Immigration And Naturalization

Led by Partner J. David Peña, our immigration practice serves individuals seeking to enter the United States as well as foreign companies seeking to do business in the United States. Our Immigration services include applications for work and investment visas, family petitions, marriage, fiancé visas and citizenship. We provide personalized representation to foreign companies in establishing a U.S. affiliate or subsidiary, transferring employees to the U.S. or investing in the U.S.

Establishing a business presence in the United States involves overcoming a number of hurdles as well, and our attorneys have the experience necessary to guide foreign companies through every step of the process.

Immigrant Petitions and Alternatives

Our experienced immigration attorneys have represented individuals, employers, and families with a wide range of immigration petitions with a successful outcome. For individuals seeking to get on the path to becoming a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, we offer representation with:

  • Green Card through Investment: Our immigration attorneys specialize in EB5 Petitions through direct investment in a new commercial enterprise or in a regional center. The EB-5 Investor program is the easiest, fastest and direct path to the green card in the U.S. In general, the investor must meet capital investment amount requirements, job creation requirements, and ensure that the business receiving the investment qualifies for the EB-5 program.
  • EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visas: The EB-1 extraordinary ability classification is designed for individuals who are recognized as being at the very top of their field and who are coming to the United States to continue work in that field. Our Immigration attorneys provide guidance throughout the entire process and will assist the applicants to prove and select the most relevant documentation for their case.
  • EB-2 & EB-3 Employment Second and Third Preference Visas: SMGQ Law Immigration Attorneys assist our clients in the critical selection of the most feasible type of employment petitions according to their professional background. The EB2 category is designed for members of professions holding advanced degree or equivalent, or “exceptional ability” (expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered) in sciences, medicine, arts, business, or athletics. The EB3 Visa is designed for those seeking positions requiring 2 years training or experience, professionals whose job requires a baccalaureate degree or equivalent, or “other” unskilled workers (defined as jobs requiring less than 2 years to be proficient).
  • Family and Marriage Based Residency Petitions: These petitions may be obtained by certain relations of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Our SMGQ Immigration attorneys will analyze and determine the best options available in each individual case.
  • PERM (Employment Certification Application): Our SMGQ Law Immigration attorneys have represented numerous U.S. employers who seek to employ certain foreign individuals on a permanent basis. We actively assist the employers during the entire labor certification process. The labor certification is issued by the Secretary of Labor and contains attestations by U.S. employers as to the numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant, and the effect of the alien’s employment on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

Non-Immigrant Visas

Those seeking to enter the United States for educational, business, family or personal reasons on a temporary basis can apply for a variety of types of non-immigrant visas. Our attorneys provide representation at every step of the process, ensuring that our clients avoid unnecessary roadblocks and have a clear understanding of their rights and obligations while in the United States. Our representation includes the following type of nonimmigrant visas:

  • E1 and E2 Visas: These visa classifications allow a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf or to invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.  Schedule your consultation with us for a full explanation about the terms and conditions of E visas. 
  • H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Visas: The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
  • L-1A Executive/Manager Intra-Company Transferee Visas: Our SMGQ Law attorneys have successfully represented multiple foreign companies in their L1A Petitions. This petition enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. 
  • O Visas: Our SMGQ Law attorneys have an outstanding record of approval of O visas. These visas are designed for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
  • P Visas: Our Immigration attorneys have successfully represented famous athletes and entertainers in their P visa application, The P-1 classification applies to you if you are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually, or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance or to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.
  • R-1 Religious Worker Visa: An R-1 designed for foreign nationals who are coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation.
  • K-1 Fiancé Visas: The K-1 is a nonimmigrant visa permits a foreign national fiancé/fiancée of a U.S. citizen to travel to the United States to marry the petitioning U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of admission to the country.
  • TN NAFTA Work Visas: The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas: Exchange visitor (J-1) visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States.

Green Card Application and Renewal

Applying for a green card can be a complicated and stressful process, and even simple mistakes can cause significant delays in securing the right to remain permanently in the United States. Our attorneys provide comprehensive assistance to green card applicants, and we also can assist with the time-consuming process of applying for a renewal or replacement green card.

Applying for U.S. Citizenship

For individuals who were not born to United States citizens or on U.S. soil, the path to citizenship is known as naturalization. There are several requirements for foreign nationals to become eligible for citizenship, and there are a number of potential stumbling blocks for those who are unfamiliar with the naturalization process. We have helped numerous clients secure U.S. citizenship, working diligently and relying on decades of experience to make sure the process is as straightforward as possible.

Services for Foreign Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Along with visa, residency and naturalization considerations, our attorneys advise foreign businesses and entrepreneurs on a wide range of other immigration and compliance-related matters. From labor certifications and other employment-related issues to negotiating with USCIS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding corporate violations, we have the background and knowledge necessary to help new and established foreign companies navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system. Our firm’s business attorneys and litigators are able to assist foreign entities with commercial transactions and business disputes as well.

Contact SMGQ Law

If you would like to speak with an immigration attorney about applying for a visa, green card or naturalization, or if your business needs experienced representation for an immigration-related matter, please call us at (305) 377-1000.