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IMMIGRATION LAW

Immigration Law Firm Loudoun County, VA

Whether personal or for your growing business, the attorneys at Attentive Law can assist you with your immigration needs.

Our attorneys are located and barred in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

We have significant experience with: Temporary Worker; Permanent Worker; Student Visas; Temporary Visitors for Business; Citizenship Petitions; and Permanent Family Resident Petitions.

TEMPORARY WORKER

  • H-1B Specialty Occupation

    The H-1B classification permits a foreign national to work in the United States for a temporary period of up to six years (visa issued in increments of up to three years).  It is available for offers of U.S. employment that are in a specialty occupation.  H-1B visas are numerically limited every year (referred to as the H-1B CAP).  The H-1B application period begins on April 1st of each year and an approved application is valid from October 1st that year when employment can begin.   

    Requirements

    • The employee must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience.
    • The employer must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor before filing the H-1B petition with the USCIS.
    • The employer must confirm that the employee will be paid the minimum prevailing wage rate (obtained through U.S. Department of Labor approved wage surveys in order to ensure that employers pay foreign employees similar wages as U.S. citizen/Permanent Resident workers).
    • An employee who was presently employed under the H-1B status may utilize the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act to transition their H-1B to a different employer.
    • The employee’s dependents (spouse and minor children) are authorized to live in the United States, and to study, but are not permitted to work. 
  • L-1 Intracompany Transfer

    The L-1 classification permits a U.S. company to temporarily transfer certain employees from an affiliated foreign company (such as parent, branch, subsidiary). The employee must be offered employment in either an executive/managerial position (L-1A), or in a specialized knowledge position (L-1B).  Certain organizations may be eligible to file blanket L-1 petition with the USCIS, rather than filing individual petitions for each potential employee.

    Requirements

    • The U.S. employer filing the petition must have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company employer. Qualifying relationships include parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate.
    • The transferred employee must have been employed by the foreign company employer for at least one continuous year within the three years prior to coming to the United States.
  • O-1 Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

    The O-1 classification is for individuals who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.  The O classification includes the following subcategories: 
    (1) O-1A for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry);  (2) O-1B for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry; and,
    (3) O-2 for individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. 

    Requirements

    • A consultation, which is a written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability.  Some exceptions to this requirement apply when the petitioner can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group doesn’t exist.
    • A contract between petitioner (employer) and beneficiary (worker) must exist.  This may be in the form of a summary of terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed. 
    • An itinerary must be provided explaining the nature and dates of the events along with any applicable specifics. 
  • P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete

    The P-1 classification applies to applicants coming to the United States temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.

    Requirements

    • The applicant must participate in an individual event, competition or performance in which the applicant is internationally recognized with a high level of achievement.
    • The applicant must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport.  
  • P-1B Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

    The P-1B classification is for applicants coming to the United States temporarily to perform as members of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

    Requirements

    • At least 75% of the members of the group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.
    • The entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered.
    • Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.
  • P-2 Individual Performer/Group Member Performing Under Reciprocal Exchange Program

    The P-2 classification is for applicants coming to the United States temporarily to perform as artists/entertainers, individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.

    Requirements

    • The applicant/artist must enter the United States through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program.
    • The applicant/artist must possess skills comparable to those of the artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.
  • P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program

    The P-3 classification is for applicants coming temporarily to the United States to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.


    Requirements

    • The applicant must be coming to the United States either individually or as a group for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.
    • The applicant must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of the artist’s art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.
  • R-1 Temporary Nonimmigrant Religious Worker

    The R-1 classification is for a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week).  The employer can be (1) a non-profit religious organization in the United States; (2) a religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; or (3) a non-profit religious organization that is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.

    Requirements

    • This visa program is intended for religious workers whose lives are dedicated to religious practices and functions, as distinguished from secular members of the religion.
    • The applicant must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition.

PERMANENT WORKER

U.S. permanent residence (commonly referred to as “Green Card” status) may be gained through a range of employment-based (EB) immigration options, generally with the sponsorship of a U.S. employer. The employer must intend to hire the foreign national on a long-term basis for a position that is not considered temporary.  In some EB categories, the employer must obtain approval, or what is referred to as a Permanent Labor Certification through the U.S. Department of Labor.  In limited EB categories, the foreign national may self-sponsor.
Depending on the applicable category, there might be as many as three stages in the application process:  (1) the Permanent Labor Certification, (2) the filing of the immigrant petition by the employer, and (3) the adjustment of status to permanent residence or for consular processing of the immigrant visa.

  • EB-1 First Preference

    This category is reserved for applicants of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.  It is also reserved for multinational executives and managers.  No Permanent Labor Certification is required. 

  • EB-2 Second Preference

    This category is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees, or persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.  A U.S. Department of Labor Permanent Labor Certification is required unless the applicant can obtain a national interest waiver.

  • EB-3 Third Preference

    This category is reserved for professionals, skilled workers and some other worker categories.  A U.S. Department of Labor Permanent Labor Certification is required. 

  • EB-4 Fourth Preference

    This category is reserved for religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, aliens minors who are wards of the U.S. courts and some other classes of aliens.  There is no Permanent Labor Certification is required.

  • ​EB-5 Fifth Preference

    This category is reserved for business investors who invest US$1 million or US$500,000 (for investments made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise.  This enterprise must employ at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.  No Permanent Labor Certification is required.  

STUDENT & EXCHANGE VISITOR

Academic Student

The F-1 classification is for academic students entering the United States temporarily for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an accredited school or university that is approved by the Attorney General.

Requirements

  • Ability to demonstrate status as a bona fide student with nonimmigrant intent and strong ties to the applicant’s home country.
  • Ability and credentials to qualify for the intended full course of study in a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified institution.
  • Acceptance to study at an established college, university, or other academic institution or in a language training program in the United States approved by the Attorney General.
  • Proficiency in the English language and evidence of sufficient funds to attend the university or college to which applicant has been admitted to study and live in the United States for the duration of the program.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor

    The J-1 classification is for exchange visitors who come to the United States to participate in an exchange visitor program administered by the U.S. Department of State. There are different programs within the J-1 category, including trainees, college or university students, secondary school students, professors and research scholars, short-term scholars, specialists, foreign medical graduates, international and government visitors, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs, and summer work/travel students.

    Requirements

    • Ability to demonstrate that one has a residence in a foreign country that applicant has no intention of abandoning.
    • A Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (Form DS-2019) obtained from the program sponsor.
  • Vocational Student

    The M-1 classification is for students who intend to pursue a vocational, non-academic program (other than a language training program) in an established institution in the United States.  Examples of vocational study are training programs for health care technicians, machinists, dental hygienists, and other such employment pursuits.

    Requirements

    • Ability to demonstrate bona fide student status with nonimmigrant intent and strong ties to the applicant’s home country.
    • Acceptance for study at an established vocational or other recognized, nonacademic institution.
    • Proficiency in the English language and evidence of sufficient funding to attend the educational institution the applicant will attend while living in the United States throughout the duration of the program.     

FAMILY PERMANENT RESIDENT PETITIONS ("GREEN CARD")

  • Family of U.S. Citizens

    A U.S. Citizen is entitled to file a petition for Permanent Residence (“Green Card”) for family members with an established family relationship.  For immediate family relatives (spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents), visas are always available and the applicant may file the I-130 and the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status simultaneously. 
    Other family members (non-immediate relatives) fall in specific preference categories that are subject to annual numerical limits.  In these cases, there are applicable wait times for applicant processing given by the U.S. Department of State.

  • Family of Permanent Residents (“Green Card" holders)

    A Permanent Resident is entitled to file a petition for Permanent Residence (“Green Card”) for a spouse, unmarried children under 21 and for unmarried children of any age.  There are preference categories that apply to specific relatives and age groups.  These preference categories are subject to annual numerical limits.  In these cases, there are applicable wait times for applicant processing given by the U.S. Department of State. 

TEMPORARY VISITORS FOR BUSINESS

  • B-1 Temporary Business Visitor

    The B-1 classification is for an applicant who will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States.  Such activities include: (1) consulting with business associates, (2) traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates, (3) settling an estate, (4) negotiating a contract, and (5) participating in short-term training.

    Requirements

    •The purpose of the applicant’s trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature.
    •The applicant plans to remain for a specific limited period of time.
    •The applicant has the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and stay in the United States.
    •The applicant has a residence outside the United States in which the applicant has no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure the return abroad at the end of the visit.

  • ​E-1 Treaty Traders

    The E-1 classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade.  Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

    Requirements

    • The applicant must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
    • The applicant must carry on substantial trade (continuous flow of sizable international trade items).
    • The applicant must carry on principal trade (over 50% of the total volume of international trade) between the United States and the treaty country on which the application is based. 
  • E-2 Treaty Investors

    The E-2 classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.  Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

    Requirements

    • The applicant must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
    • The applicant must have invested, or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in the enterprise in the United States.
    • The applicant must show that the sole purpose of the application is to develop and direct the investment enterprise.  

CITIZENSHIP PETITIONS

U.S. Citizenship is obtained either by birth, derivation, or naturalization.  U.S. citizens may live and work in the U.S. permanently, and can’t lose this status by extended travel abroad, in contrast to Permanent Residence (“Green Card”) status.  U.S. citizens may petition for the permanent resident status of their parents, spouses, children and siblings.

Requirements

  • Generally, 5 years in permanent resident status (three years may be sufficient for those married to U.S. citizens).
  • Generally, physical presence, continuity of residence, and good moral character standards.
  • Satisfactory exam results in U.S. government, history, and civics as well as the ability to speak, read, and write English.  In certain cases, exceptions may be granted to the testing requirements based on age and duration of permanent residency, as well as medical limitations.

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