Questions Employers Ask FAQs

First, you must check whether the student has applied for and been awarded Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization. The OPT period is valid for 12 months. If the student graduated in a STEM field, they may be eligible for an additional 18-month extension. You could also apply for an H1B or other work visa for them. 

The J-1 visa allows students to visit the United States as exchange visitors to perform a specific internship, at the end of which they must return to their home country. Check the visa in your passport or the DS-2019 you entered to know if you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement. If you are, you must either leave the U.S. for two years or file for a waiver of the requirement. 

A student in certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields can obtain OPT employment authorization for up to 29 months. The STEM extension is an extension of the student’s 12 months OPT for an additional 17-month period. The student’s school recommends granting employment authorization for both the 12-month OPT and the 24-month extension. That means they will be able to work for three years after graduation. The company will have an opportunity to apply for an H-1B on their behalf. If the H-1B petition is not chosen in the registration, you can try again next year.

The most common path by which non-immigrant employees are granted permanent residence status (green card) involves three steps: filing for a labor certification application (PERM). Then, once a labor certification is approved, the company would file a Petition for Immigrant Worker (I-140), which can be filed separately or concurrently with an Application for Adjustment of Status (I-485).
 
The labor certification application is the first step in the permanent residence process. The employer must obtain a certified labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) that certifies that there are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers to accept the job opportunity in intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
 
The process involves several sequential tasks completed by the attorney, the employer, and the employee, including identifying the job description/minimum requirements, recruitment, and labor certification filing. Labor certification is not required for the preference category reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives.
 
After the labor certification application is certified by DOL, the employer submits the approved labor certification to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with a Petition for Alien Worker (I-140) and additional documentation attesting that the employee possesses the minimum qualifications stated on the labor certification and that the employer can pay the wage.

Upon the approval of the I-140, the employee files with USCIS an Application to Register to Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485) from their employment-based non-immigrant status to that of a lawful permanent resident, also known as an immigrant visa or green card. The I-485 can also be filed concurrently with the I-140. The only problem is that if the I-140 is denied, you will lose all the fees for the I-485. It’s better to wait until the I-140 is approved before filing for the I-485.

The labor certification application is the first step in the permanent residence process. The employer must obtain a certified labor certification from the Department of Labor that certifies that there are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers to accept the job opportunity in intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The process involves several sequential tasks completed by the attorney, the employer, and the employee, including identifying the job description/minimum requirements, recruitment, and labor certification filing. Labor certification is not required for the preference category reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives.

After the labor certification application is certified by DOL, the employer submits the approved labor certification to USCIS with a Petition for Alien Worker (I-140) and additional documentation attesting that the employee possesses the minimum qualifications stated on the labor certification and that the employer can pay the wage.

Upon the approval of the I-140, the employee files with USCIS to adjust their employment-based non-immigrant status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident (immigrant visa or green card). The form filed is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485). Many applicants file for work and travel authorization concurrently. A person should not leave the U.S. without having the travel authorization (advance parole) approved.

Your priority date is the filing date of the labor certification. The priority date must be before the cut-off date for an immigrant visa to be available.

The U.S. government may deny a green card application for several reasons, including but not limited to mistakes on the required forms, missing documents, insufficient financial resources, or failure to demonstrate eligibility. 

Anyone with a valid work visa (for example, an H-1B or L-1 visa) can usually continue working in the United States even while applying for a U.S. green card. Otherwise, green card applicants aren’t allowed to start working in the United States until they obtain work authorization.

Kim was responsive and got my application completed quickly. Answered all my questions thoroughly and honestly! 😊
Hannah T.
1709233973
We have loved working with Kim and her team. Every question is always answered and quickly. We have txt Kim on the weekends and she either called or text so quickly.We never feel we are an inconvenience to them. We couldnt recommend them more!!!!
Whitney K.
1708969418
Collaborating with the Buhler Thomas Office was a truly enjoyable experience. Their expertise in navigating the intricacies of the immigration process was outstanding. They provided smooth and accurate guidance in submitting applications and offered unwavering support at every stage of the journey.
Pablo P.
1706564043
If you're looking for exceptional service, look no further than Kim Buhler's office. My experience with Kim dates back to 2005, and to this day, I remain astounded by her unwavering commitment to her clients.Kim guided me through a personal case with unparalleled expertise and compassion. From the moment we walked through her doors, she took the reins, guiding us through every intricate detail with a level of care that felt like she was holding our hands every step of the way.Navigating legal matters can often feel daunting, but Kim's confidence and assurance in the process immediately put me at ease. True to her word, everything unfolded exactly as she had outlined, leaving no room for uncertainty or surprises.Years later, Kim once again proved to be a beacon of reliability and support when she came to the aid of a close friend, rectifying mishandled matters with effortless precision.Recently, I turned to Kim for assistance yet again, and true to form, her honesty and direct approach shone through. While she couldn't directly assist in this particular instance, her immediate referral to a trusted colleague spoke volumes about her integrity and dedication to her clients' needs.Time and time again, Kim Buhler continues to surpass my expectations. Her unwavering professionalism, coupled with her genuine concern for her clients' well-being, sets her apart as a true gem in the legal profession. If you're seeking not just legal counsel, but a partner you can trust wholeheartedly, Kim Buhler is the name you need to know.
Christian Q.
1706555102
Kim was amazing. We had one free consultation with her and the final review before filling and I just got my permanency approved. Her advice is valuable in terms of documents you need, organization of documents, preparation, etc. It was a super smooth process, USCIS did not ask for any additional documents or interview. I definitely recommend Kim if you are a student. She is an expert. I am so happy!
Iolanda Costa R.
1704597336
Kim is an amazing attorney! She is very knowledgeable on everything related to immigration law. Our process was very long and difficult, but she was there to guide us on every step. Her team is also very attentive and responsive. I highly recommend her office!
Elisa D.
1704324674
Kim Buhler-Thomas, a legal eagle who's got more brains than a flock of Einsteins and a heart bigger than a sumo wrestler's appetite.This woman is a legal powerhouse who's been kicking butt and taking names for over 20 years. She's got a track record of winning cases that would make even Perry Mason jealous. And she's not just a legal whiz, she's also a genuinely caring person who's dedicated to helping her clients.Now, I know what you're thinking: "A lawyer with a heart? That's like finding a unicorn with a jetpack." But I'm here to tell you that Attorney Buhler-Thomas is the real deal. She's not just interested in winning cases, she's also interested in helping her clients achieve their goals.And if you're a student at Ensign College, you're in luck! Attorney Buhler-Thomas offers free consultations to students. That's right, free! So if you've got a legal issue, don't hesitate to reach out to her. She'll be happy to help you out.Now, I know what you're thinking: "This all sounds too good to be true. There must be a catch." But I promise you, there is no catch. Attorney Buhler-Thomas is just a genuinely good person who wants to help others.So if you're looking for a lawyer who's got the brains, the heart, and the skills to get the job done, then look no further than Attorney Kim Buhler-Thomas. She's the lawyer you need and the lawyer you deserve.And if you're not convinced, just ask any student at Ensign College. They'll tell you that Attorney Buhler-Thomas is a legal superstar who's always willing to go the extra mile for her clients.
ALE
1697854530
I have a rare situation, and there was so much to worry about. Before I proceeded my case with Kim, I spoke to a few other attorneys, and the moment I consulted with Kim, I knew I should work with her. Very glad I made the decision! Kim and her team were very professional, honest, hard working, and knowledgeable on the whole procedure. They were always responsive, and we were able to fight the deadline. Things turned out smoothly and my case was approved in only 5 months. Would give them 10-star if I could. Truly grateful and I highly recommend Kim!
Tammy M.
1697735608
Person in charge with scheduling is very incompetent. Talked to her 3 days a go and she told me to expect a call from Kim for their consultation on Friday around noon. I patiently waited for them to call me but it never happened. So i called their office and talked to her again and she was apologetic about the situation. I told her its okay I understand. And told me that she needs to talk to kim again and will give me a call back. After she's done talking to her. 1 hour passed still haven't heard from them. And i called again and asked her what is going on and told me to get another schedule for next week. I wasted my time trying to wait for them to call me which never happened and i have to be the one reminding her about it.Update: 10/2/23Kim personally reached out to us and made amends for what had happened with the scheduling. Kim was very professional and was able to answer our questions. Make us understand what we need based on our situation. I want to thank her for the effort she made to call us back.
AJ T.
1696250650
I really appreciate Kim and her team for their help with my Green Card application. They made the process straightforward and explained each step of the way. Kim replied to my emails and calls really fast. Her team put a lot of attention to detail on my package application. I was approved for my Green Card faster than I was expecting. I would love to work with Kim again for my citizenship application when the time comes. I would recommend her without hesitation.Thank you Kim, Merah, Ash, and team for your help!
Eduardo C.
1694561100
Kim and her team helped my wife and I get through her green card process. Kim impressed both of us with how quickly she addressed our questions and concerns and how effective she was at getting us through the process. My wife now has her green card and Kim has helped us get it renewed every time that has come up. I highly recommend Kim.Thanks,-Andrew
Andrew E.
1692734121
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GREAT HELP.Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. was extremely helpful with our very long process of getting our US Permanent Residence. It was a complicated process mainly due to compiling documentation from several countries where we lived and keeping track of all that was quite challenging. The Buhler Thomas team was very patient and persistent specially with reloading info every time there was a comment/rejection from NVC. In the end, we managed to get through the entire process despite some delays caused by reiteration of document uploading and finally we were called for a personal interview at the consulate and from there a final check/interview at Immigration in the US. Two months later, we received our Permanent Residence (Green Card). Thanks a lot to the entire team at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.Jose Lacruz
Jose L.
1690334147
Buhler Thomas Law were very helpful and informative by initially giving a consultation by answering questions and helping with reviewing my documents and in submitting these documents the process was quite easy because of them and I did not even get any issues I highly recommend them and would encourage everyone to try them out
michael K.
1684782164
Speed, efficiency, professionalism -- Kim and her team are so good in what they do! After we got our documents together and submitted, the process was just so smooth, practically stress-free! The hardest part was probably gathering the documents, but when we slacked, Kim and her team were right there to make sure we moved on. The gentle persuasions, the reminders -- we knew we were taken care of! Thank you, Kim, and your amazing team!
Dennis L.
1682716072
I’ve had Kim help me with stuff in the past. She’s super helpful and great to work with.
Martin W M.
1682568243
RE: Recommendation of Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.4/17/2023Kim,Your Law firm did exactly as promised. You stayed on top of my immigration paperwork and timeframes. When delays took place, you readily took over and resolved the issues the Immigration Department had.Because of your diligence, I now have my Green Card and can proceed with my life in the USA with my husband.Again, thank you so much with staying involved and resolving complications created by my move half way through the process.I strongly recommend you and your firm to anyone wanting their immigration process to be handled professionally and in a timely manner.Sincerely,Wendy Harris Groth
Kelly G.
1681750997
I worked with Kim to obtain my permanent residency status and she made the process so much easier! I tried to do the paperwork myself, but the application was so confusing to me and difficult to understand. When I connected with Kim, she was able to ask for my info in clear and simple ways so she could fill out my applications with the right items. This made me feel very confident going through the process. Her paralegal team (I worked with Tori and Sarah) was always quick to respond to my questions and calls and was thorough in putting together my documents. Also, they worked really fast! They really put together my application as soon as possible. Everyone at Buhler Thomas Law is kind, professional, and wise. I would recommend them over and over again. I can't thank them enough for their help.
Justine K.
1680792976
Kim is very thorough and professional to work with. My wife and I are very happy we decided to work with her and would definitely recommend!
Zeb S.
1680618422
I can not be grateful enough to Kim and Thomas . The work they have done with their team to get me my H1B and Green Cards for my son and me was just amazing.It was impressive how flexible and ready to answer all my questions with patience and niceness they are. They, all are very active and very responsive. I have been to their Office many times, I was received very well and warmly. I couldn't help but be impressed by their effectiveness and kindness!
AHMAD K.
1679699827
Informative and honest.
Arnaldo F.
1675576090
My family really enjoyed working with Kim and her staff. She is very thorough and will help in whatever way she can. I highly recommend her work!
Audrey W.
1674173542
Kim helped me and our department and university successfully navigate the obstacle course (to put it mildly) of the process to secure the immigration documents needed to hire and keep a great faculty member - who then recently received an award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.I would highly recommend her to anyone requiring expert, sensitive, effective counsel for academic or individual needs. She would be a superb teacher herself - she clearly explained the underlying issues, principles, and requirements in ways that made it much easier to avoid mistakes as differing situations arose. She was patient and instilled appropriate patience in us to sustain us through the difficult process, but when immediate action was called for, she was always available at any time or day including weekends, and we could tell she was as passionate as we were for the hoped-for proper outcome. Similarly, the right combination of diplomatic where called for and direct when needed. Working on such fraught matters could have been a miserable experience, but with Kim it was a pleasure and actually enjoyable learning experience, and best of all for the colleagues involved and the school, it was a complete success.
Bob P.
1668729700
100% recommend!! Kim generously offers invaluable presentations at my university and several others. These presentations and her consultations have been a huge blessing to my family's immigration needs. Thank you Kim and staff!
Jonathan H.
1667844392
Kim and her team were really responsive and detail-oriented. They were in constant communication with me and my employer as we working on my H1B work visa application. I reviewed all my application and I was impressed on how complete and thorough it was. In fact, I want to say thank you to Kim and her team for making it possible for my application to be approved and for educating me and my company on how the process worked. Totally recommend to consult this firm for any immigration concerns.
Marjorie R.
1662147469
Great staff, friendly and courteous. Professional service.
Roberto Villanueva R.
1661518073
Excellent Immigration Service: For Peace of mind, go with Buhler-Thomas Law.I highly recommend Kim Buhler-Thomas and her team for any immigration services. My employer retained Buhler-Thomas Law for their professional help for my transition from an OPT work authorization to an H1B visa. That was the best thing that happened to me. Kim and her team provided relevant and adequate advice to my employers and worked hard to ensure that my LCA application was certified by the DOL.Kim and Chelsie, the paralegal assigned to my case, were deeply knowledgeable of the vast and complicated immigration process. The team at Buhler-Thomas Law responded promptly to my emails and questions, even working after office hours on my case. Their efficient preparation of my application packet and the filing process with the USCIS happened with zero tolerance for errors. As a result of their excellent immigration service, my H1B application got approved in record time without any request for evidence. I am sure my employers will retain their services for my permanent residency and green card processing.Even more outstanding of their service was that I did not have to have physical contact with the Buhler-Thomas team. All communications, correspondence, and exchange of paperwork were done online!!! My physical presence at their office was not needed. For Peace of mind, go with Kim!!!
Nneamaka I.
1657854980
When we were looking for an attorney to help us navigate the complex world of immigration law, we came across Buhler-Thomas Law. How can anyone have 5 stars with nearly a hundred reviews? By making the client feel heard, respected, and genuinely cared for, as it turns out. Kim understood our unique situation and went out of her way to help us. Her team was attentive, patient, and diligent. Ash, in particular, spent a lot of time with us putting our documents in order. Kim made sure to be available for our questions, even if she had to explain some things a few times. Outstanding business ethics. Thank you!
oksana P.
1657740778
Kim and her staff helped our son with his K1 process. They told us what we needed to do and we just uploaded the documents. They put it together for us and sent it in. They were willing to take the time to help us review the documents and answer all the questions we had so that our K1 would be in great shape before it was sent.
Janet N.
1652291471
Kim Buhler, at Buhler Thomas Law, is amazing. She was helpful, clear, and smart. Her team at Buhler Thomas Law is excellent too. They follow-through and do what they say they will. I am grateful to them for their work and their kindness along the way.
Endhi V
1650926874
Worked with this law firm for my work permit and for my green card application. They are super professional. And most importantly they are diligent when filling your application. Highly recommended!
Gagan Deep Singh B.
1643134620
Kim helped my family and I with our L1 Visa and my Green Card applications. Just a phenomenal lady, with knowledge and tenacity. The peace of mind Kim and her team gave us was priceless, and walked us through the processes step by step so we knew exactly what was happening, and why. Cannot recommend Kim highly enough.
Stephen J.
1640988586
Kim helped me with my EB-1 and green card application which were both successful without any hiccups. Kim is detail-oriented, thorough, and always quick to respond and follow-up. She keeps up to date on current immigration issues, and always had the expertise to deal with any questions and issues I brought up. Her staff were a pleasure to work with, and very responsive. I would strongly recommend her to others looking for a highly competent and expert immigration attorney.
Jeff G.
1630371030
Very very great law firm!!! Straight forward and up to date with all things Immigrations. Kim did a great job explaining the ins and outs of my issues!!! High quality and resourceful conversation!!!Will do business again!!!Pacome
Soldier Stephen Ben I.
1624224060
Immigration is a highly complex area of the law to navigate. When it comes to both potential and current employees within the realms of immigration and visa attainment, it is absolutely crucial to have trust and confidence in the firm you choose to guide you through its entirety—from conception to finality. That’s where Buhler Thomas Law comes into play. We work directly with Attorney Kim Buhler and her phenomenal team of paralegals for our company’s immigration needs and have absolutely no desire to look elsewhere. They live and breathe service and excellence and are phenomenal to work with. I highly recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance in immigration & naturalization law.
Melanie O.
1623337340
Kim truly cares about people. It is hard trusting lawyers at times especially with the costs of immigration but I can certainly say that Kim truly cares about students and people. She does a lot of work to help people in the community and I don't know a better lawyer to help you succeed in your immigration journey than her.
Jonathan B.
1620176123
During my H1 and GC process, Kim and her team were highly professional, very meticulous, and caring. I am extremely grateful to her as she took me out of immigration darkness to light and gave me so much happiness. Kim is truly the Best Immigration lawyer, detailed oriented, and a wonderful person.
Alaa A.
1598554928
After getting married, I do like a lot of people, Google the nearest immigration lawyer and read their reviews. I have to say chosing kim Buhler Thomas Law was the best decision I have made. In avoiding to be too detailed, my process went like this. Apply get work permit wait the longest for interview, denied after interview because I never get all the documents kim asked for. Kim then decided to reapply so I start all over again. Honestly after getting denied I thought that was it but kim suggest I reapplied. That helps me to get a new work permit and continue working while I start the process all over again.Please Please Please people fallow every step she asked of you. If I had done what she had asked I would not have gotten a denial in the first place. However if you have being denied good to know that's not the end of it. This process takes me almost 4 years but to reach this point where I now a green card holder it was well worth it. Kim and her entire team, have been nothing but thorough throughout the process. I've been acquainted with so many of her helpful paralegals who I've come to know and trust over the years especially, Eliza Orellana, Evelyn Muñoz and Grant Payzant. Once Again Your Success Throughout This Process Depends On You Doing Everything Kim Asked You To.I will continue to use her to fulfilling all my imagination needs and recommend her to any and everyone.
Daniel W.
1593696084
Kim and her paralegal Eliza made my H1B work visa a reality in our current highly complex circumstances! Kim's communication exemplifies a perfect combination of personable and professional. She gets to the point and gets it done! Her knowledge of the application process is profound. She also understands my unique circumstances and has integrated them into the application process seamlessly. Kim and Eliza keep perfect track of the massive amount of information I send them and answer all my questions quickly and very clearly. Kim's patience, courtesy, acumen, attention to detail, and very intensive hard work allowed us to succeed in an impressively timely way, and I am so grateful to her and Eliza. I fully hope to work with Kim and Eliza again. They accomplished magic. Thank you so much, both!!
Jasmine S.
1593548377
For international people like me, the whole immigration process and paperwork can be very intimidating. Kim’s office and staff is an expert in what they do. My employers retained Kim’s firm for my work visa H1B. Their staff is very professional and stayed on top of things at every stage of work. They reached out to me by phone or email to get things done in a timely fashion for all kinds of paperwork needed. I am sure that my employer will contact Kim again for the green card when the time comes. I strongly recommend their service for any kind of immigration-related issues.
Rajnish K.
1593238053
Kim and her whole team were so easy to work with and were willing to answer any and all questions I had. They made a detailed process easy to follow. I highly recommend their office for your immigration issues!
Becky B.
1583937020
Kim was professional, extremely knowledgeable, and very well connected. My wife (not an American citizen) and I faced the challenge of getting married overseas and navigating the green card process and re-entry into the United States. My wife's history with visa applications, visa expiration, and travel obstacles made it a delicate situation. Kim helped us from start to finish. She explained what paperwork was necessary, how to file it, when to file it, and the possible timing scenarios and situations that we could have faced. She also helped me to remain calm, despite the processing being frustrating at times. Her help greatly contributed to my wife obtaining her green card, and our return to the United States.
Cristiano P.
1580440658
Kim has provided specialized legal services to my organization for many years. She has proven over and over that she is a world-class professional. We recently finished successful permanent residency processes for two employees due to Kim's expertise and experience. Kim and her team were consistently responsive, supportive, and competent.
Beth B.
1578425847
Kim and her wonderful team helped me through the green card process successfully. My husband and I did everything we could to do the right thing. It was wonderful to have Kim working alongside us and doing everything in her power to make sure we submitted the best application. When we received a Request for Further Evidence, she met with us a few times to help prepare another file that went through no problem. She and Grant are incredible and really have your best interests at heart! They want to help you as much as they possibly can and are super reasonable about how they charge you. THANK YOU KIM!
Hannah B.
1578203998
Kim is absolutely amazing. She helped with my wife's greencard process and made a stressful situation pleasant. Kim and her team are immigration wizards with a very streamlined, professional and thorough process. She and her team are not only incredibly knowledgeable, but also very personable and genuinely interested in helping us through the layers of government processes and forms.
Ben R.
1576635372
Kim is prompt, responsive, and professional with her work. Kim worked on my Permanent Residency Application in March. We went over every single page to verify details and addendums. Being extra careful and disclosing helped with my case and eventually led to the approval. Highly recommended for any students who need help to transition.
Junsuk C.
1568684628
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