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Post image for Nurse Practitioner EB-2 Schedule A I-140 Approval for South Korean Beneficiary and Physician’s Office Petitioner in Houston, TX

CASE: I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A / Premium Processing

EMPLOYER: Physician’s Office

BENEFICIARY: South Korea

LOCATION: Greater Houston Area, TX

Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. Her prospective employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she was a certified nurse practitioner, she was eligible for “Schedule A” classification.

The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations, Schedule A included, for which the individual permanent labor certification procedure is not required. The schedule of pre-certified occupations is referred to as Schedule A, and is included in DOL regulations at 20 CFR 656.10. Based on an occupation’s inclusion on Schedule A, an employer may file an immigrant visa petition (I-140) directly with the (USCIS) without first going to the DOL for a labor certification. Usually, prior to filing I-140 petitions (EB-2 or EB-3 category), the employer must file a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. However, for Schedule A cases, the employer does not have to go through the labor certification process. The position of Nurse Practitioner is included in Schedule A.

Our client has a Bachelors and Masters degree in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Our office was retained on June 10, 2014 and we filed a Prevailing Wage Determination Request immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on October 6, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, and other necessary supporting documents.

In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why nurse practitioners must fall under the Schedule A designation.

On October 21, 2014, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Texas Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Since the priority date for South Korean nationals is current for the EB-2 category, she is eligible to file her adjustment of status application now.

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Post image for Schedule A EB3 Registered Nurse Priority Date Retention Approval for Filipino Beneficiary in Bangkok Thailand and Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Petitioner in Houston Texas

CASE: I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A / Old Priority Date Retention

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipino Registered Nurse in Bangkok, Thailand

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. Currently, he is working at a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand as a nurse. His prospective employer was willing to petition him for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Our client also has an approved EB-3 I-140 petition with a priority date of January 2009.

Since he is a registered nurse, he is eligible for “Schedule A” classification. The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations, Schedule A included, for which the individual permanent labor certification procedure is not required. The schedule of pre-certified occupations is referred to as Schedule A, and is included in DOL regulations at 20 CFR 656.10. Based on an occupation’s inclusion on Schedule A, an employer may file an immigrant visa petition (I-140) directly with the (USCIS) without first going to the DOL for a labor certification. Usually, prior to filing I-140 petitions (EB-2 or EB-3 category), the employer must file a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. However, for Schedule A cases, the employer does not have to go through the labor certification process. The position of Professional Nurses is included in Schedule A.

Also, under 8 CFR 204.5(e):

“Retention of section 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) priority date. A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) or 205 of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.”

As mentioned above, our client’s approved I-140 petition was not denied, was actually approved, and was never revoked at any point. Thus, by virtue of 8 CFR 204.5(e), this succeeding I-140 Petition by our client’s prospective employer for our client is entitled to the previous priority date.

Our client has a nursing degree and has several years of related experience. Our firm told him that his potential employer can petition him as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. More importantly, since the priority date of his previous I-140 was current, he can eventually apply for his immigrant visa via consular processing. Our office was retained on July 27, 2014 and we started on his Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on October 2, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents.  Eventually, on October 16, 2014, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  Now, our client can eventually file his immigrant visa application.

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Post image for Nurse Practitioner Immigration EB-2 Schedule A I-140 Approval for Filipina Beneficiary and Physician’s Office Petitioner in Honolulu Hawaii

CASE: I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A / Premium Processing

EMPLOYER: Physician’s Office

BENEFICIARY: Filipina

LOCATION: Petitioner is in Honolulu, Hawaii; Beneficiary is in Manila, Philippines

Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. Her prospective employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she was a certified nurse practitioner, she was eligible for “Schedule A” classification.

The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations, Schedule A included, for which the individual permanent labor certification procedure is not required. The schedule of pre-certified occupations is referred to as Schedule A, and is included in DOL regulations at 20 CFR 656.10. Based on an occupation’s inclusion on Schedule A, an employer may file an immigrant visa petition (I-140) directly with the (USCIS) without first going to the DOL for a labor certification. Usually, prior to filing I-140 petitions (EB-2 or EB-3 category), the employer must file a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. However, for Schedule A cases, the employer does not have to go through the labor certification process. The position of Nurse Practitioner is included in Schedule A.

Our client has a Bachelors and Masters degree in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Our office was retained on June 10, 2014 and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on September 25, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, and other necessary supporting documents.

In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why nurse practitioners must fall under the Schedule A designation.  On October 7, 2014, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition.

Since the priority date for Philippine national is current for the EB-2 category, she is eligible to file her immigrant visa via consular processing.

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Post image for Schedule A EB2 Nurse Manager for Mental Health Program I-140 Approval for Filipina Beneficiary and Nursing Care Facility Petitioner in Michigan

CASE: I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A / Premium Processing

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipina

LOCATION: Michigan

Our client is from the Philippines. Her prospective employer-sponsor is willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she has a registered nurse license and the proffered position for her is a mental health program nurse manager, the petition wanted to try going for a “Schedule A” classification. They also wanted to do EB2 (requiring at least a Masters degree or Bachelors degree + 5 yrs experience).

The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations, Schedule A included, for which the individual permanent labor certification procedure is not required. The schedule of pre-certified occupations is referred to as Schedule A, and is included in DOL regulations at 20 CFR 656.10. Based on an occupation’s inclusion on Schedule A, an employer may file an immigrant visa petition (I-140) directly with the (USCIS) without having to file a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor. Usually, prior to filing I-140 petitions (EB-2 or EB-3 category), the employer must file a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. However, for Schedule A cases, the employer does not have to go through the labor certification process. We argued that the position of Mental Health Program Nurse Manager should be classified under Schedule A. We argued that it falls under the broad spectrum of “professional nurse” occupations. We also argued that the job description has excerpts that fall under “professional nurse” and that the description justifies the requirements also of a Masters degree in Psychology. It was seemingly a difficult case because it was not a straightforward Schedule A case (like a “registered nurse” position) or a straightforward EB2 case (“nurse practitioners” for example). Employers even have a hard time getting an H-1B for a nurse manager (which requires a Bachelors Degree), so what more if you require a Masters (as is the case for an EB2 petition).

Our client has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and a Master’s degree in psychology. She also has a registered nursing license in the state of Michigan. Our office was retained on July 25, 2014 and we started on the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.

Once the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on September 24, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, and other necessary supporting documents. In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why the mental health program nurse manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

On October 1, 2014, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Now, with the approved EB-2 I-140 petition (priority date for EB2 Philippines nationals is current), she can file her adjustment of status application at any time.

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Post image for EB2 Green Card Approval for Indian Senior Oracle Applications Developer in Cleveland, OH

CASE: I-485 based on Approved I-140 (EB-2)

APPLICANT: Indian

 LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is a Senior Oracle Applications Developer from India, who is currently working at a large chemical company who was willing to petition him for a second-preference petition (I-140).  He has maintained his status as an H-1B visa holder in the United States.  He had an approved I-140 petition which was filed by his current employer and this I-140 petition’s priority date was November 19, 2008.

In February 2012, his priority date became current. He contacted our office and retained us for his and his wife’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. Our office filed I-485 adjustment of status applications for our client on February 17, 2012. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time. However, the EB-2 for Indian Nationals retrogressed.

Eventually, in August 2014, his priority date became current. On August 25, 2014, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client and his wife’s adjustment of status applications. They are now green card holders.

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Post image for EB2 I-140 Approval for Zambian Business Operating Manager Beneficiary and Radio Broadcasting Company Petitioner in Texas

CASE: EB-2 I-140 Petition / Response to Notice of Intent to Deny

EMPLOYER: Radio Broadcasting Company

BENEFICIARY: Zambian Business Operating Manager

LOCATION: Texas

Our client is a business operating manager from Zambia, who used to work at a radio broadcasting company in Texas under his OPT program. While he was working there, the company was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. Our client has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has worked for this company for a year under the OPT program. Currently, our client is in F-2 status. He could not continue working there since his OPT expired.

After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his potential employer can petition him as a Business Operating Manager. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working background as an engineer and management analyst, our office determined that he is eligible for EB-2 classification.

Prior to filing the PERM labor certification, our firm prepared the prevailing wage request, job order, advertisements, internal job posting, recruitment report, and all other steps which are important pre-PERM filing. Take note that the PERM Labor Certification application could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad.

Within a week from our retention, the prevailing wage request was filed.  On January 9, 2014, we filed the PERM labor certification application.  Eventually, on June 23, 2014, the PERM labor certification was approved.

Once the PERM was certified, we then proceeded with the I-140 petition filing. Our office submitted an “ability to pay” letter for the I-140 petition application on July 11, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, employer’s tax records, and other necessary supporting documents. However, on July 23, 2014, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued a Notice of Intent to Deny for our client’s I-140 petition. According to the Notice of Intent to Deny, the USCIS requested the Petitioner to prove “ability to pay” for beneficiary’s proposed salary. In response to that, our office showed the beneficiary’s previous pay stubs and demonstrated that his previous salary was over and above the prevailing wage for his proposed position. Our office filed a Response to Notice of Intent to Deny which included a 7-page brief and supporting evidence on August 11, 2014.

Eventually, the USCIS approved the I-140 petition on August 15, 2014. Now, with the approved EB-2 I-140 petition (priority date for EB2 Zambian nationals is current), our client can file his adjustment of status application at any time (he could have filed it simultaneously, but beneficiary wanted to make sure the I-140 was approved first).

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CASE: I-140 (EB-2 Category)

EMPLOYER: Taekwondo (Martial Arts) School

BENEFICIARY: Korean

LOCATION: Erie, PA

Our client is a prominent Taekwondo master who is working as a Taekwondo coach. He had a Taekwondo school willing to do a second-preference petition (I-140) for him.  Our client has a Bachelors and Masters degree in a related field and has coaching experience. Although he had maintained his status as an O-1 visa holder in the United States, his previous green card application (Based on the EB-11 category) was denied.

After talking to our client, our firm decided that his potential employer can petition him as a Taekwondo Head Coach.  Second preference petitions for Koreans are current, which means that if a PERM Labor Certification for a second preference position gets approved, the I-140 and I-485 could be filed simultaneously. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working background, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-2 classification. Our client eventually retained us for his PERM labor certification in January 2013.

As we stated in a previous success story, his PERM Labor Certification was approved on May 13, 2014 despite the issuance of Audit request.  After the PERM approval, our client retained us again for the I-140 petition.

We then proceeded with the I-140 Petition filing. One of the main requirements for the I-140 is that the petitioning company must show that it has the ability to pay the proffered wage for the beneficiary’s position.

The adjusted gross income was not enough. The current wage of the beneficiary was not enough. The net current assets were also not enough.

Thus, we attached the tax return schedule that showed the net current assets of the Petitioner and combined it with his wage to argue that this combination establishes Petitioner’s ability to pay the prevailing wage. A combination of the net current assets and our client’s current salary was over and above the prevailing wage and the proffered wage.

We included the job offer letter, employment verification letters from our client’s previous employers, and other necessary supporting documents.  The I-140 Petition was filed on June 2, 2014 via premium processing.  Eventually, on June 17, 2014, the I-140 EB2 Petition for our Korean client was approved.

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Post image for Schedule A Nurse Practitioner EB2 I-140 Approval for Filipino Nurse Practitioner Beneficiary and Health Clinic Petitioner in New York, NY

CASE: I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A / Premium Processing

EMPLOYER: Health Clinic

BENEFICIARY: Filipino

LOCATION: New York, NY

Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. His current employer-sponsor (on OPT) was willing to petition him for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since he is a certified nurse practitioner, he is eligible for “Schedule A” classification.

The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations, Schedule A included, for which the individual permanent labor certification procedure is not required. The schedule of pre-certified occupations is referred to as Schedule A, and is included in DOL regulations at 20 CFR 656.10. Based on an occupation’s inclusion on Schedule A, an employer may file an immigrant visa petition (I-140) directly with the (USCIS) without having to file a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor. Usually, prior to filing I-140 petitions (EB-2 or EB-3 category), the employer must file a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. However, for Schedule A cases, the employer does not have to go through the labor certification process. We argued that the position of Nurse Practitioner is included in Schedule A.

Our client has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing. Our office was retained on January 9, 2014 and we started the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.

Once the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on April 11, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his pay stubs, and other necessary supporting documents. In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why nurse practitioners must fall under the Schedule A designation.

However, on April 24, 2014, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested petitioner-employer to explain recent ownership changes and further explanation on the entity arrangement. Our office prepared the response to RFE and filed it along with supplemental evidence on May 8, 2014 to the USCIS. On May 15, 2014, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved his EB-2 I-140 petition. Now, with the approved EB-2 I-140 petition (priority date for EB2 Philippines nationals is current), he can file his adjustment of status application at any time (he could have filed it simultaneously, but beneficiary wanted to make sure the I-140 was approved first).

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Post image for EB2 Green Card Approval for Filipino Family Doctor in Erie Pennsylvania

 CASE: I-485 based on Approved I-140 (EB-2)

 APPLICANT: Filipino

 LOCATION: Erie, PA

Our client is a family physician from the Philippines, who is currently working at a hospital which was willing to petition him for a second-preference petition (I-140).  Our client has an M.D. degree and is licensed physician in the state of Pennsylvania. He has maintained his status as an H-1B visa holder in the United States.  After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his potential employer can petition him as a Family Medicine Physician. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working background, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for an EB-2 classification for his I-140 petition.

Prior to filing PERM, our firm prepared the prevailing wage request, job order, advertisements, internal job posting, recruitment report, and all other steps which are important pre-PERM filing. Take note that the PERM application could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. Within a week from our retention, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained the foreign degree evaluation report, our office filed the job order on November 16, 2011.  On May 10, 2012, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on July 17, 2012, a little after two months from filing, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Filipino beneficiary.

We then proceeded with the I-140 Petition filing.  We submitted the “ability to pay” letter for the I-140 petition application.  We included the job offer letter, state physician license, our client’s M.D. degree, and other necessary supporting documents.

The I-140 Petition was filed on September 11, 2012 via regular processing service.  On May 3, 2013, the I-140 EB2 Petition for our Filipino client was approved.

Once the I-140 petition was approved, our client retained our office again for his I-485 adjustment of status application. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client on October 18, 2013. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on March 3, 2014, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. He is now a green card holder.

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Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Korean Aerospace Scientist in Santa Clara California

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Santa Clara, California

Our client contacted us in June 2013 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver application for him. He is a post-doctorate researcher and scientist in the field of Aerospace Engineering and Science, and was working as a research fellow for NASA at the time of his filing.

Our client is an extraordinary researcher and engineer in the field of Aerospace Engineering Research; specifically, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and flow control.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of Aerospace engineering. Our client’s expertise is in the development of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) which meets the contemporary requirements for not only conventional development but also revolutionary aircraft design. He has been helping a U.S. aircraft company investigate the feasibility of their designs under consideration by performing very complex CFD analysis and suggesting alternative optimal new configurations.

Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was qualified for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category. Being qualified for the NIW is beneficial since you would not need an employer nor family member to petition you for green card purposes. You’d be eligible for a self-petition and unless you are from China or India, in which case you’d still have to wait for priority dates to be current, you would be eligible to apply for adjustment of status (green card) immediately without any lag in priority dates.

As a primer, NIW applicants must have a master’s or higher degree. The landmark immigration case that discusses the standards for NIWs is Matter of New York State Department of Transportation, 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Comm.1998). This case held that the qualifying applicant must show the following elements in his or her I-140 NIW petition: First, it must be shown that the alien seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit. Next, it must be shown that the proposed benefit will be national in scope. Finally, the petitioner seeking the waiver must establish that the alien will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U. S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.

Our office prepared a 19-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 9 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized scientists. Our office also included his publication records, presentation records, and conference materials in the NIW application. We 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 45 exhibits. Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center on July 29, 2013 along with his I-485 adjustment of status application.

However, on September 16, 2013, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence for his I-140 petition. In response to the RFE request, our office prepared a brief which included notes from scientists in the field regarding updates of his work and the importance of his past work in physics-based turbulence model and computational fluid dynamics research.  We also emphasized our client’s past accomplishments and the benefits of his work. Our Response to RFE was filed on November 13, 2013.

Eventually, on December 6, 2013, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s I-140 petition. Now, our client can wait for his I-485 adjustment of status decision which will be adjudicated soon.

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