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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through Exceptional Hardship Approved for Iranian Client in Montana

CASE: J-1 Waiver of the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Exceptional Hardship

NATIONALITY:  Iran

LOCATION: Montana

Our client came from Iran and has maintained his J-1 status from February 2013.  He got his J-1 status as a research scholar and was receiving government funding for his research.  His J-1 status made him subject to the two-year foreign residency 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). As mentioned above, 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 daughter is experiencing exceptional medical hardships. Moreover, they will experience other hardships (economic and security) once they go back to Iran.

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. On April 19, 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 daughter’s medical conditions.  On April 29, 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 daughter would experience exceptional and economic hardship if our client needs to go back to Iran for two years.

Eventually, the USCIS approved his I-612 waiver on November 28, 2016. 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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Post image for J2 IGA Interested Government Agency (Over 21) Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Approval for Iranian Client in Georgia

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

NATIONALITY: Iranian

LOCATION: Georgia

Our client is a citizen of Iran who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in October 2006.  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 came to the United States, he has remained in the United States beyond the expiration of his authorized stay period.  He turned 21 in 2011.  Later, our client married his current U.S. citizen wife in September 2015. He would like to get a waiver because he can get a green card based on his U.S. citizen wife’s I-130 petition. However, because of his two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot change his status in the United States without the fulfillment of  the requirement or 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 2011.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on May 26, 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 June 20, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On July 7, 2016, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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Post image for I-751 Removal of Conditions Approval for Iranian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-751

APPLICANT: Iranian

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client contacted our office in July of 2015 regarding his I-751 application.

He is from Iran and he married a U.S. citizen in July 2013. Through his marriage, he obtained a 2-year conditional green card in October of 2013. Our office helped him with his green card. His conditional residency terminated in October 2015.

To comply with immigration requirements, our client and his wife had to file an I-751 Joint Petition to Remove Conditions. He retained our office on July 29, 2015 and our office prepared an I-751 application for our client with supporting documents.

On August 11, 2015, our office filed an I-751 application to the USCIS with multiple affidavits from his friends and family members, joint bank statements, joint tax records, utility bills, joint leasing documents, and photos of our client and his wife to demonstrate the bona fideness of their marriage.

Once the application was filed, the fingerprint notice was issued two weeks later. Everything went smoothly and eventually, on February 12, 2016, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application without any Request for Evidence (RFE).

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Post image for US Citizen Marriage Green Card Approval for Iranian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status
CLIENT: Iranian
LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States in 2012 with an H-1B work visa from Iran.  He married a U.S. Citizen in July 2013 and retained our office on July 24, 2013 for his adjustment of status application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on August 2, 2013.  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 at our office. On October 29, 2013, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, OH USCIS.  Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients as well. The interview went well, and on the same day, his green card application was approved.

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CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization w/ Rebuttable Presumption and Continuity of Residence Issues)
APPLICANT: Iranian
LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio
ISSUES: Rebuttable Presumption / Continuous Residence

Our client contacted us in March 2012 to seek legal representation for his naturalization application. He came to the United States from Iran and obtained his green card through his U.S. Citizen son’s petition in March 2007. He retained our office for his naturalization application on March 23, 2012. The main issue of his naturalization case was two long, over six-month trips that he had within the past four years.

According to INA §316(b) and 8 C.F.R. §316.5.(c)(1)(i), an absence between 6 months and 1 year from the United States raises a rebuttable presumption that continuity of residence has been interrupted. That would be an issue in naturalization cases, where continuity of residence is essential. Applicants with this issue should rebut that presumption should they wish to apply.

Our client was out of the U.S. more than 180 days twice.  During these trips, he was in Iran, but he could not come back to the United States earlier due to his medical condition.  Our client intended to have temporary trips of less than six months in those two trips. However, due to his medical condition and related health issues, he could not come back to the United States before his trip due to the advice of his doctors.  Moreover, our client already had chronic high blood pressures and heart-diseases in the United States as well.

Our office drafted an argument which explained our client’s medical conditions and argued that he is otherwise eligible for naturalization despite his two long trips to Iran.  We included two notarized affidavits from our client and his U.S. Citizen son, and included our client’s medical records from Iran and the U.S.

The brief and his N-400 application were filed on April 12, 2012 with all necessary supporting documents. Our office prepared him for his interview, and also accompanied him on August 7, 2012 at the Cleveland CIS office. Our client answered all questions correctly and passed his citizenship interview. We emphasized the brief as well and his reasons for his long trips to Iran. His N-400 was approved after the interview. His oath taking is scheduled soon where he will become a U.S. Citizen.

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