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Home Immigration Law
Immigration Law - Southern California
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Permanent Residence - Employment
Permanent Residence through Investment
Temporary Visitor
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Immigration Law

Immigration Law

Our immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Bita Hamidi can advise and assist you in the various areas of immigration below:


Immigrant Status-Permanent (Green Card)

Lawful Permanent Residence through Family member:
To be eligible for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship you must meet the following criteria:
  1. You must have a relative who is a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States who can provide documentation proving their status and is willing to sponsor you for lawful permanent residency
  2. Your relative must prove they can support you by providing documentation that their income is 125% above the mandated poverty line for their family, including you and all other sponsored family members.
  3. If your relative is a US Citizen and they can legally prove you share one of the following relationships, you may be eligible for lawful permanent residency:
  • Husband or wife;
  • child under 21 years old;
  • Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
  • Married son or daughter of any age;
  • Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old ; or
  • Parents if you are at least 21 years old .
  1. If your relative is a lawful permanent resident and they can legally prove you share one of the following relationships, you may be eligible for lawful permanent residence:
  • Husband or wife; or
  • Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
There is no quota or limit and, therefore, no waiting list for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens- Unmarried children under 21, Spouse, Parent, Widow / Widower (under certain circumstances). Relatives in the following "preference" categories are subject to limits on the number of visas that can be issued each year.

First Preference:

  • Unmarried sons or daughters (over age 21) of U.S. citizens.

Second Preference:

  • A. Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of LPRs (lawful permanent resident);
  • B. Unmarried sons and daughters (over age 21) of LPRs (lawful permanent resident).

Third Preference:

  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.

Fourth Preference:

  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

Lawful Permanent Residence through Employment

If you want to become an immigrant (a foreign national who has been authorized to live and work permanently in the United States) 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, the foreign national must fall into one of the categories below:
  • First Preference ( EB-1 priority workers): aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
  • Second Preference ( EB-2 workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability): aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.
  • Third Preference ( EB-3 professionals, skilled workers, and other workers): aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers, professionals with a baccalaureate degree, and others with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
  • Fourth Preference ( EB-4 special workers such as those in a religious occupation or vocation): aliens who, for at least two years before applying for admission to the United States, have been a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States, and who will be working in a religious vocation or occupation at the request of the religious organization.
  • Fifth Preference ( EB-5 Employment Creation) If you would like to be granted immigrant status in the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise, please see Lawful Permanent Residence through Investment. Permanent resident status is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children

Lawful Permanent Residence Through Investment

Permanent resident status is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children.

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; 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.

Non Immigrant: Temporary Status (Visas)

Temporary Visitors

A non-immigrant is a foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. temporarily for a specific purpose. Non-immigrants enter the U.S. for a temporary period of time, and once in the U.S. are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visa was issued. Among other requirements, foreign nationals seeking temporary admission must establish that the purpose of their visit is temporary and the foreign national must agree to depart at the end of his/her authorized stay or extension.

The following is a list of various types of temporary visitor visas:

Business or Pleasure Visitors

  • B1 - Visitor for Business; B2 - Visitor for Pleasure For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
Temporary Workers
  • E1 - Treaty Trader; E2 - Treaty Investor Investors / traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their business in the U.S. if the home country has a commercial treaty with the United States conferring visa eligibility.
  • H-1B - Specialty Occupation, DOD Employee - Professionals with at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in work experience may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa if the position requires such a degree. Their employers should demonstrate that they are paid at least the prevailing wage for the job.
  • H-2A - Agricultural Labor
  • H-2B - Other Temporary Labor
  • H-3 - Trainee
  • I - Representatives of Foreign News Media
  • L - Intra Company Transferee - L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized employees moving to their employer's U.S. affiliate sites. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification.
  • O1, O2 - Extraordinary Ability - The O-1 category is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, education, or business.
  • P1, P2, P3 - Athletes and Group Entertainers - For athletes, artists, and entertainers.
  • Q - International Cultural Exchange Program
  • R - Religious Vocation or Profession - Religious workers include ordained clergy and those who have taken religious vows, as well as religious professionals such as choral directors, teachers of religion, and so forth.

Students Attending U.S. Schools

  • F1 - Academic Student - Persons enrolling in a full course of study at an educational institution in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study and a period for practical training (P/T) in their field.
  • M - Vocational Student
  • J - Exchange Visitor - People coming to the U.S. through an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's visa. These are students, scholars, job trainees, faculty, professors and research scholars, specialists, medical residents, government visitors, etc. Sometimes, a J-1 program will require that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to switch to a different nonimmigrant visa or to permanent residency.

Foreign National Entering the U.S. as the Fiancé (e) of a U.S. Citizen

  • K -1 Fiance(e) of U.S. Citizen - A Fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa in order to marry within 90 days of entry to the U.S.
  • NAFTA Professionals
  • TN - Trade NAFTA Professionals - A special visa category for nationals of Canada / Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Diversity Visa: DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery") - Started in October 1994 as the permanent Diversity Program for natives of certain countries that have provided relatively few immigrants to the U.S. in recent years. Annually, 55,000 visas are given away in a random drawing to individuals from countries underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.

Practice Areas

Our immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Bita Hamidi can advise and assist you in the various areas of immigration below:

Businesses-PERM

If an employer wishes to sponsor a valuable worker in the United States or a skilled worker living abroad, they must first secure Alien Labor Certification for the job in question from the United States Department of Labor. We assist all types of businesses in preparing this complex application, and in finding creative solutions to find appropriate personnel, and match their company needs to those of the worker.

Whether you are looking for a skilled worker, tradesperson, or professional, we can assist your business in obtaining the proper visas and authorizations. We will work to qualify your business as a viable sponsor.

Individuals and Families

Asylum - Refugee

People with a real fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in or identification with a particular social group, or political opinion can apply for asylum or refugee status.

Naturalization

You may be eligible for U.S. Citizenship if:

  • You have been a permanent resident for five years; or
  • You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen and have been a permanent resident for 3 years; or
  • Your mother or father became a U.S. citizen before your 18th birthday

At the Law Offices of Bita Hamidi , we assist clients in applying for U.S. citizenship and address the legal issues of physical presence, good moral character, age, knowledge of U.S. history and English, and disability waivers. We will always accompany you to your USCIS naturalization interview.

Permanent Resident Cards

Permanent resident cards, commonly known as green cards, entitle aliens to many benefits, including the right to live and work in the U.S. and the right to travel to and from the U.S. indefinitely. Our Attorneys will advise you about the eligibility requirements for qualifying for permanent resident status. There are many ways to establish permanent resident status, including:

  • Family-based Petitions . One of our main goals is to assist families as they try to re-unite in the U.S. If you have a qualifying family relative, such as a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident, you may be eligible for a green card.
  • Employment-based Petitions . Show that you have skills and qualify to fill a job, and that a specific employer is willing to sponsor you.
  • Investor Traders . You may be eligible for a green card if you are an entrepreneur interested in investing $750,000 to $1,000,000 in a new or existing business in the U.S.
  • Immigrant Lottery . Each year in October a ãdiversity lotteryä is held. If you are a selected as a winner, you may be eligible for permanent resident status.
  • Registry . If you have lived in the United States continually since 1972, you may be eligible for a green card.
  • National of Cuba or Nicaragua . If you are a national of either of these countries, you may be able to obtain a permanent resident visa.

Non-Immigrant (Temporary) Visas

At Law offices of Bita Hamidi , we can assist families and individuals in bringing friends and relatives from other countries to the United States for temporary visits. We will discuss all of the possible non-immigrant visa options with you during your consultation. Some of the options include:

  • B: Tourists and business visitors
  • F: academic student visas to attend school
  • M: vocational student visas

We may also be able to obtain a temporary visa that would allow your friend or relative to work while in the United States . These include:

  • E: treaty-traders engaged in trade or treaty-investors engaged in U.S. investment
  • H: specialty occupation workers, temporary workers, and trainees
  • J: cultural exchange program participants
  • K: fiancés of U.S. citizens
  • L: executives, managers, and workers with specialized knowledge
  • P: entertainers and athletes
  • Q: cultural exchange employees
  • R: religious workers
  • TN - A special visa category for nationals of Canada/Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Deportation/Removal Proceedings/Detention

The process of deportation/removal may be very frightening for a person not familiar with the legal system in a foreign country. Put the experience and dedication of the Law offices of Bita Hamidi on your side. We represent individuals that the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service is seeking to deport before the immigration courts and prepare applications for relief on their behalf. Some of the offenses we can help you with are overstays, criminal offenses, illegal entry, illegal work or employment, submission of fraudulent (false) documents, and false claims of U.S. citizenship.


Legal Representation and Consular Practice

The Law Offices of Bita Hamidi can represent you before the CIS throughout the United States and U.S. Consulates worldwide.