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Any Immigration Lawyers Here?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:11 pm

I am looking at buying a cake decorating shop in Texas as an investment. I want to ensure that a particular employee stays at the shop as she is bad-ass. In order to do so, I was planning to form a partnership of some kind with her - probably an LLC. She is a Canadian citizen who is here as a dependent on her husbands TN visa. She is waiting for a green card, but evidently that has been going on for years. She has been working illegally for the shop for a year. My question is what kind of Visa would she need to get - TN or H1B in order to work for a business as a LLC partner? My other fear as that 'cake decorator' does not seem to qualify under the professions listed on the approved occupations lists for either visa. If there is an option, what is it likely to cost in lawyers fees and application fees and the duration of the process? Thanks for your help! I have been looking at all kinds of immigration forums and ultimately need to talk to a lawyer. I just want to see if I can get an idea if this is even worth pursuing.
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Any Immigration Lawyers Here?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:21 pm

I'm not a lawyer, but if she's working illegal then they WILL deport her if they find out, and her husband if he's Canadian too. Tread really carefully with that.
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: Any Immigration Lawyers Here?

Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:30 am

If you own (or part-own) a business you can self-sponsor for an H-1B, but there is a threshold of minimum people employed (not sure what that is, but I want to say 25 or so).
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RE: Any Immigration Lawyers Here?

Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:53 am

This sounds like it could get out of hand in a hurry. I'd contact a local immigration attorney.
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RE: Any Immigration Lawyers Here?

Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:55 am

I'd be leery of entering a business contract or partnership with someone that is undocumented.

It seems you open yourself up to a whole can of worms, including reducing your own protections in case you have a falling out, as this person could vanish.

While it appears you are in Texas, and you have not passed local laws, keep in mind two States - Alabama and Arizona have statues as the one below which make it illegal to knowing enter into contracts with undocumented folks.
Could be something similar is in the horizon for the Lone Star state.

Contracts with unauthorized immigrants are not enforceable where the contracting party had knowledge that the person was unlawfully present. The statute includes certain exceptions such as agreements for one night’s lodging, food to be consumed by the illegal immigrant, medical services and travel to the immigrant’s home country. For the illegal immigrant, attempting to engage in any business transaction with the State – such as obtaining a driver’s license, car tag or business license – is a Class C felony under the law. It is also unlawful for an illegal immigrant to knowingly apply for work, solicit work or perform work as an employee or independent contractor.
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