U.S. Nationality & Immigration Law

As Immigration Attorneys with extensive experience in our field, we provide full and careful service in all areas of immigration and nationality law, including employment-based immigration, I-9 compliance, family-based immigration, deportation and removal hearings, naturalization & citizenship cases, asylum cases, cases under VAWA, and consular processing of visas and green cards. We represent businesses and individuals in San Diego and across the United States.

Non-Immigrant Visas for Temporary Employment in the United States

Our immigration attorneys represent employers and individuals in petitions for non-immigrant (temporary) visas. Employers may be able to petition for temporary employment of a foreign national in several non-immigrant visa categories, including the following: E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor category; E-3 Australian Professional Occupation category; H-1B Specialty Occupation category; H-3 Trainee category; L-1 Intra-Company Transferee category; O-1 Extraordinary Ability category; P-1 Athletes category; P-2 Artists & Performers Visa; TN Professional category for Canadian and Mexican citizens; R-1 Religious Worker category; and others.

For details about some of the available non-immigrant visa categories, click on the following links:

Employment-Based and Family-Based Immigrant Visas for Permanent Residence in the United States

Employers interested in petitioning for permanent residence on behalf of foreign workers may be able to do so in various preference categories, depending on the nature of the position and the foreign national’s academic and professional background. Similarly, individuals may sponsor certain family members for permanent residence in a variety of preference categories, depending on the nature of the relationship, the foreign national’s country of origin, and other factors.

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

  • Employment-based First Preference (EB-1): This category includes persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers, and certain executives and managers.
  • Employment-based Second Preference (EB-2): This category includes professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond baccalaureate degree) or a baccalaureate degree, plus at least five years of progressive experience in a profession, who have a job offer from a U.S. employer for a position with those requirements. The category also includes persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Most positions in this category require the U.S. employer to file a Labor Certification as part of the green card process, unless the position qualifies for a National Interest Waiver.
  • Employment-based Third Preference (EB-3): This category includes skilled workers, professionals holding a baccalaureate degree, and others. Positions in this category require the U.S. employer to file a Labor Certification as part of the green card process.

Family-Based Immigrant Visas

  • Immediate Relatives: This category includes spouses, children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens. This category is he only category without any numerical limits on the number of visas issued by the government each year. This means that visas are available immediately to individuals who qualify under this category.
  • Family Preference Categories: A U.S. citizens can sponsor children over the age of 21 (married or unmarried) and siblings for an immigrant visa. B. Lawful Permanent Residents can sponsor their spouses and children (unmarried) for an immigrant visa.

All of these immigrant visa categories, with the exception of immediate relatives in the family-based category, have numerical limits for each fiscal year. Therefore, it is possible that there may be a long backlog before a person can obtain the immigrant visa after being sponsored.

The Ever-Increasing Focus on Business Immigration and Immigration Policy

In our global economy, it is now more important than ever that key personnel, including foreign national executives, managers, and professionals, be able to cross borders expeditiously, with certainty and frequency. U.S. companies are competing more than ever with foreign companies for the best and brightest around the world. At the same time, high percentages of the top graduates of U.S. universities, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, are foreign nationals. These factors – combined with compliance issues and often challenging restrictions imposed by immigration laws and policies – are the reason that U.S. companies and individuals must rely on qualified immigration experts who can competently counsel them regarding the best short- and long-term immigration strategies for their specific needs. The immigration attorneys at Higgs Fletcher & Mack are well-respected experts in their field of practice. Our attorneys take the time to understand clients’ objectives and find thoughtful solutions that address companies’ and individuals’ immediate legal needs, as well as long-term business and personal goals.

Helpful Immigration Links

The following links are listed for the convenience of our immigration clients and provide access to useful resources related to the immigration process. Most of these links are to government websites, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and will allow you to conduct basic immigration research, carry out important tasks online (such as notifying the government of a change in your U.S. address), or access our firm’s immigration case management system to review and print documents relevant to your immigration case. If you have any questions about the information provided in the below links, please contact one of our immigration attorneys directly.

Non-Immigrant / Temporary Work Visas

For a foreign national to enter the United States lawfully and to work temporarily for a U.S. employer, the prospective employer must generally file a non-immigrant visa petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Only a few visa types provide for self-petitions by foreign nationals themselves, without the involvement of a U.S. employer. The various steps involved in obtaining a non-immigrant U.S. visa can take from a few days to several months, depending on the type of visa required, whether a prospective employer must successfully file a visa petition first, and other factors. The most common non-immigrant work visa classifications for temporary workers are listed below.

For more information about the filing requirements for particular non-immigrant visa classifications and for assistance with preparing and submitting a work visa application, please contact our experienced Immigration Attorneys directly.


Contact our Immigration Law Experts for Employers and Individuals.

If you are an employer or individual in need of immigration assistance, please contact our Immigration Law Group.

Our immigration attorneys are here to provide personalized expert advice and assistance with all of your immigration needs and can ease the burden of dealing with federal bureaucracies in an area that many clients find complex and overwhelming.

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Video Resources:

  • How to get a TN Visa to work in the United States

    Employers: Are you considering hiring someone to come work for your company who is a Canadian or Mexican citizen?

    The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States in prearranged business activities for U.S. or foreign employers. It’s a very technical Visa category, so you need to be carefully prepared when you apply.  We can assist the employee, as well as the employer, with these applications.