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Post image for H-1B Extension Approval With Cap Exempt Research Foundation Petitioner in Washington, DC and French Staff Accountant Beneficiary

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition-Extension

PETITIONER: Research Foundation in Washington, D.C.

BENEFICIARY: French Staff Accountant

ISSUES: Cap-Exempt, Research Organization

Our client is one of the leading research associations for the advancement, health, and sustainability of student affairs in the United States. Its National Headquarters in D.C. contacted our office in August of 2016 to seek legal assistance for their foreign employee’s H-1B Extension. The beneficiary is a Staff Accountant for this organization who has been working for Petitioner under an H-1B status. With our office’s legal assistance, he got his H-1B in January 2014.

The beneficiary is the citizen of France, and has a Bachelor’s degree from the United States. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Staff Accountant. We showed that this is a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or its equivalent.

This H-1B case is exempt from the numerical limitation because our client is qualified for cap-exempt petitions since it is a non-profit research organization as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C). Under the provisions of INA Section 214(g)(5), “the numerical limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A) shall not apply to any non-immigrant alien issued a visa or otherwise provided status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) who –

(B) is employed (or has received an offer of employment) at a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization.”

The June 6, 2006 Michael Aytes’ Memo (Published by USCIS) on Guidance Regarding Eligibility for Exemption from the H-1B Cap Based on Section 103 of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21) (Public Law 106-313) outlines the fee and cap exemption for nonprofit research organization as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C).  Under 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C), a non-profit research organization is “an organization that is primarily engaged in basic research and/or applied research. Basic research is also research that advances scientific knowledge, but does not have specific immediate commercial objectives although it may be in fields of present or potential commercial interest.  It may include research and investigation in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities.  Applied research is research to gain knowledge or understanding to determine the means by which a specific, recognized need may be met.  Applied research includes investigations oriented to discovering new scientific knowledge that has specific commercial objectives with respect to products, processes, or services.  It may include research and investigation in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities.”

Thus, our office argued that our client-company is qualified as a non-profit research organization as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C) so it is exempt from the numerical limitation.

Once retained, our office filed the H-1B visa extension petition with various supporting documents on November 15, 2016.

Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on June 19, 2017, without any Request for Evidence (RFE).  He can now work for his employer for three more years.

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Post image for H-1B1 Visa Extension Petition Approval for Education Consulting Organization and Singaporean Market Research Analyst in Pennsylvania

CASE: H-1B1 Extension

PETITIONER: Education Consulting Organization

BENEFICIARY: Singaporean Market Research Analyst

LOCATION: Pennsylvania

Our client is an education consulting organization located in Western Pennsylvania. They contacted our office in January 2017 to seek assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B1 extension. The beneficiary is from Singapore and she has bachelor’s degree. The beneficiary has more than 10 years professional work experience in the field of management and marketing. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Market Research Analyst which we argued qualified as a specialty occupation. Since she is the Singaporean National, she was eligible to get H-1B1 status in 2016.

After retention, our office promptly filed the H-1B1 visa petition with various supporting documents on February 20, 2017 via regular processing. We also gathered supporting documents from both the Petitioner and Beneficiary and did research on the industry, focusing on similarly sized businesses, to demonstrate that a bachelor’s degree is commonly required for this position.

Moreover, in our brief, our office argued that the degree requirement is common to this industry in parallel positions among similar organizations.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Market Research Analyst.  Moreover, our office asserted that the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree in a specific specialty.

Eventually, our client’s H-1B1 application was approved by the USCIS Nebraska Service Center on June 15, 2017. She can work for her employer until March 2018.  

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Post image for Green Card Approval Based on  NIW Approved for Jordanian Pharmaceutical Science Researcher in Virginia

CASE: I-485 / I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Jordanian

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in November 2014 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is a researcher from Jordan and he is an exceptional scientist in the field of Pharmaceutical science. His research focuses on discovery, design, and development of small molecules therapy or technology to treat various cardiovascular diseases and conditions. He has obtained his J-1 hardship waiver through our office’s legal assistance in 2014 and contacted our office again for his NIW.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of pharmaceutical science. He has significantly and extensively contributed to the drug discovery, design, and development aspects of glycosaminoglycans and their structural mimetics to treat various diseases including, but not limited to, thrombosis, inflammation, cancer, and several infectious diseases. His researches 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 34-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 10 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 116 exhibits (Exhibit A to LLLLL).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on December 26, 2014. However, on May 29, 2016, the USCIS issued Requests for Evidence and requested our client to submit updated ETA-9089 form. On May 31, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE. On July 12, 2016, his I-140 was approved by the USCIS.  Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. On June 15, 2017, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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

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

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipino Registered Nurse in the Philippines

LOCATION: Petitioner: Des Plaines, IL / Beneficiary: Manila, Phlippines

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Illinois. Currently, he is working at a hospital in the Philippines 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 December 2008.

Since he 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 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 September 21, 2016 and started on his Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on December 18, 2015 via regular processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents.  Later, we upgraded our client’s I-140 petition to premium processing. Eventually, on June 2, 2016, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  

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 October 28, 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. On June 8, 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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Post image for H-1B Extension Approval for Industrial Material Company and Chinese Industrial Material Research Scientist in Ohio

CASE: H-1B Visa Extension Petition

PETITIONER: Industrial Material Company

BENEFICIARY: Chinese Industrial Material Research Scientist

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client is an industrial material company focused on the production and commercialization of high-performance / non-immunogenic biomaterials for use in the medial and consumer healthcare arenas. They are located in Wooster, Ohio. They contacted our office in December 2016 to seek legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B extension. The beneficiary is from China and obtained his Master’s degree in Plant Pathology in the United States. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is an industrial material research scientist which qualifies as a specialty occupation. This proffered position is clearly a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirements for this position are a Bachelor’s Degree in Science/Engineering or its equivalent.  Moreover, our office helped this employee’s previous H-1B case in 2014 and it was approved by the USCIS.

Once retained, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on January 19, 2017 via regular processing service.  Since this petition was based on the extension, this petition was exempted from the annual cap of the H-1B.  Thus, we could file prior to the April 1.  There were no Requests for Evidence during the processing of the H-1B.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B Extension Petition was approved on February May 30, 2017.  Now the Beneficiary can continuously work for his Petitioner-Employer as an H-1B visa holder and he can work there for next three years.

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Post image for Physical Therapist EB-2 Schedule A Green Card Approval for Taiwanese in Brooklyn New York

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / Schedule A

APPLICANT: Taiwanese

LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY

Our client is a physical therapist. Her current employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she was a physical therapist, 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 Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Science and is a licensed physical therapist in the State of New York. Our office was retained on February 22, 2016 and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on June 24, 2016 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.  

However, on July 7, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) for her I-140 case. The USCIS requested our client’s employer to explain its multiple locations and our client’s potential place of employment. We filed the Response to RFE on August 11, 2016. Eventually, on August 24, 2016, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition.

Once the I-140 petition was approved, our client retained our office again for her I-485 adjustment of status application. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client on October 3, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

However, on April 10, 2017, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to I-485 Supplement J document. Our office prepared and filed the Response to RFE along with Supplement J document to USCIS on May 10, 2017.

Eventually, on June 1, 2017, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, she finally is a green card holder.

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Post image for H-1B Visa Petition (Concurrent Employment) Approved for University Petitioner and Zimbabwean Director of Global Integration & Projects Manager in Kansas

CASE: H-1B Concurrent Employment

PETITIONER: University

BENEFICIARY: Zimbabwean Director of Global Integration & Projects Manager

LOCATION: Kansas

Our client is a university which is located in Kansas. They contacted our office in February 2017 to seek assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B based on concurrent employment category. The beneficiary is from Zimbabwe and he obtained his Ph. D. degree in chemistry. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Director of Global Integration & Projects Manager which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation. He got his H-1B status with a different petitioner-employer in 2016.

After retention, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on March 9, 2017 via regular processing. We also gathered supporting documents from both the Petitioner and Beneficiary and argued that beneficiary’s position is a specialty occupation as the law requires.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on April 27, 2017.  His H-1B is good until April 2020.

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Post image for PERM Labor Certification Approval for Syrian Dentist Beneficiary and Dental Group Petitioner in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: PERM Labor Certification    
EMPLOYER: Dental Group in Cleveland, OH
BENEFICIARY: Syrian Dentist

 

Our client is from Syria, who is currently working in the United States as an associate dentist under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. Our client has a Doctor of Dentistry degree in Syria which is evaluated as an equivalent degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery degree the United States. He also has a license to practice dentistry in the state of Ohio. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as an associate dentist. Based on our client’s educational, professional and work background, our office determined that he is clearly 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 August 29, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on December 22, 2016.  On March 3, 2017, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on May 24, 2017, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Syrian beneficiary. Now our client can file the I-140 petition.

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Post image for Priority Date Retention Nurse Immigrant Visa Approval for Filipina Client in Phnom Penh Cambodia

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

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipina Registered Nurse in Cambodia

LOCATION: Beneficiary: Cambodia / Petitioner: Houston, TX

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. Currently, she is in Cambodia. 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 June 2007.

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. More importantly, since the priority date of her previous I-140 was current, she can eventually apply for her immigrant visa via consular processing. Our office was retained on December 16, 2015 and started on her Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on March 10, 2016 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, her previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents. However, the USCIS issued RFE and alleged that the notice of filing document was not submitted. Though we properly included the notice of filing document at the initial filing of I-140 petition, our office filed the “notice of filing (job opening)” document again on March 25, 2016.  Eventually, on March 28, 2016, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  

Once her I-140 was approved, our client retained our office again for her immigrant visa processing. Once we were retained, our office filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on July 12, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. An interview notice was set for the client at the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia. On May 16, 2017, our client appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The interview went well, and the Embassy approved and issued her immigrant visa.

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

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Post image for EB-2 Green Card Approval for Korean Dentist in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status based on Approved I-140 (EB-2)
EMPLOYER: Dental Group in Cleveland, OH
BENEFICIARY: Korean Dentist

 

Our client is from South Korea, who is currently working in the United States as an associate dentist under an H-1B status. His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. Our client has a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in the United States. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as an associate dentist. Based on our client’s education and working background, our office determined that he was clearly 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 29, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on December 10, 2015.  On March 1, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on July 8, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the South Korean 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 August 22, 2016 via premium processing service. Eventually, on August 29, 2016, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Korean client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE).

Once his I-140 was approved, our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client and his wife on October 13, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.  On May 9, 2017, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application.  On the same day, the CIS approved our client’s wife’s adjustment of status applications as well.

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