Peter J. Kelley & Associates
  ....a Full Service Law Firm Serving Businesses and Individuals
    in New York and Throughout the World
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Peter J. Kelley &



  36 East 20th Street  

Sixth Floor

  New York New York  
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  (212) 387-7787  
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Immigration . . .    

For more than 20 years, Peter J. Kelley & Associates has worked successfully with people seeking visas for admission to the United States, applying for permanent residence in this country, or taking steps to become citizens of the United States.  We carefully listen to your story, so that we can help you decide the best plan for yourself, your family and your business.  We prepare and file your application, respond promptly to all government inquiries and requests, and help you prepare for your interviews and meetings with immigration officers.  Our office can also assist you with asylum applications, represent you in deportation proceedings, and help you track the status of your matter.


We realize how confusing it can be for a newcomer to deal with immigration and admission issues. This is an area of law that is rapidly changing, and you need expert help to keep track of new government agencies, shifting policies and complicated rules.  Our office can help you.




H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa

>          for professional workers

>          bachelor degree or equivalent experience

>          employer must pay “prevailing wage” or better


K-1 Fiancé/Fiancée Visa

>          engaged to a U.S. citizen

>          plan marriage within 90 days of arrival in United States

>          must have met personally within 2 years of applying


J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas

>          J-1 covers students, business trainees, teachers, professors, research scholars, professional trainees, international visitors, government visitors and au pairs

>          Q-1 is for international cultural exchange visitors, to provide practical training, employment and sharing of the history, culture and traditions of the visitor’s home country


E-1 and E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas

>          E-1 is for merchants

>          E-2 is for investors

>          based on treaties between the United States and the visitor’s country

>          specific conditions may vary from country to country as set forth in each treaty


L-1 Foreign Company Executive Visa

>          managers, executives and employees with special knowledge or training, employed by a foreign firm with a subsidiary or affiliate in the United States

>          permits the employee to transfer to the American branch or subsidiary to perform work similar to what he or she did in the mother country


I    Press Corps Visa

>          for credentialed reporters and other press representatives


O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visa

>          persons with “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics

>          persons with “extraordinary achievements” in the motion picture or television fields


P-1 Recognized Artist or Athlete Visa

>          artists or members of internationally recognized entertainment group coming to perform

>          team or individual athletes entering for the purpose of competing in games


TN   Temporary Work Visa under NAFTA Treaty

>          citizens of Canada or Mexico coming to work temporarily in the United States

>          conditions stated in the NAFTA treaty




The term “green card” refers to the identification card or paper stating that the holder is a permanent resident of the United States.   Many years ago, these identification cards were colored green.


There are several ways a person might qualify to become a permanent resident of the United States.  Even if a person qualifies for a green card, the law limits the numbers of persons who can receive green cards in any one year.  Since there are far more people who qualify than there are visas to permit them entry, the government has set up a list of “priorities” which determine who gets a visa first.  In categories where few visas are given each year, a qualifying immigrant might have to wait many years to get a visa.


Here are the principal ways to qualify:


Family-based Visas


>          the reuniting of families is recognized as an important priority in granting visas

>          the closer your relationship to a U.S. citizen, the higher your priority


A.  Immediate relatives

>          this category covers husband and wife, unmarried children under 21 years old, and parents of a U.S. citizen who is over 21 years old

>          there are NO limits on the number of visas in this category


B.  Less closely related persons

>          this category has a limited number of visas available each year

>          the closer your relationship, the higher your “preference” category:

                        First preference: unmarried adult (21 and older) children of U.S. citizens

                                    23,400 visas per year

                        Second preference: spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents

                                    114,200 visas per year

                        Third preference:   married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

                                    23,400 visas per year

                        Fourth preference:   brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens (over 21 years of age)

                                    65,000 visas per year


Employment-based green cards


The United States considers it desirable to attract specially talented people and workers in certain trades and job categories which are hard to fill with American workers.  There are several types of permanent residence applications that can be made on the basis of your employment.  For most applicants, the need for their services must be certified by the U.S. Department of Labor.  This process is called “labor certification.”  Generally, the initial certification is processed by the Department of Labor of the local state in which the proposed job is located, and is then referred to the Federal Department of Labor.


A.  Priority Workers


FIRST PREFERENCE CATEGORIES – No labor certification needed


            EB 1-A:   Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics


            EB 1-B:   Outstanding professors and researchers with at least 3 years’ experience in their  profession, and who are   

             internationally recognized


            EB 1-C:   Multinational business executives and managers


SECOND PREFERENCE CATEGORIES – Must have labor certification


            EB 2-A:   Professionals with academic degrees beyond the bachelor’s level


            EB 2-B:   Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences or business


THIRD PREFERENCE CATEGORIES – Must have labor certification


            EB 3-A:   Professional workers with at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent


            EB 3-B:   Skilled workers in an occupation that requires at least 2 years of training or experience


            EB 3-C:   Other workers able to fill a job that needs less than 2 years of training or experience


FOURTH PREFERENCE CATEGORIES – No labor certification needed


            EB 4:   Special visas for religious workers


FIFTH PREFERENCE CATEGORIES – No labor certification needed


            EB 5:   Investors in new commercial enterprises






Our experts can help you become citizens of the United States.  There are certain requirements you must meet in order to qualify for citizenship.   One requirement is that when you become a citizen of the United States, you must renounce your citizenship in any other country.


To become a United States citizen you must –


>          Be a lawful permanent resident of the United States (green card holder)

>          Reside in the United States for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before you apply for naturalization.  For the husband or wife of a U.S. citizen, this period is reduced to 3 years.

>          Reside in the State where you apply for citizenship for at least 3 months before filing your papers.

>          Be physically in the United States at least one-half (½) of the 5-year or 3-year period of required continuous residence.

>          Be able to read, write and speak English.

>          Know the important facts of American history and government.

>          Have good moral character.  Conviction of certain crimes in the United States or even outside the United States can disqualify you from becoming a citizen, and may even result in the loss of your permanent residence status.   If that happens, you may be forced to leave the United States.

>          Stay in the United States from the date you file your citizenship petition until the day you are made a citizen.

>          Be at least 18 years of age.