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Change or Extension of Visa Status

Change or Extension Of Visa Status

Applying for a change of status Provides permission to foreign nationals holding a non-immigrant visa in the U.S. to change status to another non-immigrant category while in the U.S. is called Change of Status. You may be eligible to change your status to another non-immigrant status if:

  • You have lawfully entered into the U.S. with a non-immigrant visa.
  • Your non-immigrant visa status remains valid.
  • You have not committed any crime that would make you ineligible.

Certain non-immigrants who are maintaining status and wish to change to another status including:

  • Diplomatic and other government officials, and their dependents and employees on an A visa.
  • Temporary visitors for business or pleasure on B visa category.
  • Academic students on F-1 visa and their dependents on F-2 visa.
  • Representatives to international organizations and their dependents and employees on G visa.
  • Representatives of foreign media on I visa and their dependents.
  • Exchange visitors on J-1 visa and their dependents on J-2 visa that are not subjected to the 2 year home residency requirement in § 212(e).
  • Vocational students on M-1 visa and their dependents on M-2 visa.
  • Parents and children of the people who have been granted special immigrant status because their parents were employed by an international organization in the United States.
  • Temporary workers on H, L, O, P, Q or R visa and their dependents.

Consular Processing
Consular Processing for green card is a procedure available to all intending immigrants with approved permanent residence petitions, which allows them to apply for an immigrant visa at an American Consulate in their home country.  There are benefits of Consular Processing such as: The processing time for consular processing of an immigrant visa is generally much shorter than the Adjustment of Status process. Unlike adjustment of status, consular processing rarely takes more than four to six months from the date of the petition approval or visa availability.

Labor Certification
A Permanent Foreign Labor Certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers to work permanently in the U.S. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain an approved Labor Certification request from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).  A Foreign Labor Certification certifies that the employment of the foreign national will not displace nor adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers (U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) who are similarly employed. To obtain a Labor Certification the employer must file ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, with the DOL establishing that both of these criteria have been met.  The Foreign Labor Certification is a requirement for U.S. employers seeking to employ either:

  • Certain persons whose immigration to the U.S. is based on job skills.
  • Non-immigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the U.S.

A Foreign Labor Certification contains attestations by U.S. employers as to the: Numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant.  Certain kind of work qualifies under the permanent labor certification process, the job must be:

  • Full time and permanent for which the employer is ready to hire an available qualified U.S. worker.
  • One where an employer employee relationship exists, evidenced by the employer’s ability to hire, supervise and provide payment to the employee.
  • One in which generally, the job duties are be consistent with those defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and normally required for the job in the U.S.
  • One where the hiring requirements conform to the Department of Labor’s data for usual experience and education standards common to the occupation and the industry.
  • One that is not tailored to the qualifications of the foreign worker.
  • One that does not include requirements for a language other than English, without written justification.

Foreign Labor Certification certifies that the employment of the foreign national will not displace nor adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers (U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) who are similarly employed. To obtain a Labor Certification the employer must file ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, with the DOL establishing that both of these criteria have been met.  In order to obtain the Foreign Labor Certification, the employer must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The employer must have a bona fide offer of full-time, permanent employment for the foreign worker.
  • Job requirements must adhere to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and may not be tailored to the worker’s qualifications. In addition, the employer shall document that the job opportunity has been and is being described without unduly restrictive job requirements, unless adequately documented as arising from business necessity.
  • The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
  • The employer must certify that U.S. workers who applied for the job were rejected for lawful job-related reasons.

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