Individuals & Entrepreneurs
The Law Firm works with executives, directors, officers, managers, and other business leaders in obtaining permanent residence through Extraordinary Ability, National Interest Waiver, Intracompany Transferee and other classifications. We represent individuals and companies from start-ups to multi-national corporations in a vast range of fields, including technology, telecommunications, biomedical engineering, fashion, and aviation, to name a few.
SGG Immigration works with scientists, physicians, and researchers in obtaining permanent residence through the Extraordinary Ability classification. We represent individuals, institutions, and companies in a vast range of fields, including physics, mathematics.
Arts and Entertainment
The Law Firm provides temporary visa and permanent residence solutions to athletes, artists, actors, and other entertainment industry specialists. This practice area includes assistance with O, P and Q visas as well as permanent residence status through extraordinary ability/achievement first preference petitions.
Clients come from all sectors of the entertainment industry and include producers, writers, directors, production designers, cinematographers, directors of photography, art directors, visual consultants, editors, costume designers, visual and special effects artists, actors and culturally significant performers.
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Immigrant Visa (Green Card) Options
Extraordinary Ability Individuals
The employment-based, first preference Extraordinary Ability classification is reserved for people who are recognized as being at the very top of their field and are coming to the U.S. to continue work in that field. The standard for this classification is very high and requires the foreign national to demonstrate a level of expertise that is one of that small percentage that has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
In order to qualify, the foreign national must have received a major internationally recognized award (i.e., Nobel, Pulitzer, Grammy, etc.). Few people qualify for the extraordinary ability classification under the major award eligibility. Instead, a majority of our clients qualify for this classification by demonstrating that they possess at least 3 out of the 10 listed criteria below:
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
- Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
- Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
- Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
- Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
- Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
- Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts
National Interest Waiver
The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is available to members of professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or to individuals who have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
Employment-based, second preference visas generally require a job offer and labor certification. However, NIW exempts the petitioner from a job offer and the labor certification requirement if the job is in the national interest.
Congress did not define “national Interest” in statutes or regulations. We turn to a precedent decision in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016), which lays out the following three pronged test to help officers determine whether a foreign national qualifies for a waiver of the job offer requirement:
- The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
- The foreign national is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
- On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.
For more information on the Matter of Dhanasar, read AAO issues precedent decision changing the National Interest Waiver standard.
SGG Immigration provides assistance to foreign nationals who may be eligible for a National Interest Waiver. NIW may be a possible option for individuals without sponsors, individuals who may not yet reach the level of “Extraordinary Ability,” or recent graduates who may not have the requisite three years of experience for the “Outstanding Professor and Researcher” immigrant visa category. We work closely with foreign nationals in documenting the benefits of their unique skills, and also explaining how their work substantially outweighs the inherent national interest in protecting U.S. workers through the Labor Certification process.
We have obtained permanent residence for biologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, economists and other scientists through the outstanding researcher visa category. Our clients include recently graduated students to veterans in the field. We also provide assistance with consular processing issues such as complex visa applications, SEVIS requirements and security/background checks.
Check out Kathy Grzegorek’s article, Visa Life-Cycle for Researchers and Scientists, for more information on National Interest Waivers.