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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105159
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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IMMIGRATION LAW)----I have a friend, a 38 year old woman,

Customer Question

IMMIGRATION LAW)----I have a friend, a 38 year old woman, who lives in Venezuela, which is descending into chaos. She has a visa for travel (and I believe can come for 6 months at a time?), and wants to come to the U.S. to work for some income (her native bolivares are worthless), and eventually wishes to reside here full time as soon as possible. She's actually an engineer, vey sharp, has a small consulting firm in Venezuela which has sustained her well there the last many years but the writing is on the wall on the deterioration there. HOW, outside of me marrying her, can she come here and work for an income? What's the best path to getting settled into the U.S.? Clearly some are/have been doing so somehow. I'd like to have her come and get her into a paying job and eventually likely as an engineer. (Her English is mediocre at best but that is priority one to be rectified asap.)
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 14 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.

That's a large portion of the country in a similar situation and with the same desire. It's going to be very difficult, I just ask that you not shoot the messenger (me) for the limit of options that our broken system of immigration law has. I also ask that you forgive any delays as I am assisting other customers at the same time. So, does she have a job offer lined up? Doing what? Does she have money to invest? How much? Is she willing to study and not work for awhile? Does she have the funds to at least do that? Again, please excuse any delay in responding. Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I can't shoot the messenger, of course. It is what it is. But it also seems where there is a will there is a way. Some IT friends of hers went to Orlando, working for cash, cleaning. Just got fed up, trying a new start. So, she has no job offer lined up...that's why I'm asking----I don't know what an employer would require. Is she limited to some "cash under the table"job only. If she has a visa to travel, without being specifically a work visa, I don't know the options. She's unusually bright, an asset for sure, but don't know how to proceed. I've thought about talking to managers at local Spanish restaurants for starters. Does she have money, no. Is she willing to study and not work for awhile, yes. Funds would be rough---I'd have to help, and could some. She'd mentioned about getting a "student" visa, to study, then hopefully get plugged in with an employer at some point who could vouch for her somehow (they fill out some form requesting allowing her to work?); wondering if her engineering degree would transfer or if she'd have to requalify.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I just sent a response to your questions. I don't see them---did u receive?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Yes, I received. Give me a few minutes to type your answer as it will be a long one...

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

First, let's start with U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency. There are generally 5 avenues to obtain U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency. They are through family, through employment, through Asylum or refugee process, through investment, or through the lottery.

For family, it must be immediate family such as U.S. Citizen spouse or U.S. Citizen children over 21 in order to be able to come immediately. U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parents or U.S. Citizen siblings, or Lawful Permanent Resident spouses can also help, but the wait for that is about 4 to 12 years or so.

Through employment, she would have to generally prove that she would not be taking away a job from a U.S. worker and the less experience and education she has, the harder that is to do.

Through Asylum or Refugee process, she must prove that she would be persecuted, tortured or killed if she stayed in her country and that this will happen to her because of her nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, not because she would run the same risk as anyone else in her country to fall victim to a crime or bad economic conditions.

Through investment, she is looking at generally $1,000,000.00 for a residency, or if she wants a temporary visa, probably at least $100,000 or $200,000 investment to start.

And through the lottery, it would be very difficult to win one of the 50,000 visas available per year and some countries do not qualify.

Here is a link to the different forms to get a green card:

Then there are some visas available where he can stay temporarily and then later change to Lawful Permanent Residency if he qualifies.

Some of the visas available through employment (if she has a job offer and she qualifies) are:

H-1B for professional workers
H-2A for seasonal agricultural workers
H-2B for seasonal nonagricultural workers
H-3 for industrial trainees

Then there are the F-1 and M-1 for students and J-1 for exchange visitors.

And then there is the E-1 for treaty traders and E-2 for treaty investors (these types of visas are not available in all countries).

Here is a link to most of the available visas:

Now if you are thinking about the E-2 investor visa, usually attorneys do not take cases of E visas for less than a $200,000 investment because they do not want to risk losing the case and having an upset client because the client has to have the money already invested and at risk and if it is denied, they have to try to sell the business or something to try to recoup their investment.

Here is a link to the E-2 if you want to read more:

If you are thinking about the H-1B professional visa, the information on the H-1B is basically that she must have a job offer, the job offer must be for a company that is offering a position that is related to her degree and experience. The position must also normally require a bachelors degree or higher. The company must have a need for someone in that position and must have the resources to be able to pay her what is normally paid to someone in that position. All these things must be provable with financials, business plan, etc. Also, because they are used up for this year, she will need to apply on April 1, 2017 to start working on October 1, 2017 or later. The exception is if she applies for a cap-exempt job and those are at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization. Those are not subject to this numerical cap.

Here is a link:

Then should could try an F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visa, but she won't be able to work while on the F-1, at least for awhile and many J-1 visa have a two year home residency requirement that she has to go home for two years before she can get an H status or L status or U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency even if she married a U.S. Citizen.

So as you see, there are options, but they are limited and few are really convenient.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Your question thread does NOT close, so you can ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ty. So, couple questions:
1. She's an engineer, with an engineering degree. The issue of "taking a job away from a U.S. Citizen" isn't an issue there if she can get an engineering firm to vouch for her, eventually? So if she can get here, as a student, make some contacts, and get a company to vouch for her, that's a possible avenue but would take some time? 2. for political asylum, what type of evidence specifically is required? If she applies for polit. asylum, that is when she already arrives, correct, which will take some time to adjudicate (how much), and can it be appealed, if turned down (and how much time is involved---maybe allowing more time for business contacts for a job offer as an engineer)?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

1) Well, the H-1B doesn't require a Labor Certification like the H-2B does, so yes, it is possible, but like I said, all of those H-1Bs are used up for this year. She would have to apply April 1, 2017 to start work October 1, 2017 and that's IF she is lucky enough to be chosen in the H-1B lottery AND get an approval.

2) She has to prove that she would be persecuted because of her race, nationality, religion, social group or political opinion, not because she is in the same danger as almost everyone else in the country. An Asylum case will take at least 6 months if not more to process. It can be appealed and that can take a year or more.

Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see the stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Also, we do NOT finish just because it says "Rate to Finish" or something like that. Your question does NOT close and you can continue to ask questions without additional charge on the same question thread even after you leave a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
ty for your thoroughness, I feel like u made an effort. take care.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

You are very welcome, but PLEASE do not forget to rate me positively so that I can get credit for my assistance to you. You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. Since I am NOT given a salary, it is the only way the website will compensate me. You are NOT charged again and we can continue to communicate without additional charge if you have a few follow-up questions. If you don't leave a positive rating, that's what I meant by shooting the messenger. Thank you for your understanding!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.