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Post image for Thailand No Objection Statement J-1 Waiver Approval for Client in Dallas Texas

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

NATIONALITY: Thai

LOCATION: Dallas, TX

Our Thai client came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in November 1991, and his J-1 visa made him subject to the two-year foreign resident requirement. After completion of the J-1 program, he remained in the United States. His wife became a naturalized U.S. citizen, but our client could not file his adjustment of status application due to his two-year foreign residency requirement. He had to obtain a waiver first.

He contacted our office and retained our office in April 2017. After he retained our firm, we prepared and filed a waiver request through a No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Thai Embassy in the United States.  Our office contacted the Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. to make sure we knew all the requirements needed for their office to issue a no objection statement.  The Embassy requested several different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, a notarized copy of the marriage certificate, a notarized copy of his US citizen Wife’s US passport Biographic Page, a notarized copy of his valid Thai passport, and a copy of Form DS-3035.

On May 15, 2017, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Thai Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client would have been eligible to file a marriage based adjustment of status application but for the waiver.

The Thai Embassy eventually issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On October 10, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. The CIS then issued a receipt and an I-612 approval notice on January 29, 2018.  Now that our client’s two-year foreign residency requirement is waived, he can file an adjustment of status application with his wife’s I-130 petition.

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Post image for Nepalese J-1 Waiver No Objection Statement Approved for Client in Portland Oregon

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

NATIONALITY: Nepalese

LOCATION: Portland, OR

Our Nepalese client came to the U.S. on a J-1 exchange visitor’s visa for his research program. Thereafter, he changed his status from J-1 to O-1 to work in the United States. His employer intended to file an I-140 petition for him, and with the I-140 petition, our client plans to file adjustment of status application in the U.S.  However, his J-1 visa made him subject to the two-year foreign resident requirement. Due to the two-year foreign residency requirement, he had to obtain a waiver first before he can file an adjustment of status application.

After he retained our firm, we prepared and filed a waiver request through a No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Nepalese Embassy in the United States.  Our office contacted the Nepalese Embassy in Washington D.C. to make sure we knew all the requirements needed for their office to issue a no objection statement.  The Embassy requested numerous documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the applicant’s resume, a copy of his valid Nepalese passport, a copy of DS-2019, and a copy of Third Party Bar Code Page

On April 20, 2017, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Nepalese Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client would have been eligible to file an employment-based adjustment of status application but for the waiver.

The Nepalese Embassy eventually issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On June 12, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. The CIS then issued a receipt and an I-612 approval notice on January 31, 2018.

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Post image for South Korean J-1 Waiver No Objection Statement Approved for 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 2010 to work as a researcher. Her J-1 program made her subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement. After her J-1 program was completed, she went back to South Korea and got her F-1 student visa. With her F-1 status, she finished her Ph.D. degree and started to work as a post-doctoral researcher. She retained our office to seek legal assistance for her I-140 (National Interest Waiver Classification) and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. However, our client completely forgot about her J-1 status in the past and was not fulfilled the 2-year foreign residency requirement. Thus, before we file her I-485 application, she has to get a waiver for her 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 27, 2017, 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 22, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. Eventually, on January 19, 2018, the USCIS issued I-612 approval notice and waived our client’s 2 year foreign residency requirement.

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Post image for F-1 Reinstatement Approved for Korean Student in Anaheim California

CASE: F-1 Reinstatement

APPLICANT: Korean

LOCATION: Anaheim, CA

Our client came from South Korea in 2012 to pursue her Pre-Med Program. Later, she enlisted at the US Army through the MAVNI program. The contract was valid for 2 years supposedly for deployment. While waiting, and to further her studies, she applied for and was issued an I-20 to obtain her Bachelor’s program in Biology. But delays over delays occurred which weren’t her fault, and thus, she was not able to be shipped out for deployment. As such, her I-20 expired in February 16, 2016. She continued on fully expecting her MAVNI application to be approved. She obtained a fingerprint notice on January 20, 2017 for fingerprinting at February 1, 2017. However, delays after delays then eventually a cancellation of her deployment happened. Thus, she failed to maintain her F-1 visa status.

There are many reasons why some F-1 students fall out of status. In limited circumstances, they could still apply for F-1 reinstatement if they meet the requirements. It starts by talking to the school’s international student immigration representative. Upon providing all the necessary documentation, your immigration advisor should issue you a new I-20 with a reinstatement endorsement.  Each school has its own guidelines on what you need to show. Typically you should explain the exceptional circumstances which led you to not maintain full-time course load.

For the USCIS to grant reinstatement, the standards are as follows:

  • The student became out of status due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, or the student would suffer extreme hardship if not reinstated
  • The student intends to pursue full-time study
  • No other grounds of removability (criminal cases, for example) apply to the student other than the overstay or status violation
  • The student has not worked illegally off-campus
  • The period being out of status is not more than five months, or there were exceptional circumstances for being out of status longer and the application was filed as soon as possible
  • The student does not have a record of repeated immigration violations

In July of 2017, our client contacted our office to do her F-1 reinstatement application. Our office promptly prepared her application with various supporting documents to demonstrate that she became out of status due to circumstances beyond her control and that she would suffer extreme hardship if not reinstated.  Moreover, our office explained that our client never had any status violations prior to this incident and never engaged in unauthorized employment. Our office filed her F-1 reinstatement application on August 15, 2017 to USCIS.

However, in November 22, 2017, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence and asked our client to submit Form I-134 from her financial sponsor. We filed the response to RFE along with I-134 form on December 6, 2017.

On January 4, 2018, our office was notified by the USCIS that our client’s F-1 reinstatement is granted.  Now, our client has a chance to pursue her Bachelor’s program in the United States.

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

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce
NATIONALITY: Chinese
LOCATION: China

Our client is a citizen of China who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in April 2016.  She came with her husband who held a J-1 Visa as an exchange visitor.  Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.

Unfortunately, while they are residing in the United States, her marriage did not work out well. Eventually, she got divorced from her ex-husband in July 2017 in China. Our client has a U.S. citizen fiancé who would like to file I-129F fiancé visa for her, but could not be approved unless she fulfills two year foreign residency requirement or obtains a waiver.

Our client contacted our office and retained our firm to do her J-2 waiver on July 31, 2017. On August 2, 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 August 21, 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 January 4, 2018.

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Post image for Ownership Interest H-1B Approval for Environmental Engineering Consulting Company Petitioner, Indian Water Engineer Beneficiary in Virginia

CASE: H-1B Extension

PETITIONER:  Environmental Engineering Consulting Company

BENEFICIARY: Indian Principal Consulting Environmental / Water Engineer

Our client is an Environmental Engineering Consulting Company in Fairfax, VA. They contacted our office in November 2017 to seek legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B Extension.  The beneficiary is from India and obtained his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s Degree in Civil / Environmental Engineering. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Principal Consulting Environmental / Water Engineer which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation.  He has been working for the Petitioner on a valid H-1B visa. The beneficiary already used his H-1B status for 6 years, but he is entitled to get 3 year extension since he has an approved I-140 petition for him. Our office helped his previous H-1B extension and his H-1B extension was granted in December 2014.

After retention, our office filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on December 5, 2017 via premium processing. Eventually, without any RFE, our client’s H-1B extension was approved on December 13, 2017. Now the Beneficiary can continue for the Petitioner on an H-1B status until December 2020.

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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 California

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

NATIONALITY: Chinese

LOCATION: Mountain View, CA

Our client was a citizen of China who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in September 1996.  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’s father’s J-1 program was completed, his family moved to Canada.

He turned 21 in 2015. He would like to get a waiver because he has a prospective employer who will file the H-1b petition for me next year. However, because of his 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 June 2015.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on October 20, 2017, 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 10, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On December 10, 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 Filipino Client in San Francisco California

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

NATIONALITY: Filipino

LOCATION: San Francisco, CA

Our client is a citizen of the Philippines who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in November 2015.  He came with his mother who came on a J-1 Visa for her teaching 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, F, 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 wanted to change his status from J-2 to F-1 in the United States.

He turned 21 in September 2017. He would like to get a waiver because he wanted to change his status from J-2 to F-1. However, because of his 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 September 2017.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on September 22, 2017, 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 October 16, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On November 14, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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Post image for Cap Exempt H-1B Approval for School Petitioner (Nonprofit Organization Affiliated with an Institution of Higher Education) in New Mexico and Filipina Middle School Math Teacher

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER: School in New Mexico

BENEFICIARY: Filipina Middle School Math Teacher

ISSUES: Cap-Exempt, Research Organization

Our client is a non-profit organization affiliated with five institutions of higher education. They contacted our office in September 2017 to seek legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee. The beneficiary is a Middle School Math Teacher from the Philippines.  

The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Middle School Math Teacher. We showed that this is a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s Degree in Science or its equivalent.

In the first week of April, the numerical cap of H-1B visas for fiscal year 2018 was already reached. However, our client is qualified for cap-exempt petitions since it is a non-profit organization affiliated with an Institution of Higher Education as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(B).

Once retained, our office filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on October 13, 2017, via premium processing. There were no Requests for Evidence during the processing of the H-1B. Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on October 18, 2017.  She can now work for her employer for three years on an H-1B status.

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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through No Objection Statement for Indonesian Client in Ohio

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

NATIONALITY: Indonesian

LOCATION: Ohio

Our Indonesian client came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in May 2016.  She came to the U.S. for an internship, and her J-1 visa made her subject to the two-year foreign resident requirement.  In March 2017 our client married his U.S. Citizen husband and she wanted to apply for permanent residency. However, due to the two-year foreign residency requirement, she had to obtain a waiver first.

After she retained our firm, we prepared and filed a waiver request through a No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Indonesian Embassy in the United States.  Our office contacted the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C. to make sure we knew all the requirements needed for their office to issue a no objection statement.  The Embassy requested nine different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the applicant’s resume, a copy of her valid Indonesian passport, and a copy of Form DS-3035.

On March 22, 2017, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Indonesian Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client would have been eligible to file a marriage based adjustment of status application but for the waiver.

The Indonesian Embassy eventually issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On August 7, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. The CIS then issued a receipt and an I-612 approval notice on October 20, 2017. Now that our client’s two-year foreign residency requirement is waived, she can file adjustment of status application with her husband I-130 petition.

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