Immigration

The Law Offices of Jose A. Dapena, P.A., concentrates its law practice in all areas of immigration law, including Family Based Immigration, Employment Based Immigration, and Investment Based Immigration.

We provide personal attention, compassion and accessibility during the immigration process which can be overwhelming and frustrating at times.Our attorneys and immigration staff are fluent in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese to better assist you.

Family Based Visas

A U.S. citizen may petition for certain family member to receive either a green card, a fiancée visa or a K-3/K-4 Visa based on the nature of the relationship.

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are available for:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens

  • Children (unmarried and under 21) of U.S. citizens

  • Parents of U.S. citizens (The petitioning citizen must be 21 or older.)

Family Preference Immigrant Visas:

— First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (adult means 21 or older.)

— Second Preference: Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents; unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents

— Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens

— Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

Type of Relatives for Whom You May Petition:

 — Immigration Benefit: Green Card (Permanent Residence)

  • Spouse                                                                                  

  • Children (unmarried and under 21)                                         

  • Sons and daughters (married and/or 21 or over)                     

  • Parents, if you are 21 or over                                                 

  • Siblings, if you are 21 or over

 — Immigration Benefit: Fiancé(e) Visa

  • A fiancé(e) residing outside the United States and children of fiancé(e) under 21

 — Immigration Benefit: K-3/K-4 Nonimmigrant Visa

  • Spouse

  • Children of spouse (unmarried and under 21) 

Employment Based Immigration

Temporary Worker Visas

— H-1B visa: Professionals in Specialty Occupations

To work in a specialty occupation. To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes services of exceptional merit and ability according to the Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project. Alternatively, you may also qualify as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.

— O visa: Persons of Extraordinary Ability

For the individual with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise.

— L-1 visa: Intra Company Transfers

To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the 3 preceding years.

  • L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager

  • L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge

— P visa: Professional Artists, Athletes & Entertainers

  • P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete

  • P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

  • P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

  • P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program

Permanent Worker Visas

— First Preference EB-1: Priority workers

For individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.

— Second Preference EB-2: Professionals holding advanced degrees or of exceptional ability

Concerns individuals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.

— Third Preference EB-3: Professionals, skilled and unskilled workers

For skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

— Fourth Preference EB-4: Special immigrants

Includes certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens.

EB-5 Visas

Fifth Preference EB-5: Permanent Residency for Investors

USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, a foreign national must invest, $1,000,000 or in the alternative, $500,000 for a high-unemployment or rural area, labeled a “targeted employment area.”

Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise, and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

By making the investment, the foreign investor gets the opportunity to become a conditional resident of the United States for a period of 2 years and therefore acquire a conditional Green Card. After meeting the job creation requirement, this condition is removed and the foreign investor becomes a permanent resident of the U.S., holding a Green Card with no conditions attached. After 5 years of being a Green Card holder, the foreign investor can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Invest in Florida

Florida is not only a top global tourism destination, but also a popular destination for international business investment. Attracted by its large and booming economy, business-friendly environment, and multinational workforce, international business investments from over the world pour into Florida.

Due to its geographic location, international firms use Florida to access emerging markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Many international investors are already benefiting from Florida’s business advantages and outstanding quality of life. There are five major reasons why invest in Florida.

  • Advanced and diverse economy

  • Stable political environment

  • Cosmopolitan workforce

  • Desirable living standard

  • Better education

Invest in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, being a territory of the United States is considered an acceptable immigration destination.

A potential benefit of becoming a U.S. citizen upon naturalization in Puerto Rico is that said investor would be considered a nonresident alien for U.S. estate and gift tax purposes, which could limit the exposure to said taxes with the appropriate estate planning. Therefore, such investor could enjoy the Puerto Rico income tax exemptions granted under Act No. 22 on his or her passive investment income or capital gains while potentially limiting the impact of any U.S. estate or gift taxes.

Puerto Rico’s geographic location and bilingual workforce, coupled with lower tax rates for businesses that export services, make the Island particularly attractive for businesses looking to set up headquarters for the eventual export of services to other markets in Latin America and the rest of the world.

Tax benefits under Act 20-2012 include:

  • 4% flat income tax rate

  • 0% tax on distributions to shareholders

  • 90% exemption on property taxes

  • 60% exemption on municipal business taxes

Deportation/Removal of Deportation & Waivers

If you or a loved one is being threatened with deportation or removal from the United States, you may need the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Our attorneys have the sources, knowledge and experience to provide you with the best possible defense strategy.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines, there are few general reasons why a person can be deported from the United States.

  • Overstaying a Visa

  • Violation of Immigration Law

  • Criminal Conviction

  • Status Violation

  • Prohibited Employment Activity

  • Illegal Entry / Re-entry

One way to fight deportation is to obtain a waiver. If you or a loved is facing removal or immigration authorities have threatened to bar you from entering the U.S., our attorneys will work to obtain the waiver you need:

— Removability waivers (defense to removability) let our attorneys ask the judge to let you remain in the U.S. despite the removable violation that you allegedly committed.

— Waivers of inadmissibility apply to clients who have been denied entry to the U.S. for various reasons. Our attorneys can ask an immigration judge to reconsider the validity or relevance of the factors that were cited as a basis refusing your legal immigrant status.

Asylum

If you are seeking asylum in the United States, the sooner you act, the better. With the time and effort required to apply, as well as limited number of refugees considered, time is of the essence. Our attorneys have extensive experience in complicated asylum cases.

The U.S. accepts a specific number of legally qualified refugees to immigrate based on asylum each year. Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution on account of:

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Nationality

  • Membership in a particular social group

  • Political opinion

People who have been granted asylum can:

— Legally work in the U.S.

— Petition to bring their family to the U.S., with some limitations

— Eventually file for lawful permanent residency and naturalization, if certain conditions are met