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.


Returning to the U.S. in Lawful Permanent Resident Status is Not Automatic

Leaving on sabbatical? Returning green card holders must show their absence from the US was temporary. Most green card holders assume that if they travel abroad and return within one year they will be automatically admitted back into the U.S. Unfortunately, this is not quite the case. This issue seems to arise frequently in our… Read more »

EB5 Visa: What Types of Jobs must be Created?

The simple answer to this question is ten full-time jobs. There are many complexities however related to what types of jobs end up satisfying the immigration service. This issue begins at the initial I526 filing stages when an investor must provide the immigration service with a comprehensive business plan to evidence and convince the USCIS… Read more »

EB-5 Green Card: Can a Franchise Qualify?

Yes. A franchise may be purchased by a foreign national for EB-5 investment purposes. It is important to remember however that the normally investment amount needed to qualify for the Investor Based Green Card is $1 million unless it can be shown that the business is in a target employment area (TEA). The target employment… Read more »

Concurrent H-1B employment – how does it work?

An alternative if you didn’t make the H-1B lottery In my blog of April 10, 2013, I suggested alternative pathways to live and work in the U.S. if you didn’t make the H-1B cap lottery this year. One way is to be employed simultaneously at a cap exempt institution as well as in private industry… Read more »

New I-9 Form Now Required for All Employees

I-9 Form revised 3/8/13 is the version that employers must use for all employees U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a press release today regarding the revised I-9 form that they issued in March, 2013.  The revised form must now be used for all new hires and re-verifications. The new I-9 forms may be… Read more »

Startup Visa Options are Current Seriously Flawed

The current immigration framework is very unkind to non-U.S. citizen entrepreneurs. As roughly half of all the Silicon Valley startups have at least one foreign-born founder ( this is a major issue in the greater San Jose and San Francisco Bay area. Unfortunately I sometimes come across individual clients with fantastic tech ideas, enthusiasm, goals, and… Read more »

H-1B Cap: Is the Senate’s Approach Sufficient?

The recently released Senate immigration bill (S. 744) seems to somewhat understand the need for increased H-1B visa numbers but does not go far enough. As occurred this year, the cap of 65,000 (plus 20,000 for Masters degree individuals) H-1B visas was used up in a frustratingly short period of time. Within the first week… Read more »

I Didn’t Make the H-1B Lottery – Now What?

FY 2014 H-1B Lottery  is a major disappointment to business and potential employees Unbeknownst to most of us, the economy has kicked up enough steam to bring forth the annual spring time run on H-1B visas that we haven’t seen since 2008. Within the first five days of April, USCIS received 124,000 H-1B petitions for… Read more »

What Visas are Available For Start-up Entrepreneurs and Investors?

What type of visa is available to me as an entrepreneur or start-up? This is a question that I deal with on a weekly if not a daily basis in my practice. In many instances individuals I speak with may already be in the U.S., on a visa such as an H-1B, F-1, OPT, or… Read more »

H-1B 2014 Alert: Cap Likely to be Exhausted Early

Economic recovery means accelerated H-1B visa submissions and less time to beat the cap The cap of 65,000 H-1Bs plus an additional 20,000 H-1Bs for those with U.S. graduate degrees, opens on April 1, 2013, for a start-date of October 1, 2013 and we are trying to predict when the cap will be used up…. Read more »