CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver
LOCATION: Cleveland, OH
Our client contacted us in March 2011 and inquired about his chances of winning a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is an extraordinary researcher and scientist in the field of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, a professor in Korea, who currently works as a visiting professor in an academic institution in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he is a good candidate for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category.
After our firm was retained, we prepared the application and coordinated with our client with his recommendation letters and supporting documents. We eventually prepared a 15-page cover letter for our client’s NIW filing, which included at least 10 letters of recommendation, his publication record, patents, and conference materials. In our brief, our office demonstrated the intrinsic merit of our client’s research in the United States, the national scope of his research, and asserted that our client would serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications. His NIW application contained 67 exhibits (Exhibit A to OOO).
Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on May 2, 2011. On August 19, 2011, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Request for Evidence. Once his I-140 was approved, our office worked on his J-1 waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement.
Attorney Yu contacted the Korean Consulate General Office in Chicago to pursue our client’s waiver. The Consulate requested six different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the applicant’s resume, a J-1 visa waiver confirmation application, and a letter of reason for obtaining the J-1 waiver. Most of those documents needed to be written in Korean, so Attorney Yu, a Korean himself, assisted our client in completing those documents.
On October 11, 2011 the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State. We also sent a request to the Korean Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client is eligible to adjust with an approved I-140 if he obtains the waiver.
The Korean Consulate General in Chicago forwarded our client’s documents to the Korean Embassy in DC. After that, the Korean Embassy issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division. On December 2, 2011, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. The CIS then issued an I-612 approval notice on January 12, 2012.
On January 24, 2012, our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client and his derivative family members. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time. However, on April 6, 2012, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center issued a request for evidence (RFE) on whether our client continued to be engaged in the occupation that is the basis of his national interest waiver. They mentioned that our client’s visiting professorship term ended three weeks after we filed his I-485 application and his employment with his home institution in South Korea was still ongoing.
The RFE letter from the USCIS requested us to submit evidence which established that the Applicant continued to be engaged in the occupation that is the basis of his national interest waiver. In our response brief, we noted that he is still engaged in the field which formed the basis of his National Interest Waiver. After the I-140 was approved, he proceeded to author more important publications, and was invited to several conferences and presentations in the world. We also explained that his employment relationship with his home institution and the institution of his visiting professorship in Cleveland, OH, and explained why he applied for adjustment of status in the United States – to continue as a professor, researcher and scientist in the field of Macromolecular Science and Engineering / Chemistry / Polymer Science (Fiber System Engineering). In our response to RFE, we included our client’s recent publications, invitation letters for upcoming conferences in the United States, and his on-going memberships with professional associations. Our office filed this response to RFE on April 16, 2012.
On April 26, 2012, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. The derivative applicants of this case (his immediate family members) also received the I-485 approval. Now, our client and his family members are finally green card holders.
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