Can I use my company to get my green card? 7 Answers as of January 05, 2011

I am a majority owner of a movie production company, can I use my company to get a Green Card? I am not married, and I do not have any legal issues aside from my illegal status. I overstayed my visa by 9 years.

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
There are several problems with this option. If you are the majority owner then arguably when you recruit for your position you would be unlikely to fire yourself and hire a U.S. worker so the Labor Department would not be favorably disposed to certify your case. The other problem is your status. In employment cases they will overlook up to 180 days out of status or working without authorization since your last legal entry but sounds like you have well in excess of this. The only way around that with an employment sponsor is if you qualify for Section 245(i) and the privilege to still process your papers in the U.S. and pay a penalty fee. I would suggest a consultation on the specific facts of your case. I would be happy to assist with your case. We do charge for consultations $350 per hour - but whatever you pay for the consultation would then be a credit toward the fees for your case if we are retained for further work on your behalf after the consultation. My contact information follows.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/5/2011
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
No you cannot use your company.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/5/2011
The Vega Law Firm
The Vega Law Firm | Linda Vega
This depends on how you entered the U.S. You state that you overstayed so I believe that you entered legally. You may be eligible to apply for a Non-immigrant visa while being sponsored by your company. There are possibly other Non-immigrant Visas that could help you, eg. P Visa, E2 Visa, H-1B visa or others. Please see an immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/5/2011
Pauly P.A.
Pauly P.A. | Clemens W. Pauly
The short answer is no. You cannot use your company to obtain lawful permanent residence once you have been illegally here for 9 years. That being said, you should consult with an immigration lawyer concerning your options.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/5/2011
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
No, not if your status is illegal. You would need to return to your country and apply for the so-called investor visa from there.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/4/2011
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
    Probably not, but it depends. First problem you have is the fact that you overstayed your visa. In order to get a green card in the US you must either have a grandfathered petition (i.e. someone had to file to sponsor you for a green card before April 30, 2001) or you must qualify as an immediate relative of a US citizen (meaning you are the spouse of a US citizen or the parent of a USC son or daughter over 21 years of age). If not, you will have to leave to get your green card, assuming we can find a way for you to get a green card through your company (or some other way). Anyone who leaves the country, which you would likely be required to do (unless you qualify under one of the exemptions previously mentioned) who has been "unlawfully present" in the US for more than a year cannot return to the US for 10 years (this is the penalty for overstaying your visa). This, however, does not apply to those who entered on F-1 student visas, or J-1 exchange students if your I-94 was marked "D/S" which meant you could stay as long as you maintained status. While there are other exceptions and this is a simplification, the fact that you overstayed may make the company sponsorship a non-starter.

    However, if you did enter as a student, the next issue is to figure out whether your company can sponsor you. This a highly complex issue that I cannot fully address here. You really need to speak with an attorney directly to go over the nature and type of business you have, your credentials, the extent of your investment, what you do for the business, among other issues. The general rule is that a person cannot self-petition, or own a business that sponsors them - particularly if you have to go through the labor certification process. However, there are exceptions, particularly in the EB-1 category if you have extraordinary ability, international renown or have achieved certain acclaim within your field or endeavor. There might be other options where you could in essence buy yourself a green card, if you had enough money and did not face other obstacles to your obtaining an immigrant visa abroad. Again, I can only touch on some of these options, and you really must review these in detail with a competent immigration attorney who is a member of AILA, the American Immigration Lawyer's Association.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    Employment based visa requires interview at Consulate. Yet, once you leave, you will be subject to 10 years immigration bar. You will have to apply for a waiver altogether. You need professional help on that. You are more than welcome to contact us for assistance. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/4/2011
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