Over 40 years of combined experience in strategic U.S. Immigration counseling and representation

Our immigration law firm focuses primarily on working with businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, academic institutions and artists/entertainers to obtain temporary work permits or permanent residence.  We also work with families who wish to sponsor a foreign national for a green card.

Entrepreneurs & Start-ups

Several visa pathways allow foreign entrepreneurs who have already started or are about to start a new business to direct their new enterprise temporarily or permanently in the U.S. Lipson & Pretorius LLP can help you with the following:

Investors & EB-5 Visas

The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors provides a pathway for obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. We help guide investors in selecting between the 2 main investment options and implementing the most promising strategy:

Arts & Entertainment

The O  and P visas may be an appropriate  immigration strategy for persons with extraordinary ability in arts, business, film, television or athletics:

Professors & Researchers

Outstanding researchers and professors may be eligible for permanent residence based on proof of International Acclaim in their academic field or Extraordinary Ability in the arts, sciences, business or education , or by way of a National Interest Waiver petition. (Extraordinary Ability and NIW do not require employer sponsorship):

Family-based Immigration

Close U.S. citizen and permanent resident family relatives in the U.S. can sponsor foreign nationals for the green card. Close relationships include spouse, mother, father and siblings. A U.S. citizen can sponsor a fiancé from overseas to enter the U.S. so that the couple can marry in the U.S. and subsequently file for a green card:

J-1 Visa Waivers

Many J-1 scholars find themselves with a two-year home residence requirement which they must satisfy before switching to certain working visas or permanent residence. There is however, the possibility to waive this requirement by applying to the Department of State for a J-1 waiver based on one of the approved grounds.

They have an exceptional experience in this field, and they always figure out a way through the intricacies of immigration policy and bureaucracy.
—Dr. A.D, Professor and Software Engineer at Fortune 500 Company

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Distillery

A timely distillation of immigration strategies and events

USCIS Receives 233,000 H-1B Petitions for FY2016 vs. 65,000 Statutory Cap; Lottery Completed 4/13/15

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2015 that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the masters cap.

USCIS received about nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 13, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As announced on March 12, 2015, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

For more information, please visit the USCIS web page concerning the lottery.


 USCIS Announces Limited Relief for H-4 Spouses

USCIS recently announced relief for a limited number of H-4 spouses who are awaiting the ability to work in the U.S.

Our reading of the announcement is that there are 2 groups of H-4 spouses who will benefit:

  • H-4 visa holders whose spouse has an approved I-140 petition for permanent residence
  • H-4 visa holders whose spouse has been granted H-1B status under what is know as “AC-21”. This provision allows H-1B visa holders seeking lawful permanent residence to remain and work in the U.S. beyond the ordinary 6-year limit in H-1B status.

…read the full article


Meet our Outstanding New Team Members!

Portrait of Carmel CasadoWe are pleased to announce that attorney Carmen Casado has joined Lipson & Pretorius LLP as Of Counsel. In this capacity, Carmen will be providing strategic immigration legal advice and counseling for our clients, with special emphasis on small and medium-sized businesses, including start-ups. Carmen is a citizen of both the US and Spain and has been practicing immigration law for over 10 years, in New York and San Francisco.

Portrait of Ting NiWe also welcome Ting Ni as Associate Attorney.  A cum laude graduate of Notre Dame law school, Ting has provided immigration legal services to a diverse set of clients, as part of Carmen Casado’s law practice.  Ting is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and will be based in our San Francisco office.

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Image of the VISA Geek logoAn authoritative immigration law blog reviewing and reporting changes to immigration laws, procedures and policies that affect businesses and individuals. Published by Lipson & Pretorius, LLP.