employment-based immigration

Green Cards

A Green Card is a document that provides Legal Permanent Resident status to remain in the United States. Green cards may be obtained through a Labor Certification by a U.S. employer, a National Interest Waiver, or through another special category for persons of Extraordinary Ability, Exceptional ability, or the Green Card Lottery (Diversity Visa). The Green Card can also be obtained through a family member as discussed in further detail in the family based section of this site. Nina Qureshi Esq. can help you navigate through the green card process. We will file all of the necessary forms with the U.S. Department of Labor and the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service on your behalf.

If you have the opportunity to work permanently in the U.S., and your employer wishes to sponsor you, then you may be eligible to apply for legal permanent residence in one of the employment-based categories.

We process applications for those in the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 categories. We routinely file petitions for those who qualify for Extraordinary Ability or Exceptional Ability petitions. We also file petitions for Outstanding Professors or Researchers and Multinational Managers or Executives.

In most cases establishing lawful permanent residence through employment often begins with the PERM Labor Certification process. Nina Qureshi, Esq. will guide you through this time consuming and often daunting process to achieve legal permanent residence.

We will assist your employer to obtain the Labor Certification from the Department of Labor, and file the I-140 immigrant visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once this is completed, you will either apply for an adjustment of status if you are already in the U.S., or obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate in your home country.

Types of Employment-Based Green Cards

Priority Workers: First Preference- EB-1 Green Card
  • Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics who have obtained sustained national or international acclaim, whose achievements are recognized through extensive documentation, who intend to work in the area of their extraordinary ability, and whose contributions would substantially benefit the United States in the future.

  • Foreign nationals who are professors and researchers who have received international recognition as outstanding in their specific field, who have a minimum of three years of teaching experience or research in their field, and who have been offered tenure-track teaching or research positions.

  • Foreign nationals who are multinational executives or managers who have been employed in executive or managerial capacities with the sponsoring employer for a minimum of one year in the three years preceding their application and who intend to continue to work for the sponsoring employer, a subsidiary or affiliate.

Professionals Holding Advance Degrees and Aliens of Extraordinary Ability:
Second Preference- EB-2 Green Card

Foreign nationals holding advanced degrees or the equivalent and aliens of exceptional ability can obtain visas in this Immigrant visa category. Labor certifications are necessary for these foreign nationals. However, Group II, Aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences and arts that are also outstanding in their fields, are currently exempt from labor certification by the Department of Labor under Schedule A. A foreign national petitioning in this category must have earned an advanced degree, a master's degree, or a bachelor's degree plus five years of increasing responsibility in his field, or have exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.

Skilled Workers, Professionals Holding Basic Degrees and Other Workers:
Third Preference- EB-3 Green Card

This category includes foreign nationals who are skilled workers with a minimum of two years of training or experience (who are not seasonal or temporary workers), professionals with baccalaureate degrees and other workers, including unskilled laborers (who are not seasonal or temporary workers).

J-1 Waivers for Physicians

Foreign medical graduates typically enter the U.S. on J-1 visas so they are subject to very strict guidelines which limit their ability to apply for nonimmigrant visas or lawful permanent resident status. Foreign medical graduates holding a J-1 visa are required to return to their home country for at least two years following the end of their residency in the United States before they are eligible obtain a nonimmigrant visa. Nina Qureshi, Esq. has had great success assisting physicians to obtain J-1 Waivers, which waive this two-year foreign residence requirement.

Obtaining a J-1 Waiver is a three-step process which starts with obtaining a recommendation for a waiver from an interested government agency or state agency. The waiver recommendation is then forwarded to the Department of State for processing before being sent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for final approval.

There are also four national programs that provide waivers for J-1 physicians who will provide clinical care to the medically underserved. Foreign medical graduates who apply for and receive one of these waivers are required to work a minimum of 40 hours per week for three years in H-1B status prior to gaining eligibility for legal permanent resident status.

National Interest Waivers

National Interest Waivers allow foreign nationals to bypass the long labor certification process ordinarily required to obtain your green card through one of the employment-based immigration categories. There are three requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the national interest waiver. First, you must be seeking employment in an area of work that is inherently beneficial to the United States. Second, the proposed benefit must be of national interest. Third, the applicant must show that the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required.

Once the Waiver is approve the individual will obtain his or her green card Nina Qureshi, Esq. has substantial experience filing National Interest Waivers for physicians and other highly skilled professionals. Despite the strict requirements imposed by USCIS, Nina has successfully obtained waiver approvals for many clients.

EB-5 Program

The EB-5 program is the Immigrant Investor Program administered by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service. All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise which was established after Nov. 29, 1990, or Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is either purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.

The EB-5 investor must also create jobs in the U.S. The investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor's admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.

The EB-5 investor must make a substantial capital investment. The required minimum investment in the United States is $1 million unless the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment for a targeted employment area whether in a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.

Nonimmigrant Work Visas

Temporary Work Visas – H-1B visas & H-2B Visas

There are a variety of visas that can be used to enter the U.S. for temporary employment. Nina Qureshi, Esq. provides experienced legal representation to employers and employees interested in obtaining temporary work visas. We know how crucial it is for your business to procure visas for your workers as soon as possible and we will help speed up the application process through proper handling of paperwork and responsive communication with all necessary parties.

The type of work visa available to you is based upon factors such as your skill set and the position you are offered, and can vary in duration of time from a few days to several years. Our practice will determine the appropriate choice that fits the needs of both employer and employee.

H-1B Visas

H-1B visas are temporary work visas available to individuals in "specialty occupations" such as medical and health sciences. H-1B holders are authorized to remain and work in the U.S. for up to 6 years. In certain instances the visa may be extended beyond six years.

In order to be eligible for an H-1B visa one must have at least Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent in a specialty occupation. An individual may not self petition for a visa and must be sponsored by his or her employer.

We have extensive experience obtaining H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates. We work with physicians to obtain J-1 waivers and H-1B visas so that the physician may remain in the United States and practice medicine.

H-2B Visas

The H-2B temporary work visa allows U.S. businesses to fill seasonal temporary job positions with foreign workers. These foreign employees may be hired to perform any type of seasonal or temporary work, but because the visa is not self-petitioned the employer will need to act as sponsor. The petitioning company must obtain a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.

The H-2B process can be complicated and it is important to work with someone who understands the process.

Other Nonimmigrant Visas

L-1 Visas

L-1 visas are available to transferees of international companies with offices both abroad and in the United States, or to those who intend to open a new office in the United States while maintaining its office abroad. This visa allows for the intra-company transfer of managers, executives and specialized personnel to the U.S. in order to start up a new office or to expand and grow the company's U.S. office.

To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the company abroad for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager, or employee with specialized knowledge. You must be employed by a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the same employer for whom you were employed abroad in the U.S. The foreign company and the U.S. company must have a qualifying relationship.

As an executive or manager you may apply for L-1 status, which grants you the ability to work in the U.S. for up to 7 years.

E Visas

A foreign national who is a citizen of a country that has a Bilateral Investment Treaty or Treaty of Friendship, Commerce or Navigation with the United States can be admitted to the United States to invest in a business or to engage in international trade under two categories of visas based on treaties: E-1 (Treaty Traders) and E-2 (Treaty Investors). E visas, or "investor visas," provide experienced foreign business people with the opportunity to invest their skills and funds in business in the U.S., thus encouraging the U.S.'s economic growth.

An E-1 visa is issued to individuals known as "treaty traders"- nationals of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, who seek to enter the U.S. in order to develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested or will soon invest a substantial amount of capital. Treaty traders engage in substantial trade in goods, services, or technology with treaty countries. An E-1 treaty trader must be an executive or manager or hold a job that requires skills essential to the employer.

An E-2 visa is issued to individuals known as "treaty investors"- nationals of treaty countries, who enter the U.S. and remain to develop, direct, and oversee the operations of a business in which the E-2 holder has invested or will soon invest a substantial amount of money. E-2 visa holders must own more than fifty percent of the proposed investment, unless he or she is entering the U.S. as an employee of a business providing more than fifty percent
of the total investment.

J-1 Visas

The J-1 visa enables students, trainees, visiting scholars, researchers and consultants to give or receive education and on-the-job training in the United States. Foreign medical students and physicians seeking additional schooling often obtain this visa in order to study in the U.S.

Because this is a nonimmigrant visa, as a J-1 applicant you must prove that your stay in the U.S. will be temporary, that you have sufficient funds to stay in the U.S., and that you intend to return to home after the visit.

O Visa

The O visa is for persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. A petition must be filed with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. Documentation must be provided to establish that the applicant's extraordinary ability has been demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim. The person entering the United States must be coming to work in their field of ability, but the position need not require the services of a person of extraordinary ability.

P Visa

The P-1, P-2, and P-3 visas are for certain types of performers and athletes into the United States.

The P-1 visa is used to bring certain athletes, entertainers, and artists into the United States along with their essential support personnel. Individual visa applicants in the entertainment industry are not eligible for P-1 visas; only individual athletes are eligible for P-1 visas. The P-1 visa is issued only for a specific event for those in entertainment industry. However, individual athletes may be issued P-1 visas for five years and athletic teams may be issued P-1 visas for a period of six months.

P-2 visas permit the admission into the United States of an artist or entertainer, either an individual or group, that is involved in a reciprocal exchange program between foreign organizations and organizations in the United States which provide for the temporary exchange of artists or entertainers.

P-3 visas permit the admission into the United States of an artist or entertainer, either an individual or group, to perform, teach, or coach in a program that is culturally unique.

R Visas

The R visa category is for ministers and full-time religious workers. In order to qualify for an R-1 visa, the applicant must:

  • Be a member of a religious denomination which has a bona-fide nonprofit,
    tax-exempt religious organization or affiliate in the United States.

  • Have been a member of the denomination for the two years immediately preceding the application for the R-1 visa.

  • Must be entering the United States solely to carry on the vocation of minister or to work full-time
    in a religious occupation for that denomination or an affiliated organization.

If you have any questions regarding employment-based green cards, family-based green cards, the green card process in general; EB1 green cards,
EB2 green cards, USA work visas, the national interest waiver process, or any other immigration law questions please contact our office today
to set up a consultation. Nina Qureshi, Esq. specializes in all aspects of immigration law. Nina would be happy to assist you with any immigration
questions you may have.