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CASE: I-485 (Adjustment of Status) / I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A

APPLICANT: Filipina Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Our client is a family nurse practitioner. Her current employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she was a family 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 Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Our office was retained on October 19, 2015 and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on January 22, 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.  On February 3, 2016, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), 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 and her husband’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status applications for our client and her husband on February 12, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

However, on August 22, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to submit her Visa Screen document. In response to RFE, our office filed her Visa Screen document on November 14, 2016.  Eventually, on December 5, 2016, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our clients’ adjustment of status applications. Now, she finally is a green card holder.

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Post image for EB-2 Schedule A Green Card Approval for Polish Nurse Practitioner in New Jersey

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / Schedule A

EMPLOYER: Physician’s Office

APPLICANT: Polish Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: New Jersey

Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. Her current 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 Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Once our office was retained, we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on August 1, 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 August 15, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to submit the missing copy of prevailing wage determination document. Our office immediately responded back to USCIS.  Eventually, on August 29, 2016, the USCIS 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 4, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on December 5, 2016, the USCIS approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, she finally becomes a green card holder.

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Post image for I-140 EB3 Approval for Korean Product Safety – Quality Assurance Director Beneficiary and Beauty Supply Distributing / Retail Company Petitioner in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-140 (EB-3)
EMPLOYER: Beauty Supply Distributing / Retail Company in Cleveland, OH
BENEFICIARY: Korean Product Safety / Quality Assurance Director

 

Our client is from South Korea, who is currently working in the U.S. on his H-1B status. His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, third-preference. Our client has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree and has worked for the current employer as a Product Safety / Quality Assurance Director. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Product Safety / Quality Assurance Director. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working backgrounds, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-3 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 February 5, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on May 5, 2016.  On August 1, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on October 24, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB3 position for the Korean beneficiary.

We then proceeded with the I-140 Petition filing. We submitted a cover brief with the “ability to pay” argument 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 November 29, 2016 via premium processing service. Eventually, on December 5, 2016, the I-140 EB-3 Petition for our Korean client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE). Our client can file his I-485 adjustment this month.

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Post image for I-140 EB-11 (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) Approval for Indian Chemist in Massachusetts

CASE: I-140 / EB-11 (Alien of extraordinary ability)

CLIENT: Indian Chemist

LOCATION: Massachusetts

Our client contacted us in December 2016 about the possibility of getting an immigrant visa through the EB-11 category. He is an internationally well-known chemist and is currently working as a researcher in Boston, MA.  Our client has written numerous internationally recognized scholarly articles in his field of endeavor.  However, he filed his EB-11 I-140 petition by himself previously, and got a denial. Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was definitely qualified for the EB-11 category, an alien of extraordinary ability.

According to the INA Section 203(b) states, in pertinent part, that:

  1. Priority workers – visas shall first be made available… to qualified immigrants who are aliens described in any of the following sub-paragraphs (A) through (C):
  1. Aliens with extraordinary – an alien is described in this sub-paragraph if-
  1. The alien has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletes which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,
  2. The alien seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and
  3. The alien’s entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

USCIS has consistently recognized that Congress intended to set a very high standard for individuals seeking immigrant visas as aliens of extraordinary ability.  See H.R. 723 101st Cong.2d Sess. 59 (1990); 56 Fed. Reg. 60897, 60898-99 (Nov. 29, 1991).  The term “extraordinary ability” refers only to those individuals in that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. Id. And 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(2).

The regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3) requires that an alien demonstrate his or her sustained acclaim and the recognition of his or her achievements in the field.  Such acclaim and achievements must be established either through evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major international recognized award) or through meeting at least three of the following ten categories of evidence:

  1. Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  1. Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  1. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought.  Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
  1. Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;
  1. Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  1. Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  1. Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at an artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  1. Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  1. Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or
  1. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

After the review of our client’s credentials and qualifications, we determined that our client meets 3 of the 10 categories. Our client has made original scientific contributions of significance to the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, in particular in the areas of cardiovascular diseases and imaging, cancer research, neurological disorders, and pharmaceutical sciences. He has authorship of scholarly articles in his professional field of endeavor. Lastly, our client has participated as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought.

Our office prepared a 36-page brief for our client’s EB-11 filing. Our client also obtained 7 letters of recommendation from internationally well-known scholars in his field of endeavor. Our office also included his record of publications, citations, conference proceedings and invited talks, journal reviewer invitation evidence and other materials to show that he is an alien of extraordinary ability in plant engineering research. His EB-11 I-140 application contained 90 exhibits.

Our office filed his I-140 (EB-11) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center via regular processing on May 25, 2016. Eventually, without any RFE, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved his I-140 self-petition on November 23, 2016.

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Post image for H-1B Nurse Practitioner Extension Approval for Physician’s Office in New York, Chinese Beneficiary in New York

CASE: H-1B Visa Extension

PETITIONER:  Physician’s Office in Flushing, NY

BENEFICIARY: Chinese Nurse Practitioner

Our client is a dermatology clinic in Flushing, NY which provides cosmetic and dermatologic treatments for its patients. They contacted our office in July of 2016 to seek legal assistance for its foreign beneficiary’s H-1B extension.

The beneficiary is from China and obtained her Master of Nursing Degree in the United States. She also has a valid Nurse Practitioner License in the State of New York. The proffered position for the Beneficiary was for a Nurse Practitioner which we argued qualified as a specialty occupation. We proffered that the minimum requirement for this position is a Master of Nursing Degree or its equivalent. Moreover, Nurse Practitioner needs the state license as well.  She has been working for the Petitioner on a valid H-1B visa.

Once retained, our firm prepared and eventually filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on August 16, 2016 via regular processing. Eventually, without any RFE, our client’s H-1B extension was approved on November 22, 2016. Now, the Beneficiary can continue to work for the Petitioner on an H-1B status until September 1, 2019 (until her duration of H-1B status reaches the 6th year mark).

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Post image for National Interest Waiver Green Card Approval (EB-2 NIW) for Korean Researcher (in the field of Photophysical Science and Solar Energy) in Colorado

CASE: I-485 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Colorado

Our client contacted us in May 2015 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver. He is a researcher from South Korea and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of photophysical sciences; specifically, solar energy conversion sciences.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of photophysical research. His research regarding solid-state morphology in electron transfer processes of organic solar energy conversion devices has shown that the combination of two versatile spectroscopic techniques can bring new insights for complex material systems. Moreover, our client has discovered the electronically excited triplet state of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) 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 18-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 6 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 35 exhibits (Exhibit A to II).

We filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center on September 11, 2015. Eventually, on June 26, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.  

Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. However, on October 21, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to submit updated vaccination records. Our client promptly submitted their updated vaccination records (I-693) to USCIS. Eventually, on November 22, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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Post image for PERM Labor Certification Approved for Kenyan Sales Manager Beneficiary and Hydraulic Pump and Motor Manufacturing Company Petitioner in West Virginia

CASE: PERM Labor Certification    
EMPLOYER: Hydraulic Pumps and Motors Manufacturing Company in WV
BENEFICIARY: Kenyan Sales Manager

 

Our client is from Kenya, who is currently working in the U.S. on his H-1B status. His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, third-preference. Our client has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and has worked for the current employer as a Sales Manager. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Sales Manager. Based on our client’s education, professional and work background, our office determined that he was clearly eligible for EB-3 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 February 5, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on July 6, 2016.  On September 27, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on November 22, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB3 position for the Kenyan beneficiary. Now our client can file the I-140 petition.

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Post image for Green Card Approval (EB-2 NIW) for Korean Researcher (in the field of power systems engineering and renewable energy technology) in Dallas Texas

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Dallas, TX

Our client contacted us in May 2015 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver. He is a researcher from South Korea and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of renewable energy technology.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of his field of endeavor. Throughout his research career, our client has made critical research contributions and developed an innovative algorithm to forecast the future variability of long-term wind power scenarios by analyzing the power spectral density of wind power outputs. Moreover, our client suggested an innovative stochastic storage operation algorithm based on his probabilistic wind power forecasting algorithm in order to limit the severe ramp rates of wind power. His expertise in probabilistic renewable energy forecasting is 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 34 exhibits (Exhibit A to HH).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on July 7, 2016. Eventually, on October 3, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.  Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. On November 17, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Based on Husband’s I-140 for Filipina in Miami Florida

CASE: Follow-to-join based on approved I-140 for husband and I-485 adjustment of status

CLIENT: Filipina Client in Miami, FL

Our client contacted our office in November 2014 for her adjustment of status case. Her husband was a beneficiary of an EB-3 I-140 petition from his prospective employer, and got his green card in July 2014. Our client and her husband have been married since May 2010 before her husband got his permanent residency. Thus, she was eligible follow-to-join and adjustment of status based on her husband’s I-140.

She came to the United States in October 2014 on a valid B-2 visitor’s visa. She did not know that she was eligible for the adjustment of status when she came to the United States, but later learned that she would be eligible for the adjustment of status filing. After the consultation with our office, she retained our office on December 18, 2014.

Once retained, we prepared and file our client’s adjustment of status application along with supporting documents to USCIS on December 22, 2014.  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 October 2016, her priority date becomes current. The USCIS requested our client to submit her new immigration medical record and our office submitted it to the USCIS on October 20, 2016. Eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on November 14, 2016.  After a long wait, our client is finally a green card holder.

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Post image for H-1B Visa Petition Approval (Change of Employer) for Waste Management Company and Indian Chief Financial Officer in St. Louis Missouri

CASE: H-1B Change of Employer

PETITIONER: Waste Management Company

BENEFICIARY: Indian Chief Financial Officer

LOCATION: St. Louis, MO

Our client is a wastewater treatment and management company in the St. Louis, MO area. They contacted our office in early July 2016 to seek a legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee. The beneficiary is from India and obtained her Master’s degree in Business Administration. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Chief Financial Officer which qualifies as a specialty occupation. This proffered position is clearly a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirements for this position are a Master’s Degree in Business Administration or its equivalent.  

The foreign beneficiary in this case already had her H-1B visa from her previous employer.  However, her H-1B visa was not expired yet, and she wanted to extend her H-1B status on the change of employer basis.

Once retained, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on July 21, 2016. Since this petition was based on the change of employer, 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 Petition was approved on November 15, 2016.  Now the Beneficiary can work for her Petitioner-Employer as an H-1B visa holder and she can work there for next three years.

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