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Understanding the Complexities of the L-1A Visa

The US immigration law requires all foreign citizens wishing to live and work in the United States to have an appropriate visa.  There are several types of visas, an the visa you seek will depend on the purpose of your visit.  Consult an immigration attorney to make your visa application process a success.

L-1 visa overview

The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant type of visa, which is valid for up to five consecutive years (depending on your country of residence) with the possibility of receiving an extension of up to seven years.  The L-1 visa is for workers in managerial or executive positions and in specialized knowledge categories who wish to transfer their skills to the US.  Getting this visa is a long, difficult process that involves extensive paperwork, however, an L-1 visa has many advantages compared to other types of non-immigrant visas.

Requirements and documentation

Initially the L-1 visa was designed to help multinational companies transfer their employees to the United States.  Today an L-1 allows small companies and start-ups to expand their businesses and open new offices in the US.  There are no limits based on US economic treaties with different countries, so citizens of any country are eligible to apply as long as they meet visa requirements.

Foreign nationals will only qualify for the L-1 visa if they have worked continuously for at least one year in an overseas company that is the parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch of the US company.  When applying for an L-1 visa you must submit the following documents:

  • Current passport;
  • Proof of a US business, e.g. articles of incorporation, stock certificates, tax returns, leases for office space, promotional materials or invoices sent to customers;
  • Proof of an overseas business, e.g. articles of incorporation, stock certificates, tax returns, leases for office space, promotional materials or invoices sent to customers;
  • Proof of the applicant’s business background, such as a resume/CV, degree certificate or other diploma and certification.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

It takes special experience and skill to handle visa applications. An immigration attorney with the Law Office of Katerina Utekhina, Esq., PLLC can handle your case. Call today for an appointment: 908-517-0985.

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Basics of the National Interest Waiver Application

In certain cases an alien can apply for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) and waive the job offer requirement that is typical for most employment-based immigration visas.  There is no regulatory definition of the term “national interest” and the notion is very broad.  The USCIS considers each case individually and relies on a 3-Prong test.  The threshold requirements are as follow:

  • The applicant’s prospective filed of employment should be of “substantial intrinsic merit”;
  • The benefit of applicant’s work should be “national in scope”;
  • Failing to waive labor certification would have an adverse effect on national interest.

The NIW application falls under the second-priority category of employment-based visas and requires the demonstration of an advanced degree or outstanding ability in the areas pertaining to the sciences, arts or business.

The USCIS has outlined criteria that must be met in order to qualify for an Employment-Based second priority visa.  Successful applicants must meet least three of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing extraordinary ability;
  • Reference letters documenting at least ten years’ service in your particular field;
  • License or certification to practice the profession;
  • Evidence of a commanded salary or remuneration that exceeds others in the field;
  • Membership in professional associations;
  • Recognition of achievements by a government entity, peers, colleagues or business organization,
  • Other evidence comparable with the above.

Contact an Immigration Attorney Today

Immigration to the United States under a work visa is particularly complex, and you should work closely with an immigration attorney for support during the application process. The Law Office of Katerina Utekhina, Esq., PLLC can assist you with all aspects of your National Interest Waiver application. Call for an appointment today: 908-517-0985.

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How to Qualify as an Alien of Extraordinary Abilities

The O-1 non-immigrant visa and EB-1 immigrant visa types are priority visas issued by the USCIS to foreign citizens who are able to demonstrate “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics,” or a significant achievement in those areas.

There is a list of criteria a person should meet in order to qualify as an alien with extraordinary abilities.  Among these criteria are national or international recognition of achievements, publications of a scientific or business nature, and commercial success.  Your abilities must be recognized on a national or international level, and you will likely need to have received the highest level awards in your field.  If you do not have proof of your extraordinary abilities through such awards, you may qualify if you meet any three of the following categories:

  • Evidence of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize;
  • Evidence of membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement;
  • Evidence of a published work pertaining to your trade;
  • Evidence of an invitation to judge the work of others;
  • Evidence of a major contribution to your field;
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed in a museum or other professional showcase;
  • Evidence of a significantly higher salary than others in your field;
  • Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts.

In addition the applicant must prove they will continue working in the area of their extraordinary ability in the US, as well as prove their work is beneficial to US national interests.

Contact an Immigration Lawyer Today

The Law Office of Katerina Utekhina, Esq., PLLC can assist you if you are seeking admission to the U.S. based on your extraordinary abilities. Call 908-517-0985.

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