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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through No Objection Statement for Malaysian Client in Sydney Australia

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

NATIONALITY: Malaysian

LOCATION: Sydney, Australia

Our Malaysian client came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in August 2010 to pursue his undergraduate degree. He completed his Bachelor’s program and promptly left the United States. In September 2016, he came back to the U.S. on a valid J-1 visa as a short-term scholar in California. However, his J-1 visa made him subject to the two-year foreign resident requirement.  His work and training program in the U.S. enhanced our client’s interest in his field, and he would like to gain employment in the U.S. beyond his J-1 time.  However, due to the two-year foreign residency requirement, he had to obtain a waiver first before he could change his current status in the United States.

After he retained our firm, we prepared and filed a waiver request through a No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Malaysian Embassy in the United States.  Our office contacted the Malaysian 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 different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver.

On November 18, 2016, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Malaysian 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 change of status application but for the waiver.

The Malaysian Embassy eventually issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division. 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 May 4, 2017.  

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Post image for J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Post-Divorce Interested Government Agency Approval for Korean Client in Ithaca New York

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce
NATIONALITY: Korean
LOCATION: Ithaca, New York

Our client is a citizen of South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in August 2013.  She came with her husband who held a J-1 Visa as a researcher.  Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.

Unfortunately, their marriage did not work outl. Eventually, she got divorced from her ex-husband.  Before she divorced with her ex-husband, she changed her status from J-2 to F-1. However, she was still subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.  Our client pursued her graduate studies in the United States, and wants to be petitioned by her prospective employer. Nevertheless, she cannot change her status to other non-immigrant visas in the United States because of the 2 year foreign residency requirement.

In March of this year, our client contacted our office. She retained our firm to do her J-2 waiver. On April 4, 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 April 24, 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 May 3, 2017.

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

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

NATIONALITY: Honduran

LOCATION: Missouri

Our client was a citizen of Honduras who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in August 1991.  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 his father’s J-1 program was completed, his family remained in the United States.

He turned 21 in December 2000. He has a U.S. citizen fiancé who can file an I-130 petition for him after their marriage is entered. However, because of his two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot file his adjustment of status application 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 2000.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on March 10, 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 March 27, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On April 5, 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 Approved Through No Objection Statement for Kenyan Client in Colorado

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

NATIONALITY: Kenyan                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Colorado

 

Our client is from Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in February 2016 to work at a non-profit organization in the U.S.  His program sponsor was willing to sponsor our client longer if he can change his non-immigrant status. However, he will not be able to change his status unless he gets a waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement.  When he came to the United States in 2016, his program made him subject to the 2-year foreign residency program.

 

Thereafter, our office promptly prepared for filing a waiver request through a No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Kenyan Embassy in the United States. Every country’s Embassy maintains different procedures and policies with regard to the J-1 No Objection Statement waiver.  Our office promptly contacted the Kenyan Embassy in D.C. to pursue the waiver for our client.  The Embassy requested several documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the clearance letter from J-1 program sponsor, Clearance certificate from HELB and KSCE in Kenya, and a letter of reason for obtaining J-1 waiver. 

 

On March 16, 2017, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Kenyan Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client is eligible to change his status if he gets the waiver.

 

Eventually, the Kenyan Embassy issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On April 14, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. On April 24, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for the waiver of our client’s two-year foreign residency requirement. Now, our client can change his status.  

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Post image for I-539 Change of Status Approval from B-2 to F-1 for Indian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Change of Status from B-2 to F-2

CLIENT: Indian

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came from India on a valid B-2 visa in April 2016. She came here to see her husband who was pursuing his studies in the United States as an F-1 student. Later, she decided to stay in the United States with his wife as F-2, a dependent of an F-1 visa holder. She filed her I-539 change of status application to the USCIS in September 2016. However, she received a Request for Evidence from the USCIS on January 18, 2017. She retained our office for the response to RFE for her case on January 26, 2017.  

Once retained, we helped our client obtain supporting documents for the response to RFE. We prepared the response brief along with evidence to demonstrate that she has properly maintained her B-2 status, did not have intention to file F-2 when she first came, and why she wants to change her status from B-2 to F-2. We filed Response to RFE application along with supporting documents to USCIS on February 9, 2017. Eventually, on February 27, 2017, the Change of Status was approved. Our client is now on F-2 and can stay with her husband in the United States until his studies finishes.

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Post image for J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Post-Divorce Interested Government Agency Approved for Indian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce
NATIONALITY: Indian
LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is a citizen of India who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in 2006.  She came with her husband who held a J-1 Visa as a researcher.  Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. While she was J-2, she changed her status to J-1 after she was employed. She obtained her I-612 (J-1 waiver) for her J-1 program when she changed her status from J-1 to H-1B later. 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 2012. 

In 2015, her Eb-1 I-140 petition was approved by the USCIS. Our client filed her I-485 adjustment of status along with her approved I-140 and I-612. However, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence and asked her to submit advisory opinion for her J-2 program. She applied for the advisory opinion to the U.S. Department of State, and in November 2016, the Department informed our client that she is still subject to the two year foreign residency requirement for her J-2 time.

After she found out that she needs a J-2 waiver, our client contacted our office in December 2016. She retained our firm to do her J-2 waiver on December 13, 2016. On December 14, 2016 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 January 23, 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 March 30, 2017.  Now, our client can re-file an adjustment of status application (I-485) for her green card with the approved I-140 petition and I-612 waiver.

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Post image for H-1B Visa Petition (Concurrent Employment) Approval for Law Firm and Nigerian IT Quality Assurance Project Manager in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: H-1B Concurrent Employment

PETITIONER: Law Firm

BENEFICIARY: Nigerian IT Quality Assurance Project Manager

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is a mid-sized law firm which is located in Cleveland, OH. They contacted our office in September 2016 to seek assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B based on concurrent employment category. The beneficiary is from Nigeria and he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in computer science. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is an IT Quality Assurance Project Manager which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation. He got his H-1B status with a different petitioner-employer in 2016.

After retention, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on October 21, 2016 via regular processing. We also gathered supporting documents from both the Petitioner and Beneficiary and argued that beneficiary’s position is a specialty occupation as the law requires.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on March 15, 2017.  His H-1B is good until October 2019.

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Post image for H-1B Visa Extension Approval for Architectural Design Company and Turkish Architect in New York, NY

CASE: H-1B Extension

PETITIONER: Architectural Design Company

BENEFICIARY: Turkish Architect

LOCATION: New York, NY

Our client is an architectural design firm headquartered in New York City. They contacted our office in March 2017 to seek assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B extension. The beneficiary is from Turkey and he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in architecture. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is architect which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation. He got his H-1B status through our office’s help in 2014.

After retention, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on March 24, 2017 via premium processing. We also gathered supporting documents from both the Petitioner and Beneficiary and did research on the industry, focusing on similarly sized businesses, to demonstrate that a bachelor’s degree is commonly required for this position.

Moreover, in our brief, our office argued that the degree requirement is common to this industry in parallel positions among similar organizations.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Architect.  Moreover, our office asserted that the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree in a specific specialty.

Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved by the USCIS Nebraska Service Center on March 28, 2017. He can work for his employer until May 2020.  

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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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