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Unemployment benefits for (non)immigrants

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are receiving questions from our immigration clients regarding whether or not they are eligible to seek unemployment insurance benefits in the event of a layoff, reduction in force or termination.

Are you eligible for unemployment insurance? It depends. Each state has different unemployment insurance eligibility requirements. In Arizona, for example, individuals filing a claim for unemployment insurance benefits must indicate that they are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work. In order to be “available for work,” you “must be ready and willing to accept full-time work when offered without restrictions.” Consequently, it depends on your immigration status and applicable case law to determine if you are considered “available for work” when you are unemployed.

Thus, if you are only authorized to work in the U.S. for a single employer (e.g., holding H-1B or L-1 status) and lose your job, you generally would not qualify because you are not considered “able and available to work” when you are unemployed.

On the other hand, if you have an employment authorization document (e.g., adjustment of status applicants, spouses of E or L status holders,
certain H-4 spouses of H-1B workers, DACA recipients, refugee or asylee), you would generally be “available for work” for another employer. The same applies to lawful permanent residents. Undocumented workers are not “available for work” because they are not legally authorized to work in the U.S.

Please note at that this is only an overview of the unemployment benefits for immigrants and non-immigrants and is not intended as legal advice. IF you were laid off and would like to consult an experienced immigration attorney, calls us at 480-425-2009 or contact us via our website and we will help you determine the best options in your situation.

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Investor (E-2) visa for hair salon purchaser from Canada

My clients were husband and wife. Husband had extensive management experience and wife had extensive experience in the hair design area. They purchased assets from an existing hair salon fora substantial mount of capital. The source of the investment was a gift from my client’s sister, which was well documented along with complete tracing of the funds to the purchase of the business assets.

My clients also created a business plan to create a unique, innovative upscale boutique salon. They leased the same premises as the seller and found employees when we filed the visa application. The interview went well and my client is now running a successful hair stalon.

Please note that this case study does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline a case study of the treaty investor (E-2) visa.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for investor (E-2) visa, call our experienced investor (E-2) visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced treaty investor (E-2) attorney via our website to schedule a consultation. We look forward to discussing how we can help you obtain your investor (E-2) visa.

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Investor visa (E-2) for franchisee from Canada

Our client has been operating a successful franchise in Canada and identified an opportunity for her business in the fast growing Phoenix area. She formed an Arizona company and transferred her franchise territories to Arizona. We had to establish the value of the investment to establish that her investment is “substantial”. We has also established that the enterprise is real and doing business along with a business plan for Arizona operations. We had to also show that the investment is not marginal. The business certainly require employees to run the business and had healthy financials.

We guided our client through the E-2 visa process, prepared the investor visa (E-2) application and assisted her with the interview. The investor visa was approved in just a few weeks.

Please note that this blog does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline a case study of the treaty investor (E-2) visa process.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for investor (E-2) visa, call our experienced investor (E-2) visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced treaty investor (E-2) attorney via our website to schedule a consultation. We look forward to discussing how we can help you obtain your investor (E-2) visa.

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Treaty investor (E-2) visa for a restaurant owner from Canada

Our client came to our office seeking help with her E-2 visa. She was in the process of purchasing a full service restaurant in the Phoenix area for $150,000. The source of investment was the sale of her home in Canada. We documented well that the restaurant was real and doing business. The restaurant was well established and was operating in the Phoenix area for years. We had also sufficient documents to show that the investment was “substantial” and not marginal. The restaurant had more than 20 employees and healthy financials. We also submitted a business plan how to increase profit of the restaurant and create additional jobs.

We prepared the visa application and prepared our client for the interview. The interview went well and visas were approved for our client and her husband and a child. Congratulations!

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline the treaty investor (E-2) visa process.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for investor (E-2) visa, call our experienced investor (E-2) visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced treaty investor (E-2) attorney via our website to schedule a consultation. We look forward to discussing how we can help you obtain your investor (E-2) visa.