The law office of Robert A. Murtha, Jr. can help you with immigration visa procedures in the following categories:

Visa Type Description
  B1 Visitor for Business For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
  B2 Visitor for Pleasure For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
  E1 Treaty Trasitor For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
  E2 Visitor for Pleasure For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
  F1 Academic Student Person doing a full course of study at an educational institution in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study and a period for practical training (P/T) in their field.
  H1B Specialty Occupation DOD Employee Professionals with at least a BA (bachelors or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa. Their employers should demonstrate that they are paid the minimum prevailing wage for the job.
  H2A Agricultural Labor
  H2B Other Temporary Labor
  H3 Trainee
  I Representatives of Media
  J Exchange Visitor

The J-1 classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

In Carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrants are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:
  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Nannies/Au pairs
  • Camp counselors
  K FiancĂ©/e of U.S. Citizen A FiancĂ©(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a nonimmigrant visa on the conclusion of the marriage within 90 days.
  L Representatives of Media
  M Vocational Student
  O1 | O2 Extraordinary Ability The O-1 category is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. They are entertainers, athletes, scientists, business people etc.
  Q International Cultural Exchange Program
  R Religious Vocation Religious workers apply for the R-1 visa.
  TN Trade NAFTA Professionals A special visa category for nationals of Canada/ Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement.
  U Victims of crimes To provide temporary immigration benefits to aliens who are victims of qualifying Criminal activity, and to their qualifying family members, as appropriate.
  Dependents of the Above


Visa Type Description
  EB1 First Preference
  1. Persons of Extraordinary Ability
  2. Outstanding Professors and Researchers
  3. Multinational Executives and Managers
In these categories, the candidate can petition for permanent residency without the time consuming process of labor certification.

  EB2 Second Preference

Members of Professions holding Advanced Degrees or Aliens of Exceptional Ability. Visa holders under normal circumstances must have a job offer and the employer must complete the labor certification process.

The labor certification involves testing of the job market to show that the potential visa holder is not taking away a job from a U.S. worker. If it can be shown that the individual's entry is in the national interest, the job offer and LC requirements can be waived.

  EB3 Third Preference

Skilled Workers, Professionals and other Workers.

Visa holders under normal circumstances must have a job offer and the employer must complete the labor certification process.

  EB4 Fourth Preference - Special Immigrants Religious Workers, Commuters from Border, Retired G-4 (Employee of international Organizations), Returning Resident, etc. Ministers of religion are eligible for permanent residency.
  EB5 Fifth Preference - Employment Creation Investors

With the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress has kept aside up to 10,000 visas per year just for alien investors in new commercial enterprises who will create employment for at least ten individuals. There are two investor groups under the program - people who invest at least $500,000 in "targeted employment areas" (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate) and those who invest $1,000,000 elsewhere. Not less than 3,000 of the annual allotment of visas in this category must go to the targeted employment areas.


U.S. citizens can petition for parents, spouses, siblings and children. Permanent Residents (PR) can petition for spouses and children only. Immediate Relatives of US Citizens - Unmarried children under 21, Spouse, Parent, Widow/Widower (under certain circumstances)

  • First Preference: Unmarried sons or daughters of US citizens over age 21.
  • Second Preference: Spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents (Green Card Holders).
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of US citizens.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of US citizens.


  • Diversity Visa - DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")

    Started in October 1994 as the Permanent Diversity Program for natives of certain countries that have provided relatively few immigrants to the US in recent years. Annually, 55,000 visas are given away in a random drawing to individuals from countries underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.

  • Asylum | Refugee:

    People with a real fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, belonging to a particular social group, or political opinion can apply for asylum or refugee status.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of aliens deported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). Many individuals are detained, often illegally, during the pendency of their cases. Immigrants who are removed are banned from returning to the U.S. for at least ten years. Some are banned for life.

As budgets are slashed for USCIS, which provide services to immigrants, Congress has provided nearly a billion dollars for the detention and deportation of immigrants. The Feds now arrest and detain more people than any other country on earth. It's as if Congress has declared war on immigrants.

Our office is fully prepared to represent immigrants before the Immigration Court.

Labor Certification purports to serve two purposes; to benefit the U.S. economy by granting permanent residence to foreign workers whose skills are in short supply and to protect the labor market from alien workers whose skills are common and who would displace U.S. workers and/ or depress wages.

It is an expensive, time consuming procedural morass based on an "offer of employment" and a subsequent finding by the U.S. Department of Labor that you are not taking a job from a "qualified U.S. worker". It is not, however, required that you actually be employed by the employer. The certification is based on an "offer" of employment that need not commence until after legal permanent residence is granted.

There are five Employment Based (EB) Preferences. Labor Certification applies only to EB2 (Advanced Degree Holders and Persons of Exceptional Ability) and EB3 (Skilled Workers, Professionals and Other Workers). Certain EB3 applicants can avoid Labor Certification by way of "National Interest Waivers". "Skilled Workers", by definition, occupy jobs that require at least two years of training or experience.

Because the "preferences" (quotas) are oversubscribed, visas are currently unavailable for EB3 applicants. Anticipate a lengthy wait. EB2 visas are currently available except to applicants from India and China who need to wait several years. Visas become available under the "preferences" when your "priority date" is reached. Your "priority date" is the date your Labor Certification application was filed.

Before filing there are a number of preliminary steps. First, determine the correct category you belong to (as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor). You must then collect documentation stating you fill the minimum requirements for your intended job position and that your intended employer is able to pay the proferred wage. You must also find the "prevailing wage" from the SWA (State Workforce Agency) and "test the labor market" by advertising the job in the mass media, posting at job sites online, as well as listing with the SWA. This office will assist in defining the position as narrowly as legally possible. If anybody responds to the postings, it must be found that they don't fit into your category.

After these preliminaries are completed your Labor Certification Application is filed with the Department of Labor using the PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) system. It will take about six months for PERM to process your application. After the approval, your employer must petition for you. When this petition is approved, and most are, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence as soon as your "priority date" is reached.

Your spouse and children are covered by your petition. In the case of a spouse, the wedding must have taken place before your Adjustment of Status application is approved.

If you are "in status" (in the United States with a current, unexpired visa) you will then have the option of applying for your "adjustment of status" at your local USCIS office or applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate in your country. This office strongly recommends adjustment with USCIS since Consular processing is risky and often delayed.

Labor Certification, like most immigration policy, is controversial, especially among opponents of immigration. You don't have to oppose immigration, however, to understand that posting a notice for a job that has already been filled is a waste of time for those who respond.

If you have been in the U.S. for less than one year and believe that you qualify as a refugee, you may decide to apply for political asylum. You are a refugee if you are unable or unwilling to return to your country because of fear of persecution. Common reasons for persecution include political opinion, religious beliefs, race, nationality, or belonging to a particular social group.

You may make an affirmative asylum application or, if you have been placed into removal proceedings, apply before the Immigration Judge. If you file affirmatively and the Asylum Officer decides not to approve your case, your case will be referred to Immigration Court and you will have an opportunity to explain to the Immigration Judge why the Asylum Officer was wrong.

After being granted asylum, you may reside indefinitely in the U.S. After one year you may apply for permanent residence. If you need to travel, you may apply for a Refugee Travel Document. However, if you use this document to travel to your home country, you are at risk of having your political asylum status revoked.

The virtue of Schedule A is that it allows you to avoid the time and expense of Labor Certification. Schedule A originally consisted of a list of occupations for which the U.S. Department of Labor had found that the number of qualified workers available in the U.S. was insufficient to meet current demand. Currently there are only two occupations listed: Physical Therapists and Registered Nurses.

To qualify for Schedule A, a physical therapist must hold a bachelor's degree in physical therapy (or an equivalent degree), and have a certificate to practice in their intended state of employment. If you are not yet certified, a letter from a state licensing authority stating you are qualified to take the licensing exam is required in order to get Health Care Worker Certification from the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy. This involves proving your credentials and passing an English proficiency examination.

Except for graduates of U.S. schools of nursing, Schedule A registered "professional" nurses must hold a diploma in nursing and a license from their own country. They must also show receipt of a CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) certificate, hold a full and unrestricted license to practice in the intended state of employment or have passed the NCLEX-RN.

Before you are granted Legal Permanent Residence you must get a Health Care Worker Certificate from CGFNS. This involves proving your credentials and passing a difficult English proficiency examination.

Daca is a process for exercising "prosecutional discretion as an individual bases by deferring action against individuals who meet the criteria and are at least fifteen years old. Applicants for DACA must have :

  • Been under the age of 31 ofJune 15, 2012
  • Arrived to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday
  • Continuously resided in the United States on June 15, 2007 (last give years) to the present
  • Been physically present in the United States one June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of requesting deferred action from USCIS;
  • Entered Without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012
  • Been in school at the time of application, or have already graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate; or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a national security or public safety
  • Be at least fifteen years old

If you are subject to a final removal order or voluntary departure you are eligible for DACA and need not be at least fifteen years old.

To apply you will need to establish physical presence in the United States from a time before your sixteenth birthday and continuous physical presence subsequently. USCIA will be looking at your passport; school records; |-94 , hospital records, medical records; employment records and tax records and much more depending on availability. The filing fee is $465.00

An uncontested divorce occurs when: (e) there are no disagreements between you and your spouse over any financial or divorce-related issues (i.e., Child Custody and support, division of marital property or spousal support); and (b) your spouse either agrees to the divorce, or fails to appear in the divorce action.