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Questions about H-1B (Speciality Occupation Worker) Non-Immigrant Visa

1. What is a H-1B visa?
2. What are the qualifications to apply for a H-1B visa?
3. Who can sponsor a H-1B visa?
4. I do not have a college degree.  Does this mean I have no way to obtain a H-1B visa?
5. I have a college degree.  Does this mean I should have no problem to obtain a H-1B visa?
6. What is the maximum number of years allowed for a H1B visa?
7. How is H-1B visa related to green card petition?
8. Must I be in the United States to apply for a H-1B visa?
9. Can I enter the United States by a B1/2 visa and then change status to H-1B?

Questions about L-1A (Multi-National Manager) Non-Immigrant Visa & 1st Priority Immigration Petition

1. What is a L-1A visa?
2. What are the qualifications to apply for a L-1A visa?
3. What is the advantage of L-1A visa versus other employment-based visas?
4. Can I set up a new branch company in the United States and apply for a L-1A visa?
5. What’s the maximum number of years allowed for a L-1A visa?
6. Can one company apply for more than one L-1A?
7. Can I enter the United States by a B1/2 visa and then change status to L-1A?
8. How is L-1A visa related to green card petition?
9. When can I start to apply for green card based on multi-national company manager?
10. How long does it take to apply for green card based on muiti-national company manager?
11.What documents are required to apply for green card based on multi-national company manager?
12. Must I be in the United States to apply for green card under the multi-national company manager category?



Questions about E-1 (Treaty Trader) Non-Immigrant Visa

1. What is an E-1 visa?
2. What are the qualifications to apply for a E-1 visa?
3. What are the benefits to apply for a E-1 visa?
4. Can I get the green card from E-1 visa?



Questions about E-2 (Treaty Investor) Non-Immigrant Visa

1. What is an E-2 visa?
2. What are the qualifications to apply for a E-2 visa?
3. What are the benefits to apply for a E-1 visa?
4. Can I get the green card from E-1 visa?




Questions about setting up company

1. Must I form a company to do business in the United States?
2. What choices do I have to form a company in California?
3. Can a foreigner form a U.S. company?
4. Can a foreign company do business in California?
5. What are the advantages to form a Limited Liability Company?
6. What are the disadvantages to form a Limited Liability Company?
7. Is my personal asset protected if I conduct business under a company?
8. Do different types of company have different tax effects?



ANSWERS

Questions about H-1B (Specialty Occupation Worker) Non-Immigrant Visa

1. What is a H-1B visa?

H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa for a U.S. employer to hire an alien in a speciality occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.


2. What are the qualifications to apply for a H-1B visa?

H-1B requires the job position to be a position to apply a body of specialized knowledge with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and arts are specialty occupations.


3. Who can sponsor a H-1B visa?

It has to be an U.S. employer, such as a U.S. corporation, LLC, or a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.



4. I don’t have a college degree.  Does this mean I cannot obtain a H-1B visa?

Regulation does provide that you can use your work experience to account for the years of education required to obtain a bachelor’s degree.  However, the CIS has been strict on this issue.  It therefore requires careful evaluation by your attorney.



5. I have a college degree.  Does this mean I have no problem to obtain a H-1B visa?

While college degree is an important factor in getting a H-1B visa, there are other important considerations, such as the employer’s business and your expertise.


6. What is the maximum number of years allowed for a H1B visa?

6 years.  But if you leave the United States for more than a year,  you can re-gain another 6 years.


7. How is H-1B visa related to green card petition?

Often a H-1B holder will apply for green card via employer-based immigration. 


8. Must I be in the United States to apply for a H-1B visa?

No.  Your employer can petition your H-1B for you while you are in a foreign country.  After the H-1B petition is approved, you can apply for the H-1B visa with a U.S. consulate to enter the United States.


9. Can I enter the United States by a B1/2 visa and then change status to H-1B?

In theory, yes.  However, you have to overcome the intent issue. 

Questions about L-1A (Multi-National Manager) Non-Immigrant
Visa & 1st Priority Immigration Petition

1. What is a L-1A visa?

L1-A visa is a nonimmigrant visa for aliens to transfer from from a U.S. employer’s foreign associated organization to the U.S. employer as a manager or executive.


2. What are the qualifications to apply for a L-1A visa?

The position to be employed must be a manager or executive position.  The U.S. employer must be a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or joint venture partner of the associated foreign organization.



3. What is the advantage of L-1A visa versus other employment-based visas?

A L-1A holder can apply for immigrant visa in the first priority under the category of multi-national manager.  The biggest advantage of this category is that it does not require the process of labor certificate application.  It can save lots of time and advertising fee going through the labor certificate application.


4. Can I set up a new branch company in the United States and apply for a L-1A visa?

Yes.  In most cases of this situation, the CIS will approve one year validity of L-1A.  It then needs to be renewed after one year.



5. What’s the maximum number of years allowed for a L-1A visa?

7 years.  But if the L-1A holder leaves the United States for more than a year,  he or she can re-gain another 7 years.


6. Can one company apply for more than one L-1A?

Yes, but the company needs to show sufficient business amount and employees to support the number of L-1A holders.



7. Can I enter the United States by a B1/2 visa and then change status to L-1A?

Yes, although the applicant needs to pay attention to the intent issue.



8. How is L-1A visa related to green card petition?

A L-1A holder can apply for immigrant visa in the first priority under the category of multi-national manager.  The biggest advantage of this category is that it does not require the process of labor certificate application.  It can save lots of time and advertising fee going through the labor certificate application.


9. When can I start to apply for green card based on multi-national company manager?

You can start to apply for green card at anytime.  However, it is advisable to apply for it after the L-1A is approved.



10. How long does it take to apply for green card based on muiti-national company manager?

Since there is no need of labor certification, a significant amount of time is saved.  It will take the processing time of green card petition and processing time of adjustment of status, if the alien is in the United States, or the time of consular processing, if the alien is outside the United States.  Processing time varies depending on the speed of the CIS at a particular time.  Processing time can be estimated at the CIS’ website.



11.What documents are required to apply for L-1A or green card based on multi-national company manager?

Extensive documents are required such as employer’s financial status and employees.  Please consult with our office for details.



12. Must I be in the United States to apply for green card under the multi-national company manager category?

No.  You can wait in your home country while green card petition is filed in the United States.  You can come to the United States after your green card is approved.



Questions about E-1 (Treaty Trader) Non-Immigrant Visa


1. What is an E-1 visa?

An E-1 visa is a treaty trader status.  It is for citizens of a treaty country to apply to conduct trade between the United States and the county of majority ownership of the treaty enterprise.



2. What are the qualifications to apply for a E-1 visa?

The trading company must be engaging in substantial trade between the United States and the treaty country.  The principal or employee must server the trading company in a specified capacity, either managerial or involving "essential skills."



3. What are the benefits to apply for a E-1 visa?

The duration of stay in the United States can be extended almost indefinitely and the alien do not need to maintain a foreign residence , as long as they affirm their intention to leave the United States after their authorized stay, including unlimited extensions, expires.



4. Can I get the green card from E-1 visa?

There is no direct route to apply for green card from E-1, but you can apply for green card through other employment and relative immigration petitions.



Questions about E-2 (Treaty Investor) Non-Immigrant Visa


1. What is an E-2 visa?

An E-2 visa is a treaty investor status.  It is for citizens of a treaty country to apply as principal investors or enterprise employees seeking admission through the treaty enterprise.



2. What are the qualifications to apply for a E-2 visa?

A treaty must exist between the United States and the country of which the treaty enterprise is a national.  At least 50% ownership of the investing enterprise by nationals of the treaty country.



3. What are the benefits to apply for a E-2 visa?

The duration of stay in the United States can be extended almost indefinitely and the alien do not need to maintain a foreign residence , as long as they affirm their intention to leave the United States after their authorized stay, including unlimited extensions, expires.



4. Can I get the green card from E-2 visa?


There is no direct route to apply for green card from E-2, but you can apply for green card through other employment and relative immigration petitions.

Questions about Establishing Company



1. Must I form a company to do business in the United States?

No, you can do business as an individual in the United States, although establishing a company does have certain benefits.



2. What choices do I have to form a company in California?

The normal choices are C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Limited Liability Company, and Limited Partnership.


3. Can a foreigner form a U.S. company?

Yes, but there are limitations.  For example, foreigners can not form a C-Corporation.



4. Can a foreign company do business in California?

Yes, it will have to register with the California State of Secretary.



5. What are the advantages to form a Limited Liability Company?

When setting up properly, a Limited Liability Company has better protection of personal assets over corporations.  It also provides easier management formality.  It can also work with asset planning to provide potential estate tax savings.



6. What are the disadvantages to form a Limited Liability Company?

The structure of a Limited Liability Company may make it uneasy if member wishes to sell or transfer its ownership interest.  In California, the State charges an additional LLC fee other than normal State taxes.



7. Is my personal asset protected if I conduct business under a company?

Basically it is a "Yes," but the company needs to follow certain formalities of a company to run business in order to have the protection.


8. Do different types of company have different tax effects?

Yes.  The tax effects are a important consideration in establishing a company depending on each different situation.  A CPA should be consulted to understand the consequences in choosing the company entity.
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