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Post image for Employment Green Card Approval for Korean Taekwondo Head Coach in Erie, PA

CASE: I-485 (adjustment of status) / 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 an 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.

Once his I-140 petition was approved, he retained our office again for his I-485 adjustment of status application. Once retained, our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client on June 3, 2014. However, on November 22, 2014, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and asked us to submit more documents to show whether our client has maintained his lawful status in the United States.

Our office promptly filed the Response to RFE to the USCIS on December 1, 2014 along with his previous I-129 approval notices. Eventually, on December 12, 2014, the USCIS approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Schedule A Nurse Practitioner EB2 I-140 Approval for Ghanaian Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Beneficiary and Mental Health Care Services Petitioner in Indiana

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

EMPLOYER: Mental Health Care Service Provider

BENEFICIARY: Ghanaian Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: Indiana

Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. Her prospective employer-sponsor was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she is a certified nurse practitioner, she 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. She has a Registered Nurse license and has an ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate.  Our office was retained on June 17, 2014 and we started the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.

After  the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on October 24, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, her 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 November 8, 2014, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client’s CGFNS certificate. Our office prepared the response to RFE and filed it along with CGFNS certificate on November 20, 2014 to the USCIS. On November 28, 2014, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. When we filed her I-140 petition, our client simultaneously filed her I-485 adjustment of status application as well. With the approved I-140 petition, her adjustment of status application will be approved soon.

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Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Korean Biomedical Engineering Researcher in Cleveland, OH

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client contacted us in February 2014 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver. He is a post-doctorate researcher and scientist in the field of biomedical engineering and cardiology research, and is currently working as a post-doctorate researcher in an academic institution in Cleveland, Ohio.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of biomedical engineering and cardiology research. He is a leading scientist with an excellent reputation in the area of the mechanism of atrial fibrillation. Our client’s research work has provided fundamental understanding of atrial fibrillation in an animal model of atrial fibrillation, and has advanced the development of an algorithm for future clinical treatment of atrial fibrillation by targeting critical epicardial and endocardial sites for ablation for many atrial fibrillation patients in the United States. Throughout his research career, our client has provided significant scientific contributions relevant to understanding mechanisms of atrial fibrillation which were highly evaluated by the reviewers of various journals and by colleagues and experts in the field.

Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was qualified for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category. Being qualified for NIW is beneficial since you would not need an employer nor family member to petition for 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 7 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 29 exhibits (Exhibit A to CC).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center on June 10, 2014. On November 18, 2014, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence. When he filed his I-140 petition, he simultaneously filed his adjustment of status application (I-485). Since his I-140 petition is approved, his adjustment of status application will likely be approved soon.

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Post image for Nurse Manager Immigration Schedule A EB2 I-140 Approval for Filipina Beneficiary and Nursing Care Facility Petitioner in Houston, TX

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

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipina

LOCATION: Houston, TX

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 health services manager (nurse manager) at the nursing care facility, 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 Health Services 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 Bachelor’s degree in nursing and five years of related experiences.

Our client has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and has more than five years total experience as a clinical director and as midwife. She also has a registered nursing license in the state of Texas. Our office was retained 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 5, 2014 via premium processing. We included a 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 health services manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

However, on September 19, 2014, the USCIS issued a Notice of Intent to Deny. The USCIS argued that they cannot approve her I-140 petition because the proffered position, Health Services Manager, does not fall under Schedule A designation and it is not an EB-2 classified position.

We prepared an extensive response. In our response brief, we cited an AAO decision and argued that positions other than “registered nurses” can fall under the definition of professional nurses, and thus fall under the Schedule A designation as well. The position of Health Services Manager for Petitioner, considering its job description, is a “position other than registered nurses that still falls within the definition of a professional nurse.” As to the EB-2 classification argument, our office argued that the proffered position has a supervisory role and the complexity of job duties justify the EB-2 designation and the required 5 years experiences under the ONET Job Zone and the Department of Labor’s level. With this detailed response brief and other supporting documents, our office filed a Response to Notice of Intent to Deny to USCIS Texas Service Center on October 8, 2014.

Eventually, on October 22, 2014, the USCIS Texas 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 (she could have filed it simultaneous to the I-140, we just want to make sure the I-140 was approved first).

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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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