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Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Korean Researcher in the field of Urban Forestry in Virginia

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in October 2016 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is a researcher from South Korea and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of urban forestry and urban ecosystem research.

Our client’s significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of his field. He has identified innovative solutions for improving energy conservation in dense urban areas. Specifically, our client is making significant contribution in the area of urban forestry for energy conservation and other ecosystem services. His research is revealing and identifying how trees influence local climate and can decrease building energy consumption which has important implications for city, state, federal policies across the United States.

Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was definitely 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. While we prepared his case, the AAO set the new standards for NIW cases in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016). Under the new standard, the petitioner must demonstrate that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance. Next, it must be shown that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. Finally, the petitioner seeking the waiver needs to demonstrate that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements. Id.

Our office prepared a 24-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 11 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized researchers. Our office also included his publication records, presentation records, and conference materials in the NIW application. We demonstrated that our client is one of the few elite researchers who have made significant and substantial contributions to his field of endeavor, that he is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, and it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification for our client. His NIW application contained 43 exhibits (Exhibit A to QQ).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on January 26, 2017. Eventually, on September 27, 2017, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.  When we filed his I-140, he concurrently filed his I-485 adjustment of status application. His adjustment of status application will be approved soon as well.

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Post image for Nurse Manager Schedule A EB2 I-140 Approval for Filipina Beneficiary in Winnipeg Canada and Nursing Care Facility Petitioner in Katy Texas

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

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipina Nurse Manager in Winnipeg Canada

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client is a Filipina lady who has worked in Canada and the Philippines as a staff nurse. 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 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 more than 5 years of experience as a staff nurse. 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 22, 2017 via premium processing. We included a job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, past experience letter, and other necessary supporting documents. In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why the nurse manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

Eventually, on October 6, 2017, 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 immigrant visa application.

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Post image for L-1A Extension Approval for Child Care Center Petitioner and Chinese General Manager Beneficiary in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: L-1A petition extension / I-129

PETITIONER: Child Care Center in Cleveland, OH

BENEFICIARY: Chinese General Manager

Our client is a Chinese company which has its US subsidiary in the greater Cleveland area.  In 2016, our client acquired a child development center and has offered child care services to children from the age of 6 weeks to 12 years old. They contacted our office in the middle of August 2017 to seek legal assistance for a possible L-1A extension for their employee. He came from China in 2016 with his L-1A visa to work as a General Manager.

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.  This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

Upon retention, our office prepared and eventually filed the L-1A extension petition with various supporting documents. The application included a detailed employer support letter, documentation to demonstrate the qualifying corporate relationship between the parent company in China and the U.S., financial documents, past experience documents, organization chart, and physical premises evidence among others. We filed the L-1A extension petition on August 30, 2017 via premium processing.

However, on September 8, 2017, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s extension petition. USCIS requested more evidence to demonstrate sufficient physical premises of petitioner’s business and evidence that our client met the requirement of “one year managerial or executive position abroad.” Our office prepared and filed the Response to RFE on September 20, 2017 with 37 exhibits (A to KK).

Eventually, our client’s L-1A application was approved on September 26, 2017. His L-1A status has been extended to October 2019.

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Post image for I-140 EB2 Approved for Filipino Hydraulic Project Manager Beneficiary and Hydraulic Manufacturing Company Petitioner in Texas

CASE: I-140 (EB-2)    
EMPLOYER:  Hydraulic Unit Manufacturing Company in Texas
BENEFICIARY: Filipino Hydraulic Power Unit Design and Installation Project Manager

 

Our client’s beneficiary is from the Philippines. Our client (the prospective employer) was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Transportation and has more than 5 years of work experience as a Hydraulic Equipment Installer / Operator. Our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Hydraulic Power Unit Design and Installation Project Manager.

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 PERM could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. On September 12, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on January 10, 2017.  On May 3, 2017, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on August 11, 2017, 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, employer’s tax records, and other necessary supporting documents. The I-140 Petition was filed on September 6, 2017 via premium processing service. Eventually, on September 21, 2017, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Filipino client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE).

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Post image for EB3 Schedule A Nurse Green Card Approval for Filipino Registered Nurse in Houston Texas

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status based on Approved I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipino

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. He came to the United States and currently works in the United States on his H-1B status.  His current employer was willing to petition him for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140).

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.

Our client has a nursing degree and has worked for the sponsor-employer. Our firm told him that his employer can petition him as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. Our office was retained on April 10, 2014 and started on his Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on June 25, 2014 via regular processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, and other necessary supporting documents.  However, on February 26, 2015, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued the Request for Evidence (RFE). According to the RFE, the USCIS requested our client to submit his valid Texas nursing license certificate. Our office filed the Response to RFE with our client’s Texas nursing license certificate on April 1, 2015. Eventually, on April 18, 2015, the I-140 was approved.

Then, we proceeded with our client’s I-485 adjustment of status application. We prepared and file our client’s adjustment of status application along with supporting documents to USCIS on April 27, 2015.

However, the priority date of Eb-3 category for the Philippines national backlogged. Our client had to wait until the priority date becomes current. In March 2017, his priority date becomes current. Eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on September 1, 2017.  After a long wait, our client is finally a green card holder.

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Post image for H-1B Approval for Dental Clinic Petitioner, Korean Dentist Beneficiary in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER:  Dental Clinic

BENEFICIARY: Korean Dentist in Cleveland, OH

Our client is a dental clinic located in Cleveland, Ohio.  They contacted our office in early March of this year to seek legal assistance for a possible H-1B petition for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine in the United States. Moreover, she is a licensed dentist in the state of Ohio. The proffered position for the Beneficiary was an associate dentist which we argued qualified as a specialty occupation.

Upon retention, our office prepared and eventually filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on March 31, 2017 via regular processing. This H-1B petition was selected after the lottery.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on August 29, 2017.

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Post image for H-1B Approval for Mental Health and Welfare Agency Petitioner, Taiwanese Outpatient Services Clinician Beneficiary in Columbus Ohio

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER:  Mental Health and Welfare Agency for children

BENEFICIARY: Taiwanese Outpatient Services Clinician in Columbus OH

Our client is a comprehensive children’s mental health and child welfare agency in Columbus, OH.  They contacted our office in later February of this year to seek legal assistance for a possible H-1B petition for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary obtained her Master of Science in Social Administration in the United States. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is an Outpatient Services Clinician which clearly qualifies as a specialty occupation.

Upon retention, our office prepared and eventually filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on March 31, 2017 via regular processing service. This H-1B petition was selected after the lottery. Our client’s H-1B application was approved on August 19, 2017 without any Request for Evidence (RFE).

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Post image for Green Card (EB3 Schedule A Nurse) Approval for Filipina Registered Nurse Beneficiary and Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Petitioner in Houston Texas

CASE: I-484 (Adjustment of Status) I-140 Schedule A / Old Priority Date Retention

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipina

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. She came to the United States in 2013 and now she holds an F-1 student status. Her prospective employer was willing to petition her 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 March 2012.

Since she is a registered nurse, 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 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 her that her potential employer can petition her as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. Our office was retained on November 17, 2014 and started on her Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on April 29, 2015 via regular processing. We also concurrently filed her I-485 adjustment of status since EB-3 priority date for our client was current at the time of her I-485 filing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, her previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents. Later, on May 13, 2015, our client upgraded her I-140 processing from regular to premium processing.   

However, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s degree evaluation document. Our office filed Response to RFE on May 29, 2015. Eventually, on June 2, 2015, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  

Then, we proceeded with our client’s I-485 adjustment of status application. We prepared and file our client’s adjustment of status application along with supporting documents to USCIS on April 28, 2015.

However, the priority date of Eb-3 category for the Philippines national backlogged. Our client had to wait until the priority date becomes current. In March 2017, her priority date becomes current. Eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on August 15, 2017.  After a long wait, our client is finally a green card holder.

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Post image for PERM EB2 Labor Certification Approved for Filipino Hydraulic Power Project Manager Beneficiary and Hydraulic Manufacturing Company Petitioner in Texas

CASE: PERM Labor Certification    
EMPLOYER:  Hydraulic Unit Manufacturing Company in Texas
BENEFICIARY: Filipino Hydraulic Power Unit Design and Installation Project Manager

 

Our client is from the Philippines. His prospective employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. Our client has a Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Transportation and has more than 5 years of work experience as a Hydraulic Equipment Installer / Operator. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Hydraulic Power Unit Design and Installation Project Manager. Based on our client’s educational, professional and work background, our office determined that he is eligible for EB-2 classification.

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 PERM could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. On September 12, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on January 10, 2017.  On May 3, 2017, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on August 11, 2017, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Filipino beneficiary. Now our client can file the I-140 petition.

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Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval for Filipino Nurse Manager in Manila Philippines

CASE: Immigrant Visa / I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipino

LOCATION: Beneficiary: Philippines / Petitioner: Houston, TX

Our client is from the Philippines. His prospective employer-sponsor was willing to petition him for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since he has a registered nurse license and the proffered position for him is a nurse manager at the nursing care facility, the petitioner 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 Master’s Degree in Nursing degree. He 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 February 26, 2016 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 nurse manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

However, on March 10, 2016, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to submit his prospective employer’s most recent tax return record and his degree evaluation report. Our office prepared the response and filed the Response to RFE on March 14, 2016. Eventually, on March 25, 2016, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved his EB-2 I-140 petition.

Once his I-140 was approved, our client retained our office again for his immigrant visa processing. Once we were retained, our office filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on May 5, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. An interview notice was set for the client at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. His interview was scheduled in October 2016 initially; however, due to his health, the interview was re-scheduled. On June 28, 2017, our client appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. The interview went well, and the Embassy approved and issued his immigrant visa.

With the approved Immigrant Visa, our client can come to the United States immediately, and he will get his green card within two months of entry.

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