At Nelson and Associates immigration lawyers, we assist a range of clients with a wide variety of immigration concerns. Today, though, we want to focus on immigration law for businesses. What do you need to know as an employer?
Immigration Lawyers Answer Questions on Immigration For Businesses
Q: Why do I need a business immigration lawyer?
A: There are a number of reasons why you may need a business immigration lawyer. Some examples include:
- If you are bringing over an employee from another country to work at your company, that individual requires a visa. A business immigration lawyer can help to get the application process started, to answer any questions you may have about the process, and to offer advice on the application process. Your attorney can also help with any obstacles or problems that you may experience.
- If you hire overseas immigrants to work at your company, you may also need an immigration attorney if any questions arise about the validity of their documentation.
- If an overseas employee at your business is being subjected to unfair treatment, your business immigration attorney can also help you to help that employee.
- If you feel that your company is being subjected to unfair investigation, treatment, or suspicion based on your hiring of overseas employees, your business immigration attorney can help.
- Transferring a foreign employee from one branch of your company to another – this may sound like an easy process, but you still have to follow specific protocols to ensure that your employee has the correct documentation and that your company has the correct paperwork. Without the correct paperwork, your company may be subjected to legal proceedings for hiring an illegal immigrant.
Q: How long does the business immigration visa process take?
A: The average timeframe for a business immigration visa to be processed is around six weeks, however, that timeframe can be influenced by a number of factors. For example, a backlog of cases can cause your application to be delayed. Additionally, the current closings due to Coronavirus are causing extended delays on top of existing backlogs. Having a business immigration attorney can help to ensure that your business immigration visa is processed in a timely manner by avoiding mistakes and making sure that you provide all of the necessary information needed to process your paperwork.
Q: I have to fire an immigrant employee, do I need the advice of an immigration attorney?
A: Yes, it’s definitely advisable to consult with an immigration attorney if you are downsizing and need to fire an employee from overseas. There are specific regulations that apply to U.S. immigration law as well as U.S. labor law and as an employer, you have to ensure that you are aware of and abide by those laws. It’s also important to be aware of any ramifications that could accompany your decision to let go of an immigrant employee and your attorney can help you to understand those consequences.
Q: I unintentionally hired an illegal immigrant and I just found out about their status, what should I do?
A: Contact a business immigration attorney right away to discuss your current position and the possible ramifications of your actions. An immigration attorney can also help you to determine what avenue is best for you to take when handling this type of situation.
Q: A foreign investor wants to invest a significant amount of money in my business in return for a green card…is this legal?
A: There are opportunities available for immigrants seeking to invest in U.S. businesses to obtain a green card, however, there are strict regulations on this type of situation. If a foreign investor has approached you with this type of situation, it’s best to consult an immigration attorney.
In general, though, there are three options for immigrants looking to invest in U.S. businesses to obtain a green card:
- EB-5 Regional Center Investment
- EB-5 Direct Investment
- E-2 Work Visa
The EB-5 regional center investment program requires an investment of $500,000 U.S. in an EB-5 government-approved regional center for approximately five years. This investment must also provide work for 10 American workers for a span of 2 years. With this type of investment, your money is invested in someone else’s commercial venture which means that it is at risk
The EB-5 direct investment program requires an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in an area with high unemployment rates) into your own business in the U.S. This business must employ at least 10 Americans for a period of at least 2 years. This type of visa takes approximately 18 months to process, but it can be combined with the E-2 work visa.
The E-2 work visa program is the fastest method of getting into the U.S. on an employment visa. This visa is only available if your native country has an investment treaty with the U.S. An E-2 work visa requires that you both own and work for the company in question. The amount that you must invest in this business depends on the industry and sector of the business you are forming in the United States. This investment ranges from approximately $75,000 to $200,000+. E-2 visas are given for as long as 5 years and they can be indefinitely renewed.
Are You Searching For Immigration Lawyers in Pasadena?
If you’re in the market for an immigration attorney in or around Pasadena, California, Nelson and Associates can help! Just give us a call at 626-683-3451 and set up your first appointment with our legal experts today!