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Welcome to the United States! But first, indispensable information to migrate legally

Welcome to the United States! But first, indispensable information to migrate legally

Posted by Liliana Castaño on June 20, 2014

“Do it yourself,” that is the first idea one has to dismiss when migrating to U.S.A.. In the United States migration processes frequently change, are complicated, and are part of a system unknown for most foreigners.


That is why PanamericanWorld searched through a sea of possibilities in South Florida, for a lawyer who could tell us the most important aspects of the risky venture that is migrating.


First, we looked for references to verify that the lawyer had credentials, in this state the main one is being part of the Florida Bar. Then, using this information we found a firm which is also No.1: AV Preeminent de Martindale-Hubbell. Meaning that we looked for a firm with history, credibility and qualifications professionally and ethically proven.


This is an obligatory task. Don’t waste your time and money with unreliable lawyers, do your research.


In our case, we didn’t only find what we were looking for, but also an important plus. We set up a meeting and went to Larry Behar’s office, founder of the Behar Law Group in Ft. Lauderdale. To our surprise, Behar didn’t only fit our requisites, he is also an immigrant himself, and not just any immigrant, but a Canadian one who speaks English, French, and Spanish. Yet, the what is more gratifying about our encounter is that we found a native communicator, a teacher, a server and an inspiring story to tell.


What should I do, one I decide to migrate to the United States of America?

Let’s see, there are five important points:

  1. Prepare all your documents. Have files with all the information about your education, family, health, criminal records, etc.

  2. Identify where you want to live in U.S., investigate the place, and look for potential. Specially having support from your family, your community or your networks.

  3. Have an immigration strategy. You must know what you want, whether it’s temporary or permanent, whether it is a family or an individual, ages, and expectatives.

  4. Be mindful of your criminal and financial records when applying.

  5. Finally, understand the duration of the process.

A potential client looks for you, finds you, and then what happens?


I also choose my clients, we select each other. When I know I can make a difference, the relationship begins.


We want to minimize risks in the immigration process. To do that, one has to understand the customer before anything. So the first interview is extremely important and, only if there is a possibility of getting a positive result, we will open a file.

If there is no possibility, for any reason, we won’t advance with the case. Our primary appeal is our reputation.


What makes you different to other firms?


Behar Law Group is a special firm, where every lawyer is an immigrant, and where a good part of us speak Spanish, because an important group of our clients comes from South America. That is why the calls, the interviews, and anything they need can be in Spanish. The firm originated in 1979, we are old, and during this 35 years we have served thousands of clients of from 39 nationalities, mainly from the south of the hemisphere.


Our services take into account the fundamental aspects of American law, the immigration system is based on family relations, work/study and investments.


So you and your team understand immigrants?


We understand the psychological aspect of migrating to U.S., there is a lot on the line. We try to understand what the person left behind and their objective when coming to U.S.


Most immigrants come because of the circumstances in their home countries, to start a new life, away from the risks of living in their native country. That’s what happens with our increasing patronage from Venezuela and Mexico.


My situation is not different to the others, I was born in Cairo, and I was raised and studied law in Canada, in the city of Montreal, in McGill University and in the University of Montreal.


When did you make the decision of coming to U.S.?


There were political problems in Quebec in 1966. I took my family, made the decision of getting out of the country and studied law again in Nova University, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I am proud of being the first Canadian to come from this institution, when Nova only had two buildings. Today it is one of the best educational institutions of the country. Nowadays I am an ambassador of this important University.


I came on August 15, 1967, with a car, a bicycle, two suitcases and my dad.


Why Florida?


In the time I came to study, when there were political problems in my city, most of my friends went to Toronto. I decided to come to Florida for one simple reason: there is no winter in Florida.



You already told us that speaking three languages has been useful, but your Spanish is surprisingly good. Where did you learn this language?


I confess that I understand Venezuelans, Colombians and Spaniards better, but when someone talks to me really fast, like Cubans do, it’s harder.


I learned Spanish in Canada, with a professor from Spain, when I was 15 years old. My grandmother is from Spain, from a city in Salamanca called Bejar, and my family speaks ladino, an ancient Spanish language. My first language is French, when one speaks a Latin language, it is easier to understand another language from the same origin, like Spanish. I like Spanish, for instance, I enjoy going to Costa Rica and understand the people, it’s amazing!

This has changed my firm. My assistant, my right hand, Lea Salama DiMitri is from Caracas. I helped her immigration case when she was 8 years old.

Béjar, Salamanca

Your firm is known for the investment visas or visas EB-5. Why are they qualified as a triple victory?


Job creation, capital infusion, and immigration through investment, that’s why.


In 2007 I started to work with the investment visas EB-5. We are the firm with the best results in U.S. for the creation of regional investment centers. We have 14 centers throughout the country.


Results like that make our reputation with EB-5 very solid. That is why we have sponsors and investors of this kind of visas throughout U.S. in Georgia, California, New York, Vermont, Ohio, etc…


We work in two levels: representing the business centers, to make an platform of EB-5 investments; and we have other clients who are investors.


Today I have a new client from Mexico, he is going to invest in a regional center, not exactly what I represent, it’s important to understand the difference. Nowadays there are 450 regional investment centers, but there are only about 15 active.


There are three very active ones in Florida, Miami is just starting, it doesn’t have a history, but it has a lot of potential. I’m coming back from from Washington and we have a good network of Floridian politicians supporting us from there, congressmen and senators. Five years ago they didn’t know what an EB-5 visa was, now the do, that has been the goal.


With this visa you can bring all your close family, your spouse and kids under the age of 21. Besides, because of the refusal to process investment visas in Canada, we are ready to receive more than 20 thousand Chinese investors who will work with the EB-5 visa in this country.



He knows his functions are more of a psychologist than a lawyer, so he is sweet and patient. He has a lot of love for his team, and he shows it with actions, his employees have been working with him for years.


He could retire, but he takes great joy from helping, and sees it as his destiny.


Larry has a good life, by the side of the loving Claire Fleisher Behar, who we had the pleasure of meeting. She is his wife, his life partner, who also lives to help others. She is also Canadian.


“I live by the beach, every day I open my window and look at the sea, talk to my dog and say ‘Skippy, we have a good day ahead of us.’ This is a good life” says Larry. Claire and Larry are active members of the Canadian community in Florida, the jewish community, the community of entrepreneurs in Ft. Lauderdale, and as if that wasn’t enough, the community of hispanic entrepreneurs in the area.


What worries Larry the most is his clients not knowing exactly how long they have to wait to hear: Welcome to United States of America!


Click here for Larry Behar’s book on EB-5 investment immigration.

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