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

APPLICANT: Mexican Registered Nurse

LOCATION: Midland, Texas

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from Mexico licensed in the state of Texas. She came to the United States and currently works in the United States on her TN visa.  Her current employer was willing to petition her for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140).

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.

Our client has a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree from a U.S. institution and has worked for the sponsor-employer. Our firm told her that her employer can petition her as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. Our office was retained on December 2, 2015 and started on her Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on March 23, 2016 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, and other necessary supporting documents.  However, on April 4, 2016, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to submit documents to prove her employer’s “ability to pay” standard. Our client’s employer provided a federal corporate tax record and other documents to demonstrate that they have ability to pay our client’s proffered wage. Our office filed the response to RFE on April 29, 2016. Eventually, the I-140 was approved on May 11, 2016.

In September 2016, her priority date became current. Our office proceeded with our client’s and her husband’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. We prepared and file our clients’ adjustment of status applications along with supporting documents to USCIS on September 7, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time.

This case was transferred to the local USCIS office in El Paso, TX and they appeared at the interview for the adjustment of status interview with Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office on February 9, 2017.  The interview went well; eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on February 13, 2017.  

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Post image for Nurse Practitioner EB-2 Schedule A I-140 Approval for Thai Beneficiary and Non-Profit Mental Health Care Petitioner in Ohio

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

EMPLOYER: Mental Health Non-Profit Organization

BENEFICIARY: Thai Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: Ohio

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 September 12, 2016 and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on January 23, 2017 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 January 31, 2017, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Since the priority date for Thai national 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 EB2 Green Card Approval for Nepali Senior Software Developer – Web Applications in Omaha Nebraska

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status Based on Approved I-140 (EB-2)
EMPLOYER: Sales Leads Provider in Omaha Nebraska
BENEFICIARY: Nepali Senior Software Developer – Web Application

 

Our client is from Nepal, who is currently working in the United States as a Senior Software Developer under F-1 (OPT) status. His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for her, second-preference. Our client has a Master of Management Information Systems degree in the United States. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Senior Software Developer – Web Application. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working backgrounds, 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 September 16, 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 8, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on June 22, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Nepali 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 July 26, 2016 via premium processing service. Eventually, on August 6, 2016, the I-140 EB2 Petition for our Nepalese client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE).

When we filed his I-140, our office concurrently filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for his green card. Eventually, on January 30, 2017, his I-485 adjustment of status application was approved by the USCIS without any RFE. Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for EB3 Green Card Approval for Nepalese Systems Analyst in Minnesota

CASE: I-485 based on Approved I-140 (EB-3)

APPLICANT: Nepalese

LOCATION: Minnesota

Our client is a chemist from Nepal, who is currently working at an IT consulting company who was willing to petition him for a third-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 December 22, 2014.

In June 2016, he contacted our office and retained us for his and his wife’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client and his wife on July 19, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

However, on September 30, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence for our client and his wife’s adjustment of status application. The USCIS requested our clients to submit more evidence to demonstrate their lawful maintenance in the United States after their last admission to the U.S.  Our office prepared and filed the Response to RFE to USCIS on December 13, 2016 along with documentary evidence that our clients provided.

Eventually, on January 12, 2017, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s and his wife’s adjustment of status applications. They are now green card holders.

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Post image for I-140 EB2 Approval for Korean Dentist Beneficiary and Dental Group Petitioner in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: 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 F-1 (OPT) 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, 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 October 6, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on December 17, 2015.  On March 3, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on June 27, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the 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 July 22, 2016 via regular processing service. Eventually, on January 25, 2017, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Korean client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE). Our client already filed his I-485 adjustment of status application with his I-140 petition concurrently and his green card application will likely be approved soon.  

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Post image for H-1B Petition Approval for IT Consulting Company Petitioner in Jacksonville Florida and Indian Computer Systems Analyst Beneficiary in Charlotte North Carolina

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER: IT Consulting Company in Jacksonville, FL

BENEFICIARY: Indian Systems Analyst in Charlotte, NC

Our client is an IT Consulting Company located in Jacksonville, FL.  They contacted our office in the middle of February last year to seek legal assistance for a possible H-1B petition for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in Belgium. Beneficiary is currently working in the United States under L-1 status. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Systems Analyst which we argued 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, 2016 via regular processing. This H-1B petition was selected after the lottery.

However, on September 29, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s H-1B petition. USCIS requested Petitioner to submit additional evidence to establish that the proffered position to the beneficiary qualified as a “Specialty Occupation”, plus additional questions about the “in-house” nature of the employment. Moreover, the RFE requested our client to prove the Beneficiary’s qualification is sufficient to work as a systems analyst.

We 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. We also provided in-house employment proof.

In the response brief, our office argued that the degree requirement is common to this industry in parallel positions among similar organizations.  We provided evidence that the position of Systems Analyst or Computer Systems Analyst is a common position required by similarly sized IT consulting company.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Systems 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. Furthermore, we included several professional evaluation letters for Beneficiary’s degree and previous work experience to demonstrate that he is qualified. Other documents pertaining to an in-house project was also submitted.

Our office filed a detailed Response to RFE brief with many exhibits to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on December 19, 2016.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on January 12, 2017. Now, the beneficiary can work for the Petitioner until August 2019.

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Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval Based on I-140 EB-11 Extraordinary Ability) for Korean Taekwondo Head Coach in Seoul South Korea

CASE: Immigrant Visa / Consular Processing based on Approved I-140 / EB-11 (Alien of extraordinary ability)

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Seoul, South Korea

Our client contacted us in August 2015 about the possibility of getting an immigrant visa through the EB-11 category. He is a world-renowned Taekwondo coach and is currently working as a coach for one of the best Taekwondo teams in South Korea.  Our client was a member of the Korean National Taekwondo Team as a Taekwondo athlete and one of his students won the gold medal at Universiade. Also, he was the head coach for national Taekwondo teams in his career. Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was 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 5 of the 10 categories, which is more than 3 required as an alien of extraordinary ability. Our client has made an original contribution to the sport of Taekwondo; has been awarded numerous national and international coaching awards and his student-players have won numerous national and international competitions including Summer Universiade; has played a critical role for distinguished organizations; has a membership in an organization with distinguished reputation that requires outstanding achievement; and our client’s coaching successes were published in professional and major media.

Our office prepared a 18-page brief for our client’s EB-11 filing. Our client also obtained 7 letters of recommendation from World Taekwondo Federation, Korea Taekwondo Association, former Olympic champions, Taekwondo head coaches from other national teams, etc. Our office also included his coaching records, awards, media coverage, medals, athletic career records, and other materials to show that he is an alien of extraordinary ability in Taekwondo coaching. His EB-11 I-140 application contained 50 exhibits.

Our office filed his I-140 (EB-11) petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center via premium processing service on May 9, 2016. On May 24, 2016, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved his I-140 self-petition.

Once his I-140 was approved, our client retained our office again for his and his family members’ immigrant visa processing. Once we were retained, our office filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on July 28, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. An interview notice was set for the client at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. On January 10, 2017, our client and his son appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea The interview went well, and on the same day, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea approved and issued his and his son’s immigrant visas.

With the approved Immigrant visas, our client and his son can come to the United States immediately, and they will get their green cards within two months of entry.

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Post image for EB-3 I-140 Approval for Kenyan Sales Manager Beneficiary and Hydraulic Pumps and Motors Manufacturing Company Petitioner in West Virginia

CASE: EB-3 I-140 Petition
EMPLOYER: Hydraulic Pumps and Motors Manufacturing Company in WV
BENEFICIARY: Kenyan Sales Manager in Kenya

 

Our client is from Kenya, who used to work in the U.S. on his H-1B status. His former 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 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 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.

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, ability to pay letter, and other necessary supporting documents. The I-140 petition was filed on December 9, 2016 via premium processing service. However, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) on December 21, 2016 and request our client to submit documents regarding Beneficiary’s special skills for the proposed job position and employer’s ability to pay proffered wage. Our office prepared and filed Response to RFE to USCIS on January 3, 2017.

Eventually, on January 5, 2017, the I-140 EB-3 Petition for our Kenyan client was approved. Now, our client can file his immigrant visa application in Kenya once his priority date becomes current.  

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Post image for H-1B Extension Approval for Accounting Firm Petitioner in Baltimore, MD  and Staff Auditor Beneficiary from Trinidad & Tobago

CASE: H-1B Visa Extension Petition
PETITIONER:  Accounting Firm in Baltimore, MD
BENEFICIARY: Staff Auditor from Trinidad and Tobago

Our client is an accounting firm in Baltimore, MD.  They contacted our office in March 2016 to seek legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B extension.  The beneficiary obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in accounting and completed his MBA program in the United States. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a staff auditor which qualifies as a specialty occupation.  We argued that this position a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting or its equivalent.  Moreover, our office helped this employee’s initial H-1B case in 2013 and it was approved by the USCIS.

Once retained, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on May 11, 2016 via the regular processing service. Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on December 22, 2016.  His H-1B is good until September 13, 2019.

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Post image for Systems Analyst H-1B Petition Approval for IT Consulting Company Petitioner in Jacksonville Florida and Indian Beneficiary in India

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER: IT Consulting Company in Jacksonville, FL

BENEFICIARY: Indian Systems Analyst in India

Our client is an IT Consulting Company located in Jacksonville, FL.  They contacted our office in the middle of February this year to seek legal assistance for a possible H-1B petition for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in India. Beneficiary is currently residing at India. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Systems Analyst which we argued 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, 2016 via regular processing. This H-1B petition was selected after the lottery.

However, on September 13, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s H-1B petition. USCIS requested Petitioner to submit additional evidence to establish that the proffered position to the beneficiary qualified as a “Specialty Occupation”, plus additional questions about the “in-house” nature of the employment.

We 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. We also provided in-house employment proof.

In the response brief, our office argued that the degree requirement is common to this industry in parallel positions among similar organizations.  We provided evidence that the position of Systems Analyst or Computer Systems Analyst is a common position required by similarly sized IT consulting company.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Systems 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. Other documents pertaining to an in-house project was also submitted.

Our office filed a detailed Response to RFE brief with many exhibits to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on November 23, 2016.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on December 12, 2016. Now, the beneficiary can apply for an H-1B visa at the U.S. Embassy in India, and upon the issuance of visa, he can work for the Petitioner.

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