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One of the fastest and most common immigration cases are those based on marriage to a US Citizen.
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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Korean Client in Buffalo New York

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Korean                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Buffalo, NY

Our client is from South Korea who came to the U.S. on F-1 student’s visa in 2013 to pursue her Ph.D. studies. In June 2017, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in June 2017 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on June 27, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients via conference calls. On September 19, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Buffalo New York USCIS office. Eventually, on September 20, 2017, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Jamaican Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Jamaican                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is from Jamaica who came to the U.S. on a J-1 exchange visitor’s visa in June 2015. Her J-1 program was not subject to the 212(e), two-year foreign residency requirement. In February 2017, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office on March 24, 2017 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on May 23, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office as well. On August 28, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on August 30, 2017, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Chinese Client in Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Chinese                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client is from China who came to the U.S. on a F-1 student visa. Later, she changed her status from F-1 to H-1B and has worked for her employer for the last two years. In May 2017, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office on May 9, 2017 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on May 19, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office. On August 29, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office also accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on the same day of the interview, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for 601A Provisional Hardship Waiver Approval for Mexican Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE:   I-601A Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Mexican

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client came to the United States from Mexico in June 2004 without inspection and admission. He married his U.S. citizen wife in September 2011. They have two U.S. citizen children together.  His U.S. Citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him on December 16, 2014. This I-130 petition was approved on June 22, 2015.

Our client cannot file for adjustment of status due to his ground of inadmissibility. He needs a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder. Moreover, our client was placed in removal proceedings, but with our office’s assistance, his removal proceeding was administratively closed in October 2015 to file a provisional waiver application.

Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return to the United States.

In 2013, the USCIS announced of new policy called the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States.

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

INA § 212(i) provides for a discretionary waiver of the entry without inspection inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her US Citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(i)(1). In addition to the equities presented, the USCIS may consider the nature of the inadmissibility ground.

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified the factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

Our client’s I-601A application had a good chance since our client’s U.S. Citizen wife suffers from a great degree of medical hardship. In the I-601A brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports of his wife.  We argued that if he was removed from the United States, extreme hardship to his wife is clearly foreseeable and evident.  His wife has ongoing medical hardships and she would not be able to take care of her own needs and the bulk of their family chores, most importantly taking care of their children. Also, it would be extremely difficult for her to get the same level of therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in Mexico in case she joins our client there.

In our brief, we also argued that our client and his wife have maintained strong family ties in the United States, that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in Mexico, that our client has good employment in the United States, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme financial and emotional difficulties if he is removed.

On March 9, 2017, we filed the I-601A waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife’s extensive medical examination records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if he is removed from the United States.

Eventually, his I-601A waiver was approved on August 8, 2017. Now, he can file packet 3 and 4 here in the United States, and would go to Mexico shortly to get his immigrant visa.

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Post image for Same Sex LGBT Marriage Green Card Approval for Honduran Client in Cincinnati Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Green Card (Same Sex Marriage Case)

CLIENT: Honduran

LOCATION: Cincinnati, OH

 

Our client came from Honduras with B-2 visitor’s visa in 2010. She has remained in the United States after her authorized stay period expired.

 

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held that restricting U.S. federal interpretation of “marriage” and “spouse” to apply only to heterosexual unions, by Section 3 of the defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013). After Windsor decision, the USCIS implemented a new policy that the USCIS officer must review immigration via petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse. As long as a same-sex couple is married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, their marriage shall be considered a valid marriage under the immigration law.

 

Our client and her current U.S. citizen spouse, decided to get married in December 2016. Our client contacted our office and retained us on February 15, 2017 for her I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application. She also has a minor child from Honduras and retained our office for her daughter’s case as well. Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, together with all necessary supporting documents, on March 28, 2017. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time.

 

Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients via conference calls. On August 17, 2017, our clients appeared at USCIS Cincinnati Field Office for the interview. The interview went well and our client and her daughter’s green card applications were approved on the same day.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Finnish Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Finnish                                                                                                       

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is from Finland who came to the U.S. on a F-1 students visa in 2015 to pursue her graduate studies. In April 2017, our client married her U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in May 2017 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on May 22, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office as well. On August 15, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, after the interview, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Chinese Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Chinese                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is from China who came to the U.S. on F-1 student’s visa in 2011 to pursue her studies in music. In April 2017, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in May 2017 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on May 16, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office as well. On August 1, 2017, our client was interviewed at Cleveland Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office also accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on August 2, 2017, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for 245i Adjustment of Status Approval for Filipino Client in Indiana

CASE: Employment Based Adjustment of Status (Derivative Applicant) / 245(i)

CLIENT: Filipino

LOCATION: Indiana

Our Filipino client came to the U.S. in June 2001 with a valid B-2 visitor’s visa. He has remained in the United States since then. He married his current spouse in June 2002 and she obtained her permanent residency in 2016 through an employment petition. Our client’s wife was the beneficiary of labor certification that was filed before April 30, 2001 and she was physically present in the United States before December 2000.

Our client contacted us around November of 2016 for consultation and sought legal assistance for his adjustment of status. He was not sure whether he could be a derivative applicant of the adjustment of status based on his wife’s I-140 approval and his eligibility under INA 245(i). Nonetheless, after consultation, we determined that he is eligible for adjustment of status under INA 245(i). Our client retained us on December 1, 2016.

Section 245(i) of the INA allows certain foreign nationals to become permanent residents of the United States despite entering without inspection (EWI) or overstaying (if beneficiary of petitions filed not by an immediate relative). Immigrants are barred from adjusting their status if they entered the United States without first being inspected and admitted by a Customs and Border Patrol officer and if they have either failed to maintain lawful status or been unlawfully employed in the country, with certain exceptions. Section 245(i) was first added to law in 1994 to allow certain people who otherwise would not be eligible to adjust their status to be able to do so upon payment of a $1,000 fine.

Four years later, on January 14, 1998, Congress phased Section 245(i) out of law. Immigrants and their families who had already begun the process of changing their status under Section 245(i) by January 14, 1998 were grandfathered into the section’s benefits. However, this left thousands of otherwise qualified persons who had not begun the process unable to adjust status in the United States. They could not return to their countries to begin the legal process of obtaining their permanent residency in the United States also without being subject to either a three- or a 10-year bar upon returning to the United States.

On December 21, 2000, Congress extended the qualifying date for Section 245(i) benefits to April 30, 2001. This law allowed immigrants who had labor certifications or visa petitions filed on their behalf between 1998 and April 30, 2001, to qualify for adjustment of status. Those who were beneficiaries of petitions filed prior to January 14, 1998 could still adjust despite an EWI record, and those people do not have to meet the December 2000 physical presence requirement.

However, aforementioned requirements were not met for our client since he was not a beneficiary of any I-130 / I-140 petition which was filed prior to April 30, 2001. He was not also physically present in the United States prior to December 2000. Nonetheless, there is a controlling BIA case for our client’s situation. In Matter of Estrada and Estrada, 26 I&N Dec. 180 (BIA 2013), the BIA held that:

“Although not grandfathered, qualifying after-acquired spouses and children are still able to benefit from section 245(i) of the Act in certain circumstances. The Supplementary Information to the interim rule clarifies that a dependent spouse or child – if eligible under section 203(d) of the Act  – who is accompanying or following to join a grandfathered adjustment applicant is “considered to be grandfathered” if the qualifying relationship existed before the grandfathered alien adjusts his or her status…. Such spouses and children are able to benefit from section 245(i) of the Act by virtue of their status as dependents under section 203(d), which provides that a spouse or child who is accompanying or following to join a principal beneficiary of an immigrant visa is entitled to the same status as that alien. Thus, when a grandfathered alien applies for adjustment of status under section 245(i) as the principal adjustment applicant, his or her dependent spouse or children are eligible to adjust status under that section notwithstanding the fact that they are not grandfathered aliens.

As mentioned above, our client married his wife in June 2002. His wife filed her adjustment of status application by virtue of an approved and current I-140 petition filed for her and invoked INA 245(i) in the process as the principal beneficiary. By virtue of 245(i), our client’s wife obtained her permanent residency in September 2016. Thus, based on Matter of Estrada and Estrada, our office argued that our client is able to benefit from section 245(i) by virtue of his status as spouse who is following to join a principal beneficiary under 245(i) since the qualifying relationship (their marriage in 2002) existed before the grandfathered alien (our client’s wife) adjusted her status (adjustment in 2016 through 245(i).

On December 20, 2016, our office filed his I-485 adjustment of status application and I-485 Supplement A under the 245(i) category for our client.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment all came on time.  Eventually, on July 19, 2017, our client’s I-485 adjustment of status application was approved.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Indian Client in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Indian                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA

Our client is from India who came to the U.S. on an F-1 student visa to pursue his undergraduate degree. In January 2017, our client married his current U.S. citizen wife.  He retained our office in February 2017 for his green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on February 13, 2017. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients via conference calls. On July 19, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Philadelphia Pennsylvania USCIS office. Eventually, on July 21, 2017, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Jamaican Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Jamaican                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is from Jamaica who came to the U.S. on a B-2 visitor’s visa in August 2010. Since then, she has remained in the United States after her authorized stay period expired.  In June 2015, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in November 2016 for her green card application. Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on April 17, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office as well. On July 21, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office also accompanied our clients. Eventually, on the same day of the interview, her green card application was approved.

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