embassy or file for a change of status if already in the U.S. under another valid immigration category.
Temporary Worker Visas
Foreign Nationals seeking to work in the United States have several options. The process to enter the United States as a non-immigrant worker is complex and should be handled by an experienced immigration attorney.
Department of Labor Certification
Employers are required to seek certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before they can request approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to hire certain workers. H-1B visas are available to skilled workers to fill specialty occupations. H-2A visas are available to temporary agricultural workers and H-2B visas are available to skilled and unskilled temporary workers. Employers must submit an application with the Department of Labor documentation their need to employ foreign workers; their recruitment efforts and how hiring foreign workers will not display American workers.
Petition for Non-immigrant Worker
After the DOL has certified the employer’s petition, the prospective employer must file the Petition for Non-immigrant Worker (Form I-129) with USCIS. After the I-129 has been approved, the foreign national can apply for a temporary work visa.
Temporary Worker Visa
After the approval of the I-129, the foreign national must file a visa application with her local U.S. embassy or consulate and schedule an interview. Approval of the I-129 Petition does not guarantee approval of the Worker Visa. The worker must establish admissibility into the United States and their intention to return to their home country after their temporary stay in the United States.
Extension/Change of Status
Most non-immigrant status can be extended or changed. A petition must be file with the appropriate USCIS office while the foreign national’s non-immigrant status is still valid.
Immigrant Visas/Green Cards
Permanent Residency is available to individuals who have immediate relatives residing in the U.S. or who have skills which are needed by U.S. employers. Investors, asylum seekers and DV lottery winners are also eligible for permanent residency. The process of obtaining permanent residency can be lengthy and complex. Permanent residency can be obtained either in the United States or a the local U.S. embassy of consulate. The number of immigrant visas available each year depends on the category under which the green card is being sought.
Most permanent residents of the United States are eligible to become U.S. citizens through naturalization after five years of permanent legal resident status. There are certain exceptions to the five year wait for spouses of U.S. citizens, members of the military and children of U.S. or naturalized citizens. A person applying for naturalization must establish the required length of residency, good moral character for the required residency period, basic ability to speak, read and write English and knowledge and understanding of fundamentals of U.S. history and government. There are some exceptions to these requirements for certain people due to age or disability.