Frequently Asked Questions

Discover Arizona immigration insights from general inquiries to business-specific affairs, and start your path from uncertainty to understanding with us today.

Can I become a U.S. citizen if I entered the country illegally?

Entering the U.S. illegally can make it challenging to obtain legal status or citizenship. However, there are some paths available depending on individual circumstances, such as marriage to a U.S. citizen or certain protections like asylum. It's important to consult with an attorney for specific advice.

How does Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070 affect me?

SB 1070, enacted in 2010, is Arizona's strict immigration law that allows local law enforcement to question the immigration status of someone arrested or detained when there's reasonable suspicion they're in the U.S. illegally. Some provisions have been struck down by the courts, but the potential for racial profiling and its implications make it crucial for immigrants to know their rights and consult with an immigration attorney.

What is the difference between a green card and a visa?

A visa allows someone to enter and stay in the U.S. temporarily, while a green card grants permanent resident status, which allows someone to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.

How can I sponsor a family member to come to the U.S.?

U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor certain family members. The process involves filing a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and can vary depending on the relationship and the immigration status of the sponsor.

I'm seeking asylum. What is the process in Arizona?

The asylum process is federal, so it's the same in Arizona as it is in other states. To apply, you must be physically present in the U.S. and file a Form I-589 within one year of your arrival unless there are exceptional circumstances. It's crucial to provide evidence of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

How can I change or extend my visa status?

Depending on the type of visa you hold, you may be eligible to change or extend your status. It typically involves filing a specific form with USCIS before your current status expires.

Can I work in Arizona with a student visa?

On an F-1 student visa, you can work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the school year. There are also certain off-campus employment opportunities available, such as Optional Practical Training (OPT), but these require approval from both your school and USCIS.

What are the consequences of overstaying my visa in Arizona?

Overstaying can result in being barred from returning to the U.S. for a certain period, depending on how long you've overstayed. It can also impact your ability to obtain U.S. visas or change your immigration status in the future.

What rights do I have if I'm detained by immigration authorities?

Even if you're not a U.S. citizen, you have rights. These include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney (though not government-funded in most cases), and the right not to sign any documents without an attorney's advice.

How long does it take to get a green card or citizenship?

Processing times vary based on the category of application and other factors like the applicant's country of origin. Regularly checking with USCIS or consulting with an attorney can provide updated timelines.

What types of business visas are available for immigrants to the U.S.?

Some common business visas include the following:

  • B1(business visitor): For temporary business visitors, such as attending business meetings or conferences. It doesn't allow employment in the U.S.
  • H-1B (specialty occupations): For occupations that require specialized knowledge, typically requiring at least a bachelor's degree. The U.S. employer must sponsor the applicant and obtain a Labor Condition Application.
  • L-1 (intra-company transferees): For intra-company transfers. The L-1A is for managers or executives, and the L-1B is for employees with specialized knowledge.
  • O-1 (persons with extraordinary ability): For individuals with extraordinary ability in their field. This could be arts, science, education, business, or athletics.
  • E-2 (treaty investors): For investors from treaty countries who make a significant investment in a U.S. enterprise.

Can I transition from a tourist visa to a business visa while in the U.S.?

In some cases, it's possible to change your status from a tourist visa (such as B2) to a business visa, but this is dependent on the specific circumstances. It's important to ensure that you didn't misrepresent your intentions during their initial entry. Changing status can be complicated, requiring proof that the change was unforeseen, and it's advisable to consult with our firm for your specific situation.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on a business visa?

The duration of stay varies depending on the visa type. For example, the initial H-1B allows up to three years, extendable to six. B1 visas might be for a few months. L-1 visas are typically granted for three years, with extensions possible.

How do I qualify for an H-1B visa?

The H-1B visa is for specialty occupations, typically requiring a bachelor's degree or higher. An employer must sponsor the applicant and demonstrate that they will pay a prevailing wage for the position. Additionally, the employer must ensure no American workers are displaced by hiring from abroad. There's also an annual cap on H-1B visas, making the application process competitive.

How can I start a business in the U.S. as a foreign national?

One common way is through the E-2 treaty investor visa, which allows nationals of certain treaty countries to invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. While there's no minimum, the investment should be significant relative to the business. The enterprise should also be bona fide, meaning it's a real, active commercial undertaking. Requirements and definitions of "substantial" can vary, so consulting with an attorney is key.

What is the difference between L-1A and L-1B visas?

L-1A is for managers or executives transferring within multinational companies, while L-1B is for employees with specialized knowledge. L-1A allows a stay of up to seven years in total, while L-1B allows up to five years. Both require the applicant to have been employed by the sponsoring company abroad for at least one year in the last three.

I've heard about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Can it provide a path to permanent residency?

Yes, the EB-5 program allows foreign investors to obtain a green card (and eventually citizenship, if desired) by making a certain investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs in the U.S. There is a Required investment of $1 million in a new enterprise (or $500,000 in targeted employment areas). The business must also create or preserve ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years.

Are there any state-specific programs or incentives in Arizona for business immigrants?

While immigration is primarily a federal matter, some states may have programs or incentives to attract businesses. It's a good idea to check with Arizona's economic development department or consult an attorney familiar with local opportunities.

What happens if my business visa expires and I'm still in the U.S.?

Overstaying can lead to deportation, bans on re-entry, and difficulties obtaining visas in the future. There's a grace period for certain visas, but it's essential to be proactive. It's crucial to either leave before the visa expiration, obtain an extension, or adjust your status if eligible.

Can my family accompany me if I come to the U.S. on a business visa?

Most business visas have corresponding visas for immediate family members. For example, the H-4 visa is for dependents of H-1B visa holders. While they can stay and study, employment might be restricted.

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Legal Disclaimer:
Legal Disclaimer:

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Rose Law Group lawyers are licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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