Immigration is a complicated legal process and a potent political issue. When you are trying to immigrate to the United States, arrange for immigrant workers to enter the country, or face enforcement action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), you should seek the services of a local attorney.

An Ocala immigration lawyer understands the legal requirements for entering the country and how best to meet them. They could help you decide what type of visa to apply for and, if you are an employer, how to get the help you need to keep your business going.

Employment-Based Immigration

The U.S. Congress allows a specific number of foreign nationals to immigrate to the country for employment reasons each year. There are multiple categories of employment-based immigration visas, and most require the applicant to have a verified job offer and specific education, training, or skills.

An employer must file the initial Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. Many employment-based immigration visas require a Department of Labor certification. This certification requires the employer to prove they have tried unsuccessfully to employ U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents for the job. The employer must also prove the immigrant would earn wages at the prevailing rate for U.S. citizens holding similar positions.

Some employers do not want to hire skilled workers permanently but need help on a seasonal basis in semi-skilled or unskilled positions. The H2A temporary employment visa for agricultural workers or H2B temporary employment visa for non-agricultural workers might help employers in this situation. Other types of visas are available for students, performers, athletes, and others. An Ocala immigration attorney could advise you about the appropriate visa category for your circumstances.

Family-Based Immigration

One of the goals of U.S. immigration policy is to reunite families. Foreign nationals could receive an immigration visa if they have a family member in the U.S. to sponsor them. All family immigration sponsors must submit an Affidavit of Support, committing to providing the necessities of life for their immigrant family members until they can support themselves.

U.S. Citizen Sponsor

A citizen could sponsor their foreign spouse, parents, and unmarried children under 21. There is no limit on the number of immediate family visas the government issues. Wait times for these visas are typically shorter than most, although the process could still take several years.

A citizen also could sponsor their married children, children over 21, and siblings. However, these family members fall into the F-3 or F-4 preference categories. Only a limited quantity of these visas is available yearly, and some families may wait a decade or more to be reunited through this process.

Lawful Permanent Resident Sponsor

A lawful permanent resident (“LPR” or “Green Card” holder) may sponsor their spouse and unmarried children under 21. These relatives are in the F2A and F2B preference categories. The number of visas in this category is limited, especially in the F2B category, where the wait time can be over 20 years for certain countries.

Trust Your Immigration Issues to an Ocala Attorney

Immigration law is complex, and it could feel as if the cards are stacked against you. The U.S. has a number of regulations about issuing visas, but all applicants have the right to fair treatment.

An Ocala immigration lawyer could help you, your family, or your business, regardless of the issue you are facing. Discuss your immigration concerns with a knowledgeable attorney by calling today.