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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Filipina Client in Southern California

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Filipina                                                                                                        


Our client is from the Philippines who came to the U.S. on an E-1 dependent visa. Later, she changed her status from E-1 to F-1 to pursue her undergraduate studies. In November 2016, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in December 2016 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on January 5, 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 October 13, 2017, our client was interviewed at Santa Ana, California USCIS Field office. Eventually, on October 18, 2017, her green card application was approved.


Post image for Naturalization and Citizenship N400 Approval for Chinese Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)


LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client contacted us in August 2017 to seek legal representation for his naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. He came to the United States from China and obtained his green card in July 2005.

After retention, his N-400 application was filed on August 15, 2017 with all supporting documents. Prior to his citizenship interview, our office prepared him via conference calls.  On October 12, 2017, our client appeared at the Cleveland, OH 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 October 13, 2017. His oath taking is scheduled in which he will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.


Post image for I-751 Approval for Filipina Client in Texas with Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement due to the Death of Spouse

CASE: I-751 / Waiver of the Joint Waiver Requirement



Our client contacted our office in October of 2015 regarding her potential I-751 filing. She came to the United States as an Immigrant Visa holder from the Philippines and her visa was petitioned by her late US Citizen husband. She got her two-year green card in August 2015. Her conditional residency terminated in August 2017.

Unfortunately, her husband passed. Thus, our client could not file the I-751 application jointly with her late husband. Nevertheless, she has a lot of supporting documents to demonstrate that our client entered into the marriage in good faith, but her marriage was ended in an unfortunate way by her husband’s death.

On July 22, 2016, our office filed the I-751 application with various supporting documents to demonstrate our client’s bona fide marriage with her late-husband.  Eventually, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application on October 5, 2017 without any RFE or interview. Now, she has her ten-year green card.


Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval After 601A Provisional Hardship Waiver Approval for Mexican Client in Ohio

CASE:   Immigrant Visa / I-601A Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility


LOCATION: Ohio / Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (Visa Interview)

Our client came to the United States from Mexico in 2009 without inspection and admission. He married his U.S. citizen wife in November 2011. With our firm’s legal assistance, his U.S. Citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him. This I-130 petition was approved on August 11, 2016.

Our client could not file for adjustment of status application due to his ground of inadmissibility (entry without inspection and admission). He needed a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder.

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 child. 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, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme emotional difficulties if he is removed.

On October 17, 2016, 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 March 14, 2017.

Once his I-601A waiver was approved, he retained our office again for his immigrant visa processing. Our office prepared and filed his immigrant visa application on May 25, 2017. In September 2017, the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico informed our office that they scheduled an immigrant visa interview for our client. Our client went back to Mexico to appear at his interview on October 2, 2017. On March 2, 2017, our client appeared at his immigrant visa interview at the Consulate, and the Consulate officer approved his immigrant visa on the same day.

Now, our client successfully came back to the United States with an approved immigrant visa and he will get his green card in a mail within two months.


Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Korean Researcher in the field of Urban Forestry in Virginia

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in October 2016 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is a researcher from South Korea and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of urban forestry and urban ecosystem research.

Our client’s significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of his field. He has identified innovative solutions for improving energy conservation in dense urban areas. Specifically, our client is making significant contribution in the area of urban forestry for energy conservation and other ecosystem services. His research is revealing and identifying how trees influence local climate and can decrease building energy consumption which has important implications for city, state, federal policies across the United States.

Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was definitely 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. While we prepared his case, the AAO set the new standards for NIW cases in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016). Under the new standard, the petitioner must demonstrate that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance. Next, it must be shown that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. Finally, the petitioner seeking the waiver needs to demonstrate that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements. Id.

Our office prepared a 24-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 11 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized researchers. Our office also included his publication records, presentation records, and conference materials in the NIW application. We demonstrated that our client is one of the few elite researchers who have made significant and substantial contributions to his field of endeavor, that he is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, and it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification for our client. His NIW application contained 43 exhibits (Exhibit A to QQ).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on January 26, 2017. Eventually, on September 27, 2017, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.  When we filed his I-140, he concurrently filed his I-485 adjustment of status application. His adjustment of status application will be approved soon as well.


Post image for Nurse Manager Schedule A EB2 I-140 Approval for Filipina Beneficiary in Winnipeg Canada and Nursing Care Facility Petitioner in Katy Texas

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

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipina Nurse Manager in Winnipeg Canada


Our client is a Filipina lady who has worked in Canada and the Philippines as a staff nurse. Her prospective employer-sponsor is willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she has a registered nurse license and the proffered position for her is a nurse manager at the nursing care facility, the petition wanted to try going for a “Schedule A” classification. They also wanted to do EB2 (requiring at least a Masters degree or Bachelors degree + 5 yrs experience).

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 having to file a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor. 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. We argued that the position of Health Services Manager should be classified under Schedule A. We argued that it falls under the broad spectrum of “professional nurse” occupations. We also argued that the job description has excerpts that fall under “professional nurse” and that the description justifies the requirements also of Bachelor’s degree in nursing and five years of related experiences.

Our client has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and more than 5 years of experience as a staff nurse. She also has a registered nursing license in the state of Texas. Our office was retained and we started on the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.

Once the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on September 22, 2017 via premium processing. We included a job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, past experience letter, and other necessary supporting documents. In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why the nurse manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

Eventually, on October 6, 2017, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Now, with the approved EB-2 I-140 petition (priority date for EB2 Philippines nationals is current), she can file her immigrant visa application.


Post image for Visa Waiver Green Card Approval Through Marriage for British Client in Dayton Ohio

Case: I-130/I-485
Applicant/Beneficiary – British
Location: Dayton, OH

Our client entered the United States in February 2017 from the United Kingdom under the visa waiver program. As a Visa Waiver Entrant, he was only authorized to remain in the United States only for 90 days.  In October 2016, our client and his U.S. citizen girlfriend married in the United States. Our client went back to the United Kingdom and came back to visit his wife in February 2017.

In March 2017, they contacted our office and consulted with us regarding the adjustment of status. After the consultation, they retained our office on March 21, 2017.  One main issue in his green card application through marriage was the fact that he 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 Dayton, Ohio, his 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 his visa waiver entry.  

Nevertheless, our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on May 2, 2017.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status and argued that the application was filed before his 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 via conference call. On September 28, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cincinnati, Ohio USCIS Field Office.  Despite the visa waiver issue, the USCIS officer approved his green card application on the same day of the interview.  Now, our client becomes a green card holder.


Post image for I-751 Removal of Conditions Approval for Filipina Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-751


LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client contacted our office in June of 2016 regarding her I-751 application.

She is from the Philippines and she married a U.S. citizen in June 2014. Through her marriage, she obtained a 2-year conditional green card in September of 2014.  Her conditional residence terminated in September 2016.

To comply with immigration requirements, our client and her husband had to file an I-751 Joint Petition to Remove Conditions. She retained our office again on June 20, 2016, and our office prepared an I-751 application for our client with the necessary supporting documents.

On July 1, 2016, our office filed an I-751 application to the USCIS with multiple affidavits from her friends and family members, joint bank statements, joint taxes, utility bills, insurance policies, and photos of our client and her husband to demonstrate the bona fideness of their marriage.

Once the application was filed, the fingerprint notice was issued two weeks later. There was no RFE issuance or interview request for our client’s I-751 application. As a result, on September 19, 2017, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application and our client received her 10-year green card which removed the conditions.


Post image for J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Post-Divorce Interested Government Agency Approval for Pakistani Client in Pakistan

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce
LOCATION: Pakistan

Our client is a citizen of Pakistan who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in August 2015.  He came with his wife who held a J-1 Visa as a medical resident.  Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.

Unfortunately, his marriage did not work. Eventually, he got divorced from his ex-wife in November 2016. Our client had a pending I-129 H-1B petition for him, but it could not be approved unless he fulfilled his two year foreign residency requirement or obtain a waiver.

In June of this year, our client contacted our office. He retained our firm to do his J-2 waiver. On June 22, 2017, the J-2 Waiver (DS-3035) 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 was divorced from the J-1 visa holder.  Eventually, on July 14, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver. Finally, the USCIS issued I-612 waiver approval notice on September 26, 2017.


Post image for Despite Multiple DUIS, Approved Naturalization Application for Costa Rican Client with in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)

APPLICANT: Costa Rican


Our client contacted us in April 2016 to seek legal representation for her naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. She came to the United States from Costa Rica and obtained her green card in May 2004. She retained our office for her naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. She was concerned about her multiple DUI convictions. She had a clear record though since 2011.

The naturalization and citizenship N-400 application was filed on May 6, 2016 with all supporting documents. Our office prepared her before her naturalization interview, and also accompanied her on December 1, 2016 at the Cleveland CIS office. Our client passed her naturalization and citizenship N-400 interview. However, her N-400 case remained pending due to her former criminal convictions. The USCIS officer asked our client to submit a certified copy of her criminal records once again. We filed the RFE response to the Cleveland USCIS Field Office in June 22, 2017.

Eventually, her naturalization application was approved on September 22, 2017. Her oath taking is scheduled in which she will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.