The United States offers unparalleled opportunities for work, investment, and education. If you are a foreign national who wants to take advantage of these opportunities, we can help. Broadly-speaking, other than for humanitarian reasons, individuals can immigrate to America if (1) their employer sponsors them, (2) they have a US citizen or permanent resident family member, (3) they have extraordinary skills or academic credentials, or (4) they make an investment in a US business. If you are in need of an employer-sponsored visa or green card, you can read about our comprehensive business immigration services here. If, however, you are interested in obtaining a visa or green card independently of your employer, we at Chang & Yoo, LLP can advise you on how to apply individually for immigration status for yourself and your family

Family-based Immigration: If you are the spouse or child of a US permanent resident (green card), or the spouse, child, parent, or sibling of a US citizen, you yourself may be eligible for a green card. Unlike a visa, a green card offers nearly all of the security and stability of citizenship, but processing times can range from a few months to decades depending on the relationship between your and your US relative, and your country of birth. Those born in India, Mainland China, and the Philippines endure the longest wait times. Nevertheless, for some, family-based immigration can open the door to better immigration benefits in a shorter amount of time than other immigration categories, and may be right for you.

Skills-based Immigration: If you are an individual with advanced education, experience, and/or accomplishments in your field of work, you may be able to self-sponsor yourself for a visa (O-1) or green card (EB-1, some EB-2). Generally, applicants must possess a PhD or a master’s degree with skills that impact the US’ “national interest,” or else recognition by your peers, such as major awards or publications.

Investment-based Immigration: Individuals who invest in a US business can self-sponsor themselves for a temporary work visa (E-2) or permanent residency (EB-5). The current minimum investment for an EB-5 green card is $500,000, while $100,000 may be enough for an E-2 visa, and the investment funds may be sourced from savings, gifts, or even personally-secured loans. EB-5 and E-2 are ideal pathways for foreign national entrepreneurs, allowing the capital investment they made in their own business to serve a dual purpose as the basis for their US immigration status.  EB-5, through the EB-5 Regional Center Program, also accommodates individuals or families who are interested in investing but prefer to stay out of the day-to-day operations of their investment. If you are a foreign investor or an EB-5 regional center, we can advise you on how to leverage your investment into an opportunity to live, work, or study in the United States.

For our overview of the EB-5 green card application process, click here