The Law Offices of Lisa L. Johnston has been helping newcomers become new Americans since 1992.
U.S. immigration law is an incredibly complex, nuanced, and ever-changing area. No two clients and no two cases are exactly alike. Individualized counsel with an experienced immigration attorney is essential in order to navigate the country's shifting immigration policies. We pride ourselves on decades of successfully guiding our clients through this complicated and oftentimes stressful process. We seek to make the American dream a more accessible reality for all our clients.
The information on this page is meant to provide a brief introduction to our services. We encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment.
PERMANENT RESIDENCE & GREEN CARDS
MARRIAGE-BASED ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders are eligible to file a petition to bring their fiancé or spouse to the United States on a temporary or permanent basis. We guide our clients through the various requirements, from forms and waivers to the Green Card interview (and, if necessary, a Stokes Interview). It is important for parties to understand the nuances and timeline of this process, as well as the implications of a Conditional Residence (i.e. if you have been married for less than two years) and potential issues that may arise.
PARENTS, CHILDREN AND SIBLINGS OF U.S. CITIZENS
SPOUSES & CHILDREN OF LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS
If you are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (greencard holder), you may file a petition to permanently bring your children, parents and/or brothers and sisters to the U.S.. There are significant backlogs in certain visa categories. It is imperative that you get the correct advice, understand the timeline involved and have your petitions prepared properly to avoid unwanted delays.
EMPLOYMENT-BASED GREEN CARD PETITIONS
The laws and rules relating to employer-sponsorship are vast, diverse and complicated. You need counsel with experience. There are myriad eligibility criteria for an employment-based GreenCard petition. Requirements, processing, and waiting times vary based on the foreign worker's occupation. If you or your employer is interested in filing an employment-based petition, contact us and we'll walk you through the process as it applies to you.
NON-IMMIGRANT & TEMPORARY VISAS
H1-B VISAS (SKILLED WORKERS)
H-1B visas are temporary visas issued to highly skilled foreign workers in "specialty occupations" for up to five years. Given the complexity and the current “lottery” nature of the H1-B visa process, thorough preparation is essential in the months prior to submitting an application. Timing is crucial and we will work with you to prepare and file the best application possible.
J VISAS (EXCHANGE VISITORS)
J-1 visas are issued to foreign nationals in order for them to partake in programs that promote cultural exchange, either through a work and/or study program, occupational training in a specialized field, or a government-sponsored program. There are multiple requirements that must be met in order to obtain a J-1 visa, including securing sponsorship by an organization accredited by the Department of State, providing proof of funds to cover expenses and demonstrating an intent to return to the applicant’s home country and the intent not abandon that country. We provide information and advice on how to successfully secure a J-1 visa.
E-VISAS (Treaty Traders & Investors)
E-visas are issued to investors, traders and employees from select countries which have special trade agreements with the United States. We offer experienced, knowledgeable, and professional counsel to meet the needs of businesses, foreign investors, and corporations in establishing U.S. business operations and securing appropriate employment visas from the overseas consular posts. We have extensive experience in the preparation and filing of applications and petitions at U.S. Embassies and Consulates including expertise in E-1 and E-2 visas for treaty traders and investors.
Foreign nationals from countries with low immigration rates to the United States, like Ireland and the United Kingdom, may be eligible to register for the Diversity Visa Program. Diversity Visas are issued on a lottery basis. Lisa Johnston served as Legislative Director of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement and lobbied for the creation of these visas along with the “Morrison” Visas. In that role she helped draft some of the legislative language submitted to congress for the establishment of these visas. She co-authored language under this program which would create a carve-out for Northern Ireland treating Northern Ireland as a separate state for Diversity Visa purposes. She is an expert on the diversity visa program.
NATURALIZATION & CITIZENSHIP
If you are a permanent resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years (3 years if you received your green card as a spouse of a U.S. citizen and remain married to that spouse), you may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship or naturalize. We'll guide you through the process as well as help you to prepare for the naturalization exam and interview when the time arrives.