CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / 245(k) / I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A
APPLICANT: Ghanaian Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. Her prospective employer-sponsor was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she is a certified 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 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 Nurse Practitioner is included in Schedule A.
Our client has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing. She has a Registered Nurse license and has an ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate. Our office was retained on June 17, 2014 and we started the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.
Once the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on October 24, 2014 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, her pay stubs, 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.
However, on November 8, 2014, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client’s CGFNS certificate. Our office prepared the response to RFE and filed it along with CGFNS certificate on November 20, 2014 to the USCIS. On November 28, 2014, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition.
When we filed her I-140 petition, our client simultaneously filed her I-485 adjustment of status application as well. We also included an extensive brief to argue that our client is eligible to adjust under the INA Section 245(k).
Section 245(k) of the INA can render the normal bars to adjustment of status found in section 245(c)(2), (c)(7), and (c)(8) inapplicable to certain employment-based adjustment of status applicants who, since their last lawful admission to the United States have not, for an aggregate period of more than 180 days:
(A)Failed to maintain, continuously, a lawful status;
(B) Engaged in authorized employment; or
(C) Otherwise violated the terms and conditions of his or her admission.
Our client maintained lawful F-1 status, and maintained full-time student status, up until May 2014. However, she did not extend her F-1 status or changed to other non-immigrant status in the United States before the filing of her I-485 adjustment of status application. Nevertheless, our client has not accrued over 180 days of “failure to maintain lawful status” nor over 180 days of “unauthorized employment”, and as such, she is still eligible to adjust status based on her approved I-140.
However, on April 20, 2015, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client’s CGFNS certificate again. Our office prepared the response to RFE and filed it along with CGFNS certificate on April 24, 2015 to the USCIS.
Finally, the USCIS approved our client’s I-485 adjustment of status application on May 8, 2015. Now, our client becomes a green card holder.