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Our Full-Service Immigration Practice
Immigration law matters, from employment and family visas to green cards and citizenship, can be complex. No matter what issue you face, your case can benefit from the advice, guidance and advocacy of an experienced immigration lawyer.
At Ellahie & Farooqui LLP, we have a robust, full-service immigration law practice, representing businesses, organizations and individuals from around the world with their legal matters.
Types of Immigration Services
We have the talent and tools to handle all types of immigration law matters, including:
- Nonimmigrant visa services— including H-1 business visas, student visas, temporary/visitor visas and employment-based permanent residences
- Family immigration — including family-based visa petitions, marriage-based adjustments of status, fiancé/fiancée visas and applications for permanent residence
- Green cards
- Citizenship and naturalization
- Relief from removal proceedings
- Deportation defense
We are diligent in our approach to clients' cases, reviewing applications, waivers and other documents with painstaking attention to detail.
We use the latest immigration software to assist in processing applications and other paperwork, and work remotely with clients located all over the world.
Call our firm at 408-294-0404 or, send us an email.
Nonimmigrant Visa Services
Nonimmigrant visas are temporary visas that allow an individual to enter the United States for a specific reason, such as for employment or to attend school. Visas are granted for three years, with the ability to extend an additional three years in some circumstances. Visa applications can be cumbersome to complete, but an experienced immigration lawyer can simplify the process.
Individuals, families and businesses can turn to Ellahie & Farooqui LLP for their immigration law needs. We offer professional nonimmigrant visa services to clients worldwide from our location in San Jose, California. Our comprehensive practice includes the following types of cases:
- H-1B visas for specialty occupation workers
- L-1A visas for executives/managers
- L-1B specialized skill workers’ visas
- E-1/E-2 treaty trader/investor visas
- E-3 visas for Australian workers
- F-1 student visas
- B-1/B-2 visas for visitors
- J-1 no objection waivers
- J-1 persecution, hardship visas
- K-1 overseas fiancé/fiancée visas
- O-1 visas for persons of extraordinary ability
- P-1 entertainer/athlete visas
- R-1 visas for religious workers
- T-visas for victims of human trafficking
Our legal team has the knowledge and experience required to assist with your immigration needs, no matter how complex.
Contact us today at 408-294-0404 or by email to discuss your case.
We offer volume discounts to businesses with more than five H petitions and to families with multiple members filing for visas.
Our Immigration lawyers can assist you in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi.
Green Card Attorneys
When seeking a green card or U. S. citizenship for yourself, a fiancé or a family member living outside of the country, the application process can be difficult and confusing on your own. An experienced immigration law attorney can help. Ellahie & Farooqui, LLP provides comprehensive business and family immigration representation to clients in the Bay Area and worldwide.
Types of Visas and Green Cards
- Immigrant visas or green cards
- Green card renewals
- Family (spouse, child, parent or sibling) sponsorship I-130 petition
- Family sponsorship I-130/adjustment of status I-485/EAD/AP package
- PERM labor certifications
- EB-2/EB-3 worker I-140 petitions
- EB-1A for persons of extraordinary ability
- EB-1Bs for outstanding professors/researchers
- EB-1Cs for executives/managers
- National interest waivers (NIW)
- EB-4s for religious workers
- Adjustments of status
- Naturalization (citizenship)
Green Card Application Process
The process for obtaining a green card varies depending on whether the green card is employment or family related.
For employment-based green card applications, the sponsor or employer fills out the initial application forms and the I-14 form on behalf of the employee. Once approved, the employee then files for green card status. We can explain and guide clients through the process.
For family-based green card applications, a family member, who is already a U.S. citizen, can file the I-130 petition to establish his or her relationship with the family member who is seeking entry into the country. Once approved, the official green card process begins. Once green cards are approved, applicants can then file for U.S. citizenship. Some applications take longer to process than others, and we work diligently on your behalf to get your green card or citizenship application approved. If you have a criminal issue, it could be detrimental to your efforts toward a green card or citizenship. Contact us immediately for an appointment to discuss your options.
Our goal is to process your application as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible — while also aggressively advocating for your case. Contact us by calling 408-294-0404 or send an email.
Our immigration attorneys and counselors speak Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi.
You can access the governments on-line immigration forms here.
Estimating Visa and Green Card Costs
How much will it cost to get my green card or visa? This is a key question for every family or business. Although each green card application or any other immigration issue is unique, below are estimated ranges for common applications.
Immigrant (Green Card) Visa Costs
Family (Spouse, Child, Parent or Sibling) Sponsorship I-130 Petition – $1,200
Family Sponsorship I-130/Adjustment of Status I-485/EAD/AP Package – $2,500 ($4,000 for 2)
PERM Labor Certifications – $2,400 to $3,000 depending on negotiated volume discount,
EB-2/EB-3 Worker I-140 Petition – $1,200 to $1,600 depending on negotiated volume discount
EB-1A Persons of Extraordinary Ability – $4,600
EB-1B Outstanding Professors/Researchers – $4,600
EB-1C Executives/Managers – $4,200
National Interest Waivers (NIW) – $4,600
EB-4 Religious Workers – $4,000
Adjustment of Status – $1,200 primary applicant $1000 dependent (EAD/AP adds an additional $250)
Green Card Renewal: $500
Naturalization and Certification of Citizenship Cases
Naturalization (Citizenship) – $1,000 – $1,800
Non-Immigrant Visa Costs
H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers – $750 to $1,250 (volume discount is available).
L-1A Executives/Managers – $3,600 to $4,200(volume discount is available).
L-1B Specialized Skill Workers – $3,600 to $4,200 (volume discount is available).
E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader/Investors – $3,600 to $4,200 (volume discount is available).
E-3 Australian Workers – $1,500
F-1 Students – $1,200
B-1/B-2 Visitors – $1,200
J-1 No objection Waiver – $1,500
J-1 Persecution, Hardship, or IGA Waivers – $3,500
K-1 Overseas Fiancé – $1,200
O-1 Persons of Extraordinary Ability – $4,200
P-1 Entertainers and Athletes – $3,600
R-1 Religious Workers – $4,000
T-Visa – $750 to $1,250.
FAQs re EB5 Investor Visa Program
- Does the petitioner have to stay in the US for the entire period?
Yes, the petitioner must show intention to stay in the United States. Even if the petitioner is on a conditional green card, the petitioner must fulfil the continuous residence requirement. While the petitioner can stay out of the U.S. for a limited period of time, it is recommended that the petitioner not stay out of the U.S. for more than 6 months.
- Does the petitioner have to manage the project?
In general yes. Specifically, in new business investments, the petitioner must manage the project. In regional projects it depends on a project by project basis, but it is recommended that the petitioner have enough experience or qualification.
- Can petitioner’s wife and children accompany him?
Yes, spouse and unmarried children under 21 may obtain green card. For those over 21, they may apply separately on their own. There may be various options available to them.
- What is the estimated time it takes for approval and, where will application be filed?
The processing time depends on whether the case is filed in the U.S. for adjustment or in the petitioner’s country of origin. Applying outside the US has the advantage of the petitioner not accruing “unlawful time” if the case gets rejected.
- What investment is required?
For a “Targeted Employment Area” zone the minimum investment is $500,000. For a Metropolitan Area, the minimum investment is $1,000,000.
- What qualifications must the petitioner Have?
Qualification and Experience should show that the petitioner can manage the proposed project to the extent Management of the Project is required (for a new business or Direct Investment).
- Is there a net worth requirement for the petitioner?
Petitioner must establish that he/she has the finances to make the proposed investment, and to meet ongoing personal expenses for his family.
- What types of projects can be the basis of investment?
New commercial enterprise (direct investment) or regional center projects (indirect investment).
- When must the investment be made and is it refundable?
Capital Investment is required prior to filing of I-526. There is no guarantee of any refund amounts. The investor bears the risk of profit and loss.
- Can the Petition be denied?
Yes. The petition can be denied because of lack of funds or lack of investment.
- Can you reapply if the first application is denied?
Yes. If the investment is still in place, while other conditions are met.
Regional Centers’ link: Immigrant Investor Regional Centers
- What is the difference between an immigrant and non-immigrant visa?
There are two main types of visas. A nonimmigrant visa is a visa that allows you to stay in the U.S. on a temporary basis (i.e. Tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study.) An immigrant visa is a visa that allows you to live permanently in the U.S.
- What is a non-immigrant B1 visa?
A B1 visa allows you to enter the United States to participate in business activities. Various business activities fall under this category.
- Are there any restrictions on a B1 visa?
Yes, you cannot earn any income while on this visa.
- How long is a B1 visa valid?
A B1 visa is valid for a period from 1 to 10 years. This validity allows for either one or multiple entries into the U.S., with a maximum period of stay of 6 months.
- Can a B1 Visa be extended?
- What do you need to do to extend your B1 visa?
You must file a timely request to extend your stay with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before your authorized stay expires, otherwise, you can be barred from entering the U.S. or you may be removed/deported from the United States.
- What is a non-immigrant B2 Visa?
A B2 visa allows you to visit the United States as a tourist for vacation purposes, meeting friends and family, or for medical treatment or purposes.
- How long is a B2 Visa valid?
A B2 visa is valid for a period from 1 to 10 years. This validity allows for either one or multiple entries into the U.S., with a maximum period of stay of 6 months.
- Can a B2 visa be extended?
- What do you need to extend your B2 visa?
You must file a timely request to extend your stay with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before your authorized stay expires. You can be barred from entering the U.S. or you may be removed/deported from the United States.
- What is a F1 visa?
An F1 visa is for those wishing to study in the U.S. This is a non-immigrant visa. You must file an F1 visa application if you plan to enter the US to attend a college, university or any training program, or other academic institution.
- What is a J visa?
A J visa is to exchange visitors participating in programs to promote cultural exchange, to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. All applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program. This is a non-immigrant visa.
- What is a H1B visa?
An H-1B visa allows U.S. companies to sponsor and employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require technical expertise in specialized fields. There is an annual limit on the number of workers granted H1B status each year. For the 2016 fiscal year, the cap count is as below:
- The Regular H1B quota: 65,000
- H1B Master Degree Quota (Only U.S. Degree): 20,000
Out of the above, a total of 6,800 is usually set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them.
The USCIS accepts new H1B visa (quota based) petitions for a fiscal year on April 1 of each year. Historically, the quota meets within five (5) days.
- What is a K1 visa?
A K1 is a nonimmigrant visa that permits the U.S. Citizen’s foreigner fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival.
- What is a R visa?
A R visa is a temporary religious worker (R-1) visa and applies for persons who want to enter the United States to work temporarily in religious capacities. There is no annual limit on the number of people who can receive R visas.
- What is a TN Visa?
A TN visa category is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the United States on a temporary basis in increments of up to three years. There is no annual limit on the number of workers granted TN status each year. The TN visa category requires that the applicant possess the minimum qualification.
- What are immigrant visa categories?
There are two paths to obtain permanent resident status in the U.S. :
- Consular processing
- Adjustment of status.
- What is Consular Processing?
If the immigrant petition is approved and the immigrant visa number is immediately available, the beneficiary of the approved petition may apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad and be admitted as a permanent resident.
- What is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of status is an alternate process that allows a person, who is already in the United States, to apply for permanent resident status without leaving the U.S. to complete the green card processing.
- What is an exemplary method of obtaining a green card?
One way to obtain a green card is through a “Family-based green card”.
- What are the categories of Family Based green cards?
Immediate Relative and Other Preference Relatives.
- Is the Family Based Immediate Relative category priority date current?
- Who qualifies for a Family Based Immediate Relative category?
- Spouses of U.S. citizens.
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 who have at least one U.S. citizen parent
- Parents of U.S. citizens, if the U.S. citizen child is over the age of 21
- stepchildren and stepparents, if the marriage, which creates this relationship, took place before the child’s 18th birthday
- Parents and children related through adoption, if the adoption took place before the child reached the age of 16.
- Fiance(e)s of U.S. citizens can be considered under this category if the fiance is overseas and they wish to hold the marriage in the U.S. before applying for a green card, the first step is to apply for a temporary (90-day) U.S. visa called a K-1 fiance visa (see above).
- Is the Family Based Other Preference Relative category priority date current?
- The priority date under this category is not always current. There are a limited number of green cards that are available.
- Who qualifies for a Family Based Other Preference Relative category?
- Family first preference. Unmarried children (21 years of age or older), who have at least one U.S. citizen parent.
- Family second preference. 2A: Spouses of green card holders and unmarried children under age 21; 2B: unmarried children (21 years of age or older) of green card holders.
- Family third preference. Married children (21 years of age or older), of any age, who have at least one U.S. citizen parent.
- Family fourth preference. Sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens if the U.S. citizen child is over the age of 21.
- What are the categories of Employment Based green cards?
There are four categories: job offer; investment, self-petition, and special categories.
- What is required through a Job Offer Employment Based green card?
Most of the sub categories of a Job Offer Employment Based green card require an employer to file Labor certification and a petition of alien worker.
- What are the subcategories of a Job Offer Employment Based green card?
There are EB1 (priority workers), EB2 (professionals with advance degree or with exceptional ability), and EB3 (Skilled or professional workers).
- What is required through an Investment Based green card?
This is an employment creation visa. Under EB5 category, green cards may be available to investors who are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs outside targeted areas and/or in targeted areas. Green cards may be available to investors/entrepreneurs who are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs.
- Who qualifies for Self-Petition Based green card?
Some immigrant categories under EB1 allow you to “self-petition”. This option is available for either “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” or certain individuals granted a National Interest Waiver.
- Who qualifies for Special Categories green card?
This special category of jobs comes under EB4 visa category for special immigrants that includes religious workers, etc.
- When can an Asylee apply for a green card?
Asylum seeker or “Asylee” may apply for a green card one (1) year after being granted asylum if you have met the Asylee criteria.
- What are the criteria for Asylee?
- Physical presence in the United States for at least 1 year after being granted asylum.
- The Asylee has maintained his/her status and has not abandoned it.
- The Asylee is not admissible to the United States
- Is a waiver available for Asylee who is inadmissible?
- Can an Asylee file for his/her family?
- When can a refugee apply for a green card?
A refugee must apply for a green card one (1) year after entering the United States as a refugee.
- What are the requirements for a refugee?
- Physical presence in the United States for at least 1 year after being admitted as a refugee.
- Maintained the refugee status and the status has not been terminated.
- The refugee has not acquired permanent resident (green card) status.
- What is a Diversity Visa?
Under the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program), there are up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals, who are from the participating countries.
- What is a battered spouse or child visa?
This visa is available for a battered spouse, child or parent. The spouse, parent and child are eligible and may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
- How can I obtain a I-94?
Once you pass the Port of Entry, you should go online and obtain the I-94. The I-94 can be obtained https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/consent.html;jsessionid=FyFVWwLQ5y54nYYDL7y2nhLb4QMkRftdSCtYvpYNl9LF1SQ2gMJ9!-2093144574
- If I move, do I need to change my address?
- How do I change my address?
All immigrants and non-immigrants must inform USCIS in writing within ten (10) days of moving. You can either file the AR 11 form
To enter the INSZoom please click here