Immigration Law

Seasoned Jackson Attorney Helping Non-Citizens Seek Legal Status in the U.S.

The United States immigration process is a complex set of rules and regulations that are constantly evolving. People who wish to relocate to the U.S. can find themselves confused by their alternatives and unsure about which path is best for seeking residency, either temporarily or permanently. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer can help navigate the legalities and make sure each step is done correctly. Jackson attorney Robert P. Williams represents both individuals and organizations seeking to come to the U.S. He has assisted clients throughout Mississippi as well as in Tennessee cities like Memphis and Nashville. Mr. Williams can help determine what type of visa is necessary for your goals and work with you through all phases of the application process.

Temporary Employment Visas

There are different options available for organizations who want to bring employees into the U.S. and also for people wishing to work for an American employer. Temporary employment visas may be suitable depending on the nature of work sought by the organization or individual and an applicant’s expertise. A common example is the H-1B status, which is an option for people with a bachelor’s degree and a job offer in a field relevant to that education. A U.S. employer must submit the application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Individuals who have an extraordinary ability or expertise in their field may apply for an O-1 temporary visa, which requires extensive documentation regarding their qualifications in sciences, arts, educations, business, or athletics. Pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), moreover, a TN visa may be available to Canadian and Mexican residents who have job offers in the U.S. Additionally, E-1 or E-2 visas may allow a company or individual from one of the countries that has a treaty with the U.S. to obtain temporary status. This requires showing that at least 51 percent of the business’ trade is done with the U.S. or that an individual has substantial investments in this country.

Permanent Residency Based on Work

Every year, the United States grants permanent resident status based on employment to 140,000 individuals. Each applicant is given a specific preference level based on skill or education, and he or she must have a job offer in the U.S.

The process begins with an employer obtaining a “labor certification” from the DOL, after which the business files a petition with USCIS on behalf of the applicant. The applicant then files his or her own petition with USCIS for status as a lawful permanent resident. Each person’s status is divided among categories of preference, and each category has its own requirements regarding the evidence required. The first type of preference (EB1) applies to professionals with extraordinary abilities, while EB2 is for individuals with advanced degrees and work shown to be important to the U.S. EB3 preference is reserved for professionals or other workers who meet certain qualifications, and EB4 preference sets out categories of special workers in various fields. Lastly, EB5 is for individuals seeking permanent residence by making a substantial investment.

Discuss Your Immigration Needs with an Oxford Lawyer

Whether you are a foreign national pursuing an employment opportunity in the U.S., or a company in the Oxford area looking to expand its business, immigration attorney Robert P. Williams can assist you in furthering your goals. He offers capable guidance in all areas of immigration law and can help you determine what strategy is appropriate for your organization or you. Please contact our office today at (662) 234-3838 or through our online form to discuss your options.