Aventura & Sunny Isles Beach Immigration Attorney

Many Florida residents hail from other countries and as a result are required to obtain visas and green cards, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. Immigration is a notoriously difficult area of the law to navigate, so if you or a loved one needs to adjust your own legal status, it is important to contact an experienced Sunny Isles Beach and Aventura immigration attorney who can help explain the process.

Employment-Based Immigration

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 140,000 visas are set aside each year for use by individuals seeking to immigrate for business purposes. In order to be eligible for employment-based residency, the applicant must fall under one of five categories, including:

  • Priority workers;
  • Professionals holding advanced degrees and those with exceptional abilities;
  • Skilled and unskilled workers;
  • Special immigrants; and
  • Employment creators.

Priority workers include those with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, or education, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives. All must provide documentary evidence of their achievements, and anyone applying under the latter two categories must have a job offer from a U.S. employer at the time of application.

Included within the second employment-based preference category are those holding advanced degrees, those with a baccalaureate degree and five years of work experience in a particular field, and those with exceptional abilities. Exceptional ability is defined as having a degree of expertise that is significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.

Both skilled and unskilled workers are included under the third category. Skilled workers must be employed in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or work experience, while unskilled workers are those considered capable of filling positions that do not have such requirements. Holders of baccalaureate degrees also fall under this category. Additionally, applications require certification from a prospective employer before the petition can be filed.

Special immigrants are not required to obtain labor certification and include:

  • Broadcasters;
  • Religious ministers;
  • Translators;
  • Other religious workers; and

Investors may be able to qualify for permanent residency under the fifth category, which is reserved for those investing in new commercial enterprises in the U.S. To qualify, foreign nationals are required to invest minimum amounts in commercial enterprises. Applicants must show that they invested at least:

  • $1,000,000; or
  • $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area.

Qualifying investments must also create full-time jobs for at least ten people within two years. This does not include the investor’s family members.

Family-Based Immigration

Many individuals are also eligible for permanent residency based on their relationships to family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Those who fall under this category may qualify for a green card if they have parents, a spouse, or children who are U.S. citizens. Close relatives that are not considered immediate family members may also apply for a visa, although they will be restricted by a yearly quota.

Future spouses of U.S. citizens are also allowed to achieve temporary residency as long as the marriage takes place within three months after arrival. After the marriage, the immigrant spouse can apply to adjust his or her status and become a legal permanent resident.

Immigration is a complex area of the law. If you need help with your own immigration issues, please contact the Law Offices of Alex T. Barak, at 954-289-6298 and our Aventura beach Immigration attorneys will help you schedule an initial consultation at our Aventura office.