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Immigration Blog

Immigration Blog

The Immigration attorneys at Chamberlain Hrdlicka have considerable experience handling the entire spectrum of immigration matters for individuals, families and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad. We have represented clients in all parts of the United States and in more than 100 countries.

We have represented companies and non-profit organizations both in the U.S. and abroad in obtaining U.S. immigrant and non-immigrant visas through the employment, business and investment categories, as well as in U.S. citizenship matters. Additional expertise includes employment cases, labor certifications and consular work.

For individuals, we have handled a wide range of immigration matters including visa processing, naturalizations and defense of removal (deportation) cases. And with support from the Tax Planning group, have assisted in pre-immigration tax planning.

While the constant change in U.S. immigration laws presents challenges for many in this area of work, we are at the forefront of this rapidly changing field of law. As members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and founding members of IMMLAW, Chamberlain’s immigration team actively participates in the exchange of ideas and information in emerging areas so that our clients can benefit from the most innovative techniques in the ever-changing immigration environment.

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H-1B visa season is upon us. Here is a handy breakdown of the process. Please do not hesitate to contact our office should you have any questions.

  1. H-1B Qualification. The employee must qualify for a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.
  2. The Prevailing Wage and actual wage must be determined and compared. The H-1B sponsoring ...
Categories: Immigration

Are you considering transferring a manager from one of your foreign offices to the United States? If so, the L-1A nonimmigrant visa may be the right classification for your company.

L-1A visa allows multinational companies with a branch, subsidiary, office, or affiliate in the U.S to transfer certain employees to the U.S. in order to work. Alternatively, qualified employees may be granted the visa to set up a U.S. office if none currently exist. Qualified employees may be granted a maximum initial stay of three years, with extensions available up to the maximum limit of seven years.

To ...

Categories: Immigration

Recently, Kisshia Simmons, an attorney in our Houston’s immigration practice, was a featured guest on Houston’s Better Business Bureau’s Business Houston Podcast, which provides relevant and meaningful interviews with small and medium business owners and business leaders. 

Simmons shared how our firm supports area employers and individuals with their immigration law needs. She also shared her insights on current immigration law trends, including the latest immigration policy changes and proposed legislation that have potential to affect Houston and Texas ...

Categories: Immigration

Since the implementation of PERM (Program Electronic Review Management), many employers have been dreading the arduous process it entails when sponsoring an employee’s green card application. Employers have to first clearly define the job duties and responsibilities of the position being offered. Having done this, the employer must then apply for a certification from the Department of Labor (DOL), conduct the necessary recruitment, then file the PERM application on behalf of the employee. Only when PERM application has been approved can the foreign-born employee apply for ...

In employment-based permanent residence cases, the employer must complete the Form I-140.  One of the essential aspects of the I-140 is the requirement that the sponsoring employer demonstrate an ability to pay the proffered wage. This requirement can be a challenging element in some cases.  However, there are steps that petitioning employers can take to identify and address ability to pay concerns and to increase the chance the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will approve the I-140 petition.

USCIS in making a decision on the I-140 petition requires the employer to ...

What is an O-1 visa?

O-1 visa provides work authorization for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts (including the television and motion picture industry), education, business, or athletics. Petitions may only be filed by a U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent. The visas are granted for the length of time necessary for a particular project or an event, up to a maximum of three years, with unlimited extensions in one-year increments. While difficult to obtain, the O-1 visa can still be the most viable and expedient solution for many ...

Is your foreign-born employee currently on an OPT (Optional Practical Training) as part of an internship under an F-1 student visa? Do you value their contributions to the company and want to continue employing them?  Are you wondering what your options are once their OPT comes to an end? One of the most common visas to apply for is the H-1B visa. Let me walk you through the application process.

Once you decided to move forward with the H-1B process, you should immediately consult an attorney to make some key assessments.  The attorney will help determine whether the employee qualifies for ...

Are you a business owner or foreign investor currently living in the United States and interested in extending your stay?  Or are you a businessperson living outside of the United States, and you plan to immigrate to engage in substantial trade with the U.S. or work for a company that does?  If either of these scenarios applies to you, then an E visa may be your best option for residing in the United States. 

The E Visa is specifically intended for business owners, managers and employers that seek to remain in the United States for extended periods of time in order to oversee or work in an ...

Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) applications are filed with the Department of Labor by an employer to permanently hire an employee.  And while most applications are certified without an audit, some may not be certified immediately.  Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. §656.20, a certifying officer, upon review of a Permanent Application, may issue an Audit Letter in order to obtain additional information or due to a random request for quality control purposes.  

When an Audit Letter is issued, an employer will have only 30 days to respond and provide all relevant PERM documents. Given the need to ...

Chamberlain Hrdlicka has launched its first-ever Immigration Law blog which will cover a broad cross-section of employment-related immigration issues, including immigrant and non-immigrant visas through the employer, business and investor categories; labor certifications and Department of Labor audits; as well as family-based immigration and U.S. citizenship matters. The blog will also provide updates on immigration law changes.

Recent topics, authored by Kisshia Simmons, the employer’s immigration attorney, include H-1B and E visa programs as well as permanent ...