Richards Brandt recognizes the value that immigrants bring to American businesses, economies, and communities. Our firm helps organizations and individuals navigate our nation’s increasingly complex immigration laws and unite employers and employees as well as families.

With so many different kinds of immigration visas and the added complexities of immigration law, we are here to help with this complex and time-consuming process. Our experienced team of immigration attorneys can represent you in all of your immigration needs. Together we can work toward your professional immigration goals and family immigration commitments.


Our immigration attorneys understand the ever-changing laws and policies established by the U.S. federal government to process your applications for citizenship and naturalization, protection and parole, adjustment of status, admissibility, refugees and asylum, waivers, travel, and employment. Our immigration law practice is comprised of experienced and dedicated attorneys who combine their knowledge of immigration law with years of experience in employment law, family law, and criminal defense.

Our firm is ready to assist your family with whatever immigration needs arise, whether it is an adjustment of status, fiancé visa or a family-based visa petition. There are numerous forms and hundreds of guidelines and exceptions. For more information about processing your application, call us to discuss your situation and determine the next steps.

Here are just a few of the things we help families and individuals with:


Richards Brandt can help your company hire the best workers while maintaining compliance with immigration laws.

Employees are the single largest investment an employer makes. Employers rely on their workforce for the success of the company. There are many different visa options to consider. We take you and your employee(s) through this lengthy process step by step. We manage the risks and eliminate surprises. Whether your employees are here in the U.S. or overseas, we can streamline the process by staying on top of every variable.

Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Our attorneys work across the U.S. with each of the three centralized immigration offices.

Employment-based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Each category has several subcategories, each with mandated limitations, restrictions, and requirements.

Employment First Preference

• Priority Workers
• Persons with extraordinary ability
• Outstanding professors and researchers
• Multinational managers or executives

Employment Second Preference

• Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees
• Persons of Exceptional Ability

Employment Third Preference

• Skilled Workers
• Professionals
• Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

Employment Fourth Preference

• Certain Special Immigrants

Employment Fifth Preference

• Immigrant Investors

Contact us for a detailed evaluation on which option is best for your needs.

Below is a list of Common U.S. Work Visa Types for Foreign Nationals

I-9 Compliance And Audit

Employers must comply with state and federal laws and regulations to hire and retain talented and much-needed employees. Whether you are hiring U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, or permanent residents, we have extensive experience in assisting clients with compliance and audit matters. Our services include representing our clients during government investigations and audits. We also promote and assist our clients in proactive measures such as:

• Internal and third-party I-9 audits
• Reviewing and correcting mistakes on existing I-9 Forms
• Risk assessment and compliance policies
• Compliance manuals and training

Business, Employment, & Immigration

Employers have numerous business, employment, and labor laws to navigate and comply with. In a world of increasing global connections, the need to work with individuals and companies here and abroad has never been greater. Our Business & Corporate Governance group along with our Labor & Employment group provide risk management and legal support to employers.

Call us directly for high volume visa filings or multiple filings. It can be more cost effective to have us retained for legal support and to minimize multiple filing fees over individual filing fees.


The Future of Optional Practical Training Extensions For Non-U.S. Citizens Who Receive Degrees in the Fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics




Answered by:

Christine Y. Seminario

Christine Seminario


A: It’s an investment. While there are many capable people who put in the time to research and prepare their own forms, immigration is more than just forms. It’s complex and constantly changing. Even the “simplest” of cases can be unnecessarily delayed or denied for simple errors or because applicants are not actually eligible for certain immigration benefits. When you pay for our services, you are paying for our knowledge and expertise in this area. This does not mean that we can always achieve the outcome you want since there are many factors out of our control, but it does mean that we guarantee the quality of work that we do. There is too much at stake – time, money, and more importantly any negative consequences that could come from a denial, to cheat yourself from good legal representation. People spend thousands of dollars on things that don’t last. Why not spend money on something that will? Protect yourself and your future.

A: Being charged and/or convicted of a crime can carry serious consequences for non U.S. citizens. Depending on your status in the U.S. and the nature of the crime, this could impact your ability to remain in the U.S. or to be able to apply for any kind of immigration benefit in the future. Unlike criminal law, where you have a legal right to counsel, you are not afforded the same rights for immigration matters, even though the risk of deportation may in some cases be even worse than incarceration. Because of this, your attorney has a legal duty to inform you whether your plea carries a risk of deportation. Please note that criminal law attorneys may not understand immigration law, so it is critical to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can consult and advise on the best course of action in your case.

A: Bringing your fiancé to the U.S. is a two-part process, beginning with the U.S. citizen filing a Form I-129F with USCIS. At this stage, you must prove that you have met your fiancé within the last two years of filing the petition (there are exceptions to this) and that you are both eligible for marriage. Once the petition is approved, your case will then be processed by the National Visa Center and then your fiancé will have to appear for an interview at the U.S. embassy/consulate in his/her country. Once the visa is approved, your fiancé will be able to enter the U.S., where you will have 90 days from entry to get married. After marriage, your fiancé is eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency (green card). For more detailed information and case-specific guidance, please schedule a consultation to meet with one of our immigration attorneys.

A: Criminal law in the context of immigration law is complex and technical and requires an in-depth analysis of the crime involved. The severity of certain offenses also depends on whether someone has lawful status in the U.S. (whether lawful permanent resident, student visa, or other type of visa or deferred action) or whether someone has no status. Generally, crimes that could result in deportation include crimes involving moral turpitude (crimes against a person or property that are morally reprehensible), aggravated felonies, drug offenses, crimes of violence, and fraud. It’s important to look at the statute underlying the criminal offense to determine whether the crime fits under the federal definition of deportable offenses. Regardless of where your crime took place, our experienced attorneys can evaluate the immigration consequences of your conviction. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

A: The length of time to obtain a visa depends on the type of visa and the country of origin of the applicant. Visas generally fall into two major areas, family-based and business. Family-based visas are divided into categories, ranging from immediate relatives (children under 21 and spouses of U.S. citizens) to preference categories that include adult children of U.S. citizens, children and spouses of lawful permanent residents, and siblings of U.S. citizens. Countries with the longest wait times are Mexico and the Philippines because there is the highest demand from these countries. Every month, the Department of State updates the visa bulletin, which contains priority dates (the date the I-130 Petition was filed) for each country and visa category. To check this, you can go to: In addition to waiting for the priority date to become current (to proceed to the next stage), processing times also depend on the embassy or consulate. We have represented clients from Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, and can successfully navigate the visa for you.


What are the immigration consequences of criminal convictions? Our Immigration Practice Group has decades of experience evaluating the impact of actions and convictions to your legal status in the US. Working together with your criminal defense attorney we can provide our clients the most comprehensive representation.

Ever-changing immigration laws make navigating the criminal justice system difficult and can have life-changing immigration consequences. If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense and are not a U.S. citizen, you need representation by attorneys who understand both the criminal and immigration laws that affect your case. Since Richards Brandt has experience in Criminal Defense as well as Immigration law, we can provide you with effective representation at every stage of your case to mitigate the immigration consequences of your arrest, charge or conviction.

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