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Post image for Naturalization and Citizenship N400 Approval for Canadian Client in Pennsylvania

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)

APPLICANT: Canadian

LOCATION: Pennsylvania

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 Canada and obtained his green card in May 2013 through marriage to his US Citizen spouse.

Once retained, his N-400 application was filed on May 31, 2016 with all supporting documents. Prior to his citizenship interview, our office prepared him via conference call. On January 12, 2017, our client appeared at the Philadelphia, PA 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 13, 2017. His oath taking is scheduled in which he will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.

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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 Canada

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

NATIONALITY: Chinese Canadian

LOCATION: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Our client was a citizen of Canada who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in June 1993 when she was a Chinese Citizen.  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.

Once her father’s program was completed, her family immigrated to Canada. She became a physician in Canada and was offered to a fellowship program in the U.S. hospital. Her prospective employer would like to petition her for H-1B visa; however, because of her two-year foreign residency requirement, she needs to comply with the 2 year rule or gets a 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 April 2009.

She contacted our office and our firm was retained to do her J-2 waiver on October 6, 2016. On October 17, 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 7, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On November 23, 2016, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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Post image for Despite Canadian Assault Causing Bodily Harm Conviction, Green Card Based on Marriage Approved for Canadian Client in Phoenix Arizona

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Canada

LOCATION: Phoenix, AZ

Our client is from Canada who came to the U.S. on a B-2 Visitor Visa in August 2015. In January 2016, our is married his current U.S. citizen wife.  He retained our office for his green card application on February 15, 2016. Our client had a criminal record in Canada – assault causing bodily harm; however, based on Matter of Perez Contreras, our office determined that his conviction record should not be construed as a Crime involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT).

Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485Adjustment of Status Application on February 22, 2016.  We included an explanatory brief regarding our client’s criminal record – that it does not rise to the level of a CIMT conviction. 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 call as well. On September 19, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Phoenix, Arizona office. Eventually, on November 10, 2016, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for EB-2 Nurse Practitioner Green Card Approval for Canadian Client in Chicago Illinois

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A

APPLICANT: Canadian Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Our client is a family nurse practitioner. Her current employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she was a family nurse practitioner, she was 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 Nurse Practitioner is included in Schedule A.

Our client has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Our office was retained and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination on September 18, 2015.

We filed the I-140 application on January 25, 2016 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, and other necessary supporting documents.

In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why nurse practitioners must fall under the Schedule A designation.  On February 1, 2016, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition.

Once the I-140 petition was approved, our client retained our office again for her and her husband’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status applications for our client and her husband on March 3, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on October 17, 2016, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our clients’ adjustment of status applications. Now, she finally is a green card holder.

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Post image for I-485 on Approved I-360 VAWA (Spouse of Abusive USC) Approved for Canadian Client in Florida

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status Based on Approved I-360 Petition

NATIONALITY: Canadian

LOCATION: Florida

Our Canadian client came to the U.S. in February 2013. He entered the United States on a B-2 visitor’s visa for pleasure to go to Florida.

In October 2013, he contacted our office to seek legal representation for his I-360 petition.

Our client’s marital life was tough and he was abused by his spouse. He was hesitant at first because he was male, and believed VAWA cases for males were impossible. However, with his story and evidence, our office determined that he has a shot at an I-360 self-petition as a spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen.

Our client experienced domestic violence and spousal abuse during his marriage. His wife physically and mentally abused him after the inception of their marriage. Thus, we prepared and filed his I-360 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, which included 40 exhibits and a detailed brief to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on February 14, 2014.

Despite our client’s thoroughly prepared I-360 application, in May 2014, the USCIS Vermont Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE).  Specifically, the RFE letter requested our client to submit more documents to prove his marriage was in good faith at the time of the inception of marriage. Our client and our office gathered the requested documents, and filed a response to the RFE on July 24, 2014. On September 8, 2014, the USCIS Vermont Service Center approved our client’s I-360 petition.

In March 2015, the USCIS Orlando Field Office scheduled our client’s I-485 adjustment of status interview. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our client via conference calls. On April 14, 2015, our clients were interviewed at the Orlando, Florida USCIS office. The interview went well; however, his I-485 application was pending more than a year at the Field Office. Our office continuously followed-up with his application; eventually, on August 5, 2016, the USCIS approved our client’s I-485 adjustment of status application. Now he is a green card holder.

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Post image for Registered Nurse  RN Green Card Approval on Approved EB-3 I-140 (Schedule A) for Canadian Registered Nurse

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status Based on Approved I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A
APPLICANT: Canadian Registered Nurse
LOCATION: New York, NY

Our client is a registered nurse who is currently working at a large hospital in New York City, NY. The company was willing to petition her for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140).  Our client was eligible for “Schedule A” classification for her I-140 petition.  The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a schedule of occupations in its regulations 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 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 application 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 nursing degree and has more than 5 years of related experience. Her employer filed the I-140 petition for her before; however, it was denied due to a prevailing wage issue.  After talking to our client, our firm concluded that her potential employer can petition her again as a Registered Nurse under schedule A category. 

Once we were retained in March of 2011, we proceeded with the I-140 Petition filing. We filed I-140 application on September 9, 2011 via regular processing. We included the job offer letter, employment verification letters from our client’s previous employers, her TN status approval notices, and other necessary supporting documents.  On February 29, 2012, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued a Request for Evidence regarding the “ability to pay” issue. One of the main requirements for the I-140 is that the petitioning company must show that it has the ability to pay the proffered wage for the beneficiary’s position. In response to the RFE, we attached a letter from the petitioner’s financial officer which establishes the petitioner’s ability to pay the proffered wage.  We filed the RFE response on May 3, 2012.  On May 14, 2012, the I-140 was finally approved.

She retained our office again for her I-485 adjustment of status application. We prepared and filed her adjustment of status application along with supporting documents to the USCIS on January 20, 2016 once her priority date became current.

Eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on August 1, 2016.  After a long wait, our client is finally a green card holder.

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

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

NATIONALITY: Indian

LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Our client was a citizen of India who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in December 1992.  She came with her father who came on a J-1 Visa as an alien physician 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, the family immigrated to Canada. Our client came to the United States on an F-1 student visa in 2010 to pursue her doctoral program. In 2014, she married her U.S. citizen husband. Her husband will file an I-130 petition for her and she will file her adjustment of status application. However, because of her two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot adjust her status without the fulfilling the requirement or getting a 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 2009.
Our firm was retained to do her J-2 waiver, and on December 21, 2015, 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 19, 2016 the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On April 25, 2016, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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Post image for Nurse Practitioner Immigration EB-2 Schedule A I-140 Approval for Canadian Beneficiary and Physician’s Office Petitioner in Chicago Illinois

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

EMPLOYER: Physician’s Office

BENEFICIARY: Canadian Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Our client is a family nurse practitioner. Her current employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she is a family nurse practitioner, 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 Nurse Practitioner is included in Schedule A.

Our client has  Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Our office was retained and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination on September 18, 2015.

We filed the I-140 application on January 25, 2016 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, employment letter, and other necessary supporting documents.

In our cover brief, we included the “ability to pay” argument and why nurse practitioners must fall under the Schedule A designation.  On February 1, 2016, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Since the priority date for Canadian nationals is current for the EB-2 category, she is eligible to file her adjustment of status application now.

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Post image for I-360 Male VAWA (Spouse of Abusive USC) Approval for Canadian Client in Florida

CASE: I-360 Petition

NATIONALITY: Canadian

LOCATION: Florida

Our Canadian client came to the U.S. in February 2013. He entered the United States with B-2 visitor’s visa for pleasure to go to Florida.

In October 2013, he contacted our office to seek legal representation for his I-360 petition.

Our client’s marital life was tough and he was abused by his spouse. He was hesitant at first because he was male, and believed VAWA cases for males were impossible. However, with his story and evidence, our office determined that he would be eligible for an I-360 self-petition as a spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen.

Our client experienced domestic violence and spousal abuse during his marriage. His wife physically and mentally abused him after the inception of their marriage. Thus, we prepared and filed his I-360 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, which included 40 exhibits and a detailed brief to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on February 14, 2014.

Despite our client’s thoroughly prepared I-360 application, in May 2014, the USCIS Vermont Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE).  Specifically, the RFE letter requested our client to submit more documents to prove his marriage was in good faith at the time of the inception of marriage. Our client and our office thoroughly gathered the requested documents, and filed a response to the RFE on July 24, 2013.

Finally, on September 8, 2014, the USCIS Vermont Service Center approved our client’s I-360 petition.

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Post image for Stokes Interview I-130 Approval After Successful BIA Appeal Remand for Canadian Client in New York, NY

CASE: I-130 / BIA Remand / Stokes Interview

CLIENT: Canadian

LOCATION: New York, NY

Our client came from Canada in 2002 as a visitor. He marrie his U.S. Citizen wife in October 2002. Our client has stayed in the United States since the inception of marriage and his authorized period of stay expired. Due to his overstay, our client was placed in removal proceedings in April 2010. He already had an I-130 approval but when he filed for adjustment of status on his own, they denied it and placed him in removal proceedings, and revoked the I-130.

He retained our office in 2010 for legal assistance for his removal proceedings representation and I-130 filing.

Unfortunately, on July 2, 2010, the USCIS New York office denied our client’s I-130 petition, after an almost three-hour Stokes interview. Before and at the interview, extensive evidence of bona fide marriage covering 8 years of marriage was submitted. The couple was able to answer a majority of the questions in the two and half hour interview, and the grounds and discrepancies relied upon by the USCIS in denying the I-130 compared to the majority and relevance of the correctly answered questions together with the extensive evidence was relatively minor.

In response to this denial decision, we timely filed a Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals on July 29, 2010.  The BIA appeal was pending for a long time. Eventually, on May 9, 2012, the BIA found that a remand is warranted for our client’s case.  As a result, on September 29, 2012, our client and his U.S. Citizen wife appeared at the USCIS New York Field Office for another I-130 interview.

Even after the second interview, the I-130 remained pending without any issuance of any RFEs or Notice of Intent to Deny. In the meantime, we filed a Motion for Continuance based on the pending I-130 petition. The New York Immigration Court kept granting our Motions, and on October 28, 2013, the Immigration Judge administratively closed our client’s removal proceedings. Nevertheless, the I-130 petition remained pending.

In August 2014, the New York USCIS Field Office sent us another Stokes Interview request for our client and his wife. We prepared our clients extensively regarding their 12-year marital life. On August 20, 2014, our clients appeared at the New York USCIS Field Office for their second Stokes Interview. Attorney JP Sarmiento from our office also accompanied them as well. Finally, the USCIS approved our client’s I-130 petition. Now, our client can file for adjustment of status after the Immigration Court grants our Motion to Re-calendar and Terminate.

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