Contents

Q:

What are the different kinds of visas?

A:

There are two main types of visas:

  • immigrant visas — for people who wish to reside in the country on a permanent basis.
  • non-immigrant visas — for people who wish to come in to the country temporarily.

Q:

What is an investor visa?

A:

A foreign national, who is not otherwise ineligible to enter the United States, can apply for an EB-5 a/k/a “investor’s visa.”

The qualified employees do not include the immigrant investor; spouse, or children of the applicant; or any foreign national in any nonimmigrant status (such as an H-1B visa holder) or who a person who is not authorized to work in the United States.

Q:

Will DACA give me legal status in the USA?

A:

No. While this process does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred will not be removed from the United States for a two year period, subject to renewal, and may also receive employment authorization.


Q:

My United States citizen child will soon be 21 years old and I have been living in the US for almost 15 years. I came to the US without a visa. Will I be able to get my green card here?

A:

When your child reaches his or her 21st birthday, that child can petition for you but in order to remain in the United States and receive your ‘green card’ you must have entered the United states legally, with some exceptions otherwise you will have to depart from the United States to get an immigrant visa. 

Q:

My child was born in Mexico while I was temporarily visiting. I hear the application process to bring my child with me is long and expensive. What can I do?

A:

There is a section of law that helps your particular circumstance. If a child is born outside of the United States during the temporary visit abroad of a mother who is a lawful permanent resident alien (green card holder) of the United States and the child ‘s application for admission to the United States is made within 2 years of birth, the child is accompanied by the parent who is applying for readmission as a permanent resident upon the first return of the parent to the United States after the birth of the child, and the accompanying parent is found to be admissible to the United States then the child may be admitted as a Lawful Permanent Residence.

Q:

I was adopted by U.S. citizen, but I have located my biological parent and would like to petition for their citizenship.

A:

Unfortunately, biological parents lose all rights as parents and cannot benefit from the immigration or citizenship status that an adopted child gains through adoption.

Q:

Do I need to meet income requirements to petition for family to come to the United States?

A:

As the petitioner, and for the most part, you must meet the income requirement at 125% of the poverty level for the number of persons that you are petitioning for plus dependents and others that you may have previously filed an affidavit of support for, with some exceptions. Principal sponsors are allowed to use Joint-sponsors when their income is not sufficient to meet the income requirements of the Affidavit of Support.

Q:

I want to come to the U.S. and start a business, but I'm not sure I have enough money to do it. What should I do?

A:

An entrepreneur with one million or half million dollars may be able to qualify to invest and eventually receive lawful permanent resident status (a green card) but if the person, as in your case, is a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) may be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

Q:

I married a U.S. citizen, but have children in Mexico. How long will it take them to join me?

A:

Immigrant visas for family members of a green card holder can take from several months to several years since there are quotas for the different preference classifications. The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin for such categories. As of December 2010 the Department of State is processing immigrant visas for unmarried children under 21years of age of a green card holder from Mexico who have a priority date of March 10, 2010, or earlier. The Visa Bulletin for January 2011 has retrogressed and only those persons with a priority date of April 01, 2005 or earlier will be eligible to have a visa issued to them. As you can see that after December 2010 the time it takes to receive permanent residence will be very long and at least five or six years.

If the son or daughter of a green card holder from Mexico is over 21 years of age then only those with a priority date of June 22, 1992 or earlier will be eligible to receive a visa according to the January 2011 Visa Bulletin. The December 2010 Visa Bulletin also indicates visas available to those with a priority date of June 22, 1992 or earlier which indicates that there is a waiting period of at least 18 years.

Q:

I operate a business in Mexico and would like to open a business in the United States. I currently have tourist and business visas. Can I open a business and work with my current visas?

A:

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, the employer must

· Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations); and

· Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.

You may also seek an investor or trader visa if you are a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) and will be investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

Q:

I have family members in the U.S. who are citizens or legal permanent residents. How can I join them?

A:

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows certain family members to qualify for classification as a permanent resident. Some of those family members who can file petitions can be United States citizen or lawful permanent resident husbands and wives, United States citizen children 21 years of age or older, United States citizen parents (step-parents or adopted parents), and United States citizen brothers or sisters who are 21 years of age or older. In some relationships visas are immediately available and in others there is a quota allowing a certain number of immigrants that can enter the United States, meaning that the waiting times could be as long as 20 or more years.

Q:

. I heard that people from certain countries whose visa to enter the United States is waived cannot adjust status. Is this correct?

A:

There are about 36 countries that are exempt visas to enter the United States. Most visitors entering under the visa waiver program are ineligible to change or adjust their status while in the United States. 

Q:

I currently work for a multi-national company in L-1 status. Do I need to go through labor certification?

A:

The Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) classifies multinational executives and managers (Intra-company transferees) under the first preference in the employment-based permanent immigrant category (EB-1) which exempts the issuance of a labor certification. If an employee was admitted as an L1A they may be able to qualify as first preference multinational / managers. Depending on the experience of and the position to be occupied by the employee, if admitted as an L1B, the employee may be exempt the issuance of a labor certification. Application under the EB-1 category is done via Form I-140. Each case must be assessed on its merits.

Q:

I am not a US citizen. Can I own property in Texas?

A:

Yes. An alien may own property in Texas, pursuant to Texas Property Code Section 5.005. An alien has the same real and personal property rights as a United States citizen. Contact us for more information.


Q:

I am married to a US citizen and I came to the United States eight years ago. Do I have to leave to get my resident card?

A:

To be eligible to apply for Lawful Permanent Status while in the United States the person must have been inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States or entered legally. If the alien beneficiary did not enter legally then he or she must depart and obtain an immigrant visa abroad unless certain exemptions apply to that beneficiary. The alien relative may be subject to a bar of readmission if he or she remained in the United States unlawfully for a certain period of time. The petition, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can be filed by the citizen spouse with the immigration office having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the citizen spouse or other lawful permanent resident qualifying relative.

Q:

I am a United States citizen and would like to bring my grandmother to the United States to live with my mother and me. Can you tell me what I have to do?

A:

Unfortunately, grandchildren cannot apply for a grandparent. United States citizens can apply for parents, husband or wife, children, and siblings but in some cases the United States citizen must be at least 21 years old. 

Q:

I am U.S. citizen who recently married a citizen of another country who entered the U.S. legally but their visa expired. Do they need to return to their home country for a green card?

A:

You are able to file a petition for your husband and he can concurrently file for adjustment of status in order to get his immigration status legalized or become a lawful permanent resident without having to leave the United States. Since you were recently married it is possible that he will only receive conditional lawful permanent resident status. Before the end of the two years another application will have to be filed to remove the conditions and if you are still married and no evidence of fraud exits he will then become a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Q:

I am a permanent resident, green card holder, and I want to bring my family, wife and five children, to the United States but the immigration fees are very high. Do I have to submit individual petitions for them?

A:

t depends, you can file a single petition for your wife and unmarried children under the age of 21 will be eligible to receive their immigrant visas at the same time without having to file an individual petition. You may have to apply individually once you naturalize as a United States citizen and when your children reach their 21st birthday. There are exceptions as well that may be applicable to your individual situation.

Q:

I am a Mexican national with an engineering degree and I would like to work for a company in the United States that has offered me a job. Do I qualify for a visa?

A:

The North America Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the countries of Mexico and Canada allow certain professionals to enter the United States under a special category without having to make an application with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services but instead making the application directly with the American Embassy, Consulate or directly presented at a port of entry of the United States (Canadian citizens). You appear to be eligible for the immigration status since engineers are on the list of eligible professions. As in every case, you and your potential employer may have special requirements to meet.

Q:

I am a lawful resident of the US. I have family members who are foreign nationals. How can I get them to immigrate to the USA?

A:

The first step in the process is to establish your relationship to the people wishing to immigrate to the United States. Typically, this involves filing an I 130 form, Petition for Alien Relative. Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident.