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Olympic and World Champion Gymnast Tatiana Lysenko
     OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS, U.S. immigration laws have been significantly modified and strengthened and since September 11, 2001 these laws have been increasingly enforced. For years, professionals in the arts and entertainment fields have found it relatively easy to enter the U.S. as “visitors” and avoid obtaining the necessary INS authorization and visas to work in this country. While this was never legal, very little was ever done to stop it. This practice has effectively come to an end. Companies and organizations that produce events featuring foreign talent need to consider their immigration needs well in advance of opening night or risk severe financial loss and damage to reputation. The Law Office of Lisa Palter is available to assist foreign nationals and their U.S. employers in understanding the implications of current U.S. immigration law and policy and devising a strategy that will guarantee a successful event!

Internationally-acclaimed Mongolian Contortionist Serchmaa Byamba
     In most cases, in order for a foreign national (non-U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) to enter the United States, he must have a visa. A visa is obtained by submitting an application and supporting documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the foreign national’s home country. A nonimmigrant visa is valid for a limited amount of time and allows the holder of the visa to enter the U.S. for a short duration in order to perform certain activities (such as working or going to school). An immigrant visa allows a person to enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident and is referred to colloquially as a “green card.” Usually, before applying for a visa the foreign national (or his U.S. employer or sponsor) must first file a visa petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) in the United States and receive an Approval Notice (Form I-797). This process can take six months for nonimmigrant visas and more than a year for immigrant visas. The Approval Notice confirms that the CIS has found the foreign national to be prima facie eligible for the visa classification.
However, approval of a visa petition by the CIS does not guarantee visa issuance by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is the role of the Law Office of Lisa Palter to:
Culturally Unique Neva Russian Dance Ensemble
  • determine which visa classification is best for the foreign national by reviewing the reason for the visit to the U.S., time needed to complete the event and qualifications for the various visas;
  • outline an immigration strategy;
  • prepare and file the visa petition with the CIS; and
  • assist with the visa application process at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

  Law Office of Lisa Palter  Mill Valley, CA   T: (415) 380-8215