THE TEN MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What services do you provide? How does your web site work?
What is a Green card? What rights does it provide for me and my family? How do I obtain a Green Card, and what is the average processing time?
What is the quickest way for me to enter the U.S. to work, study and/or visit? What the most common categories for temporary work visas?
What are the qualifications for obtaining a Green Card as a Priority Worker?
What is a National Interest Waiver?
How about investment in the U.S. or marriage to a U.S. citizen as a way of obtaining the Green Card?
How about obtaining the Green Card through relatives who are U.S. Citizens?
How do I obtain U.S. Citizenship?
I am interested in moving to the U.S. either temporarily or on a permanent basis. What should I do?
Why should I hire MDgreencard.com to assist me with my U.S. immigration and Employment needs?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. What Services do you provide? How does your web site work?
MDgreencard.com was created to address all of the difficult and complex issues that highly skilled physicians and scientists encounter with respect to U.S. Immigration and employment. Created by the attorneys at the Sherman Law Group, this web site aims to be an all-inclusive comprehensive resource for physicians and scientists who seek to gain information and assistance concerning working, living, and or visiting the U.S. In addition, for physicians, we aim to provide you with the latest information concerning obtaining licensure to practice medicine in the U.S.
Our web site is aimed at answering many of your questions concerning U.S. Immigration as well as providing you with a discussion board with which you may communicate with your peers throughout the world who would like to share their experiences with U.S. Immigration Moreover, since we monitor the postings on the discussion board, we will be able to address many questions and issues that are raised.
For more specific questions or concerns, we invite you to complete the on-line consultation form which will automatically e-mail your question or concern to us. We will address your queries promptly.
In addition, we invite you to join our monthly e-mail newsletter, which provides the latest developments/changes in U.S. Immigration law as they may affect physicians and scientists. We welcome your comments and look forward to hearing from you.
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2. What is a Green Card? What rights does it provide for me and my family? How do I obtain a Green Card, and what is the average processing time?
A Green Card is a document which evidences your right to permanently live and work in the U.S. The size of a credit card, the Green Card is actually gray in color and is issued upon the successful completion of immigrant processing. Spouses and children under 21 are also eligible for the Green Card, upon the issuance of a Green Card for the husband or wife.
Green Cards can be obtained through the following methods:
a. Offer of Employment in the U.S. [1-4 years]
b. Priority Workers [Individuals of Extraordinary Ability (no U.S. job offer necessary); Outstanding Researcher/Professor); National Interest Waiver [six months to 1 year]
c. Immediate Relative who is a U.S. Citizen; [six months to 10 years]
d. Visa Lottery; [1 to 2 years];
e. Marriage to U.S. Citizen [up to 1 year]; and
f. Investment [1 to 3 years].
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3. What is the quickest way for me to enter the U.S. To work, study and/or visit? What are the most common categories for temporary work visas?
The quickest way of entering the U.S. To work, visit, and/or study is to obtain a non-immigrant [temporary] visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. With the exception of the tourist visa [B1/B2], all other categories of visas require a pre-approved visa petition with the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service. Pre-approval requires that you meet certain statutory visa requirements for a particular visa, and may require take 3-9 months, or longer.
The most common temporary work visas applicable to physicians and scientists are H, J and L visas. Each requires a job offer in the U.S.
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4. What are the qualifications for obtaining a Green Card as a Priority Worker?
The First Preference* Category (EB 1) or Priority workers consists of:
a. Persons of Extraordinary Ability: in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, as demonstrated by national or international acclaim that should be demonstrated through extensive documentation. The individual should continue the work in the same field and the entry should substantially benefit the U.S. prospectively.
b. Outstanding Professors and Researchers: requires that the individual be internationally recognized in an academic area and possess at least 3 years of academic research or teaching experience. S/he must have a tenured or tenure-track position at a university or an institute of higher education or a comparable, research position in an institution that employs at least 3 persons full time in research. The institution must also demonstrate documented accomplishments in the field.
c. Multinational Executive or Manager requires that the individual be employed abroad in that capacity during at least one of the three years preceding the application for admission to the U.S. as priority worker. S/he must enter the U.S. To be employed as an executive or manager for the same firm, corporation or legal entity or a subsidiary or affiliate of the entity that employed her/him abroad.
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5. What is a National Interest Waiver?
The Employment-based Second Preference Category includes members of the professions who holding advanced degrees and individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Although this category generally requires an employer and labor certification, the Attorney General may waive this requirement if the work by the foreign national is in the "national interest."
To qualify for a National Interest Waiver the individual's work must benefit the U.S. in the national interest. Since the term "national interest" has not been defined in the statute, certain factors are taken into account in determining national interest. These factors include improvement of: the U.S. economy; wages and working conditions for U.S. workers; education, health care, the environment, and housing. An interested government agency request is an added factor, which is given considerable weight by the INS.
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6. How about investment in the U.S. Or marriage to a U.S. Citizen as a way of obtaining the Green Card?
Investment. In order to qualify as an immigrant investor, the individual must invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise, which employs at least ten U.S. citizens on a full-time basis (exclusive of the individual, spouse, and children). If the investment is made either in a rural area or an area experiencing high unemployment, the minimum investment may be reduced to $500,000, but the latter option has a restricted quota of 3000 investor visas for what are termed "targeted investment areas."
Marriage. Upon marriage to a U.S. Citizen, you are eligible to apply for the Green Card, either at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad, or in the U.S. Be sure to note that you will need to submit identification, wedding photographs, and documents (such as tax returns and insurance documents) as well as undergo an interview to establish the legitimacy of the marriage. Also, If the marriage is less than two years old when permanent residency is granted, the Green Card will expire in two years. The couple will be required to submit a joint petition to remove the two-year condition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the Green Card expiration. If the marriage has been terminated due to death or divorce, or if the immigrant spouse is a victim of spousal abuse, the immigrant spouse may apply to the INS for a waiver of the joint petition requirement.
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7. How about obtaining the Green Card through relatives who are U.S. Citizens?
There are five categories under which an individual can obtain a Green Card through relatives. They are:
a. Immediate Relative - Spouses, parents, and children (under 21) of U.S. Citizens (no quota or limit);
b. First Preference - Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens (limited in number)
c. Second Preference - Spouses and unmarried children of U.S. permanent residents (limited in number);
d. Third Preference - Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens (limited in number);
e. Fourth Preference - Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens (limited in number).
Family-sponsored immigration has an overall quota of 480,000 visas per year, less immediate relatives (parents, spouses and minor children of U.S. Citizens) who are exempt from numerical limitations, plus unused Employment-Based Preferences.
As a result of the quota, obtaining the U.S. Green Card through relatives may take from 1-15 years, depending on the category.
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8. How do I obtain U.S. Citizenship?
There are three ways to become a U.S. Citizen:
a. By Birth in the U.S.: Under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution all persons born... in the United States... are citizens regardless of the status of their parents, who may be citizens, Green Card holders, or illegal aliens.
b. By Acquisition at Birth: A child born outside the U.S. where one or both parents are U.S. Citizens may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.
c. By Derivation through Naturalization of parents: A child born outside the U.S. may become a citizen by virtue of the parents' naturalization.
d. By Naturalization Application: Individuals who satisfy the following criteria:
(i) Must obtain permanent residence before applying for naturalization unless the person served in the armed forces during a period of hostilities.
(ii) Must be 18 years or older.
(iii) Must be a permanent resident for five years. However, if a person is married to an U.S. Citizen, the individual may be eligible for naturalization in three years if: a) the couple has been married for 3 years, b) if the spouse was a citizen during that entire period, and c) if the couple are living in marital unity.
(iv) Must have resided for three months in the state where the petition was filed.
(v) Must be physically present in the U.S. for at least one half of the five years (or one half of three if spouse is a citizen).
(vi) Must have resided continuously within the U.S. from the date the application was filed to the time of admission to citizenship.
(vii) Must not have been absent from the U.S. For a continuous period of more than one year during the periods for which continuous residence is required. Exceptions are: military service abroad and employees posted abroad who have approval to preserve residency.
(viii) Must be a person of good moral character for the five years. i.e. no criminal record, etc.
(ix) Loyalty to the U.S. As opposed to home country.
(x) English - An elementary level of understanding, reading, writing. Exceptions are: persons over fifty, resident in the U.S. For 20 years as a permanent resident; persons over 55, living in the U.S. For 15 years as a permanent resident. Certain disability exemptions may apply in appropriate cases.
(xi) A knowledge of the fundamentals of U.S. government and history. Again, disability exemptions may be available in certain cases.
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9. I am interested in moving to the U.S. Either temporarily or on a permanent basis. What should I do?
Send us an e-mail and forward your CV or resume to us for evaluation. If you have a potential job offer or relatives in the U.S., please let us know. We respond to all inquiries promptly.
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10. Why should I hire MDgreencard.com to assist me with my U.S. Immigration and employment needs?
U.S. Immigration and employment are complex areas. For physicians and scientists, the complexities are often far greater as licensure and credentialing issues may be important considerations. MDgreencard.com has demonstrated expertise in assisting you with both obtaining the necessary visa as well as securing employment in the U.S. that is commensurate with your background and experience.
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