Estate Planning Basics

Estate planning is a process that involves many things and many people – including your family, important individuals, your assets, and your preferred charitable organizations. Estate planning can sound scary, but having a plan is the best way to be prepared for the unexpected. Estate planning will help you to figure out what your assets are actually worth – and get all that information down on paper. The estate plan is to help with choosing who will inherit your assets, who will take care of important matters in your life, who will care for your children, as well as who is responsible for making decisions on your behalf. Everyone needs estate planning, no matter if your estate is large, medium, or small. Every person should have a plan in writing so that if a situation arises that makes you unable to care for yourself or make decisions on your behalf with your input. If you don’t have a plan, a judge will be assigned to distribute your assets, and the judge will do this by following the laws of the state, also known as intestate succession. There are different types of documents that go into estate planning, including both wills and trusts. There are also living trusts, that are different than traditional wills. If there is no will, your assets will be heading into probate, which is a court-supervised process for transferring your assets to your beneficiaries. If your estate goes through the probate process, the entire estate plan, including the value of your assets, will become public record. If you want to make sure you have a plan on paper...

Visiting the United States as a Tourist

Many people ask us, “What kind of visa do I need to visit the United States?” Depending on the reason of your visit, there are a variety of different visas offered for different types of visits. If you are visiting the United States as a tourist, the B visa is the right one for this type of trip. The tourism/visitor  B-2 visa is for the following purposes: tourism vacation (holiday) visit with friends or relatives medical treatment participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation) (U.S. Department of State) There are a few steps required to apply for this visa. First you must fill out an online application and schedule your interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The wait times for an interview are different for every location, so make sure you start your visa application early so that you have enough time for each of the steps. Form DS-160 is the where you will begin your application process. Make sure you have your current Passport ready and a photo of yourself that matches the government requirements. Your passport must be valid for 6 months longer than your intended stay in the United States. After this step, additional documents may be requested to prove the purpose of your trip, the duration of your trip, proof of roundtrip airfare, and evidence of...

Where to find H1-B Jobs?

Are you thinking about finding an employer in the U.S. that will sponsor you on an H1-B visa? Well finding the job is one of the first steps of the process. There are a variety of websites that will advertise positions that are open to H1-B sponsorship. Don’t forget, there are many special criteria you must meet to be eligible for the H1-B visa, including: Your job must qualify as a specialty occupation by meeting one of the following criteria: A bachelor’s degree or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for the particular position; The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position; The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree. (USCIS)  Here are some great website resources to check out. Good luck with your job hunt! http://www.h1visajobs.com/ http://www.visasquare.com/ Careerbuilder, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn When searching for jobs in these type of search engines, make sure to write “H1-B” in the description to pull up jobs that have sponsorship available. Once you have an employer who is interested in hiring you, get in touch with us, and we will help you with your...

H-2A Visa for Temporary Agricultural Workers

As we discussed in earlier posts, the H visa has many different sub-types for different types of workers. H-visas allow individuals to legally work in the United States under various conditions. The H-2A visa is specifically for temporary agricultural workers. This program allows agricultural employers like farms who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring people from other countries to the United States to do agricultural labor on a temporary or seasonal basis. Employment is seasonal, meaning it is tied to a certain part of the year, such as during certain growing cycles that might require more labor.  Since positions tend to be temporary, the positions usually do not last longer than 1 year. In order to qualify for this type of visa, the agricultural employer must show that there are not “sufficient, able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers available”(USDOL) to do the agricultural work. The employer must also prove that the H-2A workers they are requesting to bring will not adversely affect the pay and working conditions of U.S. workers. In order to apply for this visa, a job offer using ETA Form 790 must be filed with the State Workforce Agency in the region where the employment will be. The employer must file this form 60-75 days before they need the workers to start. There is also a second application that includes ETA Form 9142A as well as the accepted Job Order or ETA Form 790. This packet includes evidence and attachments with supporting documentation from the agricultural employer. If you believe that you need help putting together this packet, don’t hesitate to contact our office...

The L Visa for IntraCompany Transfers

Do you work for a large company with locations worldwide and within the United States? If so, you may be eligible for an L visa. An L visa allows large companies to send their workers to locations within the United States for specific work opportunities. Not everyone qualifies for an L Visa though, so you need to go through the requirements first before talking to your employer about this type of visa. Are you a manager, executive, or a worker with specialized knowledge or specialized skills? This is the first question you must answer before you can start to think seriously about the L visa. The L-1A nonimmigrant visa allows U.S. employers to transfer executives or managers from one of the foreign offices to one of its offices located in the United States. This type of visa also enables foreign companies that do not currently have a U.S. office to send an executive or manger to the U.S.A. to help establish an American office or location. The employer must file the form I-129 “Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker” to start the process for sponsoring an employee on the L visa. If you have a family and you want them to accompany you to the United States during your stay, luckily there is an L-2 visa that allows for this! The L-2 Visa will allow you to bring your spouse and your  children under the age of 21 to live with you while you are working for your company and doing business in the United States. The L visa process is lengthy and requires a great deal of documentation. You...