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Spring 2011. Immigration/Employment Options After Student Status. Art Serratelli, Esq. Vandeventer Black LLP immigration_art@yahoo.com. Norfolk Richmond Raleigh Kitty Hawk. www.facebook.com/immigration.art “Friend Request”. Immigration Art

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slide1

Spring 2011

Immigration/Employment Options After Student Status

Art Serratelli, Esq.

Vandeventer Black LLP

immigration_art@yahoo.com

Norfolk Richmond Raleigh Kitty Hawk

slide3

Immigration Art

“Like” Our Page on Facebook

slide4

Overview

  • What are the immigration rules?
  • What should you say in a job interview about the rules?
  • Does the employer have a “Policy”about “sponsoring” work visas / work authorization?
  • What are the “major concerns / worries” that employers have? How do you deal with them?
  • What about a lawyer?
slide5

What are the rules?

4 basic paths to obtain a green card

  • Employment-based
  • Marriage to U.S. Citizen (Immediate)
  • Diversity Lottery
  • Family-based (Preference)
  • ALSO: Asylum/Refugee

OUR FOCUS: WORK STATUS AFTER OPT AND PRIOR

TO THE GREEN CARD ON THE EMPLOYMENT PATH

slide6

Green Card Big Picture

(this example, via employment)

Enroll

Graduate

Apply for H-1B

Maintain H-1B status

Maintain F-1 status

Actions

File

I-140

Green

card

File

I-485

U.S.

Citizenship

Start EB green card

USCIS

visa

backlog

(0-7 yrs)

USCIS

(6 mos

to

2 yrs)

EB-2

EB-3

State

DOL

Fed

DOL

USCIS

(5 yrs)

U.S.

Citizenship

LPR

pending

OPT Work

H-1B or other lawful work status

Enrolled in school

LPR

Status

F-1 status

F-1 status

Temporary work status

LPR status

slide7

What are the rules?

1 of 4 basic ways to obtain a green card

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

slide8

1. Employment

Step 2 A word about OPT

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
slide9

1. Employment

  • Step 2 A word about OPT

STEM & E-Verify: 17 Extra Months

Database of companies

  • Can’t confirm the accuracy, but at least a place to start
  • Most recent list:

E-Verify participating companies (as self-reported)

www.smartbusinesspractices.com

slide10

1. Employment

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
slide11

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
slide12

1. Employment

Step 3 Post-OPT job search options

a. H-1B Which companies are hiring? www.myvisajobs.com

slide13

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+]

slide14

1. Employment

Step 3 Post-OPT job search options

d. TN [3 yrs+]

Requirements

  • From Canada or Mexico
  • Job-title specific – see list
slide15

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!

slide16

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]
slide17

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

slide18

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

slide19

1. Employment

Want more information?

Key internet resource— “glossy booklet”

(Post-OPT Job Search Summary Booklet)

www.vanblk.com/documents/ImmigrationLawsforBusinessBooklet05.pdf

www.facebook.com/immigration.art

slide20

2. Marriage (Immediate)

2nd of 4 ways to get a green card

Step 1F-1 or J-1

Step 2Green card based on marriage to U.S. citizen

slide21

3. DV Lottery

3rd of 4 ways to get a green card

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 www.travel.state.gov during eligibility period
  • Winners should act very carefully within one-year window of eligibility
slide22

4. Family (Preference)

4th of 4 ways to obtain a green card

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 GOOD—takes too long!

slide23

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?

*HINT—On a first date, don’t 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
slide24

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!
  • Don’t waste time— you focus on getting hired; let your school or an immigration lawyer explain the law!
slide25

What should you say?

Want more information?

Key internet resource—

The Art Serratelli version of the “Janene Oettel Pamphlet”

http://www.vanblk.com/Resources/documents/

ImmigrationGuideToHiringStudents11242008.pdf

www.facebook.com/immigration.art

slide26

Employer Policy About “Sponsorship?”

Large Companies

- Most likely to have a formal policy regarding the hiring internationals.

- If the policy is “We Do Not Sponsor”then the odds of changing their minds is 90/10 against the student.

- List of “Companies That Sponsor” www.myvisajobs.com

Mid-Sized Companies

- Most likely to have never hired internationals.

- About a 50/50 chance that they will.

Small Companies

- It’s like the Wild West – create your own frontier!

- They’ll hire the best person for the company.

slide27

What Are the Worries of the Employer?

- “Sponsorship” means we’re 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?

slide28

How Do You Address These Worries?

Worry: “Sponsorship” means we’re 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!
slide29

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
slide30

What about a lawyer?

4 tips to choosing an immigration lawyer

(if you have to . . .)

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

slide32

Contact information

Arthur Serratelli, Esquire

Partner & Chair, Immigration Law Group

Vandeventer Black LLP

Phone (direct line): 757-235-4624

E-mail: immigration_art@yahoo.com

www.facebook.com/immigration.art