Earl & Messer, Attorneys at Law
Lawyers who Listen.

Immigration

Attorneys located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and handling business law, personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning, family law, and immigration. We provide each of our clients with personal attention and have a proven record of success.

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225.687.1111

 

IMMIGRATION

We offer a full spectrum of immigration legal services for individuals, families, and companies looking to obtain documentation to come to the United States. Whether it's family based, employment based, or for investors, our attorneys have experience navigating the complex system of immigration laws.

FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRATION

US immigration law allows for foreigners to immigrate to the United States based on a relationship to a US citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder). US citizens can sponsor their spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Legal permanent residents can petition for their spouses and children. The application has to be approved before the immigrant relative's visa or green card will be processed. There is no limit on the number of visas processed annually for US Citizens that petition for a spouse, widow(er), parent, or unmarried children under 21. Petitions based on other family relationships are limited to a certain amount of petitions that will be granted annually.

BUSINESS IMMIGRATION

Business and employment based immigration falls into four categories:

  1. Employment-Based Immigrant Visas
  2. Employment-Based Non-immigrant Visas
  3. Investor Visas
  4. Program Electronic Review Management (PERM)

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

The green card process for most professional and nonprofessional prospective employees being sponsored for permanent resident status in the U.S. consists of three steps: labor certification, the immigrant visa petition, and an application for permanent residence. Some foreign nationals may be able to receive permanent resident status based upon employment without first obtaining labor certification from the Department of Labor by filing an immigrant visa petition directly with USCIS providing evidence of their qualifications under one of the classifications described below.

The following are classes of employment/business based immigrant visas:

  • EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability)
  • EB-1B (Outstanding Professors/Researchers)
  • EB-1C (Multinational Manager or Executive)
  • PERM Labor Certification
  • EB-2 Based on PERM (Advanced Degree/Exceptional Ability)
  • EB-3 Based on PERM (Professionals, skilled workers and other workers)
  • EB-5 (Investor Visa)
  • EB 5 Investor Immigrant Visas

The Immigration Act of 1990 ("IMMACT 90") created the Immigrant Investor Program as the fifth preference category for employment-based immigration, also known as EB-5. This was the first time a category specifically permitted the admission of immigrant investors as lawful permanent residents, and currently remains the only such category available. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is available to those immigrants who invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise employing at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. Individuals who invest in a targeted employment area only need to invest a minimum of $500,000.

The EB-5 visa is a good immigration solution for those who have the financial resources use it. It does not require an employment offer from a U.S. employer, nor does it require a labor certificate. Most importantly, because the annual quota of visas available consistently exceeds the number of applicants, those who qualify for EB-5 status do not usually have to wait long for a visa.

Program Electronic Review Management (PERM)

Most individuals seeking employment based permanent residence begin the process by obtaining a labor certification, commonly referred to as PERM. This process usually requires the placement of recruitment in various media over a period of months. Then, the employer must document all applicants who applied and the lawful, objective, job-related reasons for each applicant's rejection. Employers are required to show proof that they have adequately advertised the job opening to the American workforce in the geographic area. Employers also have to show evidence that no qualified candidate met the specific job requirements for training, skills and knowledge, or can be adequately trained in a timely manner to successfully fill the vacancy. PERM requirements are strict and complex.

Flat Fees for Many Services

Unlike many immigration law firms, we represent employers and employees during the three phases of processing for employment related immigrant visas (PERM, USCIS petition, and adjustment of status/consular processing) for a reasonable flat fee. You will know exactly what services you need and what you are getting for your legal fees. In the event you require additional services beyond the scope of the service package, we will make sure exactly what you need, our cost of the service and how long the process will require. We do everything possible to keep our fees reasonable, so there will be no surprise billings.

NONIMMIGRANT VISAS

Nonimmigrant visas allow for temporary residence in the U.S and can be used for a variety of reasons including business, personal, and educational. U.S. immigration laws specify many different categories of nonimmigrant visas based on the nature of the employment, the involvement of training, the special talents of the individual, and/or the nationality of the individual, among other factors. Below are the different types of non-immigrant visas.

  • H1B Visa Specialty Occupation
  • B1 Business Travel Visa
  • B2 Tourist Visa
  • F1 Visa Academic Students
  • J1 Visa Exchange Visitor
  • E1 Visa Treaty Trader
  • E2 Visa Treaty Investor
  • L1 - L2 Visa Intracompany Transferees
  • K3 Visa Spouse of US Citizen
  • K1 Visa Fiancée of US Citizen
  • M1 Visa Vocational Students
  • P1 Visa Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers
  • O1 Visa Extraordinary Ability
  • TN Visa Treaty NAFTA Professionals

REMOVAL AND DEPORTATION

When someone who is not a citizen of the United States is charged by the Department of Homeland Security with an immigration violation, either being without lawful status or having violated their status, the person is served with a charging document called a Notice to Appear (NTA). The NTA states the factual allegations and immigration law charges against the individual. DHS also files the NTA with the Immigration Court that has jurisdiction over the individual. Once the NTA is filed with the Immigration Court, the Court will set a date for the individual to appear for his or her hearing. The individual may or may not be taken into custody and detained. If detained, the individual may be able to get a bond. We have experience with several types of removal defense, including but not limited to the following:

  • Applications for permanent residence or adjustment of status
  • Criminal and non-criminal waivers of conditions of inadmissibility
  • Asylum and withholding of removal
  • Requests for prosecutorial discretion
  • Requests for judicial discretion
  • Motions for administrative closure
  • VAWA and VAWA cancellation of removal
  • U Visas
  • Motions to terminate
  • Requests for voluntary departure

PRICING

Our lawyers represent clients in Baton Rouge and throughout the state of Louisiana. We handle most cases on a flat-fee basis so there are no surprises as to what your case will cost. We regularly work with clients on monthly payment plans secured by debit or credit cards.

Call us at (225) 687-1111 or click above to schedule a consultation. Your consultation fee will be credited towards total cost of your if we are hired to help with your immigration case.

 

Immigration