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Post image for Naturalization and Citizenship N400 Approval for Guatemalan Client in Cincinnati Ohio

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)

APPLICANT: Guatemalan

LOCATION: Cincinnati, OH

Our client contacted us in January 2017 to seek legal representation for his naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. He came to the United States from Guatemala and obtained his green card in October 2010. Our office represented him at removal proceedings, and the Immigration Judge granted his cancellation of removal for non-LPR case in October 2010.  

Once retained, his N-400 application was filed on March 9, 2017 with all supporting documents. Prior to his citizenship interview, our office prepared him via conference calls.  On June 12, 2017, our client appeared at the Cincinnati, OH 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 July 11, 2017. His oath taking is scheduled in which he will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.

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Post image for 601A Provisional Hardship Waiver Approval for Guatemalan Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE:   I-601A Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Guatemalan

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from Guatemala in 2003 without inspection and admission. He married his U.S. citizen wife in 2007. With our firm’s legal assistance, his U.S. Citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him in 2013. This I-130 petition was approved on July 1, 2014.

However, our client cannot file for adjustment of status application due to his ground of inadmissibility (entry without inspection and admission). He needed a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder.

Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return to the United States

In 2013, the USCIS announced of new policy called the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States.

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

INA § 212(i) provides for a discretionary waiver of the entry without inspection inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her US Citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(i)(1). In addition to the equities presented, the USCIS may consider the nature of the inadmissibility ground.

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified the factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

Our client’s I-601A application had a good chance since our client’s U.S. Citizen wife suffers from a great degree of hardship. Moreover, their U.S. citizen children suffer from great degree of medical hardships. Although their U.S. citizen children are not considered as “qualifying relatives” for the I-601A, we argued that children’s medical hardship is also hardship to our client’s U.S. citizen wife, by virtue of having to take care of them (children with medical / special needs) is an extreme hardship to her. In the I-601A brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports of his children.  We argued that if he was removed from the United States, extreme hardship to his wife is clearly foreseeable and evident.  She would not be able to take care of her own needs and the bulk of their family chores, most importantly taking care of their child. Also, it would be extremely difficult for her and their kids to get the same level of therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in Guatemala in case they join our client there.

In our brief, we also argued that our client and his wife have maintained strong family ties in the United States, that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in Guatemala, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme emotional difficulties if he is removed.

On March 11, 2016, we filed the I-601A waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife’s extensive medical examination records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if he is removed from the United States. Eventually, his I-601A waiver was approved on September 6, 2016. Now, he can file packet 3 and 4 here in the United States, and would go to Guatemala shortly to get his immigrant visa.

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Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval After 601A Provisional Hardship Waiver Approval for Guatemalan Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE:   Immigrant Visa / I-601A Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Guatemalan

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client came to the United States from Guatemala in January 2000 without inspection and admission. He married his U.S. citizen wife in 2006. They had two U.S. citizen children together.  His U.S. Citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him on March 4, 2009. This I-130 petition was approved on June 5, 2009.

Our client cannot file for adjustment of status application due to his ground of inadmissibility. He needed a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder. Moreover, our client was placed in removal proceedings, but with our office’s assistance, his removal proceeding was administratively closed in December 2013 to file the provisional waiver application.

Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return to the United States.

In 2013, the USCIS announced of new policy called the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States.

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

INA § 212(i) provides for a discretionary waiver of the entry without inspection inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her US Citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(i)(1). In addition to the equities presented, the USCIS may consider the nature of the inadmissibility ground.

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified the factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

Our client’s I-601A application had a good chance since our client’s U.S. Citizen wife and son suffer from a great degree of medical hardship. In the I-601A brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports of his wife and his son.  We argued that if he was removed from the United States, extreme hardship to his wife is clearly foreseeable and evident.  His wife has ongoing medical hardships and she would not be able to take care of her own needs and the bulk of their family chores, most importantly taking care of their children. Also, it would be extremely difficult for her to get the same level of therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in Guatemala in case she joins our client there.

In our brief, we also argued that our client and his wife have maintained strong family ties in the United States, that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in Guatemala, that our client has good employment in the United States, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme financial and emotional difficulties if he is removed.

On March 11, 2015, we filed the I-601A waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife and son’s extensive medical examination records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if he is removed from the United States.

However, on May 13, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s case. USCIS explicitly requested our client to submit more evidence to prove extreme hardship to his U.S. citizen wife if he is forced to relocate in Guatemala. In response to this RFE, our office prepared a response brief along with more medical evidence of our client’s U.S. citizen wife. Our office filed the response to RFE on June 12, 2015.

Eventually, his I-601A waiver was approved on June 22, 2015.

Once his I-601A waiver was approved, he retained our office again for his immigrant visa processing. Our office prepared and filed his immigrant visa application on February 18, 2016. In April 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala informed our office that they scheduled an immigrant visa interview for our client. Our client went back to Guatemala to appear at his interview on May 3, 2016. On May 3, 2016, our client appeared at his immigrant visa interview at the Embassy, and the Consulate officer approved his immigrant visa.

Our client successfully came back to the United States with an approved immigrant visa and he will get his green card in a mail within two months.

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Post image for Approved I-485 on I-140 National Interest Waiver for Honduran Agriculture & Applied Geographic Information Science Researcher in Washington, D.C.

CASE: I-485 Based on Approved I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Honduran

LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

Our client contacted us in 2014 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver. He is a researcher in the field of agriculture and geography research, and is currently working as a Research Analyst / Geospatial Analyst at one of the International NGOs in Washington, D.C.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of agriculture and geography research; specifically, advancement in finding policy solutions for food and nutrition security in developing areas domestically and developing countries through the application of geographical analysis tools and approaches. Throughout his research career, our client has provided innovative solutions for determining measurable geographical features that relates to different levels of West Nile virus transmission and vector abundance. Although our client does not have a Ph. D. degree (He has Master’s Degree), our client’s work were highly evaluated by the reviewers of various journals and by colleagues and experts in his field of endeavor.

Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was qualified for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category. Being qualified for NIW is beneficial since you would not need an employer nor family member to petition for you for green card purposes. You’d be eligible for a self-petition and unless you are from China or India, in which case you’d still have to wait for priority dates to be current, you would be eligible to apply for adjustment of status (green card) immediately without any lag in priority dates.

As a primer, NIW applicants must have a master’s or higher degree. The landmark immigration case that discusses the standards for NIWs is Matter of New York State Department of Transportation, 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Comm.1998). This case held that the qualifying applicant must show the following elements in his or her I-140 NIW petition: First, it must be shown that the alien seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit. Next, it must be shown that the proposed benefit will be national in scope. Finally, the petitioner seeking the waiver must establish that the alien will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U. S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.

Our office prepared a 22-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 9 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized researchers in his field. Our office also included his publication record, presentation record, and conference materials in the NIW application. We demonstrated the intrinsic merit of our client’s research in the United States, the national scope of his research, and asserted that our client would serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications. His NIW application contained 36 exhibits (Exhibit A to JJ).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on June 16, 2014. On May 6, 2015, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.

Once the I-140 petition was approved, our client retained our office again for his I-485 adjustment of status application. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client on June 22, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on October 1, 2015, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, he finally is a green card holder.

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Post image for Marriage to US Citizen I-130 and I-485 Green Card Approval for Guatemalan Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

CLIENT: Guatemalan

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from Guatemala on a B-2 Visitor’s visa in September 2003. She has remained in the United State since then.  She married a U.S. Citizen in December 2006 and has maintained her marital relationship with her husband.  She contacted our office in May of this year and sought legal assistance for her green card application. Eventually, she retained our office on May 18, 2015 for her green card application.  Once retained, our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on June 5, 2015.  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 as well. On September 11, 2015, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney JP Sarmiento from our office accompanied our clients as well.  The interview went well, and on September 11, 2015, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for 601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Approval (Hardship) for Guatemalan Client in Cleveland, Ohio

CASE:   I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

 

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Guatemalan

 

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

 

Our client came to the United States from Guatemala in January 2000 without inspection and admission. He married his U.S. citizen wife in 2006. They have two U.S. citizen children together.  His U.S. Citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him on March 4, 2009. This I-130 petition was approved on June 5, 2009.

 

Our client cannot file for adjustment of status application due to his ground of inadmissibility. He needs a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder. Moreover, our client was placed in removal proceedings, but with our office’s assistance, his removal proceedings were administratively closed in December 2013 to file a provisional waiver application.

 

Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return to the United States.

 

In 2013, the USCIS announced of new policy called the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States.

 

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

 

INA § 212(i) provides for a discretionary waiver of the entry without inspection inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her US Citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(i)(1). In addition to the equities presented, the USCIS may consider the nature of the inadmissibility ground.

 

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified the factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

 

Our client’s I-601A application had a good chance since our client’s U.S. Citizen wife and son suffer from a great degree of medical hardship. In the I-601A brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports of his wife and his son.  We argued that if he was removed from the United States, extreme hardship to his wife is clearly foreseeable and evident.  His wife has ongoing medical hardships and she would not be able to take care of her own needs and the bulk of their family chores, most importantly taking care of their children. Also, it would be extremely difficult for her to get the same level of therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in Guatemala in case she joins our client there.

 

In our brief, we also argued that our client and his wife have maintained strong family ties in the United States, that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in Guatemala, that our client has good employment in the United States, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme financial and emotional difficulties if he is removed.

 

On March 11, 2015, we filed the I-601A waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife and son’s extensive medical examination records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if he is removed from the United States.

 

However, on May 13, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s case. USCIS explicitly requested our client to submit more evidence to prove extreme hardship to his U.S. citizen wife if he is forced to relocate in Guatemala. In response to this RFE, our office prepared a response brief along with more medical evidence of our client’s U.S. citizen wife. Our office filed the response to RFE on June 12, 2015.

 

Eventually, his I-601A waiver was approved on June 22, 2015. Now, he can file packet 3 and 4 here in the United States, and would go to Guatemala shortly to get his immigrant visa.

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Post image for 601A Provisional Hardship Waiver Approval for Guatemalan Client in Ohio

CASE:   I-601A Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Guatemalan

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client came to the United States from Guatemala in February 2005 without inspection and admission. He married his U.S. citizen wife in 2012. His U.S. Citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him on January 24, 2013. This I-130 petition was approved on March 4, 2013.

Our client cannot file for adjustment of status application due to his ground of inadmissibility. He needs a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder.

Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return to the United States

In 2013, the USCIS announced of new policy called the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States.

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

INA § 212(i) provides for a discretionary waiver of the entry without inspection inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her US Citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(i)(1). In addition to the equities presented, the USCIS may consider the nature of the inadmissibility ground.

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified the factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

Our client’s I-601A application had a good chance since our client’s U.S. Citizen wife suffers from a great degree of medical hardship. In the I-601A brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports of his wife.  We argued that if he was removed from the United States, extreme hardship to his wife is clearly foreseeable and evident.  His wife has ongoing medical hardships and she would not be able to take care of her own needs and the bulk of their family chores, most importantly taking care of their children (our client’s step-children). Also, it would be extremely difficult for her to get the same level of therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in Guatemala in case she joins our client there.

In our brief, we also argued that our client and his wife have maintained strong family ties in the United States, that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in Guatemala, that our client has good employment in the United States, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme financial and emotional difficulties if he is removed.

On January 13, 2015, we filed the I-601A waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife’s extensive medical examination records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if he is removed from the United States.

However, on March 9, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s case. USCIS explicitly requested our client to submit more evidence to prove extreme hardship to his U.S. citizen wife if he is forced to relocate in Guatemala. In response to this RFE, our office prepared a response brief along with more medical evidence of our client’s U.S. citizen wife. Our office filed the response to RFE on April 7, 2015.

Eventually, his I-601A waiver was approved on June 9, 2015. Now, he can file packet 3 and 4 here in the United States, and would go to Guatemala shortly to get his immigrant visa.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Based on Approved I-360 Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petition for Guatemalan Client in Cleveland OH

CASE:  I-485 Adjustment of Status / I-360 Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petition

 

CLIENT: Guatemalan

 

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

 

Our client came to the United States in September 2012 from Guatemala. He came to the United States without inspection and admission and was caught at the border. After that the DHS released him, but he was placed in removal proceedings. He came to Cleveland, OH to be reunited with his older brother who resides in the Cleveland area.

 

He retained our office in April 2013 for representation at his deportation proceedings. On June 4, 2013, our client appeared at the Cleveland Immigration Court for his master calendar hearing. Attorney Yu from our office represented him, did pleadings and sought asylum relief. After the hearing, our office also sought other options for our client since he was a minor.

 

Section 203(b)(4) of the INA allocates a percentage of immigrant visas to individuals considered “special immigrants” under section 101(a)(27) of the INA, including those aliens classified as special immigrant juveniles under Section 101(a)(27)(J). “Special Immigrant Juvenile” includes only those juveniles deemed eligible for long-term foster care based on abuse, neglect, or abandonment.  To be eligible as a SIJ, the DHS’ express consent to the juvenile court’s dependency order is required. Then, the approved SIJ petition (Form I-360) makes a minor petitioner immediately eligible to adjust status by filing an adjustment of status application.

 

Our client was 17 years old when he contacted our office. In fact, our client was not supported by his parents and had to work in farms to support himself since he was 8 years old in Guatemala. Our client’s sister-in-law, who is a U.S. citizen and lives with our client, would like to be a legal guardian of our client. With our help, she filed a complaint for him to be deemed a neglected child to Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court on October 10, 2013.

 

The Juvenile court hearing was scheduled on November 26, 2013. Attorney JP Sarmiento represented our client and his sister-in-law at the hearing. Eventually, on the same day, the court found that our client is neglected and dependent and our client’s sister-in-law was appointed legal guardian.

 

After that, our office filed an I-360 application on December 2, 2013 to the USCIS. The application was supported by a court order declaring dependency by the juvenile court, court order deeming the juvenile eligible for long-term foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, determination from the juvenile court that it is in our client’s interest not to be returned to Guatemala, and his birth certificate.

 

Our client appeared for his I-360 interview on January 10, 2014 at the Cleveland USCIS Field Office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office also accompanied our client as well. However, after the interview, the USCIS issued the Notice of Intent to Deny.  Specifically, the USCIS alleged that the juvenile court’s order was not sufficient enough to adjudicate his I-360 petition because the juvenile court did not expressly declare that it is in our client’s interest not to be returned to Guatemala.

 

After the issuance of the NOID, our office contacted the juvenile court and sought for possible amendment of the judge’s decision. In response to our request, the juvenile court issued an amended decision and held that the sentence regarding the child’s best interests was omitted. The court found that it is not in the best interests of our client to be returned to Guatemala. Our office filed the response to the NOID on February 3, 2014 along with juvenile court’s new decision. Nevertheless, the USCIS approved our client’s I-360 petition on February 19, 2014.

 

Once his I-360 petition was approved, our office prepared and filed a request to join in a Motion to Terminate to USICE-DHS in Cleveland Office in April 2014. The DHS agreed with our motion, and on December 17, 2014, the Immigration Judge granted our Joint Motion to Terminate proceedings.

 

After his removal proceedings were terminated, our firm prepared and filed an I-485 adjustment of status application on March 3, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permit all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients through conference calls. On April 27, 2015, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland USCIS Field Office. The interview went well, and on April 28, 2015, the USCIS approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, our client is a green card holder. 

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Post image for NACARA Suspension of Deportation Approved for Guatemalan Clients in Cincinnati Ohio

CASE: NACARA Suspension of Deportation

CLIENT: Guatemalans

LOCATION: Cleveland Immigration Court (EOIR)

Our clients came to the United States in 1989 with their parents from Guatemala. They were not inspected and admitted when they came to the United States. Our clients were very young children when they came to the United States. In 1989, their father filed an asylum application. Our clients were derivative applicants of the asylum application and the asylum application is classified under ABC benefits. Ever since, our clients have lived in the United States. The Order to Show Cause were issued against our clients and remaining members of their family in the 90s. Their deportation proceedings (later removal proceedings) were initiated against. Our clients were riders of their mother’s NACARA case until 2013 when she passed away.

They contacted our office in 2013 after they appeared at their master calendar hearings which took place after their mother’s death.  After careful review of their cases, we determined that they are eligible for NACARA Suspension of Deportation relief at the immigration court.

Under immigration law, a Guatemalan who is in either of the two categories described below, and who has not been convicted of an aggravated felony, is eligible for NACARA benefits:

1)      Category 1:

  • Entered the U.S. on or before October 1, 1990;
  • Registered for ABC benefits on or before December 31, 1991; and
  • Has not been apprehended at time of entry after December 19, 1990.

2)      Category 2:

  • Filed an application for asylum on or before April 1, 1990.

Moreover, to qualify for NACARA suspension of deportation, the applicant must merit a favorable exercise of discretion, in addition to proving the following:

  • Continuous physical presence in the United States for seven years before the application for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal is filed;
  • Good moral character during the seven year period; and
  • Removal would cause extreme hardship to the applicant or the applicant’s USC or LPR spouse, parent, or child.

Our clients’ case sufficiently meets the eligibility requirement and we determined that they will likely receive favorable exercise of discretion from the Court. After the Master Calendar Hearing, the Court scheduled an individual hearing date on November 4, 2014.

Our firm worked with our clients and their friends and family members for the application and supplemental documents. We gathered a lot documents regarding their good moral character and continuous residency. Our clients did not have any criminal convictions. We also contacted our client’s friends for supporting documents and letters of support.

In preparing our client for the Individual Hearing, Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office talked to our clients through conference calls. Our firm eventually was able to gather supporting documents and prepared supplemental evidence with multiple exhibits, and arranged them pursuant to the specific elements of NACARA Suspension of Deportation.

At the Individual Hearing on November 4, 2014, Attorney Yu represented our clients at the Cleveland Immigration Court. Prior to the hearing, Attorney Yu, DHS counsel, and the Immigration Judge had a pre-trial conference. Based on the extensive record and our clients’ background, the DHS agreed that our clients met all of the requisite elements of NACARA relief and deferred their decision to the Court. As a result, on December 1, 2014, the Cleveland Immigration Court granted our clients’ NACARA Suspension of Deportation relief. They have been here since 1989 and suffered a lot in the past. They finally are green card holders.

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Post image for Juvenile Dependency Order for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petition Approved for Guatemalan Client in Cleveland OH

CASE: Dependency Hearing at Juvenile Court

CLIENT: Guatemalan

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States in September 2012 from Guatemala. He came to the United States without the inspection and admission and was caught at the border. After that the DHS released him, but he was placed in removal proceedings. He came to Cleveland, OH to be reunited with his older brother who resides in the Cleveland area.

He retained our office in April 2013 for representation at his deportation proceedings. On June 4, 2013, our client appeared at the Cleveland Immigration Court for his master calendar hearing. Attorney Yu from our office represented him, did pleadings and sought asylum relief. After the hearing, our office also sought other options for our client since he was a minor.

Section 203(b)(4) of the INA allocates a percentage of immigrant visas to individuals considered “special immigrants” under section 101(a)(27) of the INA, including those aliens classified as special immigrant juveniles under Section 101(a)(27)(J). “Special Immigrant Juvenile” includes only those juveniles deemed eligible for long-term foster care based on abuse, neglect, or abandonment.  To be eligible as a SIJ, the DHS’ express consent to the juvenile court’s dependency order is required. Then, the approved SIJ petition (Form I-360) makes a minor petitioner immediately eligible to adjust status by filing an adjustment of status application.

Our client was 17 years old when he contacted our office. In fact, our client was not supported by his parents and had to work in farms to support himself since he was 8 years old in Guatemala. Our client’s sister-in-law, who is a U.S. citizen and lives with our client, would like to be a legal guardian of our client. With our help, she filed a complaint for him to be deemed a neglected child to Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court on October 10, 2013.

The Juvenile court hearing was scheduled on November 26, 2013. Attorney JP Sarmiento represented our client and his sister-in-law at the hearing. Eventually, on the same day, the court found that our client is neglected and dependent and our client’s sister-in-law was appointed legal guardian.

After that, our office filed the I-360 application on December 2, 2013 to the USCIS. The application was supported by a court order declaring dependency by the juvenile court, court order deeming the juvenile eligible for long-term foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, determination from the juvenile court that it is in our client’s interest not to be returned to Guatemala, and his birth certificate.

Our client’s I-360 interview is scheduled for January 10, 2014 at the Cleveland USCIS Field Office. If the USCIS grants his I-360 application, our office can terminate his proceedings with the Immigration Court. Once it is terminated, our client can file his adjustment of status application.

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