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Immigration

Contact an Immigration Attorney

OVERVIEW

Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Immigration practice focuses on employment-based immigration and providing legal advice and assistance to U.S. and international employers and their foreign national employees in the U.S. immigration sponsorship process. Our group also has experience representing individuals and families in family-based immigration and naturalization cases.

SKO represents clients in immigration matters on a local, national and international level in front of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor and U.S. consular posts worldwide.

Our Immigration practice has staff fluent in Japanese, and other firm attorneys are fluent in Spanish, Vietnamese, French and Portuguese. We use the most current technology available to us and our knowledge of practices and procedures at the U.S. Consulates worldwide to serve our clients. SKO also has the capability and experience to represent companies and individuals on all continents, from the Middle East and Africa, to Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

WORK HIGHLIGHTS

Employment-Based Immigration Sponsorship
We guide employers and foreign national employees through the complex immigration sponsorship process including temporary work visas and permanent residence.

Securing Blanket L Status and Processing L Petitions
We have assisted several multinational companies in obtaining "Blanket L" approval enabling them to transfer foreign national employees from offices abroad to the United States through an expedited immigration process. We have also processed thousands of L visa petitions for international companies at Consulates worldwide.

Advising Health Care Employers and their Employees
We advise health care employers on the complex rules governing employment of physicians who have received graduate medical education or training in the United States including the J-1 waiver process, H-1B sponsorship, and permanent residence processing. We also assist employers with sponsorship of allied healthcare professionals such as nurses and physical therapists.

Advising Schools
We advise schools throughout the region on foreign national student issues including work authorization, travel, maintaining immigration status and ensuring compliance with SEVIS reporting requirements.

Equine immigration
We represent some of the world’s leading thoroughbred breeding and racing interests in transferring equine personnel around the globe in various categories including farm managers, bloodstock analysts, nominations specialists, broodmare managers, seasonal workers, trainers and exercise riders.

Developing J-1 Training Programs
We assist U.S. companies in developing their own J training programs, enabling them to obtain J approvals to bring foreign national employees to the United States for approved training. We work with employers to ensure an adequate and established training program is in place and that other requirements such as health insurance and wage issues are met. We have also represented numerous foreign national employees in obtaining J visas at U.S. consulates throughout the world based on their employer's J program.

Developing I-9 and H-1B compliance programs
We assist companies in conducting internal I-9 and H-1B audits and in developing compliance programs to ensure conformity with government requirements. This includes providing general training as well as advice related to specific compliance issues.

Corporate Reorganizations
SKO attorneys assist business entities in navigating through the immigration implications of corporate reorganization by ensuring immigration issues are properly addressed in the corporate transaction and assessing the impact on foreign national employees including tax, employment law issues, immigration requirements, and risks associated with assuming immigration liabilities.

Family-based Immigration Sponsorship
We guide families through the complex immigration sponsorship process including fiancé visas and permanent residence sponsorship, and assist individuals in applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization.

Controlling Immigration Cost
SKO is mindful of the economic constraints many businesses and individuals are facing. SKO attorneys work with clients to contain costs, both from a billing perspective through the use of technology and standardized processes, and by identifying more cost-effective immigration solutions, choosing between domestic and foreign processing of visas, and avoiding renewal costs through timely decision making.

TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT-BASED CATEGORIES

SKO routinely assists employers and foreign national professionals with temporary employment-based immigration sponsorship. Each of these categories has its own requirements and benefits. For example, some visa categories do not require prior USCIS approval, and others may permit spouses to obtain work authorization in the United States. Below are some of the most common employment-based categories we prepare for clients:

B-1 Business Visitors

The B-1 visa category is for individuals coming to the United States temporarily for business. Examples of permissible B-1 business activities include specific activities such as engaging in commercial transactions, negotiations and conferences, missionary work, participating in voluntary service programs, attending board meetings, accompanying U.S. citizen employers or foreign national employers as personal/domestic employees, participating in sporting events, and performing services for a foreign-based employer in the equine industry.

E-1 Treaty Traders and E-2 Treaty Investors

The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa is available to nationals of certain countries to enable them and their employees to come to the United States to engage in trade or investment. To qualify there must be a trade or investment treaty between the United States and the individual’s home country, and the applicant must be coming to the United States to carry on substantial trade between the two countries, or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has or will invest a substantial amount of capital. See Treaty Countries for a list of participating countries. To be eligible as employees of the primary investor, an employee must be working in an executive capacity or have specialized skills that are essential to the success of the company.

E-3 Professional Status for Australian Nationals

The E-3 visa category is available to Australian nationals who are coming to the United States to work temporarily for a U.S. employer in a specialized occupation which requires at minimum a bachelor’s degree in a specific academic field.

H-1B Specialty Occupation Professionals

The H-1B category is for professional positions that require at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in a specific academic field. As part of the application process, employers must ensure H-1B workers are paid the “required wage,” must post H-1B sponsorship notice at the worksite, and must make certain documents related to the H-1B position available for public inspection. 65,000 H-1Bs are available each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 set aside for foreign nationals with a U.S. Master’s degree. In recent years, demand has exceeded availability.

H-1B1 Professional Status for Chilean and Singapore Nationals

The H-1B1 is similar to the H-1B. 6,500 H-1B1s are set aside specifically for nationals of Chile and Singapore. Like the H-1B, this category is for professional positions that require a bachelor’s degree in a specific academic field. In addition, the position must be temporary.

H-2A and H-2B Seasonal Workers

The H-2 category is for individuals coming to the United States to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural (H-2A) or non-agricultural (H-2B) work. Approval must first be obtained from the Department of Labor. The H-2B has a numerical cap of 66,000 each fiscal year.

H-3 Trainee Programs

The H-3 category is for foreign employees to participate in a temporary company training program at U.S. companies and institutions to gain knowledge and skills.

J-1 Exchange Visitors

The J-1 visa category is for foreign students, scholars, and medical interns and residents enrolled in U.S. government approved Exchange-Visitor Programs, to gain experience, study, or conduct research in their respective fields. In addition, the J-1 can be used to engage in specific types of training in the United States, including in some cases, hands-on training gained through employment in one’s field.

L-1 Intracompany Transferees

The L-1 category is for employees of international companies seeking to transfer to the United States. The employee must have worked for a related entity outside the U.S. for at least one year prior to transfer, and be coming to the U.S. to work in an executive or managerial (L-1A) or specialized knowledge (L-1B) capacity. A qualifying relationship must exist between the U.S. company and the transferring company. Companies that are starting new offices in the United States can also utilize this category, provided they can meet additional criteria including having a concrete business plan in place, and why a full-time executive or manager is needed in the U.S. A streamlined “Blanket L” process is available to companies with three or more global offices who have obtained at least ten L approvals in the past year, combined annual sales of $25 million, or a U.S. workforce of 1,000 employees.

O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

The O-1 visa category is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, and their family members. O-1 applicants must intend to work in their area of extraordinary ability or achievement.

P-1 Status for Athletes, Artists and Entertainers

The P-1 visa category is for internationally recognized entertainers and athletes.

R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 visa category is for religious workers who have been a member of a religious denomination for at least two years immediately preceding application for R-1 status and who will be coming to the United States to perform religious duties for a non-profit tax exempt religious organization which is the same religious denomination.

TN (Trade NAFTA) Professional Status for Canadian and Mexican Nationals

The TN category is available for Canadian and Mexican nationals who are coming to the United States to work for a U.S. employer in a professional position that is on the NAFTA list. Categories include professions such as Accountants, Scientists and Registered Nurses.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PERMANENT RESIDENCE

One of the main ways to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. is through employer sponsorship. Some categories require certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to show that there are insufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant is to be employed. In other cases, highly skilled workers, such as those with extraordinary ability in certain professions, and investors/entrepreneurs are given priority to immigrate through several immigrant categories. The main employment-based permanent residence categories include:

PERM Labor Certification

In most cases, employers who wish to sponsor employees for permanent residence are required to test the U.S. labor market to prove that there are no “minimally qualified” U.S. workers available for the position. The employer is required to engage in a recruitment process that includes two Sunday print advertisements and three other recruitment sources. Other administrative steps include obtaining a “prevailing wage determination” from the U.S. Department of Labor, posting a notice regarding the sponsorship at the worksite, and placing a state job order before filing the application through the U.S. Department of Labor’s online system.

EB-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

This category is available to individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, and who can prove they have risen to the top of their field of endeavor. No job offer is required. Recommendation letters from other experts in the field are critical to the success of these cases. An individual can prove that they qualify for this category if they can show they have received a major, internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award. Alternatively they must prove they possess three of the following types of evidence or comparable evidence:

  • Receipt of prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
  • Membership in associations in the field of endeavor that require outstanding achievements of their members
  • Published material about the alien and his work in professional journals, trade publications, or the major media
  • Participation as a judge of others in the same or a similar field
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions of major significance in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, published in professional journals or media
  • Display of the alien's work at artistic exhibitions or showcases in more than one country
  • Performance in lead or critical roles with organizations with a distinguished reputation
  • Commanding a high salary compared to others in the field
  • Commercial success in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts and sale

EB-1 Outstanding Researchers or Professors

This category is available to professors or researchers with at least 3 years of teaching or research experience who have gained international recognition as outstanding in a specific academic field. This experience could have been gained while pursuing an advanced degree, but only if the alien had full responsibility for the courses taught, or the research is recognized as outstanding. Unlike aliens in the extraordinary ability subcategory, aliens in the outstanding professor or researcher subcategory must have a permanent job offer. Like extraordinary ability cases, recommendation letters from other experts are critical. Two of the following types of evidence are required:

  • Receipt of a major international prize or award for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members
  • Material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work
  • Participation as a judge of the work of others in the field
  • Original contributions in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in journals with international circulation
  • Strong evidence includes peer-reviewed publications and participation as a peer-reviewer

EB-1 Multinational Executives and Managers

This category is available to individuals who have been employed outside the United States for at least one year by the employer or a qualifying affiliated entity in an executive or managerial capacity, who will continue working in an executive or managerial capacity for the U.S. organization. Employer sponsorship is required. A manager is defined as employee who:

  • Manages an organization, department, subdivision, or function of the organization
  • Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory roles or manages an essential function
  • If the transferee directly supervises other employees, he or she must have the authority to hire or terminate employees or recommend hiring or termination of employees
  • If the transferee does not supervise others, the multinational manager functions at a senior level within the organizational chain of command or with respect to the function managed
  • Exercises direction over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function

The term executive capacity means that the transferee:

  • Directs the management of the organization or a major component, or function of the organization.
  • Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function.
  • Exercises wide latitude in making discretionary decisions.
  • Receives only broad supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or the stockholders.

EB-2 National Interest Waiver

The National Interest Waiver is an attractive category because it does not require an employer to file a labor certification. However, to qualify for the waiver, an individual must demonstrate that they possess exceptional ability and that their employment in the United States would greatly benefit the national interest. Exceptional ability is defined as a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. Factors that have been found to benefit the national interest include work that improves the U.S. economy, wages and working conditions for U.S. workers, education, health care, the environment and housing. The applicant must benefit the field to a greater degree than his or her U.S. citizen colleagues. An interested government agency request is an added factor which is given weight by the USCIS.

EB-5 Investors

This category provides a method of obtaining permanent residence for foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million, creating at least 10 jobs. By investing in certain qualified investments or regional centers with high unemployment rates, the required investment amount is $500,000. For additional information, see Investors.

FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRATION SPONSORSHIP

Below is a highlight of some of the family based immigration categories SKO can assist you and your family with:

K Visas For Fiancés of U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens can sponsor non-U.S. citizen finances under the K visa to bring them to the United States. An application is first filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the fiancé then applies for a K visa at the U.S. Consulate in his or her home country. Typically you must have met in person within the two years prior to filing the application, and documentation must be submitted to verify the validity of the relationship. Upon entry to the United States, you and your fiancé must marry within 90 days, and then file an application to sponsor him or her for permanent residence.

K-3 Visas for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

If you are a U.S. citizen and married to a non-U.S. citizen who still lives abroad, you may file a petition with USCIS to sponsor her for a K-3 visa. Once your spouse enters the U.S. on K-3 visa, he or she must file an application to adjust status from K-3 to permanent resident status.

Permanent Residence for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens may sponsor non-U.S. citizen spouses for permanent residence by filing an I-130 Immigrant Petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The spouse may also be able to file his or her permanent residence application at the same time. Documentation must be submitted to verify the validity of the relationship, and an in-person interview with USCIS is required. If the marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval, the foreign national spouse will be granted conditional permanent residence for two years, at which point an application must be filed to remove the condition placed on the residence by proving that the marriage was not entered into for immigration purposes.

If a U.S. citizen is residing abroad with his or her spouse, they may be able to process the applications in the foreign country.

Permanent Residence for Children, Siblings and Parents of U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens may also sponsor their children, siblings and parents for U.S. permanent residence. Eligibility and wait times vary based upon the relationship, age, and marital status of the applicant. Some categories, such as siblings of U.S. citizens, have wait times of many years.

Spouses and Children of U.S. Permanent Residents

Permanent residents may also sponsor qualifying family members for permanent residence in the United States. Eligibility and wait times vary based upon the relationship, age, and marital status of the applicant, and the wait times can be extensive.

For more information on sponsoring family for permanent residence based on family relationships, visit the USICS website. (www.uscis.gov)

INVESTORS

Many foreign investors find the U.S. market to be their ideal place to invest, be it start-up of a new business, or buy-out of an existing business. Several important factors should be taken into consideration for such investment, including U.S. immigration options, tax consequences and corporate and employment laws. Please contact our firm to consult comprehensive and strategic planning of your U.S. investment including desirable corporate formation and immigration options. The following provides a brief summary of your visa options.

B-1 Visitors Visa

The B-1 visa category is for individuals coming to the United States temporarily for business which includes activities necessary for U.S. investment such as commercial transactions, negotiations, and start-up activities. Many investors come to the U.S. during the start-up process of their U.S. business on a B-1 visa and stay in the U.S. to conduct necessary work for their business temporarily. Once the basics of the business are established, investors may consider obtaining a work visa or may send agents to manage the U.S. operation on a work visa, usually E-2 (investor) or L-1 (intracompany transfer).

L-1 Intracompany Transferee

Investors may wish to obtain a work visa instead of a visitor’s visa to oversee U.S. operations. They may also send their foreign national employee to the U.S. to manage U.S. operations or work in a specialized knowledge capacity. The L-1 visa category called intracompany transferee is available if the U.S. entity is a branch, affiliate or subsidiary of an organization abroad and if the transferee has worked for the related organization abroad for at least one year in the past three years in a managerial or specialized knowledge capacity. The process starts with petition filing with USCIS, which is followed by visa application at a U.S. consulate abroad. The L-1 visa is usually valid for an initial period of three years which can be extended for an increment of two years. The L-1A (managerial/executive) can be extended for up to seven years and the L-1B (specialized knowledge) can be extended for up to five years. If the U.S. entity has been doing business for less than a year, the visa will be approved for only one year, which can be extended later.

E-2 Investor Visa

The E visa category is useful for certain traders, investors, and their employees to oversee U.S. operations or work in a U.S. entity. To be eligible, more than 51% of the U.S. entity must be owned and controlled by companies or individuals who have the nationality of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty of commerce and navigation. In addition, to be eligible as employees of the primary investor, such individuals must have the same nationality as the U.S. entity and must be working in an executive capacity or have specialized skills that are essential to the success of the company. Unlike the L-1 visa process which requires pre-approval from USCIS before a transferee can apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate, an E-2 application can be directly submitted to a U.S. consulate abroad. However, to obtain approval of an E-2 application, the employer and employee must show that the U.S. enterprise is a real, operating business that will create employment for U.S. workers or economic activity for contractors. In addition, the investment in the U.S. must be substantial. There is no specific amount of investment necessary for the investment to be viewed as substantial, but the amount must be sufficient to be successful for the enterprise. The E-2 visa is usually valid for five years, during which the visa holder may be admitted to the U.S. for a period of up to two years.

Other nonimmigrant visa categories are available for investors and their employees including H-1B, H-3 and J-1, provided you meet the requirements of these visas.

Permanent Residence

The EB-5 Investor Category provides a method of obtaining permanent residence for foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million, creating at least 10 jobs. By investing in certain qualified investments or regional centers with high unemployment rates, the required investment amount is $500,000.

Investors may also be able to obtain permanent residence as Intracompany Executives or Managers, or through the PERM labor certification process. See Employment-Based Permanent Residence Sponsorship.

Please contact a member of our SKO Immigration practice for more information about the immigration options for investors including nonimmigrant visa categories as well as permanent resident options.

NATURALIZATION

Naturalization is the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship. The general requirements are as follows:

  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years
  • You have been physically present in the United States for at least half of this time (30 months)
  • You have not had any trips outside the U.S. of 6 months or longer during the 5-year period
  • You have lived in the state in which you wish to file for at least 3 months
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You can demonstrate “good moral character” during your time as a permanent resident, including no disqualifying criminal issues
  • You have sufficient knowledge of English and U.S. Civics and are willing to swear to the U.S. Oath of Allegiance

Note that if you have been married to a U.S. citizen for at least 3 years as a permanent resident, you are eligible for citizenship after 3 rather than 5 years, provided all other eligibility requirements are met including reduced continuous residence and physical presence requirements.

In addition, there are other ways to obtain citizenship, such as qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces, or as a child born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizen parents.

Benefits of citizenship

Becoming a U.S. citizen provides many rights that you do not have as a Lawful Permanent Resident, which includes voting rights, opportunities for federal jobs, opportunities to become an elected official, obtaining a U.S. passport, and immigration benefits for non-U.S. citizen family members. While the United States permits dual citizenship, not all countries do. You should ensure that your home country permits dual citizenship before applying for naturalization.

Please contact a member of the Immigration practice for additional information about the naturalization process.

Useful links:

I-9 COMPLIANCE AND E-VERIFY

I-9 enforcement continues to be a focus of government resources and investigation. Employers should ensure their I-9 house is in order, including making sure employees in charge of the process have proper training, and conducting in-house audits.

What is I-9 Employment Verification Compliance
Employers are required to verify the identity and work authorization of each employee they hire within 3 days of hire. At the same time, employers must not discriminate against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship during the hiring, employment or termination process.

Who requires an I-9 Form
Employers must complete an I-9 Form for every employee that was hired after November 7, 1986. A person is considered an employee for I-9 purposes if they receive anything of value in exchange for their labor services, which includes food or lodging.

Employers need not complete a Form I-9 for independent contractors or for individuals who provide services through a contractor. However , employers must be extremely careful when characterizing individuals as independent contractors or when contracting with employment agencies that provided workers, and cannot continue to employ these workers if they come to know that such individuals are not authorized to work.

Retention/Storage of I-9 Forms
Employers are not required to submit I-9 forms to the government, but instead are required to retain them in the event they are requested by the government for audit or inspection purposes. Employers must retain I-9 records for 3 years after the date of hire, or 1 year after the date the employment ends, whichever is later. I-9 records should be kept in files which are separate from employee personnel files.

Dealing with Errors on I-9 Forms
Employers should routinely perform audits and cross check I-9 records against payroll records to make sure that I-9 Forms have been completed for all employees, and that they are completed properly. If errors are discovered on the forms, corrections to the forms should be made, and the corrections should be clearly initialed and dated to reflect the change. Making such corrections can help minimize government fines in the event of an audit.

Social Security Mismatch Letters
Employers may not verify employees’ social security numbers for I-9 purposes unless they are participants in the government’s I-9 online pilot program. However, in addition to completing I-9s and other employer obligations, employers are required to report employees’ wage and tax data to the Social Security Administration on Form W-2. If SSA finds that an employee’s wage and tax data as reported on the employer’s W-2 does not match its own records, it will send the employer a “Social Security Mismatch Letter.” The letter itself is not an indication that an employee’s social security number is invalid, or that the employee is not in fact authorized to work in the U.S. However, employers must take action to resolve the discrepancy a specific timeframe or may be deemed to have “constructive knowledge” that an employee is not authorized to work.

Employers should contact counsel immediately upon receipt of a Social Security Mismatch letter, and should take no adverse action against an employee unless and until the matter has been discussed with an attorney.

I-9 Penalties
Significant monetary and criminal penalties exist for employers, including supervisors and those involved in the I-9 process, who fail to properly complete the I-9 process, or who “knowingly” hire or continue to employ unauthorized workers.

Civil penalties range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per violation pertaining to failing to complete I-9 Forms, errors in completing I-9 Forms, and engaging in document abuse by requiring individuals to present more or specific documents in the I-9 process.

Criminal penalties can include fines for each violation for “knowingly” hiring or continuing to employ undocumented workers and imprisonment up to six months for a pattern and practice of knowingly hiring undocumented workers.

Employers may also face significant criminal penalties including extensive fines and imprisonment under other government laws such as smuggling, harboring or aiding and abetting undocumented aliens in cases of egregious violations.

E-Verify
E-Verify is a government program which enables employers to electronically verify new employees’ employment eligibility through cross-checking I-9 data with Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases.

Important Requirements of the Program:

  • The employer must enter into a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the government, register, and complete the E-Verify Tutorial before they begin using the program
  • The employer is still required to complete the standard I-9 process for all employees including completing I-9s within 3 days of hire, retaining them as required and making them available for inspection
  • E-Verify can only be used after an employee is hired and after a paper or electronic I-9 has been completed. Employers may not pre-screen applicants through E-Verify
  • The system must be used for all new hires and cannot be used selectively
  • Like the standard I-9 process which the employer must continue to conduct, the online E-Verify process must be conducted within 3 days of hire
  • Any document presented by an employee to establish identity must contain a photograph
  • The Employer cannot take any adverse action against an employee based upon the employee’s employment eligibility status while the verification request is being processed unless the employer obtains knowledge that the employee is not work authorized
  • If an employer receives a “final non-confirmation” of employment eligibility through E-Verify, the employee must be terminated immediately

How to Register for E-Verify: Employers can register by following the step-by-step instructions on the E-Verify website

GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a visa?

A Visa is a stamp issued by a U.S. Consulate in one’s passport. A visa enables a person to travel to the United States and request admission during its validity period. It does not control one’s immigration status in the U.S. More information is available on the State Department website at website.

What is a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure card?

The I-94 is a small rectangular form you are required to complete before you go through immigration inspection at the U.S. airport/border. A part of the form is detached and inserted into your passport upon entry. The form indicates the date you were admitted to the U.S., class of admission, and the date until which you are authorized to remain in the US. This is the document that controls your status, in the U.S., rather than your visa expiration date. For more information see http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/i-94_instructions/filling_out_i94.xml.

Can I extend my visa in the U.S.?

No. At this time, visa applicants are required to visit a U.S. Consulate outside the United States in person, and apply for a visa. However, in certain circumstances, you may be able to extend your “status” in the United States.

My visa has expired. Can I remain the United States?

Yes. It is permissible to remain in the United States even if one’s visa has expired provided you remain in valid status, i.e. you have a valid I-94 card in your passport, or I-797 approval notice with an I-94 extending your stay. It is important to understand the distinction between a visa which permits you to request entry to the United States, and an I-94, which controls your stay in the U.S.

I recently moved. Do I need to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services?

Yes. All non-U.S. citizens are required to report a change of residential address in the United States within 10 days of the move by filing Form AR-11 to USCIS. The change of address notification can be submitted online through USCIS’ website at https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=coa. Be sure to print a copy of the AR-11 as well as any confirmation for your records.

GOVERNMENT IMMIGRATION RESOURCES

Useful Government Immigration Resources

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Useful Government Resources by Categories

Temporary Categories

Permanent Residence Categories

Citizenship Through Naturalization

INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Japan/America Society of Kentucky

World Trade Center of Kentucky

News

Publications