Nalini S. Mahadevan, JD MBA

"Nalini goes well beyond the call of duty in helping her clients."

— D Narain, Monsanto

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Family Immigration Services

  • Green card based on marriage to a US citizen
  • FiancĂ©/fiancĂ©e visa
  • Green card for parents of US citizens
  • Spousal visa
  • Removal of conditions on a two year green card

Frequently Asked Questions

A visa is permission to knock on the door of the United States, to ask for permission to enter.

There are two categories of visas:


An immigrant visa is permission from the US government to reside permanently in the USA. It means that you will maintain a home and ties to the United States. It is also called a 'green card'.

Non Immigrant

A non immigrant visa is a visa that allows you to reside in the US temporarily for as long as you have permission to stay in the country.

When you enter the USA, you are inspected at the Port of Entry and given a I-94.

This card gives you the duration of permissible stay in the US as well as the class of visa that you have stamped in your passport.

You can get a green card either through Family or Employment.

If you have a qualified immediate relative, such as a parent, sibling, child or spouse, who is an US citizen, then you can apply.

Some visa categories enable an employer to sponsor employees. Some employment categories have to apply for a permanent labor certification through the Department of Labor, others are exempt. For further information, contact Nalini at

Very simply, this is the date for which applications for visas are being processed. If you have applied today for a preference category, which is back logged due to visas being unavailable when you file, the date on the visa bulletin states the date for which the visas are being processed by the USCIS.

The process of changing one's status while in the United States from non immigrant to immigrant is called AOS.

If you apply for a visa to enter the USA either on an immigrant or non immigrant visa, abroad at a US consulate, that is known as CP.

If you are a green card holder for 5 years or are married to a US citizen for at least 3 years, then you can apply for US citizenship, or naturalize.

Here are some ways to become a US citizen:

  • By birth
  • By naturalization
  • By adoption
  • By being born abroad to a US citizen

You must maintain residency in the USA as a permanent resident. If you are absent from USA for more than 1 year, then the residency period of 5 years or 3 years (if you are married and living with a US citizen) will start all over again. You must have good moral character, attached to the principles of the US Constitution issues, be at least 18 years and not otherwise be barred. For further information, contact Nalini at

You must have entered the country legally, be inspected at the border, a visa number must be available to you, and you must make an application.

You may be able to adjust only with a waiver. However, if you committed an aggravated felony, you may not be eligible for adjustment. For further information, contact Nalini at

For further information, contact Nalini at

The first step is to apply for permission from Department of Labor to work (PERM process). The DOL requires the employer to advertise the position and to follow at least 6 methods of advertising for suitable candidates who are either US citizens or legal permanent residents, before the job can be offered to the alien (the non immigrant visa holder, in most cases). These compliance steps are to be followed strictly.

The employer must be willing to pay at least the prevailing wage that is prescribed by DOL.

The next step is to file the employer's petition with USCIS, along with the approval of the PERM application by DOL. Currently there is a 180 day deadline, by which the employer has to file the petition to sponsor the employee with USCIS. For further information contact, Nalini at We file for permanent labor certification. The requirements are very strict and have many time limitations.

No. DOL requires that the employer to pay for the recruitment process. There are currently no fees payable to DOL. However, there are application fees payable to USCIS.

Some of the differences are due to education, experience and job description, duties and employer requirements.

For further information, contact Nalini at You may be eligible through the PERM process, filed by your employer.

You may be able to sponsor potential employees for an H-1B visa. If you have employees who work for you at your foreign branch office or subsidiary, then they may qualify for an intra-company transfer.