Obtaining the best immigration lawyer in Houston, TX is an essential first step in meeting your visa needs. Companies and their employees must obtain a wide variety of visas to remain legal in the United States. In all cases, the best immigration lawyer in Houston, TX can significantly facilitate the process.
There are excellent immigration attorneys spread out across the entire breadth and width of Houston, but for ease of access to the courts and the United Sates Immigration Service, the best immigration lawyers in Houston, TX are located inside the 610 Loop. While the downtown area is extremely convenient for the attorney, many lawyers have, instead, opted for offices in the Heights or in the Montrose sections of Houston as these areas are far more convenient for the clients.
Immigration law has undergone some significant changes under the current administration and the future bodes more of the same. An experienced immigration attorney is able to more quickly and correctly understand the changes in law as they occur, and, if the law is ambiguous, he has the resources in both government and legal circles to help you make an informed decision. Experience is often the difference between an adequate and a superior result.
There are almost 200 distinct types of visa issued by the United States government and they are broadly classified into two categories; immigrant and non-immigrant. Immigrant visas or green cards are issued to those qualified individuals who wish to stay in the United States permanently and non-immigrant ones are for those who will only spend a limited amount of time working in the U.S.
The following list contains the most commonly requested visas and one of them should meet the needs of the vast majority of visa-seekers. Nevertheless, an experienced immigration attorney should be consulted to find the right one for your needs.
The “Green” Card
Formally known as the United States Permanent Resident Card, a Green card is documentation provided by the Federal government that attests to an individual’s status as a Permanent Resident of the United States. Often characterized as difficult to obtain, the card is readily provided to persons who meet certain criteria. The criteria vary but permanent residency is most often obtained through employment, marriage or family member status.
The L-1 visa allows multinational companies with offices in the United States and other countries to transfer non-citizens into the U.S. for purposes of employment. The document is typically available for 3-7 years and allows the user to freely travel within the United States. As such, the document is in extremely high demand by every large corporation. The application and approval procedures are not particularly to accomplish but they are rather exacting. An experienced immigration attorney can certainly facilitate the entire process saving money, avoiding lengthy delays and eliminating all worry and aggravation.
Similar to the L-1 visa, the H-1B is primarily needed by professionals visiting for a relatively short period of time. Physicians, attorneys and engineers engaged on a specific operation or project can usually obtain one in a relatively short period of time. An HB-1 is only valid for a specific employer and must be augmented by an I-129 if the visitor wishes to switch projects or work for alternate employers.
B-1 Business Visa
This business visa is versatile and restricted at the same time. While it allows a visitor to engage in a wide variety of business related activities, none of which can actually produce any income for the visa holder. For example, a B-1 visa holder can hire staff, market a product, solicit investments or simply attend meetings but he cannot be paid for any of it. The strictures on the visa are highly specific and an experienced visa attorney should be used to determine if the visa meets your requirements.
H-3 Training Visa
As the name implies, this visa is usually issued to the employees of a company that need training in the United States. It is fairly to obtain if the needs are legitimate but these programs are watched carefully as they have been seriously abused in the past. Currently, there are certain guidelines that must be met. The training must not be available outside the U.S. and the training, itself, must meet certain classroom and on-the-job specifications.
E-1 Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas
These two visas are particularly watched by both the Federal government and many purportedly disinterested, political groups. The visas are intended to allow high net worth individuals to travel and subsequently invest in companies in the United States. Many groups perceive this process as a way for the rich to purchase a U.S. residency or citizenship. While abuses do occurs, the resulting investments from legitimate sources are indeed a boon to the infrastructure and economy of the United States. The services of any of the best immigration lawyers in Houston, TX are invaluable in obtaining this visa and ameliorating any negative publicity.
The K-1 Visa is meant solely as a temporary expedient for the to fiancés of foreign nationals. The visa is intended to allow the couple to wed on their appointed day but is not meant to extend permanent residence. Once the wedding has taken place, it is the responsibility of the couple to apply for a permanent residence card. These visa are typically issued when time is of the essence as a wedding has already been planned and scheduled. The services of an experienced immigration attorney can make all the difference in arriving in style for your wedding or leaving your betrothed at the altar.
Trade-NAFTA (TN) Status
While not technically a visa, the TN document is a specially created classification for Mexican and Canadian workers. It affords most of the prvleges of an H-1B visa but also includes a few unique features. Specifically, it is valid for three years from the date of issuance but can be renewed indefinitely. It is an ideal solution for any non-citizen worker on the North American continent.
Finding the Best Immigration Lawyer in Houston, TX
Credit: Brad ShorrWhile the legal process involved in applying and obtaining a United States visa is challenging, it is a completely defined and doable process. In other words, for the qualified individual, there are no unknown or unforeseen hurdles that must be surpassed. Still, the best immigration lawyers in Houston, TX know the most expeditious routes for obtaining a visa. Trust one to give you the right advice about which visa to pursue, when to pursue it and the best information on how to meet the needs of yourself, your loved ones and your company.