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Our Practice Areas

Immigrant Status-Permanent (Green Card)

Lawful Permanent Residence Through Family Member

To be eligible for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship you must meet the following criteria:

You must have a relative who is a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States who can provide documentation proving their status and is willing to sponsor you for lawful permanent residency.

  1. Your relative must prove they can support you by providing documentation that their income is 125% above the mandated poverty line for their family, including you and all other sponsored family members.
  2. If your relative is a US Citizen and they can legally prove you share one of the following relationships, you may be eligible for lawful permanent residency:
    • Husband or wife;
    • child under 21 years old;
    • Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
    • Married son or daughter of any age;
    • Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old ; or
    • Parents if you are at least 21 years old .
  3. If your relative is a lawful permanent resident and they can legally prove you share one of the following relationships, you may be eligible for lawful permanent residence:
    • Husband or wife; or
    • Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
There is no quota or limit and, therefore, no waiting list for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens- Unmarried children under 21, Spouse, Parent, Widow or Widower (under certain circumstances). Relatives in the following "preference" categories are subject to limits on the number of visas that can be issued each year.

  • Unmarried sons or daughters (over age 21) of U.S. citizens.
  1. Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of LPRs (lawful permanent resident);
  2. Unmarried sons and daughters (over age 21) of LPRs (lawful permanent resident).
  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

Lawful Permanent Residence through Employment

If you want to become an immigrant (a foreign national who has been authorized to live and work permanently in the United States) based on the fact that you have a permanent employment opportunity in the United States, or if you are an employer that wants to sponsor someone for lawful permanent residency based on permanent employment in the United States, the foreign national must fall into one of the categories below:

  • First Preference ( EB-1 priority workers): aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
  • Second Preference ( EB-2 workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability): aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.
  • Third Preference ( EB-3 professionals, skilled workers, and other workers): aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers, professionals with a baccalaureate degree, and others with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
  • Fourth Preference ( EB-4 special workers such as those in a religious occupation or vocation): aliens who, for at least two years before applying for admission to the United States, have been a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States, and who will be working in a religious vocation or occupation at the request of the religious organization.
  • Fifth Preference ( EB-5 Employment Creation) If you would like to be granted immigrant status in the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise, please see Lawful Permanent Residence through Investment. Permanent resident status is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children.

Lawful Permanent Residence Through Investment

Permanent resident status is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and qualified children.

In general, "eligible individuals" include those:
  1. Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
    • creating an original business;
    • purchasing an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructuring or reorganizing the business such that a new commercial enterprise results; or
    • expanding an existing business by 140 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
  2. Who have invested ÷ or who are actively in the process of investing ÷ in a new commercial enterprise:
    1. at least $1,000,000, or
    2. at least $500,000 where the investment is being made in a "targeted employment area," which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area; and
  3. Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the United States economy and:
    • create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals; or
    • maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a "troubled business," which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.

Non-Immigrant: Temporary Status (Visas)

H-1B Visa

The H1B visa classification permits a foreign national to work in the United States for a temporary period. It is available for offers of employment that are in a specialty occupation*. A person may hold H1B status for a maximum of six years, and it may be issued in increments of up to three years by the USCIS. An employee may receive extensions of H1B status beyond six years in certain circumstances, if s/he is in the process of applying for employment-based permanent residence (commonly referred to as the "green card"). H1B visas are numerically limited, with a total of 85,000 visas available each fiscal year (20,000 of these visas are restricted to individuals who have received master's degrees or higher from U.S colleges or universities). This limitation is referred to as the H1B cap.
* The H1B visa is also available for offers of employment as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

  • For a specialty occupation H1B petition, the employee must have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent experience.
  • The employer for an H1B petition must obtain a labor condition application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor before filing the H1B petition with the USCIS.
  • An employee who has previously received an H1B visa, or been granted H1B status is generally exempt from the numerical limitations.
  • An employee who is presently employed in H1B status may utilize the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) to transition their H1B to a different employer.
  • The spouse and minor children of an H1B employee are authorized to live in the United States in H-4 status, and to study, but are not permitted to work.

How We Can Help You

The Law Office of James S. Irani, P.C. is skilled and has extensive experience in preparing H-1B petitions encompassing a wide variety of industries and occupations. We take particular pride in our track record in the demanding IT consulting field, for which the USCIS imposes particularly stringent requirements on H1B petitions. The Law Office of James S. Irani, P.C. is available to consult with both employers and employees to discuss their options and responsibilities.

Temporary Visitors

A non-immigrant is a foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. temporarily for a specific purpose. Non-immigrants enter the U.S. for a temporary period of time, and once in the U.S. are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visa was issued. Among other requirements, foreign nationals seeking temporary admission must establish that the purpose of their visit is temporary and the foreign national must agree to depart at the end of his/her authorized stay or extension.

The following is a list of various types of temporary visitor visas:

Business or Pleasure Visitors
  • B1 - Visitor for Business; B2 - Visitor for Pleasure For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
Temporary Workers
  • E1 - Treaty Trader; E2 Treaty Investor Investors / traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their business in the U.S. if the home country has a commercial treaty with the United States conferring visa eligibility.
  • L - Intra Company Transferee L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized employees moving to their employer's U.S. affiliate sites. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification.
  • O1, O2 - Extraordinary Ability - The O-1 category is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, education, or business.
  • P1, P2, P3 - Athletes and Group Entertainers - For athletes, artists, and entertainers.
  • Q - International Cultural Exchange Program
  • R - Religious Vocation or Profession - Religious workers include ordained clergy and those who have taken religious vows, as well as religious professionals such as choral directors, teachers of religion, and so forth.
Students Attending U.S. Schools
  • F1 - Academic Student - Persons enrolling in a full course of study at an educational institution in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study and a period for practical training (P/T) in their field.
  • M - Vocational Student
  • J - Exchange Visitor - People coming to the U.S. through an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's visa. These are students, scholars, job trainees, faculty, professors and research scholars, specialists, medical residents, government visitors, etc. Sometimes, a J-1 program will require that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to switch to a different nonimmigrant visa or to permanent residency.
Fiancée Visa
  • K -1 Fiance(e) of U.S. Citizen - A Fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa in order to marry within 90 days of entry to the U.S.
  • NAFTA Professionals
  • TN - Trade NAFTA Professionals - A special visa category for nationals of Canada / Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Diversity Visa
  • DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery") - Started in October 1994 as the permanent Diversity Program for natives of certain countries that have provided relatively few immigrants to the U.S. in recent years. Annually, 55,000 visas are given away in a random drawing to individuals from countries underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.

Deportation/Removal Proceedings/Detention/Asylum

The process of deportation/removal may be very frightening for a person not familiar with the legal system in a foreign country. Put the experience and dedication of the Law office of James S. Irani, P.C. on your side. We represent individuals that the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seeking to deport before the immigration courts and prepare applications for relief on their behalf. Some of the offenses we can help you with are overstays, criminal offenses, illegal entry, illegal work or employment, submission of fraudulent (false) documents, and false claims of U.S. citizenship. We specialize in Iranian asylum cases particularly addressing the political and religious claims. Our office has successfully represented hundreds of Iranian asylum applicants throughout the United States.

Personal Injury Cases

The Law office James S. Irani, P.C. also has as part of our practice Personal Injury in the State of New York. Our office is ready to answer your questions regarding an auto accident, dog bite, bicycle or motorcycle accident, and help you through the maze of doctors and insurance issues that are typically part of a personal injury lawsuit. Our firm has experience in settling and trying personal injury cases.

Personal injury lawsuits in New York are the result of someone's negligence toward another, causing the person asserting the claim to suffer emotional or physical injuries, property or economic losses, such as medical bills, or other damages stemming from a bodily injury. General negligence is defined as not exercising prudent care, under circumstances where a reasonable person would do so. In order to prevail in a New York personal injury case, an attorney must prove negligence, that is to say, that the defendant (negligent party) was responsible for your personal injuries, and that, but for his negligence towards you, you would not have been injured.

Criminal Law

Attorney James S. Irani has represented clients in criminal cases such as shoplifting, assaults, drugs, drunk driving, etc. in New York State criminal courts. If you or someone you know has been charged in New York with a criminal offense whether a misdemeanor or felony, we can help.

Please note that being convicted of a crime may affect your immigration status if you are not a United States Citizen making it even more important to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.

DUI charges are the most common criminal charges filed against individuals in the State of New York (not including simple traffic tickets, which are technically "criminal" violations). Even for a first offense, the penalties can be serious-including license suspension, large fines, mandatory attendance at State or DMV Approved alcohol programs, and potential jail time. In addition, a DUI conviction stays on your DMV record for a number of years, and may result in higher insurance premiums. Furthermore, you may become ineligible for credit, and even lose your employment. If you have prior convictions, stopped for speeding, or had an accident while driving under the influence, the penalties may be far worse.

Business Law

When forming a business, there are many complex logistical tasks and procedures that must be completed in order for the business to run smoothly from a legal standpoint. You need someone knowledgeable in handling business law concerns that is ready to quickly and thoroughly aid in the formation of your business.

We take into account the big picture when examining your situation and generating viable options. We realize that establishing and planning for long term business objectives is important to the success of your business. Our attorneys work directly with you to understand the nature of your business and individual needs, offering practical guidelines and generating creative resolutions to your business issues.

If you are interested in forming a corporation, an LLC (limited liability company), LLP (limited liability partnership), general partnership, S-corporation, or have a business legal issue involving document drafting, operating agreements and procedure, contract disputes, or the litigation of commercial matters, contact our office to receive a free initial consultation and honest assessment of your situation.

Legal Service for Business Entity Formation

At the Law Office James S. Irani, P.C., we will consider your new business formation from a comprehensive perspective. When advising you on the merits of each form of entity; partnership, limited partnership, sole proprietorship, S-corporation, C-corporation, or limited liability company (LLC), we not only address the issues required for start-up, but those which will protect your ability to operate smoothly and profitably throughout the years ahead.

At the Law Office of James S. Irani, P.C. we act as general counsel and special counsel for companies of all sizes. We offer full-service corporate legal services and counseling in connection with the formation and representation of corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. We handle the preparation, negotiation and formation of a broad spectrum of contracts. Our firm prides itself on counseling businesses of every size helping them through all phases of corporate practice, including structuring, negotiating and drafting necessary agreements in connection with various business transitions.

Starting a Business

Starting your own business is a great financial endeavor. When starting your own business, you should consider some of the following:

  1. What type of business do you want to engage in
  2. Whether to begin your own business or contract with a franchise company
  3. Where the business should be located
  4. Whether to buy or lease business space
  5. Your personal financial circumstances

Buying or Selling a Business

While purchasing an existing business may be beneficial since the business, lease, employees and customer base are already established, a buyer should consider the financial past and future of the existing business before making an offer.

After you have made the decision to sell or buy an existing business, you must be ready to commit some time to organizing all your financial documents and records. An agent or lawyer may be needed to complete the transaction. We invite you to contact our office to receive a free initial consultation and honest assessment of your situation.