Employment-based Immigration

The Masliah Firm represents foreign nationals seeking to immigrate permanently to the United States pursuant to an employment-based category, including foreign nationals benefiting from an employer petition or filing a self-petition on their own.  We also routinely represent universities, financial institutions, design companies, manufacturing companies, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and other entities that wish to file an employment-based petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as the first step of a foreign national’s path to permanent residence in the United States.

An employment-based petition may be filed on behalf of a foreign national who qualifies under any of the following categories:

Priority Workers

  • Aliens of Extraordinary Ability – for individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. In this category, a foreign national may self-petition.
  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers – for researchers or professors who are internationally recognized as “outstanding” in a specific academic area.
  • Multinational Executives and Managers – for executives or managers who have been employed abroad by a multinational and are  being transferred permanently to assume an executive or managerial position in the U.S. subsidiary, affiliate or branch office.

Members of Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Aliens of Exceptional Ability

  • Advanced Degree Holders – for foreign nationals who have a Master’s degree or its equivalent. This category requires an approved Labor Certification Application, commonly referred to as a PERM application, by which the petitioning employers have proven to the satisfaction of the Department of Labor that there are no minimally qualified US workers available to fill the offered positions.
  • Exceptional Ability – for foreign nationals who have a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered. Approved Labor Certifications are also required to support petitions in this category unless it is proved that it would be in the national interest for the foreign nationals to be exempt from the Labor Certification requirement.

Skilled Workers, Professionals and Other Workers

  • Professionals/Skilled Workers – for foreign nationals who possess baccalaureate degrees or who are members of skilled professions, i.e., those requiring at least two years of experience. An approved Labor Certification Application is required for this category

PERM (Program Electronic Review Management process)

  • As described above, many employment-based immigration petitions must be supported by a Certified Application for Labor Certification (known as a PERM.)   We work closely with employers to learn the details about the position which is the subject of the Application, to learn the minimum requirements for the position, to obtain a prevailing wage from the Department of Labor for the position, to guide the employer through all the steps of the mandated recruitment process, to prepare the required supporting documentation for the application and, finally, to prepare and to electronically submit the Application.

Nonimmigrant Work Visas

Obtaining one of several nonimmigrant statuses allows a foreign national to reside in the United States for a temporary period in order to pursue a specific and well-defined purpose.  The majority of the nonimmigrant classifications are based upon an employer-employee relationship between a U.S. company or entity and a foreign national.

Typically, the first step to obtain a nonimmigrant status is for a petition to be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting that the foreign national be classified in the appropriate nonimmigrant category.  Most of the categories require that the petition be filed by a prospective employer or agent. The petition must be supported by sufficient evidence to satisfy the statutory and regulatory requirements of the requested classification.

If the foreign national is in the United States when the petition is filed, it may be possible to request that their status be changed to the new non-immigrant status.  If the foreign national is abroad or may not be eligible for change of status in the U.S., they will be required to apply, after the petition has been approved, for the nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her country so that s/he may be then admitted to the U.S. in the appropriate non-immigrant status..

Our attorneys know that each situation has its own nuances that require particular attention and care.  We work with the employer and its foreign national employees to analyze each case, evaluate the most appropriate nonimmigrant classification for each individual, and prepare and submit the petition and supporting evidence to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The following nonimmigrant classifications permit foreign nationals to work in the United States on a temporary basis:

  • E-1 – for an individual from a treaty country seeking to come to the United States temporarily to engage in trade of a substantial nature, primarily between the United States and the country of the individual’s nationality. The trade involved must be international exchange (successfully negotiated contracts binding on all parties) of items of trade between the U.S. and a treaty country.
  • E-2 – for an individual from a treaty country seeking to come to the United States temporarily to direct and develop the operations of an ongoing business enterprise in which they, or a corporation which is majority-owned by citizens of the country of which the foreign national is a citizen,  has invested, or is in the process of investing, substantial capital. . The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.
  • E-3 – for a citizen of Australia coming to the U.S. to be employed in a specialty occupation (defined below.)
  • H-1B – for a person engaged in a specialty occupation, i.e. a position requiring a minimum of a bachelor degree in a specific field, for an initial period of three years which may be extended to a maximum of six years. This category also includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.
  • H-2B – for a position that is truly temporary in nature, usually seasonal job or  jobs arising from an intermittent or unexpected need. The U.S. Department of Labor must first certify the unavailability of U.S. workers for the position.
  • H-3 – for a foreign national seeking to attend a trainee program in the U.S. This non-immigrant classification is mostly used by firms and companies working with trainees from a parent or subsidiary abroad wanting to give more and different kind of work experience to the foreign national. An H-3 trainee cannot receive any graduate medical education or training in the U.S., must demonstrate that the training is not available in their home country, and that training is needed to advance their career outside the United States. The petition must include a highly structured and organized training program that prepares the trainee for a position abroad.
  • J-1 – for a foreign national offered a cultural and educational exchange opportunity in the United States through a variety of programs overseen by the U.S. State Department. These include internships, trainee programs, and research scholar opportunities.
  • L-1 – for an employee of a multinational company who is being transferred to the U.S. The L-1 employee must have been employed by the foreign parent company or foreign subsidiary of the U.S. petitioning employer in either an executive/managerial capacity (L-1A) or in a position requiring specialized knowledge (L-1B) for at least one of the past three years.  The employment in the U.S. must also be in an executive or managerial capacity or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.
  • O-1  – for a foreign national of extraordinary ability or achievement in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.  Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means having achieved distinction – a high level of achievement in the arts demonstrated by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered.  Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.  Extraordinary achievement with respect to motion picture and television productions means a very high level of accomplishment in the motion picture or television industry evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered.
  • P-1 – for an internationally recognized athlete or a member of an internationally recognized entertainment group.
  • P-2 – for a performer or for groups of entertainers or artists performing under a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and their home nation.
  • P-3 – for an artist or an entertainer who is part of a culturally unique program.
  • R-1 – for a religious worker coming to the United States to work as a minister of religion, or in a religious vocation or occupation. The religious worker must have been a member of a religious denomination having a nonprofit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately prior to the filing of the petition.
  • TN-1 – for certain Canadian and Mexican professionals who seek to enter the United States for the purpose of temporary employment.

Corporate Compliance

The Masliah Firm represents employers in relation to both nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions filed on behalf of current and future employees.  We provide advice regarding compliance with the complex regulations promulgated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of State.  We work closely with employers to understand their corporate structures and business models.  This allows us to offer ongoing support and guidance in connection with their immigration matters.  We represent financial institutions, universities, design firms, ecommerce companies, hospitals, manufacturing firms, and all types of organizations, both for profit and non-profit.  We pride ourselves on our detailed knowledge of our corporate clients’  businesses and  on our individual approach to their specific immigration needs.