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Post image for Green Card Approval after Successful Response to RFE for Filipina Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Adjustment of Status / Response to RFE

CLIENT: Filipina

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is from the Philippines with K-1 Fiancée Visa. Once she came to the United States with her K-1 Visa, within 90 days of her entry, she married to her boyfriend (now her U.S. citizen husband). Then, she filed I-485 adjustment of status application by herself in 2016. However, on August 26, 2016, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence. After the issuance of RFE, our client contacted our office and retained us on October 17, 2016.   

Once retained, we helped our client obtain supporting documents for the adjustment of status and prepared the response brief for RFE. We fully explained the basis of her adjustment of status and her husband’s financial ability through Form I-864. On October 20, 2016, we filed the Response to RFE.

On February 17, 2017, our client’s adjustment of status application was approved. Our client finally becomes a green card holder.

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Post image for Immigrant Visa Based on Approved I-130 for Petitioner in Chicago Illinois and Beneficiary in Manila Philippines

CASE: I-130 and Consular Processing
CLIENT: LPR Petitioner; Filipina Beneficiary
LOCATION: Petitioner: Chicago, IL; Beneficiary: Manila, Philippines

Our client is a green card holder from the Philippines. She has a daughter who lived in the Philippines. After our client got her green card in 2014, she decided to petition her daughter in the Philippines for an immigrant visa. She contacted our office again in September 2014 and retained our office to help bring her daughter to the States.  It is important to note that an alien cannot adjust his or her status (get a green card) outside the U.S. by filing an I-130 and I-485 simultaneously. Since the client’s daughter was not in the United States, our office promptly filed the I-130 petition to the USCIS first on October 2, 2014.

After the I-130 was filed, everything went smoothly and the receipt notices came on time. The I-130 Petition was approved by the USCIS on March 2, 2015. After the I-130 approval and when the I-130 priority date became current, we filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on January 27, 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’s daughter. On July 20, 2016, the beneficiary went to her interview in Manila. On the same day, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines approved and issued her immigrant visa.

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Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval Based on Marriage-Based I-130 for Petitioner in Ohio and Chinese Beneficiary in Hunan, China

CASE: I-130 and Consular Processing (Immigrant Visa) – Marriage-Petition
CLIENT: US Citizen Petitioner; Chinese Beneficiary in China
LOCATION: Petitioner: Ohio; Beneficiary: Hunan, China

Our client is a U.S. citizen.  He married his wife in China in November 2015.  After the marriage, he came back to the United States and contacted our office in early January 2016 and retained us to bring his wife to the States.

Our office prepared and filed the I-130 to the National Visa Center on January 22, 2016. After the I-130 was filed, everything went smoothly, there were no requests for evidence, and the receipt notices came on time. The I-130 Petition was approved by the USCIS on April 8, 2016. After the I-130 approval, we filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on June 1, 2016, who in turn forwarded our client’s materials to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. An interview notice was set for the client at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, and we prepared her for her interview. On August 3, 2016, the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China approved and issued her immigrant visa.

With the approved Immigrant visa, our client’s wife 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 Approved I-539 J-1 to B-2 Change of Status for Filipina Client in North Dakota

CASE: Change of Status / I-539
NATIONALITY: Filipina
LOCATION: North Dakota

Our client is from the Philippines who came to the U.S. on a J-1 exchange visitors visa to work in the United States. She consulted with our firm a few weeks before the expiration of her J-1 status. She wanted to continue her stay in the United States for six more months to spend more time here for her medical treatment.  We explained to her that CIS has been more stringent on Visitor status changes.

Upon retention, we asked her to prepare a statement on her plans if her change of status request is granted. We asked her to provide as much detail as possible as we reviewed her drafts several times. We made sure all addresses, contact information, and dates on her statements were complete and accurate. We made sure all her plans were supported by corroborating evidence as exhibits to the application to avoid a possible Request for Evidence by the CIS.  Our office submitted financial documents as well. We filed the I-539 Change of Status Application on February 1, 2016.

However, on November 29, 2016, the USCIS California Service Center issued Request for Evidence and requested our client to submit more evidence to demonstrate her intention to go home (Philippines), reasons for her change of status, and her financial ability to stay in the United States if her change of status is granted. Our office prepared the Response to RFE and filed the response to USCIS on December 27, 2016. Eventually, on January 9, 2017, her change of status request (from J-1 to B-2) was granted and she can stay in the United States until July 2017.

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Post image for I-130 Approval and Termination of Removal Proceedings for Cameroonian Client in Columbus Ohio

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition

CLIENT: Cameroonian
LOCATION: Columbus, Ohio

Our client is from Cameroon who came to the U.S. on a F-1 Student Visa in April 2008 to study. Our client currently resides in the greater Columbus area with his current U.S. Citizen wife. They were married in July 2013, and he retained our office on July 11, 2016 for the I-130 petition. Our client’s U.S. citizen wife filed the I-130 petition for our client before, but it was denied. Moreover, our client was placed in removal proceedings in 2010 at the Baltimore Immigration Court and the Court granted withholding of removal relief for our client. Once we were retained, our office prepared and filed the I-130 petition for our client and filed it to the USCIS on July 22, 2016.

Our client’s I-130 interview was scheduled on October 18, 2016 at Columbus USCIS Filed Office.  Prior to the interview, our office thoroughly prepared our client and his wife for the interview at our office. Attorney Yu also accompanied them for their interview. The interview lasted two hours, but the I-130 petition was eventually approved on the same day of the interview.

Once the I-130 was approved, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. The DHS counsel in Baltimore, MD agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice on February 10, 2017.  Now, he can file his I-485 adjustment of status application to USCIS to obtain his green card.

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Post image for J2 IGA (Over 21) Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Interested Government Agency Approval for Chinese Client in New York

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement / Over 21-year-old dependent child

NATIONALITY: Chinese

LOCATION: New York, NY

Our client is a citizen of China who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in November 1996.  She came with her father who came on a J-1 Visa for his research program in the United States. Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, meaning they had to go back to their home country for two-years before they can apply for permanent residency or some non-immigrant visa such as the H, L, and O visas.

After our client came to the United States, she was attending a school and her family moved back to Canada after her father’s research scholar period was ended. Our client came back to the United States in 2014.

She turned 21 in March 2009. This year, her employer wants to file an I-129 petition for our client’s H-1B visa. However, because of her two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot change her status in the United States without the fulfillment of requirement or the waiver.

Although J-2 dependents cannot independently apply for a waiver, in cases where a J-2 child reaches 21, the Waiver Review Division may consider requests for waivers on behalf of the J-2 dependent.  The Department of State’s policy allows for that process in instances where the J-2 dependent obtains a divorce form the J-1 principal, the J-1 principal dies, or in cases where the J-2 dependent turns 21, which is our client’s case. In fact, our client turned 21 in March 2009.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on December 14, 2016, the J-2 Waiver application (Form DS-3035 and supporting documents) was filed to the Department of State. We also sent a request to the DOS to be an interested government agency and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client reached the age of 21 and was not a dependent of a J-1 visa holder anymore.  Eventually, on January 23, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On February 15, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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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 Naturalization and Citizenship N400 Approval for Filipino Client in Massachusetts

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)

APPLICANT: Filipino

LOCATION: Massachusetts

Our client contacted us in May 2016 to seek legal representation for his naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. He came to the United States from the Philippines and obtained his green card in April 1985.

Once retained, his N-400 application was filed on May 17, 2016 with all supporting documents. Prior to his citizenship interview, our office prepared him via conference calls. On December 16, 2016, our client appeared at the Springfield, MA USCIS office for his naturalization interview. Our client answered all questions correctly and passed his naturalization and citizenship interview. Eventually, his application was approved on January 6, 2017. His oath taking is scheduled in which he will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.

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Post image for Successful Adjustment of Status for Vietnamese Clients in Michigan

CASE:  I-485 Adjustment of Status with step-father’s I-130 petition

CLIENT: Vietnamese

LOCATION: Michigan

Our clients are from Vietnam who came to the U.S. in 2012 on a J-2 visa. Since that time, they never left the United States.

In August 2015, our clients’ mother married our clients’ step-father (U.S. citizen) and later she got her green card through marriage. Our clients are also eligible to file an adjustment of status along with his step-father’s I-130 petition for them since their mother and their step-father’s marriage occurred prior to their 18th birthday and they are younger than 21 years old.

Our clients retained us on August 23, 2016. Once retained, our office promptly filed the I-130 petition and Form I-485 for their adjustment of status applicantion on August 30, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment all came on time.  Eventually, on February 7, 2017, our clients’ I-485 applications were approved.  They finally became green card holders.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Through Marriage, Visa Waiver Entry for Korean Client in Cleveland, OH

Case: I-130/I-485
Applicant/Beneficiary – Korean
Location: Cleveland, OH

Our client entered the United States in August 2016 from South Korea under the visa waiver program. She came here to visit her U.S. citizen boyfriend (now her husband) during summer. As a Visa Waiver Entrant, she was only authorized to remain in the United States only for 90 days.  

Later, in September of 2016, our client and her U.S. citizen boyfriend married in the United States. Her husband contacted our office, and they retained our office on September 27, 2016.  One main issue in her green card application through marriage was the fact that she came to the United States under the visa waiver program.   As our office wrote in our previous success story with a similar issue,  under the visa waiver program, citizens of certain countries can enter the U.S. for 90 days without a visa with the condition that the visitor waives his or her right to contest removal (other than on the basis of asylum).  The “no-contest” provision of the Visa Waiver Program is fundamental; if someone could enter under the VWP and then contest removability, it would defeat the whole purpose of the Program which is to make it easy for certain nationals to come to the United States to visit and then leave without all the red-tape involved in visa issuance.

Since our client resided in Cleveland, Ohio, her application had a better chance compared to states under the 9th Circuit (see Momeni v. Chertoff).  However, it was quite foreseeable that the USCIS field office will exercise its discretion to deny his application because of her visa waiver entry.  

Nevertheless, our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on October 11, 2016.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status and argued that the application was filed before her authorized stay period was expired. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, the fingerprint appointment, and the work permit all came on time. There was no Request for Evidence.  Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients. On January 30, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS Field Office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu accompanied them at the interview as well.  Despite the visa waiver issue, the USCIS officer approved her green card application on February 9, 2017.  Now, our client becomes a green card holder.

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