Monitoring practical developments in immigration law practice, theVISAGeek™ provides timely and insightful immigration law guideposts

TheVISAGeek™ is a publication of the immigration law firm of Lipson & Pretorius LLP. With over 50 years combined experience, we focus on immigration law for Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, Investors, Business and Research professionals as well as Artists and Entertainers worldwide.


Emma Virtual Assistant Announced by USCIS, San Jose

USCIS Launches Virtual Assistant – Emma Gives Customers Another Option for Finding Answers We hear frequently from our clients about how difficult it is to navigate the various sites and resources of USCIS.  It seems that USCIS may have heard you, based on today’s press release from USCIS. “Release Date: December 02, 2015 WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and… Read more »

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Options Without Work Authorization

So you want to get in on the ground floor of a start- up but have no work authorization from USCIS. Is that the end of the dream? Since we are located in the heart of Silicon Valley, we get frequent inquiries from F-1 students not on OPT, visitors, and even H-4 visa holders –… Read more »

E-2 Visa Tips: A Consular Processing Odyssey

Recent client experience in Oslo reveals consular officer mindset One of our entrepreneur clients who filed an E-2 visa application at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, based on a business he started in California, just reported back with excitement that he was granted the E-2 visa. He also offered some tips from the “front… Read more »

H-1B FY2016 Petitions Crash Through Cap

USCIS Receives 233,000 H-1B Petitions for FY2016 vs. 65,000 Statutory Cap U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2015 that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed… Read more »

USCIS Announces Limited Relief for H-4 Spouses

Today USCIS announced relief for a limited number of H-4 spouses who are awaiting the ability to work in the U.S. Our reading of the announcement is that there are 2 groups of H-4 spouses who will benefit: H-4 visa holders whose spouse has an approved I-140 petition for permanent residence H-4 visa holders whose… Read more »

Form I-94: Make Sure It Is Correct and Current

Form I-94 is a key immigration document that requires close attention to ensure it is accurate and current. One of the most important documents you will ever need in navigating U.S. immigration is the I-94 Form. The I-94 Form is no longer a little white card stapled into your passport. That little white card was replaced… Read more »

Immigrant visas overseas: Validity may be less than 6 months

How much time do I have to enter the U.S. once I receive my immigrant visa stamp in my passport? A client contacted me over the weekend in disbelief. His wife and child had just been interviewed for their immigrant visas in New Delhi on January 22, 2015 and on January 27, 2015 they receive… Read more »

Emergency Travel: Don’t Leave Home Without It

If emergency travel must be taken during green card processing, don’t leave home without your travel document! It always comes when we least expect it. A medical emergency at home and all of a sudden we have a green card applicant stranded here when all she wants to do is fly home to the bedside… Read more »

H-1B Public Access Files: A Nuisance but Necessary

A tale from the immigration trenches Unfortunately, busy employers often look at the mandatory Public Access File requirement for the H-1B employee as a bit of a nuisance and something they will get to “later.” It requires the inclusion of several documents that relate to salary, working conditions, benefits, etc., some of which the employer… Read more »

TN Visa Tips for Avoiding Border Denials

Avoid disasters at U.S.-Canada border crossings by crafting an airtight employer letter We recently had a TN case denied at a bridge crossing from Ontario, Canada. The denial was not based on anything substantive. Our Canadian national had all of his correct documents including his Canadian passport, original college diploma; signed offer letter and supporting… Read more »