U.S. Work Visas and Permanent Residency Opportunities - Ana Kamkhadze, Esq. A Successful Georgian Immigration Attorney in the USA
Liberty shore. A world of equal opportunities, regardless of religion, nationality, age and gender. The land of fulfilling hopes and dreams. One can use many more epithets to describe the United States of America.
The legends, myths and reality about America make any person want to come to the States. The American dream promises people the opportunity to strengthen their belief in their abilities, discover and reveal their skills and talents, and realize them.
Georgian emigrants have made a significant contribution to building the Georgian government. Their dedication, abilities and boundless love for the homeland are believed and relied upon by the whole country. They create the nation’s future from abroad and work tirelessly for the development of Georgia so that the country of ancient history and culture can take its well-deserved place among other prosperous nations.
For many Georgians immigrating to the USA, hard physical work inconsistent with their real qualifications is not rare. Often, they waste a lot of time and financial resources simply because they entrust their immigration cases to people without an Attorney’s license, further complicating the already complex emigration process.
We would like this publication to show different perspectives of the potential opportunity to those who do not have enough information about what legal ways and means exist to obtain U.S. work visas or permanent residence in the USA and, therefore, ensure proper living conditions.
We want to introduce you to Ana Kamkhadze, Esq. - An immigration lawyer licensed in the USA who offers full legal support in your immigration path.
Ana received her legal education first in Georgia and later in America, in Florida International University, where she earned a master’s degree in Law and a master’s degree in business management and administration through great determination and tireless work. Ana is a licensed immigration attorney in the USA and has almost a decade of experience in immigration law. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Ana holds the position of Director of Legal Operations and Strategies and Senior Managing Attorney at the law firm “BRATTER,” which has been operating in the American market for more than 30 years and is considered one of the leading companies in the field of immigration law. The company’s service area is unlimited throughout the country, and its legal practice focuses on people with extraordinary ability who work in the fields of business, art, science, technology and sports.
“Seven years ago, I decided to go to America to develop my knowledge and professional qualifications. At that time, I was working in one of the leading business law firms in Georgia, as a lawyer.
After arriving in America, I continued my work in immigration law. As an immigrant, I knew the importance of having the right immigration law strategy, and I wanted to help others achieve their American dream. Each successfully completed case entirely changes the course of the emigrant’s life and opens the door to endless opportunities. For me, it is also interesting to cooperate with people who have outstanding skills and achievements in their field of endeavor and want to expand their business beyond the country’s borders.
Our company’s goal is to strategize with our clients to understand their corporate or professional culture and ensure that their overall life objectives are met. Therefore, we provide full legal service in the field of immigration law, including legal advice, strategy, case preparation and filing with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. consulates worldwide.
People who want to live and work in America have little information about the opportunities that are defined by the U.S. immigration law. Because of the lack of information, people try to immigrate to the USA and succeed by illegally crossing the border, violating visa conditions, and obtaining a visa of the wrong category, making their immigration path even more difficult. However, by using the correct legal strategy, it is possible to obtain the right to reside or work legally”, - notes the Georgian lawyer licensed in the USA, and she continues the conversation by introducing us to these possibilities.
“U.S. immigration policy is focused on attracting people who have outstanding achievements in their field or want to do the type of business that will increase the economic prosperity of the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services considers a person to have the extraordinary ability if they are on top of their field of endeavor. This should be established with proper documentation, for example, their professional experience, awards, media recognition, commercial success, recognition received by the field experts, scientific publications, membership of distinguished organizations, participation in competitions as a jury, and having a significant and innovative contribution to the development of the field of endeavor.
U.S. immigration law imposes different requirements for those who want to do business in the U.S. and obtain a work visa or residency. In this case, the legislation requires an investment, the development of a successful business plan, a positive economic impact on the American market and the process of creating jobs.
Deep and complex knowledge of American immigration law, together with the company’s many years of experience, allows us to define the legal strategy expertly and successfully conduct each case,” explains Ana.
First, we should know that U.S. immigration law divides visas into two main categories: non-immigrant and immigrant. A non-immigrant visa is time-limited, while an immigrant visa implies the right to permanent residence in America.
U.S. immigration law recognizes more than 20 different types of non-immigrant visas and even more immigrant visas. Ana explains just a few of the most popular visa categories:
H1B visa - This is a non-immigrant visa category for people with specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree. “For this type of visa, an applicant should have the U.S. petitioner – a U.S. registered company which offers the job in the field of specialized knowledge,” says Ana, clarifying that the petition for this type of visa can be sent only once a year. USCIS conducts an annual lottery to select petitions for review. An applicant with a master’s degree has a much higher chance of winning the lottery than an applicant with a bachelor’s degree.
O1 visa - This is a non-immigrant visa category for people who have outstanding skills and achievements in a variety of fields, including business, sports, technology, arts and sciences and have the U.S. Petitioner offering the position in the U.S. An applicant’s extraordinary ability is demonstrated based on the criteria established by U.S. law and regulations and includes an applicant’s role in various organizations, awards, recognition in the media, achieved commercial success, recognition from the experts in the field, scientific works, the amount of income received from professional activities, membership of distinguished organizations, participation as a jury in competitions, and having a major impact in their field. It should be noted that the applicant is not obliged to meet all of the above criteria.
Another type of non-immigrant visa - E2 visa, is intended for investors. To obtain this visa category, the applicant must establish a company in the U.S., make the necessary investment and create a successful business plan. To obtain an E2 visa, the applicant must be a citizen of a country that has the E2 Treaty signed with U.S. Fortunately, Georgia has been a signatory of this Treaty since 1997; however, this type of visa is still used by a small part of the Georgian citizens. The amount of investment is not specified by the legislation but rather is established in line with the needs of the specific business.
E2 visa also provides visas for the persons employed in the E2 company. If the owner of 50% of the company’s share is a Georgian citizen, he/she is allowed to employ other Georgian citizens in the company in executive, managerial and specialized positions. Unlike the H1B visa, there is no lottery to process petitions.
There is another type of non-immigrant work visa - the L1 visa, which is issued for people who wants to open a branch of a company in the United States and to employees transferred to the U.S. from foreign branches. One-year visas are issued for startups, and three-year visas are issued for the founders and employees of operating companies.
U.S. immigration law provides special visa types for athletes, musical bands, performing artists, ensembles and media representatives.
The procedure for obtaining any of the visa types listed above, except for the E2 visa, is identical and involves the following: if the applicant is outside the United States, the petition is initially filed to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Upon approval, the applicant applies to the consulate, which issues the visa. If the applicant is in the U.S. territory in legal status, he can change his immigration status without leaving the country. For an E2 visa, the applicant can directly apply at the U.S. consulate.
The largest part of Ana’s practice is devoted to working on immigrant visa petitions for people with exceptional achievements and extraordinary abilities. Immigrant visas imply the right to permanent residence, which after a certain period, allows the applicant to obtain U.S. citizenship:
The Eb11 visa is an immigrant visa category for people with exceptional achievements in various fields, including business, sports, technology, arts and sciences; And EB2 NIW is an immigrant visa category for people whose field is the U.S. national interest. To obtain these two types of visas, it is not necessary to have a sponsor or an employer in the USA.
If petitioned by the U.S. employer, immigrant visas are available to employees without meeting the criteria listed above.
There is also the possibility of obtaining permanent residence for family reunification or political asylum seekers.
As one of the leading professionals in the field tells us, due to the lack of information, often successful athletes, World or European championship winners, go through a rather difficult immigration path in the USA, while most of them are qualified for the Eb11 visa, i.e., for the right of permanent residence. Successful Georgian athletes, in many cases, complicate the process of obtaining permanent residency and wait for years for a response from the immigration service to receive the type of visas for which they are not qualified.
To the question – what is the specific advantage that makes her service competitive and especially interesting for those who want to emigrate to the USA - Ana answers:
“My combined expertise in both Law and Business Administration, is a valuable advantage to successfully complete business immigration cases. My practice covers a wide-range of immigration petitions, which gives me an ability to analyze each possibility and create the best legal strategy for the specific immigration matter.”