Category Archives: Business Immigration

Episode 2: Violence Against Women (Domestic Violence and Immigration)

Legal Thoughts –  Episode 2 of Violence Against Women (Domestic Violence and Immigration)

COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW | Transcript of Legal Thoughts

Published February 5, 2024

Topic: “This is a Series of Conversations with a Guest Podcaster from the Mental Health
Profession.”

 

Welcome to Legal Thoughts

Attorney Introduction:

My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas. In addition to myself, we have a Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Law Clerks, Ayesha Jain and Mlaah Singh, and Admin Assistant, Michelle Gutierrez. On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Law Clerk, Mlaah Singh, will be interviewing me and my guest, Ana Marcela Rodríguez, a mental health professional with Therapy Works Counseling as we talk about law, mental health and psychology where it impacts those seeking legal services. This is intended to be a series of podcasts:

The First Podcast in this series is “Immigration and Trauma”

The Second Podcast in this series is “Violence Against Women (Domestic Violence and Immigration}”

The Third Podcast in this series is “Limited English Proficiencies and Microaggressions in American Culture”

Interviewer Introduction:

Hi everyone, my name is Mlaah Singh and I am a Law Clerk at the tax, contracts, litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

This is the Second Podcast in our Legal Thoughts Podcast Series on immigration and mental health. Today’s topic is Violence Against Women (Domestic Abuse and Immigration). Before I get started with my questions on this important topic. I want to warmly welcome by our guest podcaster Mrs. Ana Marcela Rodrigues and give her a chance to greet our audience at this time.

Guest Podcaster Introduction:

Good afternoon everyone; my name is Ana Marcela Rodríguez. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of Therapy works counseling- we specialized in bilingual counseling services and psychological evaluations for immigration. I’m excited to get started with our first podcast in this series on mental health and the law.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk:

Thank you so much Mrs. Marcela and welcome back to Legal Thoughts. This time I am going to change up a bit and alternate my questions between Attorney Jackson and Mental Health Counselor Marcela. So, let’s get started.

Question Number One for Attorney, Jackson:

What is the Violence Against Women Act? What problems does it primarily aim to solve?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson:

Thanks Ms. Singh for such a foundational question. The Violence Against Women Act commonly referred to as VAWA, was originally enacted in 1994 during President Bill Clinton’s Administration. VAWA has been amended and reauthorized several times. The most recent amendment and reauthorization occurred in September 13, 2023 under the Biden-Harris Administration.

VAWA was enacted to address a widespread problem in American societyin general. Violence against women in the form of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are the types of evil and base behaviors that VAWA is designed to fix. As it relates to immigration, VAWA was enacted to give some abused noncitizens a way out of abusive relationships with United States citizen parents, spouses and children who hold them hostage because their immigration status in the United States depends upon a “family visa petition” filed on their behalf by their family member. Violence gives the abuse victim a door out of their abusive relationship by permitting them to self-petition to be allowed to stay in the United States without the need to rely on their abuser.

In 2023, President Biden signed a VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2022 and expressed strong support for VAWA and secured the highest-ever funding level for VAWA implementation. There is strong support for VAWA and commitment for the protection and support for abuse victims whether they are immigrants or others in the United States.So in a nutshell: VAWA was enacted and reauthorized several times to solve violence against women and offer various kinds of survivor support systems in combating abuse against women. Immigrants can seek protection from their abusers through these VAWA protections.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk:

Interviewer Comment: Thank you for that clear explanation Mr. Jackson. Hopefully those who have not heard about the Violence Against Women Act can now understand it a bit better. So, moving forward, my next question is for Ana Marcela Rodriguez.

Question Number Two for Ana Marcela Rodriguez:

What circumstances warrant the application of the Violence Against Women’s Act? What are the issue topics that children and women go through as it relates to the processes of immigration specifically?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez, Mental Health Professional:

The Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994 to provide comprehensive legal protections and support services for women who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The circumstances that warrant the application of VAWA include instances of physical, emotional, or psychological abuse against women. This may include situations where women are unable to leave abusive partners due to immigration status, fear of deportation, or lack of financial resources.

Immigrant women and children face unique challenges and vulnerabilities when navigating the immigration process. Women, especially those with undocumented status, may be particularly susceptible to exploitation and abuse, including sexual assault and trafficking. Immigration policies and enforcement practices can also pose barriers to seeking assistance or reporting abuse, as individuals may fear deportation or separation from their children.

Children of immigrant families may also experience trauma and stress as a result of family separation, detention, or fear of deportation. Additionally, immigrant women and children may face obstacles in accessing legal and social services, which can exacerbate their vulnerability to violence and exploitation.

Overall, the issues that immigrant women and children face as it relates to the processes of immigration are complex and multifaceted. The implementation of VAWA is crucial in providing protections and support for these vulnerable populations.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Thank you Mrs. Rodriguez. It is truly disheartening to hear stories and testimony from victims of abuse, neglect, and harm. So, Mr. Jackson,

Question Number Three For Attorney Jackson

In what ways can lawyers protect victims of violence? What specific legal strategies or approaches do you find most effective when assisting immigrant victims of domestic violence or sexual assault in seeking immigration relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson

Legal Professionals can help victims of violence in the following ways: Listen to them carefully, be patient, do not be judgmental and allow them the space to tell their story without coaching them. The lawyer must understand the facts. This listening task could take several meetings as the lawyer seeks to determine what legal options are available. Second, after gathering sufficient facts to determine the legal options, the lawyer must explain the legal option: its requirements, trouble spots and other factors the client should know. Third, the lawyer must let the abuse victim decide whether they want to pursue the legal options available to them. Once the victim decides to proceed with legal options, the legal professionals must form a trusted team with the abuse victim and methodically document the case, file the case and advocate for the victim. This includes continuous contact and encouragement of the victim and keeping the victim informed on the processing status of their case. Fourth the lawyer should refer the abuse victim to

  1. law enforcement if warranted;
  2. Domestic violence support groups if warranted;
  3. Mental health service providers when warranted

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Thank you Mr. Jackson. It is with a hopeful approach that the work lawyers do can truly change people’s lives. Legislation is oftentimes not on the same side as an individual’s best interest. So, thank you for your service and attention to those who deserve it.

Question Number Four for Ana Marcela Rodriguez, a Mental Health Professional:

Mrs. Rodriguez, In your experience, how do cultural factors and immigration status contribute to the manifestation and treatment of trauma among women seeking support under the VAWA? Are there specific cultural considerations that mental health professionals should be aware of when working with this population?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez, Mental Health Professional:

Cultural factors and immigration status significantly contribute to the manifestation and treatment of trauma among women seeking support under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Immigrant women often face unique challenges such as language barriers, lack of social support, and fear of deportation. Additionally, cultural norms and expectations surrounding gender roles and interpersonal relationships can impact the way women experience and cope with trauma.

For example, in some cultures, women may be expected to endure abuse in silence for the sake of preserving family honor, which can make it difficult for them to seek help. Furthermore, their immigration status may limit their access to resources and support services, leading to greater isolation and vulnerability to trauma.

Mental health professionals working with this population must be aware of these cultural considerations. It is crucial for them to approach therapy with cultural humility, acknowledging and respecting the unique experiences and coping mechanisms of immigrant women. Creating a safe and supportive environment that takes into account their cultural background and immigration status is essential for effective treatment. Additionally, mental health professionals should be knowledgeable about the VAWA and immigration policies that impact these women’s access to resources and support. By understanding and addressing these specific cultural factors, mental health professionals can better support immigrant women in their healing and recovery from trauma.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Thank you Mrs. Rodriguez, hopefully seeking out representation and protection underneath the Violence Against Women’s Act only gets more accessible over time.

Question Number Five for Coleman Jackson

So, Mr. Jackson, In cases involving protection orders and family court proceedings under VAWA, what legal considerations and challenges should lawyers be mindful of to ensure the best possible outcomes for their clients?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson

The best thing for a lawyer to do with respect to family law matters, such as protective orders, custody issues and the like is refer their client to a competent lawyer who regularly practices family law. Law is highly specialized and its best to leave family law practice to attorney’s who regularly practices in the area.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Definitely, with all potential obstacles considered, it is best for there to be respectful of their feelings, fears, and boundaries.

Question Number Six for Ana Marcela Rodriguez, a Mental Health Professional

So Mrs. Rodriguez, What types of psychological attention are most recommended to victims of domestic violence? What are ways in which those who have suffered can turn to treatments and therapy on their own?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez, Mental Health Professional:

Victims of domestic violence often require specialized psychological attention in order to heal from the trauma they have experienced. It is recommended that victims seek out therapy that focuses on trauma, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma-focused therapy. These types of therapy can help individuals to address and process the emotional and psychological impact of the abuse they have endured, as well as develop coping mechanisms for navigating challenging emotions and situations.

In addition, victims of domestic violence may benefit from joining support groups where they can connect with others who have had similar experiences. This can provide a sense of community and validation, as well as opportunities to gain perspective and tools for managing their trauma.

For those who have suffered from domestic violence, seeking out treatment and therapy can be a critical step towards healing. There are a variety of resources available for individuals to access therapy and support on their own, such as contacting local domestic violence shelters or organizations, searching for therapists who specialize in trauma and abuse, and exploring online therapy options.

Ultimately, it is important for victims of domestic violence to prioritize their mental and emotional well-being by seeking out the psychological attention and support that they need in order to heal and move forward.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

For listeners, be sure to take the time to seek help, support, and treatment, even if it’s hard to find. Help and support is always available, and it is important to look after your own mental health during such difficult times. Also, do not hesitate to contact Ms. Rodríguez at the number (972-695-3421) and the link to her page is www.therapyworkscounseling.com

Question Number Seven for Coleman Jackson

Now, Mr. Jackson, What are the qualifications and how does an abuse victim apply for VAWA? How long must an abuse victim wait before they receive an answer from USCIS on their VAWA petition? Can the victim work to support themselves during this wait period? Does the abuse victim have to tell their abuser about their application or must the government tell the abuser about the filing? What happens once USCIS approves the abuse victims VAWA application?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson

Let me first say that VAWA protects immigrants who are married to United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, VAWA also protects parents of United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents; and VAWA also protects Children of United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents and their parent who, themselves were not abused but their child were abused by a USC or LPR. VAWA allows some abused immigrants to self-petition for Lawful Permanent Resident status.

Second, let’s talk about qualifications. Who can apply for VAWA? The requirements depends upon whether the abuse victim is the spouse of the abuser, or child of the abuser or parent of the abuser. Let me deal with these in that order. First what is the qualification when the self-petitioner is a spouse:

  1. the spouse of an abuser must prove that they are married to a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident or an abuser who has been a USC or LPR.
  2. The spouse of an abuser must prove that the abuser is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident or has been an USC or LPR.
  3. The spouse of the abuser must prove that the United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident abused then during their marriage.
  4. The spouse of the abuser must prove that the marriage was entered into in good faith.
  5. The spouse of the abuser must prove that that the abuse occurred inside the United States.
  6. The spouse must prove that she lived with the abuser, and
  7. The spouse must prove that she is a person of good moral character.

 

Next, what are the qualifications for VAWA when the abuse victim is a child:

  1. The abused child must prove that they are the son or daughter of a United States Citizen or LPR Abuser.
  2. The child of an abuser must prove that the abuser is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident or has been an USC or LPR.
  3. The child of the abuser must prove that they have been abused by the USC or LPR in the United States.
  4. The child of an abuser must prove that she is living in the United States at the time the VAWA petition is filed.
  5. The child of an abuser must prove that she lived with the abuser, and
  6. The child of an abuser must prove that she is a person of good moral character.

 

Third, what are the qualifications for VAWA when the abuse victim is a parent:

  1. The abused parent must prove that United States Citizen or LPR Abuser is their child.
  2. The parent of an abuser must prove that the abuser is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident or has been an USC or LPR.
  3. The parent of the abuser must prove that their child abused them and that the abuse occurred inside the United States.
  4. The parent must prove that she or he lives with or have lived with the abuser, and
  5. The parent must prove that she or he is a person of good moral character.

 

Let me lump your other questions into a discussion of the overall VAWA Process generally. First VAWA allows an abuse victim to file a self-petition with a designated USCIS VAWA Unit in complete confidentiality and privacy. The abuser is not notified of the filing. Second, the USCIS’ specially dedicated VAWA Unit sends the self-petitioner a notice within about two to three weeks after receipt of filing if the VAWA petition appears to be valid. The self-petitioner can take this notice to receive certain public benefits, such as Medicare, and some other public benefits. But the Notice of Prima Facie Eligibility does not authorize the self-petitioner to work.

 

Third, the USCIS specially dedicated VAWA Unit sends the self-petitioner an approval notice and notification of deferred action or a denial notice This review process takes up to three years currently. Upon receipt of the approval notice, the self-petitioner can apply for work authorization and remain in the United States to wait for a Lawful Permanent Visa to become available. If the self-petition is based on abuse by a United States Citizen, the self-petitioner can immediately file for lawful permanent status, if they did not concurrently file their VAWA petition and LPR application. Otherwise, they can file for LPR and those self-petitioners whose VAWA is based on a LPR abuser; they must wait to file until a immigrant visa becomes available. Once the self-petitioner file their adjustment of status (if they are in the United States); they can remain in the U.S. until their adjustment application is decided. If the self-petitioner is not in the United States when an immigrant visa becomes available, they must apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulates Office abroad. Finally, in the event the VAWA Unit sent the self-petitioner a denial notice, the immigrant is subject to removal from the United States.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Thank you for such a clear answer Mr. Jackson. You have made it very clear for listeners to understand how the Violence Against Women’s Act can be applied. Hopefully, our listeners have learned something today that can potentially help them, their peers, or even their understandings of immigration and abuse.

Our listeners who want to hear more podcasts like this one please subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. You can also read our law firm’s blogs on our website in English, Spanish and Portuguese by going to our law firm’s website, which is, www.cjacksonlaw.com and selecting your preferred language. Everybody take care! And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, business structuring, contracts litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

 

English callers: 214-599-0431 | Spanish callers: 214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

 

Attorney: Coleman Jackson

 

ATTORNEY’S CLOSING REMARKS:

Thank you very much Ana for joining me today on the continuation of our Legal Thoughts Podcast Immigration and the Law. Todays Podcast, which is our Second Podcast in the series is Violence Against Women (Domestic Abuse and Immigration).

 

Our listeners should stay tuned for future podcasts in this series where Ana and I answer questions about the Violence Against Women Act protections for immigrants experiencing inhumane and unjust treatment at the hands of a United States citizen parent, child or spouse; and Episode 3 where we answer questions on the topic: Limited English Proficiencies and microaggressions in American Culture. As usual, we invite our audience to suggest topics and questions on matters they desire to know answers for involving international, federal, and state and local tax matters; contracts, litigation; and business, family and humanitarian immigration. You can read our blogs or contact us on our law firm’s website which is www.cjacksonlaw.com. Navigate to English, Spanish or Portuguese by using the language selection bottom on our law firm’s website.

 

If you want to see or hear more taxation, business structuring and contracts litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. Stay tuned! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration. Until next time, take care

 

Episode 1: Immigration and Trauma

Legal Thoughts –  Episode 1 of Immigration and Trauma

COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW | Transcript of Legal Thoughts

Published January 15, 2024

Topic: “This is a Series of Conversations with a Guest Podcaster from the Mental Health
Profession.”

Welcome to Legal Thoughts

 

Attorney Introduction:

My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas. In addition to myself, we have a Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Law Clerks, Ayesha Jain and Mlaah Singh, and Admin Assistant, Michelle Gutierrez. On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Law Clerk, Mlaah Singh, will be interviewing me and my guest, Ana Marcela Rodríguez, a mental health professional with Therapy Works Counseling as we talk about law, mental health and psychology where it impacts those seeking legal services. This is intended to be a series of podcasts:

The First Podcast in this series is “Immigration and Trauma” The Second Podcast in this series is “Violence Against Women (Domestic Violence and Immigration}” The Third Podcast in this series is “Limited English Proficiencies and Microaggressions in American Culture”

Interviewer Introduction:

Hi everyone, my name is Mlaah Singh and I am a Law Clerk at the tax, contracts, litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

The importance of this podcast stems from the idea of awareness and understanding. The process of immigration is not fast and not easy therefore it is important to acknowledge the mental, financial, and emotional tolls this process takes. Today we will be hearing from Coleman Jackson, an immigration attorney, and Ana Marcela Rodriguez, a therapist who specializes in the psychological effects of immigration. Hearing both perspectives will help listeners receive a holistic view of immigration processes. Hopefully, this podcast can even resonate with listeners from various origins.

Before I get started with our questions on this important topic: “Immigration and Trauma”. I want to welcome our guest podcaster, where, at this time I am going to ask her to introduce herself and tell our Legal Thoughts Podcasts audience about herself and her work in the mental health field.

Guest Podcaster Introduction:

Good afternoon everyone; my name is Ana Marcela Rodríguez. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of Therapy works counseling- we specialized in bilingual counseling services and psychological evaluations for immigration. I’m excited to get started with our first podcast in this series on mental health and the law.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Thank you very much Mrs. Marcela. I am going to start by asking Attorney Jackson a series of questions from the practicing attorney’s perspective; and then, I will turn and ask Mrs. Marcela a series of questions from the mental health professional’s perspective.

Question Number One for Attorney, Jackson: So, Attorney Jackson, my first question is how does immigration laws impact the mental health of individuals navigating the immigration process in the United States, and what legal challenges do immigrants navigating through the immigration process often face?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson

Without overcomplication, simplification and generalization of the impacts of the immigration process on an immigrant’s mental health; let me try to put into context immigration law in America. Immigration laws in America are complex, extremely intrusive, quite insensitive, and the immigration process can be extremely slow and very expensive.

The practice of immigration law requires unrelenting advocacy and an unyielding passion for justice; and legal advocates at the same time must possess and show immigrants and their families lots and lots of compassion and empathy.

The practice environment that I have just described impacts the delivery of legal services because lawyers and their team advising and helping immigrants navigate their way through the American immigration law maze must be strong advocates and relentless encouragers. I will just end with these points: American immigration laws are full of humanitarian provisions benefiting immigrants who are abused, fleeing persecution, running from disasters of all kinds, and those searching for a new start or new investment opportunities. These humanitarian and business opportunities also impact immigrants’ mental health giving them hope where there seem to be no hope.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

I appreciate your sensitivity in answering this question. It is important to acknowledge that no two cases are the same and it is refreshing to hear a lawyer express the same thought. Each immigrant has their own individual shot at obtaining citizenship.

Question Number Two for Attorney, Jackson:

My second question for you today, Attorney, is through the broad lens of your professional legal career, can you highlight any examples where you witnessed the effects of trauma and mental health strain on clients? How could legal professionals best address client mental strain?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson

Well without revealing any details about any particular client or clients, during the course of practicing immigration law, I have seen immigrants deal with a lot of uncertainty with dignity and grace. I have at those times of stress and strain, let them know that my law firm team and I care about them and that we are there to navigate them through the immigration process. The stress and strain may present itself in various ways; such as, immigrant clients doubting their worth, questioning whether they are accepted or understood in America because immigrants are often forced to communicate extremely sensitive and complex information in English (a language that is not their native tongue). Some clients show wear and tear due to the extremely intrusive, long and incredibly expensive process. Other clients of our law firm have displayed wiriness, dread and even fear when faced with gathering certain types of documentation, such as, police clearance reports; or when revealing certain sensitive information required to support their immigration petitions and applications.

Anxiety arises due to long periods of waiting without any meaningful feedback as examiners process immigrant’s petitions and applications. In recent years, processing times can go on for 36 to 72 months often without any updates or comments from government adjudicators. In recent years those seeking asylum must wait over six years for a hearing and often many are referred to Immigration Court for final determinations by the affirmative Asylum Officers after waiting over six years for their hearing. The wait for an Immigration Court date could be another 3 to 5 years.

On many occasions our compassionate and caring team has had to really encourage immigrants to take the next step, just stay the course and continue to provide information and documents that in some cases are difficult to obtain in some countries and very sensitive in other cultures. Don’t give up and continue to be patient. That is often a comment that I make to our immigrant clients and their families. Thank you for your patience; that is what I often tell them attempting to encourage them to continue the process and continue to be positive and hopeful.

The best way for legal professionals, in my opinion, to address immigration clients’ mental stress and strain is to demonstrate competence in the law, commitment to the client and genuine concern for the outcome. The goal is to help the immigrant to obtain the immigration benefit in which they seek. Competent lawyers must be fierce advocates for their clients, good listeners and loyal encouragers. They must hire team members with similar qualities.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

It is certainly a hefty expenditure to begin therefore this country is thankful for lawyers like yourself who are able to fight for justice where justice is deserved. Most of these individuals just need one person to take a chance on them for their entire life to change.

From a legal perspective, Attorney, how does the United States immigration system address mental health needs or mental trauma of immigrants and their families seeking refuge in America or pursuing a new life in the United States?

Attorney Answer: Coleman Jackson

The immigration laws of the United States does not directly deal with mental health needs of immigrants specifically, but there are numerous provisions in the law that can provide relief and a way out for immigrants finding themselves in America and dealing with various types of stressful, cruel, inhumane, domestic violence or other challenging situations causing them mental distress and pain; for example:

Various types of humanitarian waivers for medical problems and health issues; Violence Against Women’s Act that permits immigrants abused by U.S. citizen children, parents or spouses to self-petition and obtain a Green Card; U Crime Victims Status which is possibly available for immigrants who are victims of certain crimes in America perpetrated by anyone; not just relatives but even stranger on stranger violence; and; T trafficking victims visas which are sometimes available for victims of human trafficking.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

Thank you for your valuable answers, Mr. Jackson. Hopefully our listeners can benefit from learning about immigration from a legal perspective and even find answers in the context of their own USCIS pursuits.

Now, Mrs. Rodriguez, I’d like to ask you, How does the immigration experience impact the mental health of individuals, and what are some common mental health issues that arise in this context?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez, Mental Health Professional

The immigration experience can have a profound impact on the mental health of individuals. The stress and uncertainty associated with leaving one’s home country and adjusting to a new culture, language, and way of life can lead to a range of mental health issues. Some of the common mental health challenges experienced by immigrants include:

1. Anxiety and Depression: The stress of immigration, including language barriers, challenges in finding employment, and navigating unfamiliar systems, can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. The loss of familiar support systems and social connections can also exacerbate these issues.

2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Immigrants may have experienced traumatic events in their home country or during the immigration process, such as war, violence, or persecution. These experiences can lead to PTSD, which can cause significant distress and impairment in daily functioning.

3. Acculturation Stress: The process of adapting to a new culture and society can be overwhelming and may lead to acculturation stress. Immigrants may struggle to balance their cultural heritage with the pressures to assimilate into their new environment, leading to feelings of confusion, isolation, and identity conflict.

4. Social Isolation and Loneliness: Immigrants may face challenges in building social connections and support networks in their new country, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Lack of social support can exacerbate other mental health issues and lead to a sense of alienation and disconnection.

5. Discrimination and Racism: Immigrants may face discrimination and racism in their new country, which can have a significant impact on their mental health. Experiences of prejudice and bias can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, and a diminished sense of belonging.

6. Family Stress: The immigration process can strain family dynamics, leading to conflicts and tensions within the family unit. Separation from loved ones, financial pressures, and adjustments to new family roles and responsibilities can all contribute to family stress and impact the mental well-being of immigrants.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

It seems as though mental stress can derive from many specific instances and even take the form of several disorders. So with such variation and such room for mental health strains to arise, how can mental health therapists and counselors help law firm clients dealing with immigration-related trauma, and what unique considerations come into play when working with this population?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez,

Mental Health Professional Mental health professionals can help the unique challenges faced by individuals navigating the immigration system and coping with the impact of trauma . We need to be specialized and culturally competent to appropriately support immigrant clients. Here are some ways mental health professionals can assist law firm clients dealing with immigration-related trauma:

1. Providing Trauma-Informed Care:

2. Culturally Competent Counseling:

3. Building Trust and Safety:

4. Addressing Legal and Emotional Needs: providing support in managing stress, anxiety, and depression related to immigration processes while also addressing the emotional impact of legal proceedings and bureaucratic challenges.

5.- Providing Coping Strategies: Therapists can teach clients coping strategies and resilience-building skills to help them manage the stress and emotional impact of the immigration process. This may include techniques for managing anxiety, practicing self-care, and building a support network.

6. Collaboration with Legal Professionals: Collaborating with lawyers and legal professionals involved in the immigration case can ensure an integrated approach to addressing clients’ comprehensive needs, combining legal expertise with mental health support.

7. Referrals to Support Services: Mental health professionals can connect clients with community resources.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

That is a very insightful answer. It is very possible that most of the time, such individuals may just need to be pointed in the right direction to take care of themselves throughout various avenues in the pursuit of citizenship. It also may be important for these issues to be brought up within these legal proceedings if an individual is unaware of what they are struggling with.

Mrs. Marcela, from your experience in mental health canceling in immigration matters, what are some cultural and systemic factors that contribute to the mental health challenges faced by immigrants; and how can these concerns be addressed by immigrants themselves, and by the attorneys representing immigrants, counseling immigrants and advocating on behalf of immigrants and their families in the American legal system?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez, Mental Health Professional

Immigrants face numerous mental health challenges as a result of cultural and systemic factors. The acculturation process, difficulty in obtaining healthcare resources, language barriers, discrimination, and the stress of adapting to new socio-economic realities all contribute to the mental health burden experienced by immigrants.

Culturally, immigrants may struggle with the clash of traditional values and beliefs with those of their new environment. This can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of sense of belonging, leading to depression and anxiety. Systemically, immigrants often face limited access to mental health services due to financial constraints, lack of insurance, or healthcare disparities. Furthermore, discrimination and xenophobia can result in additional stress and trauma for immigrants, exacerbating their mental health struggles.

As counselors, it is crucial to advocate for immigrants by promoting culturally sensitive and accessible mental health services. Building awareness and advocating for policy changes to address healthcare disparities is essential in ensuring immigrants have adequate support for their mental health needs. Additionally, providing culturally competent therapy and support groups can help immigrants navigate the challenges they face while adapting to a new culture. By advocating for immigrants, counselors can help move towards a more inclusive and equitable mental health system.

Interviewer: Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

I can certainly see where gaps in justice can arise on matters of immigration. From the root of the problem and outwards, there are also many stereotypes and biases that interfere with proper justice, especially with the application of immigration legislation. It is crucial that lawyers, and especially courts, are able to see that the American Dream promises the allowance for a pursuit of happiness for all, especially those who may need it most. I would also like to note, for immigrant or potential immigrant listeners, please know that home is wherever the heart is and it is up to you and your own dreams to decide where to settle and make a life for yourself.

My next question, Mrs. Rodriguez, is how can mental health therapists and counselors potentially collaborate with legal professionals to provide holistic support to clients dealing with immigration issues, migration concerns, cultural issues and related trauma?

Guest Podcaster: Ana Marcela Rodriguez, Mental Health Professional

In a variety of ways. Firstly, mental health professionals can provide psychological evaluations and therapy to individuals dealing with the stress and trauma of the immigration process. They can also assist in addressing cultural adjustment and identity issues that arise from migration. Additionally, mental health professionals can offer group therapy and support for individuals who have experienced trauma related to immigration and displacement.

On the other hand, legal professionals can help clients navigate the complex legal processes surrounding immigration and migration. They can provide legal representation and advice for clients seeking asylum, residency, or citizenship. Legal professionals can also advocate for the rights of immigrants and assist with issues such as family reunification and employment authorization.

By collaborating, mental health professionals and legal professionals can ensure that clients receive comprehensive support that addresses both their mental health and legal needs. This approach can help individuals better cope with the challenges of immigration and migration and promote their overall well-being and successful integration into their new communities. Interviewer:

Mlaah Singh, Law Clerk

I certainly agree. Thank you Mrs. Rodriguez. On behalf of our Legal Thoughts Podcast audience, I thank our Attorney and our Guest Podcaster, Ana Marcela Rodríguez, a mental health professional with Therapy Works Counseling for sitting with me and answering my questions on immigration and trauma today. We intend to continue this series of podcast in the near future with Episode Two: Violence Against Women Act Petitions and Episode Three: Limited English Proficiencies in American Culture.

Our listeners who want to hear more podcasts like this one please subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. You can also read our law firm’s blogs on our website in English, Spanish and Portuguese by going to our law firm’s website, which is, www.cjacksonlaw.com and selecting your preferred language. Everybody take care! And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, business structuring, contracts litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

English callers: 214-599-0431 | Spanish callers: 214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

Attorney: Coleman Jackson

Thank you very much Ana for joining me today on our Legal Thoughts Podcast in Episode One, Immigration and Trauma. I also want to thank our Legal Thoughts Podcast audience for giving us their ear today.

Our listeners should stay tuned for future podcasts in this series where Ana and I answer questions about the Violence Against Women Act protections for immigrants experiencing inhumane and unjust treatment at the hands of a United States citizen parent, child or spouse; and Episode 3 where we answer questions on the topic: Limited English Proficiencies and microaggressions in American Culture. As usual, we invite our audience to suggest topics and questions on matters they desire to know answers for involving international, federal, and state and local tax matters; contracts, litigation; and business, family and humanitarian immigration. You can read our blogs or contact us on our law firm’s website which is www.cjacksonlaw.com. Navigate to English, Spanish or Portuguese by using the language selection bottom on our law firm’s website.

If you want to see or hear more taxation, business structuring and contracts litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. Stay tuned! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration. Until next time, take care

LEGAL THOUGHTS – Episode 2 of Business Immigration: What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

LEGAL THOUGHTS – Episode 2 of Business Immigration:  What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published July 03, 2023


Attorney introduction: Welcome to Legal Thoughts! My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to myself, we have Leiliane Godeiro – Litigation Legal Assistant, and our administration staff Ernesto Munoz and Michele Gutierrez.

On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Litigation Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro will be interviewing me on the important topic of: “Episode 2 of What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?”

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Hi everyone, my name is Leiliane Godeiro and I am a Litigation Legal Assistant at the tax, litigation, and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

Good morning Attorney; thank you for being here today to talk about this important business immigration topic: Episode 2 of what You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

In the first episode a couple of weeks ago, we discussed what is the L1A Visa used for, what are its requirements, and if it has any specific additional requirements imposed on the company. Today we will cover more questions, specifically about the benefits and differences between an L1A visa and other employment visas.

Attorney, let’s get started and explore more wonderful things about the L1A Intracompany Transfer Visa that our podcast audience needs to know.

Question 1: What are the processing times for the L1A Intracompany Transfer Visa?

And Attorney, what are the current government filing costs for the L1A Visa?
Attorney Answer – Question 1:

Good morning, Leiliane.

According to USCIS online processing reports, the current processing time for the L1A Visa at the Texas Service Center is 1.5 months.  The reported processing time for the L1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive & Manager Visa is about 2 months at the California Service Center.

Note however that for an additional fee, premium processing is available for the L1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive & Manager Visa. Premium processing cuts the total processing time to about 15 calendar days or less.

As for regular filing fees – the current regular filing fee is $460 plus an $85 biometrics fee.  Remember extra fees apply when premium processing is requested by the employer.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 2: What are the approval percentages of the L1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive & Manager Visa?

Attorney Answer – Question 2:

The approval rate for L1A visas can vary depending on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the applicant and the employer, as well as the overall immigration policies and procedures of the country issuing the visa. It’s important to note that I don’t have access to real-time data or statistics on approval rates.

However, it is generally understood that L1A visas have a relatively high approval rate compared to some other visa categories. This is because the L1A visa is designed for intracompany transfers of executives and managers who are being relocated to the United States by their current employer. As long as the applicant and employer meet the eligibility requirements, and the application is properly prepared and supported with relevant documentation, the chances of approval are generally considered favorable.

It’s worth mentioning that the approval process involves thorough scrutiny of the application, including the company’s credentials, the nature of the position, the employee’s qualifications, and the overall purpose of the transfer. It is crucial to provide accurate and detailed information, as well as sufficient supporting documents to demonstrate that the requirements for the L1A visa are satisfied.  That is where a business immigration counselor or business lawyer can bring much value.  The goal is to avoid mishaps and requests for evidence that can slow the adjudicative process down or derail it altogether.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 3: Can an L1A visa holder bring his family?

Attorney Answer – Question 3:

Absolutely if certain conditions are met!  If you are in the U.S. on L-1 status, you will be able to bring your spouse and children along with you with the L-2 visa.  The validity period will be the same as that of the L-1 visa holder. The L-2 visa is dependent upon the status of the L-1 principal visa holder.

Also, if your spouse qualifies for an Employment Authorization Document, they will be able to work in the U.S. as well with any employer throughout the United States.

This is a great L-1 benefit because it allows your spouse to make supplementary income to help support the family.

But only spouses can work on an L-2 visa, children cannot work on an L-2 Visa. Parents of L1 visa holders are not eligible for the L-2 visa, unfortunately.

Finally, remember that the term “child” in the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) means your children who are under 21 years of age and unmarried.  Your qualifying children can come to the United States on an L-2 visa.  They can attend primary, secondary, and university-level schools here.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 4: Attorney, can you do a brief comparison between the L1A visa and other work visas available to foreign professionals who wish to be employed in the U.S.?

Attorney Answer – Question 4:

There are many different types of work visas available to foreign professionals who wish to be employed in the U.S. Many of them have very steep requirements that are difficult to fulfill. For example, the O-1 visa requires applicants to show their extraordinary ability through international awards or a substantial salary. The TN visa is only available to Canadians and Mexicans. The E-2 visa requires a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise.  Moreover, the E-2 Treaty Trader Visa requires a trade treaty between the United States and the foreign professionals’ home country.  As I mentioned in Episode 1 on Legal Thoughts, citizens from Brazil, India, Vietnam, and several other countries cannot come to the United States on an E-2 Visa because the United States does not have an E-2 treaty with them— and no E-1 treaty either for that matter.

The L-1 visa, however, only requires you to be a manager, executive, or specialized employee in a multinational company in order to be qualified. This opens up the door for many people that are otherwise ineligible for other work visas like citizens of Brazil, India, and Vietnam.  Of course, the EB-5 is also an investor visa.  Its nickname is the ‘gold visa’ because takes $800,000 to $1,800,000 investment to qualify for the EB-5 investor’s visa.  The L-1 Intracompany Transfer of Executives and Managers Visa is likely to require a more affordable investment amount to set up an affiliate branch or sales office or manufacturing plant or distribution center in the United States of a parent company located in Brazil or India or Vietnam.

Well, what about some other employment visas?  Let me talk about them briefly here.  What our audience needs to know about them.  One of the most important things our audience needs to know is that H-1B visas, J-1 visas, and TN visas require a sponsor and the most critical path problem that most foreign jobs seekers find when trying to use these work visas is the inability to find an entity that is willing to sponsor them for these visa types. American employers are reluctant to hire H-1B workers because its time-consuming and costs a lot of money.   Employers need workers today, right now, not in some distant future. Remember there are restrictive availability caps on the number of H1-B visas annually.  These restrictive caps make the H1-B visa practically impossible for most employers.

If you are a qualified L-1 visa applicant, then you are already employed with a U.S. company that is affiliated with your foreign employer.  No labor certification restrictions apply. The L-1A does not require obtaining labor certification from the United States Department of Labor when petitioning for foreign executive and manager transfers.  Nor does the L-1 visa require the employer to hire United States citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other authorized workers as a condition to bringing in the intracompany executives and managers.

Typically, the L-1 visa is compared to the H-1B on account of their similarities. However, don’t forget about the critical path problem I’ve mentioned before.  There is a strict annual cap on how many H-1B petitions are approved each year. Each year, a small number of petitions are randomly selected from a pool of submitted petitions, making it very difficult to obtain an H-1B if you are bounded head-and-foot waiting on this lottery.

On the other hand, there are no limits to how many L-1 visas are approved each year. This means that your petition will not be rejected due to the fact that there are no more available visas.

One of the greatest L-1 visa benefits is the fact that you do not need a degree to qualify. This is a large advantage over the H-1B.  There are some other visas that do not necessarily require an education. These include the O-1, E-2, TN, and J-1 visa classifications. Since the labor certification rules do not apply in the case of the L-1 visa, this is a significant advantage over the H-1B visa since with the H1-B visa, employer petitioners must prove to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Labor that the wage offered to the intended foreign hire meets the prevailing wage or similar domestic workers paid to United States citizen or Green Card holders.

Like several other nonimmigrant visas, the L-1 is considered by the USCIS to be a “dual intent” visa.  What is a dual intent visa?  Dual Intent means that an L-1 visa holder is able to pursue lawful permanent resident status during their stay through some other lawful immigration route. This is in contrast to work visas such as the J-1 and TN visa classifications through which pursuing a green card would violate your status and possibly incur bad consequences with the USCIS.

On the other hand, L visa holders while physically in the United States may apply for work permits, immigrant visas, adjustment of status applications, H-1B visas, and L visa extensions— all, without violating their L-1 visa status.  That is what it means to be dual purpose.  The L-1 is a flexible visa.

INTERVIEWER Wrap-up: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Attorney, thank you for being here today with us, this information about the L1A visa was very interesting and hopefully useful to our podcast audience.

Our listeners who want to hear more podcasts like this one should subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or where ever you listen to your podcast.  Everybody takes care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, contracts, litigation, and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation, located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

English callers:  214-599-0431 | Spanish callers:  214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

Attorney Conclusion:

This is the end of “LEGAL THOUGHTS” for now.

Thank you for giving listening to our law firm’s Legal Thought Podcast so that we could talk to you about the L1 Intracompany Transfer of Executives and Managers which allows multinacional businesses to transfer executives and managers to the United States to set-up their branch operations, manage and oversee their domestic production plants, their domestic sales offices and much more?”  That is what the L1 Visa is for!  That is how it can be used by foreign companies from around the world.

If you want to see or hear more taxation, contract litigation, and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation.  Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast.

Stay tuned!  We are here in Dallas, Texas, and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation, and immigration.  Until next time, take care.

 

LEGAL THOUGHTS – Episode 1 of Business Immigration: What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

LEGAL THOUGHTS – Episode 1 of Business Immigration:  What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published June 20, 2023


Attorney introduction: Welcome to Legal Thoughts! My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to myself, we have Leiliane Godeiro – Litigation Legal Assistant, and our administration staff Ernesto Munoz and Michele Gutierrez.

On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Litigation Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro will be interviewing me on the important topic of: “Episode 1 of What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?”

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Hi everyone, my name is Leiliane Godeiro and I am a Litigation Legal Assistant at the tax, litigation, and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

Good afternoon, Attorney; thank you for being here today to talk about this important immigration topic: What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

 Attorney, let’s jump right into this interesting business immigration topic!

Question 1: Attorney, what is the L1A Visa used for?
Attorney Answer – Question 1:

Good afternoon, Leiliane.

That is a good question; The L1A visa is a non-immigrant visa available for intracompany transferees who are executives or managers pursuant to Immigration Nationality Act (“INA”), Section 101(a)(L). This provision of the INA allows multinational companies to transfer employees who hold executive or managerial positions from their foreign offices to their offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

So, in a nutshell:  the L1A visa is available to all foreign companies with established operations inside the U.S.A. or who desire to establish a parent company, branch, or subsidiary in the USA.  The L1A visa allows the foreign company to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States to manage the U.S.A. office.

Question 2: Attorney, what are the requirements for the L1A Visa?

Attorney Answer – Question 2:

To qualify for an L1A visa, both the employee (the beneficiary) and the petitioning employer (the company) must meet certain requirements. Here are some key criteria everyone needs to know:

Employer Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Let me start with the employer eligibility criteria for the L1A visa: The employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate. Both the U.S. and foreign entities must be actively doing business. The employer must currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.

Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.

Employee eligibility Criteria:

  1. The employee being transferred must have been working for the qualifying foreign company in an executive or managerial capacity for at least one continuous year within the three years preceding their transfer to the U.S. Additionally, the employee must be seeking to enter the U.S. to continue working for the same employer or a qualifying affiliate in an executive or managerial role.

Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

Note a very important L-1 visa restriction is that L1 visa holders are not permitted to start their own businesses while on L-1 status. In order to maintain their status, they must work only for their sponsoring employer.  An L-1 visa holder cannot work for anyone else.  That mean that an L1 visa holder cannot even work part-time for another employer simultaneously without violating the terms of the L1 visa.

Employee and Employer Criteria:

  1. Job requirements:
  • The position the employee will be filling in the U.S. must be an executive or managerial role, which typically involves significant decision-making authority, supervisory responsibilities, and overall control over the organization or a major department or function.
  • Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.
  • Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 3: Attorney are there any specific additional requirements imposed on the company?  For example:
(1) are there minimum investment requirements for the L1 visa?
(2) are there any requirements to hire a certain amount of United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents for the L1 visa?
(3) business structuring requirements, such as required United States Citizen ownership of the company?

Attorney Answer – Question 3:

The L1 visa does not have a minimum investment requirement.  Nor does the L1 visa require the foreign company nor the domestic company to hire any minimum amount of United States citizens or Green Card holders. This visa is for intracompany transferees who are executives or managers. If the US employer is transferring a foreign employee with the purpose of establishing new offices, they must meet the following requirements.

  1. The employer must show that he or she has secured sufficient physical premises to establish the new office;
  2. The employer must show that the employee was employed for one continuous year in a managerial or executive position within the 3 years before filing the petition; and
  3. The employer must demonstrate that the U.S. office will support the manager or executive within one year of the approval of the petition.

Employees issued an L-1A visa may stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 7 years. L-1A visa holders transferred to establish a new office are allowed a maximum initial stay of one year, and all others are allowed a maximum initial stay of 3 years.

L1A visa extensions may be granted in increments of up to 2 years at a time until the maximum 7-year limit has been reached.

As for your final question; your question about business structuring.  Note that businesses in the United States are structured under State business organizational laws.  In Texas, businesses are structured under the Business Organization Code, (BOA).  Under the BOA foreigners can own businesses; there are no requirements under the BOA that United States citizens must own the structured business. I will point out that Beneficial Ownership Reports required by the Corporate Transparency Act now requires all business formed after January 1, 2024, to file a report with the Financial Crimes Network on the beneficial owners of the business.  I have blogs on our law firm’s website that explains this new requirement in more detail and who must file these reports and when.  Existing businesses must file their beneficial ownership reports with FinCen beginning in 2025.  But beginning in 2024 newly structured businesses must file 30 days after they are structured.  This is a big deal that every business owner must pay attention to.  We suggest that you follow our website “Blogs”, “Legal Thoughts” podcast, and our U-Tube Channel program called “Law Watch”.

INTERVIEWER Wrap-up: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Attorney, thank you for being here today with us, this information about the L1A visa was very interesting and hopefully useful to our podcast audience. In the next episode, we will cover more questions about this unique opportunity to immigrate and invest in the USA.

Our listeners who want to hear more podcasts like this one should subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or where ever you listen to your podcast.  Everybody take care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, contracts, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation, located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

English callers:  214-599-0431 | Spanish callers:  214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

 Attorney Conclusion:

This is the end of “LEGAL THOUGHTS” for now.

Thank you for listening to Coleman Jackson, P.C. podcast presentation: “Episode 1 of Business Immigration: What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?”

If you want to see or hear more taxation, contract litigation, and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation.  Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast.

Stay tuned!  We are here in Dallas, Texas, and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, contracts, litigation, and immigration legal matters.  Until next time, take care.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published December 12, 2022

Overview:

Legal Thoughts is an audiocast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, contract litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This episode of Legal Thoughts is an audiocast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant of Coleman Jackson, P.C. The topic of discussion is “TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS).” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here: https://anchor.fm/coleman-jackson/episodes/TEMPORARY-PROTECTED-STATUS-TPS-e1ot2v4

If you enjoy this podcast, make sure to stay tuned for more episodes from the taxation, litigation, and immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. Be sure to subscribe. Visit the taxation, litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. online at www.cjacksonlaw.com.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson

LEGAL THOUGHTS

COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Legal Thoughts

My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, contract litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to myself, we have Alexis Brewer – Tax Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro – Litigation Legal Assistant, and Johanna Powell – Tax Legal Assistant.

On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Tax Legal Assistant, Alexis Brewer, will be interviewing me on the important immigration topic of: “TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS.”

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

Hi everyone, my name is Alexis Brewer and I am a Tax Legal Assistant at the tax, contract litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

Good afternoon, Attorney; thank you for agreeing to sit with me as I interview you with respect to this important immigration law topic: “TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS?”

Let’s jump right in,

Question 1: What does the legal term “Temporary Protected Status” mean?

Attorney Answer – Question 1:

Good morning, Alexis. The Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT 90) established a procedure by which the U.S. Attorney General may provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of a particular country who are in the United States and are unable to return to their home country due to-

  1. Ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to that conflict, the return of nationals to that state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety.
  2. An environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions, the state is temporarily unable to adequately handle returning nationals and the state therefore requests TPS designation.
  3. Other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning safely, unless the Attorney General finds that permitting nationals of the state to remain temporarily is contrary to the national interest of the United States.

After consultation with the appropriate agencies of the government, the Attorney General (AG) may decide to designate a foreign state or part thereof as eligible for TPS because one or more of the reasons discussed in this podcast have been met.

Notice of the designation is published in the Federal Register.  TPS designation will be effective for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 18 months.  Sixty days prior to the end of the designated TPS period, the Attorney General will review the conditions in the designated state and determine whether the designated conditions still exist.  If so, the TPS designation could be extended for an additional 6, 12, or 18 months.

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

That leads me right into my next question –

Question 2: Who is eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status?

Attorney Answer – Question 2:

That’s a great question.

An individual may be eligible for TPS if they are a national of a country designated by the Attorney General for Temporary Protected Status, or if the individual is a person who has no nationality but last habitually resided in the TPS designated country.

Individuals must consult the Federal Register or USCIS website to ascertain whether they are nationals of countries with TPS designations and they must apply for TPS during the specified registration period.

Certain individuals are ineligible for TPS; such as,

  • Individuals who are not nationals of the designated TPS country. Non-nationals who have not habitually resided in the designated country just prior to coming to the United States are also ineligible;
  • Individuals who do not register for TPS during the initial registration period;
  • Individuals who cannot demonstrate continuous physical presence in the United States since the effective date of the TPS designation;
  • Individuals who are inadmissible as an immigrant due to conviction of any felony or two or more misdemeanors and individuals who are inadmissible for other reasons, such as, national security; and
  • Individuals who do not meet residency requirement stated by the Attorney General when making the designation.

 INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

Question 3: What are some benefits for individuals who are in the United States on temporary protected status?

Attorney Answer – Question 3:

The benefits that an individual can obtain by applying for temporary protected status during the designated TPS registration period are that upon approval of their Form I-821:

  1. Individuals on TPS can reside in the United States without the fear of being deported to their home country
  2. Individuals on TPS can apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 when they file for TPS and work anywhere in the country;
  3. Individuals on TPS can file Form I-131 to apply for advance parole to obtain travel authorization; and
  4. Some of the filing fees may be waived upon request.

These are some of the legal benefits that individuals could obtain by Temporary Protected Status.  A real and enormous benefit of TPS is the potential to live a peaceful and productive life.

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

Question 4: What happens when the temporary protected status designated period ends?

 Attorney Answer – Question 4:

Temporary protected status is a temporary benefit.  TPS does not lead to lawful permanent resident status nor does it lead to any other immigration status. Therefore, when the TPS period ends the national of the designated country must return to their home country, or they will begin to accrue unlawful presence in the United States.  The national can be deported from the United States if they refuse to leave voluntarily once their TPS ends.

Keep in mind; however, the Attorney General may review the conditions in the designated country and extend the TPS designation as I discussed earlier during this podcast.  TPS can be extended and often has been extended in the past.  Some individuals have been here for years on TPS.  Good examples of this are nationals here on TPS from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua.

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

Question 5: What countries have the Attorney General currently designated for Temporary Protected Status?

Attorney Answer – Question 5:

The Attorney General has made many TPS designations over the years; current designated countries are – Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Cameroon, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Yemen.

For specified designations and eligibility and other issues regarding a particular country, a particular national or particular habitual resident of a designated country, we need to evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis in our office since often the application of law is more complex than it might first seem.  Facts matter in law as they do in life.

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

Attorney, I know you touched on Temporary Protected Status eligibility requirements previously; but could you expand on this since immigrant cases can have a lot of complicating facts and circumstances.
Question 6: What are the eligibility requirements for nationals of the Temporary Protected Status designated countries?

Attorney Answer – Question 6:

True, as I have previously stated, facts matter in law and in life!  Nationals and habitual residence of the TPS designated country must apply for TPS and meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  2. Apply during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;
  3. Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
  4. Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for their home country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case. USCIS exercises discretion in TPS cases; so, the presentation of your case matters.

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant

Question 7: What kind of things could make an individual ineligible for Temporary Protected Status?

Attorney Answer – Question 7:

An individual may not be ineligible to apply for temporary protected status if they:

  1. Have been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  2. Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under inadmissible grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  3. Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  4. Failure to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
  5. Failure to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  6. If granted TPS, failure to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

Interviewer Wrap-Up

Attorney, thank you for siting with me today to explain you for being here today with us, this information is very important for nationals who are here in the United States and who are from countries designated by the U.S. Attorney General as temporary protected status (TPS).

It seems like the take away here is that some nationals in the United States could be eligible to apply for temporary protected status but the process could be complex and require attorney guidance and representation.

To our listeners who want to hear more podcast like this one please subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or where ever you listen to your podcast. Take care, everyone! And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

English callers:  214-599-0431 | Spanish callers:  214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

 Attorney Closing Remarks

This is the end of today’s Legal Thoughts!

Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to inform you about: “TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS”

If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast.

Stay tuned!  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care.

How to Obtain an EB-3 Visa?

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published November 14, 2022

Overview:

Legal Thoughts is an audiocast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, contract litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This episode of Legal Thoughts is an audiocast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Alexis Brewer, Legal Assistant of Coleman Jackson, P.C. The topic of discussion is: “How to Obtain an Eb-3 Visa?”

You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

https://anchor.fm/coleman-jackson/episodes/HOW-TO-OBTAIN-AN-EB-3-VISA-e1oihn3

If you enjoy this podcast, make sure to stay tuned for more episodes from the taxation, litigation, and immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. Be sure to subscribe. Visit the taxation, litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. online at www.cjacksonlaw.com.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson

LEGAL THOUGHTS

COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Legal Thoughts

My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, contract litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to myself, we have Alexis Brewer – Tax Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro – Litigation Legal Assistant, and Johanna Powell – Tax Legal Assistant.

On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Tax Legal Assistant, Alexis Brewer, will be interviewing me on the important topic of: “How to Obtain an Eb-3 Visa?”

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Hi everyone, my name is Alexis Brewer and I am a Legal Assistant at the tax, contract litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

Good afternoon, Attorney; thank you for agreeing to sit with me as I interview you with respect to EB-3 visas. Let’s jump right in –

Question 1: What is an EB-3 Visa?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 1:

Hello Alexis.

An EB-3 Visa a third preference business visa for immigrants who are skilled workers, professionals, or other workers who want to live and work in the United States. Let me explain this visa category.

USCIS considers a person a “skilled worker” if they have a job that requires a minimum of 2 years of training, or experience. In other words, the job is not temporary or seasonal. USCIS considers a worker a “professional” if their job requires a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent. Lastly, the “other worker” category is for people who work in unskilled labor that require less than 2 years of training but are not temporary or seasonal jobs.

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 2: Well attorney, what are the requirements for an EB-3 Visa?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 2:

Whether you are applying for an EB-3 Visa under the skilled worker, professional, or unskilled worker subcategories, you are required to present a labor certification AND show proof of a permanent full-time job offer.

The labor certification must be approved by the Department of Labor by the employer filing Form ETA-9089.

Additionally, an employer must file Form I-140 Petition for Alien Worker on behalf of the applicant. The employer must be able to demonstrate an ability to pay through annual reports, federal income tax returns, etc. Lastly, an employer must obtain the labor certification form to show that there are no Americans who are willing or qualified to fill the position.

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 3: Can EB-3 visa-holders bring family members through on their EB-3 Visa?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 3:

Yes, Alexis. As an EB-3 Visa recipient you can bring immediate family members with you to the United States on a separate petition. For EB-3 purposes, an immediate family member includes a spouse, and any dependent children who are under 21.

Children are able to attend school and a spouse may complete an Employment Authorization Document or obtain a green card to work. More specifically, a legal spouse of an EB-3 recipient under the “skilled worker” or “professional subcategory” can apply for an E-34 visa.  If the EB-3 recipient is under the “other worker” subcategory then their spouse can apply for an EW-4 visa.

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 4: Can an EB-3 Visa lead to a Green Card?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 4:

This is a great question –

A significant benefit of obtaining an EB-3 visa is that it provides a recipient with a green card. In the EB-3 context, an employer is the petitioner, and the immigrant applicant is the beneficiary.

Green cards provide a multitude of benefits including providing permanent residence in the United States, allows a permanent resident to have flexibility in travel, and provide a path to citizenship.

Also, as I mentioned previously, an EB-3 visa holder can apply for their spouse and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) to obtain permanent residence visas as well.

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 5: What are typical processing times for an EB-3 Visa?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 5:

Processing times can vary depending on a variety of factors including, the time of year you are submitting your application, what country you are applying from, and if you have applied for premium processing.

An application may take from a few months up to 4 years. Additionally, if considering the timeline of an EB-3 visa, you must remember that the employer has to obtain a labor certification which will take time since it needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. Aspiring immigrants who desire to live and work in the United States should keep looking up and not be discouraged by the process; the EB-3 Visa is a permanent visa that creates a clear path to U.S. citizenship for qualified foreigners desiring to immigrate to the U.S.

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 6: Attorney, you mentioned premium processing. What is premium processing and is it available for EB-3 Visas?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 6:

 Well Alexis, Premium processing allows for expedited processing of your EB-3 visa for an additional fee.

Premium processing is currently available for EB-3 Visas. The current fee for premium processing is $2,500 and it allows you to request faster processing for your I-140 petition. USCIS states that in requesting premium processing they estimate that your petition will be processed in about 15 calendar days. This fee is in addition to the filing fee for your I-140 petition.

 

INTERVIEWER: Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant

Attorney, my final question –

Question 7: Are there any annual caps or limits on EB-3 Visas?

 

Attorney Answer – Question 7:

In fact, there is an annual limit on EB-3 visas.

USCIS allocates a total of 40,040 visas each year in this category. Once this number is met, any remaining petitions are put aside until the next fiscal year. Processing times can be affected by this yearly cap which is why if you are thinking of applying for an EB-3 Visa, this is something to consider early on in the process.

 

Interviewer Wrap-Up

Attorney, thank you for this clear and very important presentation on the process and benefits of an EB-3 Visa.  Many American business owners looking for skilled workers, professionals and even unskilled workers are likely to find this information very useful. For now, thanks for sitting with me today and answering my questions concerning what we think our listeners should know and consider when obtaining an EB-3 Visa.

To our listeners who want to hear more podcast like this one please subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or where ever you listen to your podcast. Take care, everyone! And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

English callers:  214-599-0431 | Spanish callers:  214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

 

Attorney Closing Remarks

This is the end of today’s Legal Thoughts!

Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to inform you about: “How to obtain an EB-3 Visa?”

If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast.

Stay tuned!  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care.

EB-3 Visa For Skilled Workers, Unskilled Workers and Professional Workers

By:  Coleman Jackson, Attorney
Date:  October 11, 2022

EB-3 Visa For Skilled Workers, Unskilled Workers and Professional Workers

ELEGIBILITY

SKILLED WORKERS

PROFESSIONALS

UNSKILLED WORKERS

 Worker must have 2 years of job experience or training Worker must have US bachelor’s degree (or its foreign degree) related to the occupation Worker must be able to perform unskilled labor (less than 2 years of training or experience)
 Not temporary Qualified workers are not available in USA  Not temporary
Post-secondary education may be considered as training  Labor certification Qualified workers are not available in USA
Qualified workers are not available in USA  Full-time job offer  Labor certification
 Labor certification Full-time job offer
 Full-time job offer

EB-3 Skilled workers, entry-level professionals and unskilled workers visa

EB-3 Skilled workers, entry-level professionals and unskilled workers visa is the third preference business visa as described in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  Employers who desire to bring foreign workers to the United States under this category of visa must first obtain a labor certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) stating that they cannot find any qualified, willing and able U.S. citizens or green card holders to do the job.    The second step an employer must take is to file Form I-140 with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) if the labor certification is approved.  Employers bringing in professional nurses and physical therapist are exempt from obtaining DOL labor certification.

EB-3 visa at the counselor’s office

Finally, the third step a sponsoring employer must take: Upon approval of the preliminary petition by USCIS, the employer must notify the intending worker to apply for an EB-3 visa at the counselor’s office or, in the event the intended worker is already lawfully inside the United States and is eligible to adjust status, the worker must file Form I-485 to adjust status to permanent resident of the United States.  The EB-3 visa is a permanent visa and can ultimately lead to naturalization.

Step by Step to EB-3 Skilled Worker, Professional and Unskilled Worker’s Visa

OBTAIN THE PERMANENT LABOR CERTIFICATION

Step 1.  OBTAIN THE PERMANENT LABOR CERTIFICATION:

This certification allows the employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. The Department of Labor must certify to USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

  • APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATION is filed with the U.S. Department of Labor on – ETA Form 9089
  • Approval validity is 180 days
  • Denied certification means You are done. You cannot lawfully hire the worker(s).

Exception to DOL Labor Certification:

SCHEDULE A OCCUPATIONS (DOL has pre-certified the following occupations, which means that the certification form is sent to USCIS rather than to DOL.)

  • Group I – physical therapists and professional nurses; and
  • Group II – immigrants of exceptional ability in the sciences or arts, including college and university teachers, and immigrants of exceptional ability in the performing arts.

FILE A PRELIIMINARY PETITION FOR PERMANENT FOREIGN WORKER WITH USCIS

Step 2. FILE A PRELIIMINARY PETITION FOR PERMANENT FOREIGN WORKER WITH USCIS:

Employer Due Diligence:  Obtain competent counsel, if you have not already done so since legal matters are rarely as simple as they may seem. This blog is written in simple terms to attempt to communicate to a broad audience.

  • Read the instructions for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers;
  • Obtain an approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), if required for the specific visa category;
  • Complete and sign Form I-140;
  • Pay the filing fee, if applicable;
  • Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation; and

File all appropriate forms and evidence with the appropriate office of USCIS.  Currently, the regular USCIS filing fee for Form I-140 is $700 and the current premium processing fee is $2,500.

EB-3 CATEGORY AND PROCESSING TIMES

Step 3. WAIT PATIENTLY FOR PROCESSING:

CATEGORY AND PROCESSING TIMES

CATEGORY AND PROCESSING TIMES
CATEGORY NEBRASKA TEXAS
Schedule A Nurses 14 months 14 months
Skilled Worker (E31) 17 months 17.5 months
Professional Workers (E32) 17 months 17.5 months
Unskilled Worker or Other Worker (EW3) 12.5 months 17 months

Note:  USCIS processing times varies and may be more or less than these processing times for the EB-3 Visa currently.  There are many factors that could impact processing times and therefore work force and company overall human resource planning is required.

Finally, EB-3 workers may separately file petitions for their spouse and children who are under 21 years of age and unmarried.  Their children can enroll in American schools and their spouse can apply for a work permit.

The main thing to see here is that although the EB-3 skilled worker, professional and unskilled worker’s visa may take awhile to get, it is a clear path to see opportunities for hardworking foreign workers ranging from those working in the professions to those with some skills to those working on jobs that require little to know formal schooling and training at all.  All can begin again and make new lives in the United States since this visa leads to permanent residency.

 

This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader.  You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Taxation, Litigation, Immigration Law Firm | English (214) 599-0431 | Spanish (214) 599-0432 | Portuguese (214) 272-3100

How to lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on a H-2B Visa? | Legal Thoughts

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published October 5, 2022

Overview:  

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.  

This episode of Legal Thought is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Intern at Coleman Jackson, P.C. The topic of discussion is “How to lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on a H-2B Visa?” 

You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:


 

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal thoughts podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you may listen to your podcast.  

 

TRANSCRIPT 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

Legal Thoughts. Coleman Jackson, Attorney and Counselor at Law 

“How to lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on a H-2B Visa”  

Welcome to Immigration Thoughts 

My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.  

Our topic today is: “How to lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on an H2-B visa?  Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Johanna Powell, Tax Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant, Alexis Brewer, Tax Legal Assistant, and Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant.  

On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our immigration legal assistant, Gladys Marcos will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important immigration topic, “How to lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on an H-2B Visa?”  

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

Hello everyone. My name is Gladys Marcos and I am the immigration legal assistant at Coleman Jackson, P.C. Coleman, P.C. is a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based right here in Dallas, Texas.  

My first question for you attorney is with the U.S. in constant need of workers, is there any immigration program that allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents to bring foreign nationals into the United States to temporarily fill non-agricultural positions.  

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

Good morning Gladys 

Yes, the H-2B program allows United States employers to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs by filing Form I-129 with USCIS. Non-agricultural jobs include, but are not limited to, the following job categories: construction, landscaping, waiters, waitresses and cooks, retail store clerks, inventory stockers and cashiers, cleaning, repairs, pest control, debris removal, maintenance, hospitality, and similar unskilled labor occupations.   

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

Okay and how does an employer determine whether they are eligible to participate in the H2-B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker’s Visa?  

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

An employer must demonstrate to the Department of Labor (DOL) with credible evidence that:  

  1. There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work; 
  1. Hiring H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; and  
  1. That the need for foreign workers is temporary. Temporary is measured in the terms of: (1) a one -time occurrence; (2) a seasonable need; (3) a peak load need; or (4) an intermittent need  

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

Thank you for sharing the eligibility criteria. My next question is what are the steps a U.S. employer must take to petition to bring in foreign nationals under the H2-B temporary Non-Agricultural Workers Visa?  

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

There are three steps that an employer must take to apply an H-2B Visa: 

Step 1: Submit a temporary labor certificate application to the DOL 

Step 2: Submit a Form I-129 to USCIS 

Step 3: Upon receiving an approval notice from USCIS, the employer must notify the prospective worker to apply for an H2-B, non-agricultural visa at the U.S. embassy in their home country  

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

And who eligible to receive a H-2B non-agricultural worker’s visa?  

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson 

That is an excellent question, Gladys. Not every country is eligible to participate in the H-2B non-agricultural visa program. Let me explain,  every year, the Department of Homeland Security updates the lost of eligible H2-B visa countries. Employers seeking to hire H2-B unskilled workers in their establishment must review this DHS list to determine which foreign nationals are currently eligible to participate in the H2-B Non-Agricultural Visa Program.  

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

Okay and can workers who are already in the United States receive a H-2B Non-Agricultural Workers Visa?  

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

If the foreign national is in the U.S. on a non-immigrant employment visa, and a U.S. employer desires to hire the foreign national on a H2-B agriculturalist workers visa, the employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker. 

Once the I-129 is approved, the employee must file a form I-539 that means that a foreign national must file a I-539 Non-immigrant Change of Status Application to change their non-immigrant visas.  

Per DHS’s March 2021 announcement (pandemic related): Employers will also be able to hire workers who are already lawfully present in the United States in H-2B status without waiting for approval of the new petition, subject to certain conditions that we won’t go into in this particular podcast. We often go into much more detail on topics discussed in our law firm’s blogs; which can be found on our website at www.cjacksonlaw.com.  Our blogs are free of charge. 

Finally, if the foreign national is in the U.S. without documents, they cannot be hired as an H2-B non-agricultural worker, nor can foreign nationals who are here on student visas be hired by an American employer under the H2-B Visa Program. Employers cannot hire individuals here on visitor visas or here on a visa waiver program as an H2-B Non-agricultural Visa. These visa categories that I just mentioned cannot be changed to an H2-B non-agricultural worker visa. 

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

How long can H-2B workers stay in the United States. Additionally, are they able to bring their families? 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

Once a worker has been granted an H-2B visa they can remain in the United States for 3 years. When their H-2B Visa expires it cannot be extended or used to change status. During these 3 years, they can bring their spouse and children with them. Reminder: immigration law considers a person a child if they are unmarried and under 21 years of age.) 

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

How is obtaining workers through the H2-B Visa program better than hiring workers as independent contractors? 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

This is a very interesting and complex question, but only theoretically because in practice federal and state labor laws are extremely clear on this subject.  So let me first of all say that federal and state law define whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.  Whether a worker is properly classified as an employee or independent contractor does not depend on what the parties call the worker.  In both federal labor law and Texas labor law, the critical question is whether the worker is under the direction and control of the employer.  This is commonly referred to as the ‘direction and control’ test or common law test.  In both federal law and Texas law the test consist of about 20 factors.  I will not go into further details, but the significant point that I am making is that workers must be classified in accordance with the law.  Classification of workers as employees or independent contractors is not a decision left to an employer.    

The second point I would like to make at this time is this one: 

Employers have federal tax filing requirements, deposit requirements and withholding requirements for all workers classified as employees. Employers must withhold income taxes from each payment paid to the worker, they must timely deposit withheld funds to the IRS, generally using the EFTPS payment system, and the employer must file timely Form 941 (quarterly payroll tax form) and Form 940 (annual payroll tax form) with the IRS.  Employers must also give employees Form W2 by its due date, and they must file W4 transmittal documents with the Social Security Administration each year.  Moreover all employers must complete and maintain Form I-9 within days of hiring a new worker as an employee where they identify the worker and review the workers eligibility to work lawfully in the United States. Completed Form I-9 must be kept by the employer and are subject to request for examination by the federal government.  There can be severe civil penalties accessed for failure to withhold federal taxes, failure to deposit federal payroll taxes, and failure to file required tax returns.  Likewise severe penalties can be accessed for misclassification of workers. 

As for employer’s responsibilities in Texas; Texas employers must register with the Texas Work Force Commission.  They must file quarterly Unemployment Tax Reports with the TWC and they must otherwise comply with the Texas Labor Code as it relates to employing workers in Texas.  I might note that TWC periodically perform audit examinations in search for misclassification of workers by employers in Texas.  There can be steep cost for misclassification of workers in Texas. 

Employers properly classifying workers as independent contractors are not responsible for their tax liabilities or their tax reporting.  Employers give the independent contractor a Form 1099 at the end of each year. Employers do not have to report payments to independent contractors to the TWC or any other state or local agency within the state of Texas. 

So to summarize my first point:  classification of workers is not a decision employers get to pick out of thin air by simply choosing to classified their workers as employees or independent contractors depending upon whether or not the classification makes them more or less competitive in their marketplace or industry.  As I previously mentioned in awhile ago, misclassification of workers can catch up with you and have severe federal and state consequences if you get caught.  Intentional misclassifications of workers and intentionally hiring workers who are not authorized to work in the United States could expose the organization and individual decision makers within the violating companies in serious legal jeopardy, including criminal prosecution. 

My second point is that hiring unskilled workers in the H2-B program is lawful whereas hiring workers who are not authorized to work in the United States is a violation of I-9 rules and could subject violators to ICE investigations and examinations; and sometimes repeating what has already been said previous might be clarifying.  Like this point; misclassification of workers could have significant federal tax consequences, such as, denial of labor cost during an IRS examination, or huge tax adjustments by TWC examiners during Texas Workforce Commission audits of the employer.  Under some circumstances the IRS and/or TWC could refer the offending employer to each other and/or for prosecution on tax fraud, tax evasion or similar federal and state crimes. 

So to summarize in a nutshell my answer to your question number 5 is this:  the H2-B non-agricultural workers program can be used to lawfully hire workers in non-agricultural jobs in America.  It’s a way of hiring the workers you need to successfully operate your business within the bounds of federal and state law.  Law breakers are responsible for their actions and should be held accountable. 

 

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

Thank you for that insight. My last question is this one: Are there any other things an employer should consider when thinking of using the H2B Visa Program? 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

Well I cannot begin to think of everything any particular employer should think of when hiring or considering hiring foreign workers under the H2-B Non-Agricultural Workers Program because it depends on all the facts and circumstances that is not knowable to me right now.  Employers would need to ask precise questions pertaining to them individually. 

With that said, let me just say yes employers do need to know this point in any regardless of what their particular facts or circumstances might be:   the USCIS sets a limit on how many H-2B visas available each fiscal year (October 1-September 30). The USCIS has recently increased this cap to meet the needs of the H-2B program, but even still, there are more employers applying for workers under the H2-B visa program than visas available each year. 

Its important to keep processing times front of mind whenever you are considering filing an I-129 to hire H-2B workers. Plan well ahead of when you will actually need these temporary workers. 

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant  

Attorney thank you for this clear and very important presentation on the H2-B temporary non-agricultural worker visa.  Many American business owners looking for unskilled laborers and foreign nationals interested in coming to the United States to work temporarily are likely to find this information useful. For now, thanks for sitting with me today and answering my questions concerning how U.S. employers can lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on a H-2B non-agricultural workers visa. 

Our listeners who want to hear more podcast like this one should subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or where ever they listen to their podcast.  Everybody take care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts Podcast from Coleman Jackson, P.C., which is located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.   

English callers:  214-599-0431 | Spanish callers:  214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100 

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson  

This is the end of Legal Thoughts for now. 

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about : “How to lawfully hire temporary non-agricultural workers on an H-2B Visa?” 

If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Stay tune!  Watch for a new Legal Thoughts Podcast in about two weeks.  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care