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: Manila, Philippines
Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. Currently, he is working at a hospital in 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 July 2008.
Since he is a registered nurse, he is eligible for “Schedule A” classification. The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations, Schedule A included, for which the individual permanent labor certification procedure is not required. The schedule of pre-certified occupations is referred to as Schedule A, and is included in DOL regulations at 20 CFR 656.10. Based on an occupation’s inclusion on Schedule A, an employer may file an immigrant visa petition (I-140) directly with the (USCIS) without first going to the DOL for a labor certification. Usually, prior to filing I-140 petitions (EB-2 or EB-3 category), the employer must file a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. However, for Schedule A cases, the employer does not have to go through the labor certification process. The position of Professional Nurses is included in Schedule A.
Also, under 8 CFR 204.5(e):
“Retention of section 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) priority date. A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) or 205 of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.”
As mentioned above, our client’s approved I-140 petition was not denied, was actually approved, and was never revoked at any point. Thus, by virtue of 8 CFR 204.5(e), this succeeding I-140 Petition by our client’s prospective employer for our client is entitled to the previous priority date.
Our client has a nursing degree and has several years of related experience. Our firm told him that his potential employer can petition him as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. More importantly, since the priority date of his previous I-140 was current, he can eventually apply for his immigrant visa via consular processing. Our office was retained on July 22, 2014 and started on his Prevailing Wage Request.
We filed the I-140 application on March 15, 2015 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents. Eventually, on March 23, 2015, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.
Once his priority date became current, 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 12, 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 Philippines. On August 15, 2016, our client appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. Eventually, on October 25, 2016, the Immigrant Visa was issued for our client.
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.