Tag: visa

NAVIGATING THE SPOTLIGHT – A GUIDE TO P VISAS FOR ATHLETES AND ENTERTAINERS

NAVIGATING THE SPOTLIGHT – A GUIDE TO P VISAS FOR ATHLETES AND ENTERTAINERS

Embarking on a career in sports or entertainment is a thrilling journey, but the path to international recognition comes with its own set of challenges. In this guide, we’ll explore the specialized world of P Visas, designed to cater specifically to athletes and entertainers. Understanding the nuances of these visas is crucial for a successful and smooth immigration journey. P Visas, short for “Performance Visas,” come in various types, with the primary categories being P-1, P-2, and P-3. These visas are designed to accommodate individuals and groups in the fields of athletics and entertainment.

Understanding P Visas

In the realm of athletes, the P-1A visa caters to professional athletes who have achieved recognition at an international level. This includes both individual athletes and members of athletic teams. For entertainers, there are two key categories: P-2 visas for those involved in reciprocal exchange programs and P-3 visas for those engaged in culturally unique performances or presentations.

Eligibility Criteria

To initiate the P Visa application process, thorough documentation is essential. For athletes, this may include evidence of achievements, contracts, and itineraries, while entertainers should provide details about the exchange program or cultural significance of their performances. The petition process involves filing Form I-129, along with supporting documents, through the U.S. employer or sponsoring organization. It’s crucial to start the application process well in advance to ensure timely approval.

Application Process

Benefits of P Visas include flexibility in travel, allowing athletes and entertainers to pursue opportunities across borders. Additionally, these visas permit the inclusion of essential support staff and immediate family members under certain conditions. However, it’s essential to note that P Visas are temporary for eligible artists, entertainers, and their staff. Individuals must have a sponsor in the United States regarding the event or ongoing events, demonstrating eligibility and qualifications as an athlete or entertainer. Moreover, applicants need to prove they have a foreign residence they will return to after the visa ends.

Benefits and Limitations

Understanding the intricacies of P Visas is your passport to a seamless immigration experience. Whether you’re an athlete aiming for victory or an entertainer ready to dazzle audiences, the P Visa provides the platform for your talent to shine on the global stage.

DECODING THE LANGUAGE OF IMMIGRATION: A GUIDE TO COMMON TERMS

DECODING THE LANGUAGE OF IMMIGRATION: A GUIDE TO COMMON TERMS

Embarking on an immigration journey can feel like learning a new language, with a plethora of terms and phrases that might seem perplexing at first. Let’s unravel the mystery and make sense of common immigration terms.

Green Card: Your Ticket to Permanency

A “green card” isn’t just a color; it’s a symbol of permanency in the U.S. Holding a green card allows individuals to reside in the country indefinitely, opening doors to various opportunities. Whether through family sponsorship, employment, or other avenues, obtaining a green card signifies a significant milestone in one’s immigration journey.

Naturalization: The Path to Citizenship

When we talk about “naturalization,” we’re discussing the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. It’s the final step in the immigration journey, granting the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. Eligibility for naturalization typically includes meeting residency requirements, demonstrating good moral character, and passing a citizenship test.

Asylum: Seeking Shelter and Protection

“Asylum” is a term that echoes the pursuit of safety and protection. Individuals may seek asylum if they fear persecution in their home country, providing a legal avenue for refuge in the United States. Navigating the asylum process involves proving a credible fear of persecution, often requiring legal assistance to present a compelling case.

Deportation: Facing the Possibility of Departure

On the flip side, “deportation” is a term none wish to encounter. It refers to the process of being sent out of the country due to legal violations. Navigating the complexities of immigration rules can help avoid this outcome. Seeking legal counsel and understanding the grounds for deportation, such as criminal convictions or visa violations, is crucial for safeguarding one’s status.

Visa: Permission to Enter

A “visa” is like a golden ticket granting permission to enter the U.S. It comes in various types, each serving a unique purpose, from work visas to family-sponsored visas. Understanding the nuances of visa categories is vital for choosing the right path. Work visas allow individuals to contribute to the U.S. economy, while family-sponsored visas reunite loved ones.

Understanding these terms is akin to having a trusty guide through the intricate landscape of immigration regulations. It not only empowers individuals to know their rights but also facilitates smoother communication with immigration officials.

What is an H-1B visa?

Unlocking the H-1B Visa: Discover the essential details of this U.S. work visa for foreign graduates in specialized fields.

H-1B visas are temporary worker visas used by U.S. companies to employ foreign college graduates, or higher, who have degrees in a specialized field, also referred to as a specialty occupation. The employer’s position must require specialized knowledge gained from a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, to qualify. There are very specific requirements to be eligible for an H-1B visa, and government frequently questions whether a position meets them, and we work with our clients to submit fully complete applications.

 

If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call (617-744-7919) or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.

Have you ever overstayed and left the US?

Overstayed in the US? Learn about re-entry restrictions and I-601 waivers for legal immigration options in this article.If you’ve overstayed more than 6 months in the US, and you leave, you will not be able to re-enter the US legally for 3 years, unless you are granted an I-601 waiver. If you’ve overstayed more than 1 year in the US, and you leave, you will not be able to re-enter the US legally for 10 years, unless you are granted an I-601 waiver. If you applied for a visa after you overstayed and left the visa, you’ll most likely be asked about this issue. If you tell them about your overstay, you may be ineligible for a visa, for now. If you lie about your prior stay in the US, and the US finds out, you will be ineligible to enter the US due to fraud, unless you are granted an I-601 waiver for fraud. 

 

If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call (617-766-0214) or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.

Have you entered the US without visas?

Entered the US without visas? Learn about I-601A waivers for obtaining a green card at a US embassy. Generally, it’s a problem if you entered the US without a visa (or without ESTA). If you last entered the US more than six months ago without a visa, then you are probably not eligible to get a green card from within the US. You’ll have to get an I-601A and get your green card at a US embassy. If you entered the US at some point, and then later entered the US with a visa, you may have a fraud problem. That is, in order to get a visa to the US, the US generally asks if you’ve ever been in the US and how you entered. If you told the US that you entered without a visa that will make it unlikely that you’ll be granted a visa. If you were asked about prior entries to the US and you did not disclose the entry without a visa, you’ll have a fraud problem that will require an I-601 waiver (not I-601A waiver). 

If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call (617-766-0214) or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.

Which visas cause problems for marriage-based green card applications?

Visas cause Problems for Marriage-Based Green Card: Restrictions and Waivers Explained for Certain Visa Holders. Cambridge Immigration LawCertain types of visas do not allow you to apply for a green card from the United States or do not allow you to apply for a green card in the United States without a waiver. 

If you have entered the US on the following visas, you cannot apply for a green card from the United States unless you are eligible for a “246i” waiver:

  • C/D crew visa
  • K fiancé visa
  • S visa
  • Transit entry (no visa)

If you entered the US on an “ESTA” or tourist visa waiver program, you cannot apply for a green card from the US unless you are a qualified “immediate relative” (such as a spouse of a US citizen) or you are eligible for a “245i” waiver

If you entered the US (this entry or any entry) on J-visa with the two-year home residency and you have NOT resided in your home country for two years since you last left the US, you are not eligible to get a green card from in the US or from an embassy unless you are eligible for a waiver. Depending in the basis of your waiver, you may be able to file for the waiver and the green card at the same time, which saves over waiting for the approval of the waiver to submit your green card application. 

If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call (617-766-0214) or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.

 

Why can’t you plan to enter the US with a nonimmigrant visa and apply for a green card?

Understanding Nonimmigrant Visas: Why You Can't Enter the US on a Temporary Visa and Apply for a Green CardUS immigration law separates visas into three categories: nonimmigrant intent visa; immigrant-intent visa; and dual-intent visas. Nonimmigrant intent means that you intend to enter the US for a specific time for a specific approved purpose and then you will return to your home country. Immigrant intent means that you plan to enter the US to live in the US permanently. Dual-intent means that you will enter the US on a visa set for a specific time and for a specific purpose, but if you decide to try to remain permanently with a green card, it’s fine. 

The problem comes in the difference between nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas. If you tell the US government that you’re going to leave, then the US will hold you to that, unless something changes after you enter the US. You’ve seen this situation before: Your friend has been dating someone from France for years. On this last trip to the US, the French citizen and your friend decide they cannot continue the long-distance relationship and they unexpectedly elope. With the help of an amazing legal team like ours, your friend applies for a green card for the spouse, and voila, the couple has the green card. 

But, you just met with my law firm and you don’t understand why this won’t work for you, a US citizen living in the US, and your Brazilian girlfriend. She’s not in the US yet, but she has a tourist visa in her passport. You want her to quit her job, close up her apartment, bring her dog, travel to the US, and stay because you will apply for a green card for her. That’s not allowed; whether it should be (yes!) is another issue. You simply cannot enter the US on a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa with the intention of applying for a green card to stay permanently. 

If your girlfriend happens to end up in the US, come talk to us. We will see if things have changed since she last entered so that the two of you would be eligible to apply for a marriage-based green card. 

If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call (617-766-0214) or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.

Disclosing Criminal Histories on Immigration Applications: What You Should Know

The United States requires all applicants for immigration benefits to disclose information about their criminal history, whether applying for a visa, green card, or U.S. citizenship. If you have a criminal record, this can be worrying. 

If you have any criminal history–even if you were never arrested nor convicted of anything–you should consult with an attorney about the immigration consequences of your criminal history. Having a criminal history does not necessarily mean your application will be denied. If you are eligible to apply for any immigration benefits, you must report your criminal history honestly and accurately. Omitting information, changing information, and other ways to misrepresent your criminal history could result in the US government charging you with misrepresentation, which is a problem to overcome. 

Here’s what you need to know.

Disclose your full criminal history

You should disclose any criminal conviction, arrest, or charge on your immigration petition unless advised otherwise by a qualified immigration attorney. In most cases, you should disclose a conviction even if the record is expunged or sealed. 

If you have a juvenile record, you should consult with an attorney about whether it needs to be disclosed, even if a court sealed the record. Some juvenile issues are not considered criminal. Others are considered criminal. Even if considered criminal, the issue may not negatively affect your eligibility for immigration benefits. There is an exception to ineligibility for immigration benefits based on a crime of moral turpitude if you were under 18 when the crime took place and took place over five years ago. 

How the USCIS evaluates criminal histories

Some crimes disqualify you for all immigration benefits. Some crimes require you to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. Some crimes have no statutory effect on your immigration status, but will be considered in the total discretionary analysis of you as an application for immigration benefits. 

What to do if you have a criminal history 

You must consult with an experienced immigration attorney before applying for any immigration benefit through USCIS, the Department of State or the Immgration Court. 

As an immigration lawyer, I can assess how your criminal history might affect your application and how you should disclose the history on your application. My work with clients around the world and in the U.S. helps make complicated immigration procedures and paperwork go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Proposed “Extreme Vetting” Topics

AILA recently posted the following information about DOS’s proposed supplemental questions for visa applications from certain nations:

 

The proposed questions includes (quoting from AILA below):

“[T]he new ‘extreme vetting’ questions for certain non-immigrants applying for visas through the consulates. State is requesting emergency review and approval from OMB by May 18, which would be valid for 180 days. Comments on the emergency request are due May 18th. Some key language from the notice is below:

The Department proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in an application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:

  • Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel;
  • Address history during the last fifteen years;
  • Employment history during the last fifteen years;
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant;
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings;
  • Name and dates of birth for all children;
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners;
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years; and
  • Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.

 

Most of this information is already collected on visa applications but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and, for some applicants, children are new. The request for social media identifiers and associated platforms is new for the Department of State, although it is already collected on a voluntary basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for certain individuals. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi).

Applicants may be asked to recount or explain the details of their travel, and when possible, provide supporting documentation.” Quote from AILA.org, May 4, 2017.

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Marriage-Based Green Card Document Guide

We work hard to make your immigration case easy for you. Use this easy guide to help you organize the documents that you would use if you are eligible to submit an application for a marriage-based green card application. You should consult with an attorney to figure out if you are eligible for a green card before you submit any applications or documents to the U.S. government.