We offer professional services in relation to non-immigrant and immigrant visas. Our professional team is always ready to answer any questions as well as assisting you with the complex immigration laws and procedures.
E-1 Visas: Traders:
E-1 visas are issued to foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States in order to engage in a “substantialtrade” between their country of origin and the United States. The trade refers to the international exchange of goods, services, money, and technology.
E-2 Visas: Investors:
E-2 visas permit foreign nationals to enter the United States in order to direct and develop a commercial enterprise or business in which they have invested, or are in the process of investing, a substantial amount of money or capital. Foreign nationals wishing to obtain E-2 visas must be a citizen of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty of commerce. Although there is no specific dollar amount required under U.S. immigration laws, the investment must be “substantial” and cannot be marginal. An investor can also buy an existing business or create a new business in the U.S.
H-1B Visas: Professionals in Specialty Occupations:
H-1B visas allow professionals to come to the United States to work in a field that requires a specialization or a special skill. In order to be granted an H-1B visa, the applicant must have at least the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree, and the job that they are applying for must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The applicant must also have a sponsoring U.S. employer that is willing to hire the applicant temporarily, pay him/her the required wage, and file a petition with immigration.
K Visa: Fiancé Visa
K-1 visas permit U.S. citizens to bring their foreign fiancé into the United States in order to marry. Under a K-1 visa, your foreign fiancé is allowed to reside and work in the United States. Once your fiancé enters the U.S., you and your fiancé have 90 days to marry and apply for permanent residency. In order to obtain a K-1 visa, certain requirements must be met, such as:
- The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen
- Both you and your foreign fiancé are free to get legally married
- You met in person with your fiancé within the past two years
- Both you and your fiancé have intentions to marry within 90 days of your fiancé’s arrival in the U.S.
- You meet the minimum income/financial requirement
- Your fiancé does not meet any criteria that render him/her inadmissible to the U.S.
L Visas: Intra Company Transfers
Under an L visa, foreign-based executives, managers, and employees with a specialized skill can be transferred to a division, affiliate, subsidiary, or parent branch of an international company in the United States. The L visa is very popular as it provides a work permit to the spouse of the transferred foreign worker and can ultimately lead to a green card in the U.S.
O Visas: Persons of Extraordinary Ability
O visas are issued to foreign artists, athletes, entertainers, scientists, educators, and business people of extraordinary ability who wish to temporarily come to the United States to work in their field of achievement.
O-1A: O-1A visas are issued to scientists, business people, educators, or athletes.
O-1B: O-1B visas are issued to visual, performing, and literary artists, such as musicians, writers, singers, actors, artists, directors, photographers, etc.
P Visas: Professional Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers
P-1: P-1 visas are issued to artists, athletes, and entertainers who wish to temporarily perform or compete—either solo or on a team—in the United States at a specific event.
P-2: P-2 visas are issued to athletes and entertainers who are participating in a reciprocal exchange program.
P-3: P-3 visas are issued to artists and entertainers who wish to perform, share, coach, or teach their talents in a cultural program
R Visas: Religious Workers
R visas are issued to foreign religious workers who wish to temporarily enter the United States. A religious worker is considered a person who is continually engaged in an activity that is related to a traditional religious function, such as nuns, monks, cantors, liturgical workers, brothers, religious translators, missionaries, catechists, etc.
Family Based Green Card Applications
Immediate relatives are the children, spouses, and parents of United States Citizens. If the U.S. Citizen person and the relative are in the United States, petition process usually takes six months. If the child, spouse or parent is in a foreign country, he or she must apply at a consulate in his or her country. The petitioning U.S. Citizen must be financially responsible for the relative and must have a level of income that is sufficient under the poverty guidelines. Joint U.S. Citizen sponsor(s) is or are allowed as well.
First Preference: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens.
Second Preference: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:
A. Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit
B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third Preference: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens.
Fourth Preference: Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens. A U.S. citizen can sponsor his or her brother or/and sister for green card. This is a long process, but it is after all a process and you have nothing to lose. We recommend the U.S. Citizen sponsor to file for the I-130 form for his or her brother and get a priority date and wait until the green card visa date is current and file for green card thereafter.
To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website
Battered Spouses / Children of U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent
In 1994, Congress passed a law referred to as “VAWA,” which stands for the Violence Against Women Act, creating special routes to immigration status for certain battered non citizens. Among the basic requirements for eligibility, a battered non citizen must be the spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Through a self-petitioning process, the battered spouse/child may apply for permanent residency without the involvement of the abuser. Battered spouses or children of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are the subjects of deportation proceedings may also be eligible for this form of relief through cancellation of removal.
Battered spouses who have been granted conditional residence through marriage to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may also be eligible to apply for relief to remove the conditions of his/her residence by independently filing a Form I-751 application.
There is extensive evidence that must be gathered in support of these forms of relief, including evidence of battery/abuse/extreme cruelty and proof of the qualifying relationship to the abuser.
Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise indicating that you are an individual who is one of that small percentage who has risen to the top of your field of endeavor. You should be recognized in the field of science, art, education, business or athletics, which must be substantially documented. Outstanding Professors or Researchers mean that you are recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area, have at least 3 years experience in that area, and have the required offer of employment. Although no labor certification is required, you must get a letter from a U.S. university offering you a teaching or research position or from a private or non-profit employer offering you comparable research position. Multinational Manager or Executive means that you have been working in such capacity for one year out of the three years preceding the application and seeking employment in that capacity here in the U.S. No labor certification is required. You must have extensive credentials.
Aliens of Exceptional Ability in the sciences, arts, or business. An alien will qualify for registration in this category if he or she has a specific offer of employment and is seeking to enter in the United States in his or her field and the entry of such alien will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural, or educational interests, or welfare of the United States. Exceptional Ability has been defined as something more than what is usual, ordinary, or common, and requires some rare or unusual talent, or unique or extraordinary ability in a calling which, of itself, requires that talent or skill. The possession of a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning or a license to practice, or certification for a particular profession or occupation, shall not, by itself, be considered sufficient evidence of such exceptional ability. Members of Professions Holding Advanced Degrees An alien will qualify in this category if they have a specific offer of employment and labor certification and if they have an advanced degree as shown by a masters degree or its equivalent in education and work experience.
This category encompasses college graduates or skilled workers with two years minimum experience. Labor certification is required, which is currently known as the PERM process. The employer must conduct recruitment process and if the campaign did not produce any qualified individuals, then the labor certification is filed on behalf of the alien if the alien has the required experience and education.
Designed for persons seeking reacquisition of citizenship/and returning resident and for religious workers. Requirements for religious workers:
A. Must be a member of a religious denomination having bona fide, non-profit, religious organization in the U.S., 2 years immediately preceding the application;
B. Must seek only to carry out vocation as a minister or if before October 1, 2008, must seek to work in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupancy or to work for an organization or affiliate in a religious vocation and occupation;
C. Must have been carrying on such vocation for two years. Voluntary service is excluded.
Investor Green Card
EB-5 Immigrant Visas:
The EB-5 Visa is an excellent opportunity for many foreign investors to become permanent residents of the United States.
The EB-5 Investor Green Card allows a foreign investor to work in any capacity, or enjoy retirement. At Manesh & Mizrahi, our attorneys and staff have extensive experience in helping our clients through the lengthy EB-5 process and achieving successful results.
Option 1 – Basic EB-5 Visa Program:
An applicant must meet the following three requirements to qualify under the Basic EB-5 Visa program:
- Make an investment in a new commercial enterprise.
- Make an investment of at least $1 million into that enterprise.
- Lead to the creation of employment for at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. The investment may consist of the contribution of various forms of capital, including cash, equipment, inventory, property, and other tangible equivalents. An investment amount of $1 million is generally the minimum.
Option 2 – EB-5 Targeted rural or high unemployment areas:
The required investment amount is reduced to as low as $500,000.00 for a business established in a “targeted employment area”.
Targeted employment areas include:
- Rural areas, defined as any area other than one within a metropolitan statistical area or within the boundary of a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more;
- Areas having an unemployment rate that is at least 150% of the national average.
Option 3 – EB-5 Regional Center Program:
This involves a passive investment of $500,000 made in a ‘Targeted Employment Area’ (TEA) within a Designated Regional Center.
The EB-5 policy management requirement is minimal in that the investor can be a limited partner and still qualify as long as the limited partners have a policy-making role. For those who are not interested in day-to-day management or running an active business, Regional Center programs offer a more acceptable inactive form of investment.
The investor is not required to live in the place of investment; rather, he or she can live wherever he/she wishes in the United States.
The EB-5 Regional Center program is ideal for the retiree or inactive investor due in large part to the “indirect employment” feature of this program. The Regional Center Program removes the employee requirement of the Regular program and replaces it with a less restrictive “indirect employment creation,” which allows the investor to qualify by proving a combination of 10 direct and/or indirect employees.
Conditional Permanent Residence:
Immigrant investors, their spouses and dependent children are subject to conditional permanent residence for a two-year period. The alien must file a petition to remove the conditions (using Form I-829) during a 90-day period prior to the second anniversary of the alien’s lawful admission as a permanent resident. USCIS will examine the business at the end of the two year period to determine whether or not the alien has complied with all of the requirements.
At Manesh & Mizrahi, we are dedicated to helping people secure a safe haven here in the U.S. This is not just an aspect of law we practice; it is the cornerstone of our practice and a personal passion of every attorney in this office. We have represented asylum seekers from many countries with optimum results.
Under U.S. laws, foreign nationals who have been persecuted or fear persecution in their home countries can benefit from the protection of the U.S. government. Asylum may be granted to foreigners who can establish a well-founded fear of persecution if they were returned to their home countries based upon their political opinion, race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.
Asylum can be granted to people just arriving in the U.S., or to people who are already physically in the country. If you are arriving in the U.S., you may ask for asylum at the port of entry. If you are already in the U.S. you or your attorney must prepare and file an I-589 form (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) within a year of your arrival, whether you are residing in the country legally or illegally.
Furthermore, in order to be granted asylum, you must present sufficient evidence or show proof that you were persecuted, or are at risk of persecution should you return to your home country.
You can also seek asylum as a defense to pending deportation proceedings. If you have been denied asylum by the Immigration Court in the past, you may be able to file a Motion to Reopen based on new evidence or circumstances. It can be very difficult to prove that you experienced persecution, especially because there is rarely documentary evidence of your persecution.
However, an experienced attorney who understands how to properly prepare, file, and present an asylum case and prepare and accompany you for the asylum interview can greatly increase your chances of obtaining asylum in the U.S.
Our clients have received asylum based on a number of reasons including the following examples:
- religious persecution, including persecution of Bahais, Jews, Christians, Sunni Muslims, Zoroastrians and Sufis or conversion to another religion, in Iran
- involuntary sterilization
- political opinion
- imputed political opinion
- domestic violence
- sexual orientation
- military conscription
- whistle blowing of government corruption
- membership in a family group
- ethnic persecution, including Kurds, Afghans, and Azeris in Iran.
For Farsi and Spanish asylum seekers, we offer comprehensive language services.
Naturalization is an extremely important process that requires the attention of an experienced citizenship and immigration attorney. At Manesh & Mizrahi we guide individuals from around the world through the naturalization process so that they can become U.S. citizens.
U.S. citizenship is obtained by one of two ways:
birth or naturalization. Unless you are born in the United States, or your parents were United States citizens at the time of your birth, you are required to go through the naturalization process to obtain citizenship.
At Manesh & Mizrahi, we will help you file important documents, review your citizenship application, handle any issues or problems that may arise, and prepare you for your interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
There are certain requirements you must meet in order to qualify for U.S. citizenship:
- You must have lived in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident for at least five years; if you are married to a U.S. citizen, you must have had permanent residency for three years.
- You were present in the U.S. for three of those five years.
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You did not make any other country your permanent home during your permanent residency in the U.S.
- You must have good character.
- You must be able to read, write, and speak English.
- You must know the history and government of the United States.
- You must pledge your allegiance to the United States and accept the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
There are many reasons people are placed into deportation or removal proceedings. Because of the complexity of the immigration laws and the procedural rules in immigration court, it is important to retain the services of an experienced immigration attorney as early in the process as possible. At Manesh & Mizrahi we have helped hundreds of clients through this difficult and complex process and obtained their legal right to remain in the United States.
We understand the worries, fears, and stress you and your family experience when faced with deportation. If you fear your immigration status is in jeopardy for whatever reason, please contact our offices today. We are dedicated to fighting your case and helping you file the appropriate petitions, obtain necessary documents and waivers, and file motions to reopen or appeal your case.
Removal proceedings against an alien are initiated when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) files the Notice to Appear (NTA), alleging a particular charge of removability, with the Immigration Court.
Once the alien is placed in removal proceedings, the alien has an opportunity to challenge the charges of removability and to apply for various forms of relief. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the following forms of relief:
- Cancellation of Removal
- Waivers for Charged Inadmissibility
- Adjustment of Status
- Withholding of Removal
- Protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT)
- Voluntary Departure
Eligibility for each listed relief varies according to the statute, the charge of removability lodged, and the personal situation of each alien. Please contact our offices for an assessment of your particular case.
Inadmissibility & Deportability
During the removal proceeding, the immigration judge makes a determination of whether the alien should be removed based on a ground of “inadmissibility,” or a ground of “deportability.” This determination generally turns on whether the alien has been “admitted” into the United States.
A ) Grounds of Inadmissibility:
The following grounds of inadmissibility under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act are the ones most frequently charged on the NTA in removal proceedings:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude;
- Drug crimes;
- Controlled substance trafficking;
- Multiple criminal convictions
- Aliens present without permission or parole
- Alien smugglers;
- Lack of documentation upon attempted admission to the United States;
B ) Grounds of Deportability:
The following are charges of deportability pursuant to section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act that are commonly lodged by the USCIS on the NTA:
- Inadmissible at time of admission or adjustment of status;
- Violation of non-immigrant status;
- Failure of an alien and the U.S. citizen spouse to file a joint petition to remove the condition at the end of the two years subsequent to becoming a conditional permanent resident;
- Marriage fraud;
- Conviction of crime involving moral turpitude within five years of admission where the sentence imposed may have been for one year or more;
- Two convictions for a crime involving moral turpitude
- Aggravated felony;
- Controlled substance conviction;
- Drug abusers and addicts deportable at any time after admission;
- Firearms offenses;
- Crimes of domestic violence, stalking, and violations of protection orders.
At Manesh & Mizrahi, our attorneys represent immigrants before a variety of immigration appellate forums including the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as well as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).
Appeals to the BIA:
If an immigration court denies your case, you have the right to appeal that decision. A local immigration judge’s decision is not always correct, and it is critical that you obtain prompt and intelligent analysis and advice regarding your case and whether an appeal is appropriate. While an alien has the right to appeal a decision of an immigration court, that right is subject to strict deadlines and filing requirements. You should consult an attorney to ensure you do not jeopardize your rights.
Our attorneys prepare detailed and thorough written arguments requiring sophisticated legal knowledge supporting your case. Since there are rarely any hearings or oral arguments during the appeal before the BIA, the written arguments we prepare for you are the best chance to persuade the BIA that the local judge incorrectly decided your case.
Federal Court Appeals:
If you have already been to immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals and have not had success, there is still one more option. We can bring your case to the federal courts. Contact Manesh & Mizrahi to learn more about appeals and motions to re-open cases.
Appeals to the AAO:
It is also possible to appeal certain denials of petitions filed with USCIS with the AAO. Alternatively, it may be possible to file an appeal to the BIA or a Motion to Reopen or Motion to Reconsider concerning denials of requests of other immigration benefits before USCIS. If you have received a denial of a requested immigration benefit, you please contact our offices to determine if an appeal to the AAO may be beneficial. If you are eligible for an appeal to the AAO, our attorneys will diligently file an application for appeal and prepare the required legal documents to support your appeal.
At Manesh & Mizrahi we are dedicated to providing you a second chance at obtaining the result you deserve. If you have a question or consultation regarding an appeal, contact us immediately. Time is critical in appeals cases; do not delay.