Presentation on theme: "Spring 2011 Immigration/Employment Options After Student Status Art Serratelli, Esq. Vandeventer Black LLP Norfolk Richmond Raleigh."— Presentation transcript:
Spring 2011 Immigration/Employment Options After Student Status Art Serratelli, Esq. Vandeventer Black LLP Norfolk Richmond Raleigh Kitty Hawk
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What are the immigration rules? What should you say in a job interview about the rules? Does the employer have a Policyabout sponsoring work visas / work authorization? What are the major concerns / worries that employers have? How do you deal with them? What about a lawyer? Overview
1.Employment-based 2.Marriage to U.S. Citizen (Immediate) 3.Diversity Lottery 4.Family-based (Preference) ALSO: Asylum/Refugee 4 basic paths to obtain a green card What are the rules? OUR FOCUS: WORK STATUS AFTER OPT AND PRIOR TO THE GREEN CARD ON THE EMPLOYMENT PATH
Actions Status Green Card Big Picture (this example, via employment) Maintain F-1 status EnrollGraduateApply for H-1B Maintain H-1B status Start EB green card EB-2 EB-3 State DOL Fed DOL USCIS visa backlog (0-7 yrs) USCIS (6 mos to 2 yrs) USCIS (5 yrs) File I-140 File I-485 Green card U.S. Citizenship Enrolled in school F-1 status Temporary work status LPR status LPR pending LPR U.S. Citizenship OPT WorkH-1B or other lawful work status
Employment Step 1: F-1 or J-1 Step 2: OPT or AT Step 3: H-1B or other work visa Step 4: Green card based on employment 1 of 4 basic ways to obtain a green card What are the rules?
Bad news / Good news! 90 days of unemployment = bad – Proof: Journal of job search tasks, by day Paid work is BEST – Proof W-2, tax return Unpaid work is OK – Proof: Get a Letter Self-employment is OK –Proof: business license, 1099, tax return 1. Employment Step 2 A word about OPT
1. Employment Step 2 A word about OPT STEM & E-Verify: 17 Extra Months Database of companies Cant confirm the accuracy, but at least a place to start Most recent list: E-Verify participating companies (as self- reported)
Step 3 Post-OPT job search options a. H-1B [6 yrs] Requirements A job offer w/ a company with a proven track record, For a position that requires at least a 4 yr college degree, and You have the required degree 1. Employment
Step 3 Post-OPT job search options a. H-1B Features Subject to the 85,000 quota--lottery H-1B quota exempt jobs –Employed at U.S. institution of higher education, or related non-profit entity –Employed at non-profit research organization or (federal) government research organization
1. Employment Step 3 Post-OPT job search options a. H-1B Which companies are hiring?
1. Employment Step 3 Post-OPT job search options b. E-1/E-2 [2yrs or 4 yrs or 5 yrs+] Requirements Treaty between your country and U.S. U.S. company that hires you owned by a company (or people) from your home country White collar, skilled job c. E-3 – H-1B for Australians [2 yrs+]
1. Employment Step 3 Post-OPT job search options d. TN [3 yrs+] Requirements From Canada or Mexico Job-title specific – see list
1. Employment Step 3 Post-OPT job search options e. L-1A/L-1B [7 yrs / 5 yrs] Requirements Work overseas 1 full year, Transfer to affiliated U.S. company or branch office L-1A: manager or executive L-1B: specialized knowledge –Inside info * Leads to green card shortcut – EB1 jackpot!
1. Employment Step 3 Post-OPT job search options Even more options R-1 religious worker [5 yrs] G international organizations [vary] O-1 Extraordinary Ability [vary] P-1 Athlete/Entertainer [vary] A ambassador / embassy [vary] I journalist visa [vary]
1. Employment Step 3 Post-OPT job search options Entrepreneurs: Consider These Options Temporary Work Status Categories - - L-1A (new office start-up / business plan) - - E-1 / E-2 (purchase existing / start-up) - - TN or H-1B (company: ongoing concern?) - - Green Card Issues / Ownership Green Card Category - - EB-5 Investor Green Card
1. Employment Step 4 Employment-based green cards No Labor Certification Required [no advertising] Examples: - - EB-1 Outstanding Professor / Researcher - - EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) - - EB-1 Intracompany Transferee (L-1A uses this) Labor Certification Required [advertising] - - EB-2 and EB-3 PERM Process
1. Employment Want more information? Key internet resource glossy booklet (Post-OPT Job Search Summary Booklet)
Step 1 F-1 or J-1 Step 2 Green card based on marriage to U.S. citizen 2nd of 4 ways to get a green card 2. Marriage (Immediate)
Step 1 F-1 or J-1 Step 2 Green card based on diversity lottery Features 50,000 places each year for citizens of countries with few immigrants to the U.S If you are eligible, apply through during eligibility period Winners should act very carefully within one-year window of eligibility 3. DV Lottery 3rd of 4 ways to get a green card
4th of 4 ways to obtain a green card 4. Family (Preference) Step 1 F-1 or J-1 Step 2 Green card based on family member in U.S. Categories Unmarried sons and daughters (21+) of U.S. citizens Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters (21+) of LPRs Married sons and daughters (21+) of U.S. citizens Siblings of adult U.S. citizens * NOT GOODtakes too long!
What should you say in an interview? Any mention of H-1B & Quotas? Any mention of E-Verify? Any mention of OPT? Any mention of the green card? *HINTOn a first date, dont ask for marriage before the soup arrives You must balance The need to mention immigration (answer only TINY immigration questions) with The need to focus on your resume and unique job qualifications to get hired
What should you say in an interview? Slide of Shame It is a shame when U.S. employers ask an international student to explain U.S. immigration law! SHAME! Dont waste time you focus on getting hired; let your school or an immigration lawyer explain the law!
What should you say? Key internet resource The Art Serratelli version of the Janene Oettel Pamphlet ImmigrationGuideToHiringStudents pdf Want more information?
Employer Policy About Sponsorship? Large Companies - Most likely to have a formal policy regarding the hiring internationals. - If the policy is We Do Not Sponsorthen the odds of changing their minds is 90/10 against the student. - List of Companies That Sponsor Mid-Sized Companies - Most likely to have never hired internationals. - About a 50/50 chance that they will. Small Companies - Its like the Wild West – create your own frontier! - Theyll hire the best person for the company.
What Are the Worries of the Employer? - Sponsorship means were tied to this student for life, like being married. - We do not want to advertise for the job to make sure that no Americans are qualified and available - The paperwork is too hard; too time consuming. - Sponsoring costs too much. - What about the I-9? What do we do about that?
How Do You Address These Worries? Worry: Sponsorship means were tied to this student for life, like being married; divorce = pain Reply Sponsoring basically means getting permission from immigration to put a foreign- born person on a USA payroll. Once you get permission, you can treat me just like an American or a Green Card worker!
How Do You Address These Worries? Other Employer Worries We have to advertise before we sponsor, and we don't want to advertise. – NO: Advertising is only for the Green Card! Paperwork to sponsor is too complicated. – NO: Just 10 or so pieces of employer info; no documents What About the I-9? How do we complete that? – The immigration lawyer will guide you Fees for USCIS and a lawyer are too expensive. – NO: Except for 1 fee (for only the H-1B subject to the quota) that the employer must pay, everything is negotiable
What about a lawyer? 1. Lawyer must be a member of AILA 2. Lawyer should exclusively practice immigration law 3. Only pay a fixed legal fee 4. Pick a lawyer via references 4 tips to choosing an immigration lawyer (if you have to...)
Contact information Arthur Serratelli, Esquire Partner & Chair, Immigration Law Group Vandeventer Black LLP Phone (direct line):