San Francisco Immigration Lawyers

Cornerstone Law Group is committed to excellence and the provision of unmatched client responsiveness. Our legal practice is guided by two simple principles: providing unmatched client service and practical, non-legalistic advice. We respond immediately to all client contacts and complete projects in the most expeditious and professional manner. We do not “over lawyer” problems but instead provide concrete strategies that strike a balance between legal responsibility and business necessity. Our uncompromising dedication to client service and our philosophy of working with clients as “business partners” set us apart from other immigration law firms.

Cornerstone Law Group represents employers and individuals in all aspects of business and family immigration law. We provide practical advice to help clients achieve their goals at an economical price. We also use state of the art technology for effective form generation, case tracking, database management, and legal research.

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Immigration laws affect many different situations, including situations in which a foreign national comes to the U.S. for a temporary visit, as well as situations in which a foreign national immigrates to join their family in the U.S. Your reason for traveling to the U.S. will dictate the kind of visa that you need to come into the country. Visas may be obtained for work, business, tourism, education, permanent residency, transit, or family reasons. The immigration attorneys at Cornerstone Law Group can help identify the option that works best for you.

Employment Immigration

Some immigrants come into the country for work, and there are multiple visas that allow for employment immigration. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from hiring people who are not legally allowed to work in the U.S. Employers need to verify that people are eligible to work by getting a Form I-9 and, within three days of hiring, inspecting the required supporting documents. One of the most notable work visas is the H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa that allows an employer to temporarily employ a foreign national in a specialty occupation. Specialty occupations are those with a theoretical and practical application of particular knowledge, and the position must require a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a specialized field of study. The H-1B visa and certain other work visas allow for dual intent, meaning that the visa holder can seek permanent residence in the U.S. and does not need to keep a foreign residence.

Family Immigration

Immigrants may also seek to come to the U.S. for family reasons. They may have a spouse here, or other close family members. Our San Francisco immigration attorneys can help foreign nationals pursue family visas. For example, the K-1 visa is a fiancé visa that can be obtained if a U.S. citizen petitioner and a foreign national are engaged to be married with a bona fide intent to marry and are eligible to be lawfully married. They must have met in person at least once in the two years before filing a K-1 visa petition, unless a waiver is obtained, and they must be willing to marry within 90 days of the foreign national entering the country.

Visas for Visitors, Students, and Exchange Visitors

There are many different visas for people who seek to enter the U.S. temporarily for a short-term purpose. Cornerstone’s lawyers can help visitors, students, and exchange visitors obtain these visas. These visa holders can engage in commercial transactions, such as consulting with a client or negotiating a contract, but they cannot work in the U.S. They must be able to show that they are coming to the U.S. only for a specific, limited period. The B-1 classification is a type of visa that allows foreign nationals to perform services at a workplace in the U.S. if the services are pursuant to an international business relationship between a U.S. company and the individual’s foreign employer.

Naturalization and Citizenship

For a foreign national to qualify for citizenship in the U.S., they must meet a residency requirement. The residency period is three years for spouses of U.S. citizens, while it is five years for other foreign nationals. Additionally, an applicant for naturalization must have shown good moral character and must have a fundamental understanding of U.S. history and civics. There are numerous benefits to getting U.S. citizenship, including the ability to travel on a U.S. passport and to vote in elections. U.S. citizens also can sponsor family members who are foreign nationals to come to the U.S.

I-9 and E-Verify Compliance

U.S. employers need to complete a Form I-9, a Federal Employment Eligibility Verification Form, for each of their employees, with some exceptions. It can be difficult for employers to make sure that they comply and avoid a federal audit. Our firm has an I-9 consulting service that allows employers to access an attorney for advice on developing or improving policies. We also provide an audit service that reviews companies’ I-9 forms. E-Verify is an Internet system that is currently voluntary; it compares information from Form I-9 to government records to provide confirmation that an employee is authorized to work in the U.S. We have an E-Verify consulting service.

Retain an Experienced Immigration Lawyer

Immigration is a complex area of law. If you want to come to the U.S., or if you want to bring an employee or a family member to the U.S., Cornerstone Law Group can discuss your options and help you navigate the process.