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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through No Objection Statement for Korean Researcher in Blacksburg Virginia

CASE: J-1 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, No Objection Statement

NATIONALITY: Korean

LOCATION: Blacksburg, VA

Our client is from South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in 2001 to work as a term appointed, non-paid Guest Scientist. His J-1 program made him subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement. After his J-1 program was completed, he went back to South Korea and got his F-1 student visa. With his F-1 status, he finished his Ph.D. degree and started to work as a post-doctoral researcher. He retained our office to seek legal assistance for his I-140 (National Interest Waiver Classification) and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. However, our client completely forgot about his J-1 status in the past and was not fulfilled the 2-year foreign residency requirement. Thus, before we file his I-485 application, he has to get a waiver for his two-year foreign residency requirement.

Once retained, our office promptly prepared and filed a waiver request through the No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Korean Embassy in the United States.

Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office contacted the Korean Consulate General Office in Chicago to pursue the waiver for our client.  The Consulate requested six different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the applicant’s resume, a J-1 visa waiver confirmation application, and a letter of reason for obtaining the J-1 waiver.  Most of those documents needed to be written in Korean, so Attorney Yu, a Korean himself, assisted our client in completing those documents.

On November 17, 2016, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Korean Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client is eligible to file a National Interest Waiver petition and adjustment of status application.

The Korean Consulate General in Chicago forwarded our client’s documents to the Korean Embassy in DC.  After that, the Korean Embassy issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On February 15, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. Eventually, on March 22, 2017, the USCIS issued I-612 approval notice and waived our client’s 2 year foreign residency requirement.

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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through Extreme Hardship Basis for Egyptian Client in Florida

CASE: J-1 Waiver of the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Extreme Hardship

NATIONALITY:  Egyptian

LOCATION: Florida

Our client came from Egypt and has maintained his J-1 status from 2007.  He got his J-1 status as a Ph.D. Student in the United States.   His J-1 status made his subject to the two-year foreign resident requirement. Our client would like to file his adjustment of status application along with his I-140 NIW application; however, due to the two-year foreign residency requirement, he had to obtain a waiver first.

Unlike our other J-1 clients, our client could not pursue his waiver under No Objection Statement or Interest Government Agency (IGA). Our client also received government funding for his research programs which made his case tougher for the No Objection Statement or IGA waiver route. Our client, though, would like to pursue his J-1 waiver based on exceptional hardship standard. In fact, our client’s U.S. citizen son is experiencing exceptional medical hardships.

According to 8 C.F.R. Section 212.7(c)(5), “an alien who is subject to the foreign residence requirement and who believes that compliance therewith would impose exceptional hardship upon her spouse or child who is a citizen of the United States… may apply for a waiver on Form I-612.”

Some of the factors in analyzing extreme hardship are as follows: age of the subject, family ties in the U.S. and abroad, length and residency in the U.S., health / medical conditions, conditions in the country of removal – economic and political, financial status – business and occupation, position in / ties to the community. Matter of Anderson, 16 I&N Dec. 596 (BIA 1978).

After he retained our firm, we prepared and filed a waiver request through an exceptional hardship basis. In August 2016 the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  Thereafter, our office prepared affidavit of our client, extensive brief in support for our client’s J-1 waiver application, and other supporting documents. Our client provided us with extensive medical documents and doctor’s reports for his U.S. citizen son’s medical conditions.  On August 15, 2016, our office filed I-612 application to the USCIS and asked for them to issue and recommends this waiver based on the fact that our client’s son would experience exceptional hardship if our client needs to go back to Egypt for two years.

Eventually, the USCIS approved his I-612 waiver on March 22, 2017. Now that our client’s two-year foreign residency requirement is waived, he can file his adjustment of status application along with his NIW I-140 self-petition in the United States.  

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Post image for Fiancé Visa Approved for Ohio Petitioner and Filipina Beneficiary

CASE: Fiancé Visa

PETITIONER: US Citizen in Cleveland Ohio

BENEFICIARY: Filipina

PETITION FILED: December 9, 2015

PETITION APPROVED: January 25, 2016

K-1 VISA APPROVED: March 6, 2017

Our client, a US Citizen Petitioner, met his Filipina fiancé in the Philippines in 2012. They started their relationship, and he visited the Philippines. His fiancé became pregnant and their son was born in May 2013 in the Philippines.  He proposed to her in the Philippines. After his proposal, he retained our firm to file a fiancé petition for her and immigrant visa petition for his son.

After retention, we informed our client about the necessary supporting documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of their relationship. Our client retained our office on November 24, 2015. We helped him and his fiancée draft letters in support of the fiancé petition, and we filed the I-129F petition on December 9, 2015.

On January 25, 2016, after a month of the filing, the I-129F fiancée petition was approved. Our office also prepared and filed I-130 immigrant visa petition on December 23, 2015 and this I-130 petition was approved by the USCIS on June 7, 2016.

On November 17, 2016, our client’s son appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines for his immigrant visa interview. After the interview, our son’s immigrant visa was issued. Later, our client’s fiancée appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines for her K-1 visa interview. The interview went well, and on March 6, 2017, the U.S. Embassy issued her K-1 visa.

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Post image for J2 IGA (Over 21) Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Interested Government Agency Approved for Kenyan Client in Wyoming

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

NATIONALITY: Kenyan

LOCATION: Wyoming

Our client is a citizen of Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in August 2001. She came with her mother who came on a J-1 Visa for her 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 her mother’s J-1 program ended, our client remained in the United States.

She turned 21 in 2011. She would like to get a waiver because she has a U.S. citizen husband who already filed an I-130 for her after their marriage. This I-130 petition was approved by the USCIS.  However, because of her two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot adjust her status in the United States without fulfilling the waiver requirement.

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 April 2011.

Our firm was retained to do her J-2 waiver, and on September 8, 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 September 27, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On March 8, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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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 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 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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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through No Objection Statement for Korean Researcher in Columbus Ohio

CASE: J-1 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, No Objection Statement

NATIONALITY: Korean

LOCATION: Columbus OH

Our client is from South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in September 2013.  He came to the U.S. for a post-doctoral program, but his J-1 program made him subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement.  He retained our office to seek legal assistance for his I-140 (National Interest Waiver Classification) and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. Before we file his I-140/I-485 application simultaneously, he has to get a waiver for his two-year foreign residency requirement.

Once retained, our office promptly prepared and filed a waiver request through the No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Korean Embassy in the United States.

Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office contacted the Korean Consulate General Office in Chicago to pursue the waiver for our client.  The Consulate requested six different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the applicant’s resume, a J-1 visa waiver confirmation application, and a letter of reason for obtaining the J-1 waiver.  Most of those documents needed to be written in Korean, so Attorney Yu, a Korean himself, assisted our client in completing those documents.

On October 13, 2016, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Korean Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client is eligible to file a National Interest Waiver petition and adjustment of status application.

The Korean Consulate General in Chicago forwarded our client’s documents to the Korean Embassy in DC.  After that, the Korean Embassy issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On December 8, 2016, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. Eventually, on February 1, 2017, the USCIS issued I-612 approval notice and waived our client’s 2 year foreign residency requirement.

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

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

NATIONALITY: Vietnamese

LOCATION: Honolulu, HI

Our client is a citizen of Vietnam who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in July 2004.  He came with his 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, he completed his high school and was admitted to the University to pursue his bachelor’s degree. He changed his status from J-2 to F-1.

He turned 21 in 2011. He would like to get a waiver because his prospective employer will 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 his 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 December 2011.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on October 6, 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 November 6, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On February 1, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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

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

NATIONALITY: Korean

LOCATION: North Carolina

Our client was a citizen of South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in 2007.  He came with his mother who came on a J-1 Visa for her 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, he completed his high school and was admitted to the University to pursue his bachelor’s degree. He changed his status from J-2 to F-1.

He turned 21 in 2011. He would like to get a waiver because his prospective employer will 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 his 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 2011.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on July 12, 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 August 1, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On January 25, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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