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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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Post image for H-1B Petition Approval for IT Consulting Company Petitioner in Jacksonville Florida and Indian Computer Systems Analyst Beneficiary in Charlotte North Carolina

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER: IT Consulting Company in Jacksonville, FL

BENEFICIARY: Indian Systems Analyst in Charlotte, NC

Our client is an IT Consulting Company located in Jacksonville, FL.  They contacted our office in the middle of February last year to seek legal assistance for a possible H-1B petition for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in Belgium. Beneficiary is currently working in the United States under L-1 status. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Systems Analyst which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation.

Upon retention, our office prepared and eventually filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on March 31, 2016 via regular processing. This H-1B petition was selected after the lottery.

However, on September 29, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s H-1B petition. USCIS requested Petitioner to submit additional evidence to establish that the proffered position to the beneficiary qualified as a “Specialty Occupation”, plus additional questions about the “in-house” nature of the employment. Moreover, the RFE requested our client to prove the Beneficiary’s qualification is sufficient to work as a systems analyst.

We 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. We also provided in-house employment proof.

In the response brief, our office argued that the degree requirement is common to this industry in parallel positions among similar organizations.  We provided evidence that the position of Systems Analyst or Computer Systems Analyst is a common position required by similarly sized IT consulting company.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Systems Analyst.  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. Furthermore, we included several professional evaluation letters for Beneficiary’s degree and previous work experience to demonstrate that he is qualified. Other documents pertaining to an in-house project was also submitted.

Our office filed a detailed Response to RFE brief with many exhibits to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on December 19, 2016.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on January 12, 2017. Now, the beneficiary can work for the Petitioner until August 2019.

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Post image for After Three Interviews and a Notice of Intent to Deny, Green Card Approval Through Marriage, Visa Waiver Entry, For British Client in Miami Florida

Case: I-130/I-485

Client: British

Location: Miami, FL

Our client entered the United States in November 2013 from the United Kingdom under the visa waiver program. He came here to visit his U.S. citizen girlfriend (now his wife).  As a Visa Waiver Entrant, he was only authorized to remain in the United States only for 90 days.  

Later, in February 2014, our client and his U.S. citizen girlfriend married in the United States. They contacted our office, and retained us after they got married.  One main issue in his green card application through marriage was the fact that he came to the United States under the visa waiver program.   As our office wrote in our previous success story with a similar issue,  under the visa waiver program, citizens of certain countries can enter the U.S. for 90 days without a visa with the condition that the visitor waives his or her right to contest removal (other than on the basis of asylum).  The “no-contest” provision of the Visa Waiver Program is fundamental; if someone could enter under the VWP and then contest removability, it would defeat the whole purpose of the Program which is to make it easy for certain nationals to come to the United States to visit and then leave without all the red-tape involved in visa issuance.

Since our client resided in Miami, FL, his application had a better chance compared to states under the 9th Circuit (see Momeni v. Chertoff).  However, it was quite foreseeable that the USCIS field office will exercise its discretion to deny his application because of his visa waiver entry.  

Nevertheless, our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on February 28, 2014.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status and argued that the application was filed before his authorized stay period was expired. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, the fingerprint appointment, and the work permit all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients via conference calls. On August 17, 2014, our client was interviewed at the Miami, FL USCIS Field Office.

After the interview, his adjustment of status application was pending for a while. Later in 2015, the USCIS Miami Field Office scheduled an additional interview for our client. On April 10, 2015, Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu accompanied our client and his wife at the Miami, FL USCIS office his second interview. The interview took more than three hours and the officer thoroughly asked our client and his wife about the bona fide nature of the marriage and some martial issues that the officer had suspicions on.

On January 20, 2016, the USCIS issued a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).  The NOID claimed that there was substantial and probative evidence that the marital union between the Petitioner and Beneficiary is not bona fide.  Moreover, the NOID points out that the submitted documentation of Petitioner and Beneficiary does not establish a bona fide nature of their marriage.

In response to the USCIS’s NOID, our office helped our clients draft an extensive affidavit. Multiple supporting documents and an affidavit from our client were all included as well as letters from their friends and neighbors, joint utility bills, joint insurance, and several pictures of our client and his wife in several occasions with different people.  Several legal authorities were cited based on particular issues discussed, and on February 5, 2016, we filed the Response to NOID prior to the 30-day deadline.

Nonetheless, the USCIS Miami Field Office scheduled additional interview for our client to appear. On January 12, 2017, Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu accompanied our client and his wife again at the Miami, FL USCIS office his third interview.  Despite the visa waiver issue and the NOID, the USCIS officer finally approved his green card application on the same day.  Now, our client becomes a green card holder.

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Post image for Systems Analyst H-1B Petition Approval for IT Consulting Company Petitioner in Jacksonville Florida and Indian Beneficiary in India

CASE: H-1B Visa Petition

PETITIONER: IT Consulting Company in Jacksonville, FL

BENEFICIARY: Indian Systems Analyst in India

Our client is an IT Consulting Company located in Jacksonville, FL.  They contacted our office in the middle of February this year to seek legal assistance for a possible H-1B petition for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in India. Beneficiary is currently residing at India. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Systems Analyst which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation.

Upon retention, our office prepared and eventually filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on March 31, 2016 via regular processing. This H-1B petition was selected after the lottery.

However, on September 13, 2016, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s H-1B petition. USCIS requested Petitioner to submit additional evidence to establish that the proffered position to the beneficiary qualified as a “Specialty Occupation”, plus additional questions about the “in-house” nature of the employment.

We 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. We also provided in-house employment proof.

In the response brief, our office argued that the degree requirement is common to this industry in parallel positions among similar organizations.  We provided evidence that the position of Systems Analyst or Computer Systems Analyst is a common position required by similarly sized IT consulting company.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Systems Analyst.  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. Other documents pertaining to an in-house project was also submitted.

Our office filed a detailed Response to RFE brief with many exhibits to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on November 23, 2016.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on December 12, 2016. Now, the beneficiary can apply for an H-1B visa at the U.S. Embassy in India, and upon the issuance of visa, he can work for the Petitioner.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Based on Husband’s I-140 for Filipina in Miami Florida

CASE: Follow-to-join based on approved I-140 for husband and I-485 adjustment of status

CLIENT: Filipina Client in Miami, FL

Our client contacted our office in November 2014 for her adjustment of status case. Her husband was a beneficiary of an EB-3 I-140 petition from his prospective employer, and got his green card in July 2014. Our client and her husband have been married since May 2010 before her husband got his permanent residency. Thus, she was eligible follow-to-join and adjustment of status based on her husband’s I-140.

She came to the United States in October 2014 on a valid B-2 visitor’s visa. She did not know that she was eligible for the adjustment of status when she came to the United States, but later learned that she would be eligible for the adjustment of status filing. After the consultation with our office, she retained our office on December 18, 2014.

Once retained, we prepared and file our client’s adjustment of status application along with supporting documents to USCIS on December 22, 2014.  However, the priority date of Eb-3 category for the Philippines national backlogged. Our client had to wait until the priority date becomes current. In October 2016, her priority date becomes current. The USCIS requested our client to submit her new immigration medical record and our office submitted it to the USCIS on October 20, 2016. Eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on November 14, 2016.  After a long wait, our client is finally a green card holder.

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Post image for IT Consulting Systems Analyst H-1B Extension Approval for Software Development and IT Company and Indian Beneficiary in Jacksonville Florida

CASE: H-1B Extension

PETITIONER: Software Development and IT Staffing Company

BENEFICIARY: Indian Computer Systems Analyst

LOCATION: Jacksonville, FL

Our client is a fast growing software developing and IT consulting company located in Jacksonville, FL. They contacted our office in June 2016 to seek assistance from our office for their foreign employee’s H-1B extension. The beneficiary is from India and he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems.  The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Computer Systems Analyst which we argued qualifies as a specialty occupation. He got his H-1B status through our office’s help in 2015.

After retention, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on July 13, 2016 via regular 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.  We provided evidence that the position of Systems Analyst or Computer Systems Analyst is a common position required by similarly sized IT consulting company.  Also, we provided evidence that Petitioner’s competitors normally require degrees in a specific specialty for closely related positions like that of Systems Analyst.  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. Other documents pertaining to an in-house project was also submitted.

Eventually, our client’s H-1B application was approved on October 17, 2016. He can work for his employer until August 2019.  

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Post image for EB-2 I-140 Approval for Indian Computer Systems Analyst Beneficiary and IT Consulting Company Petitioner in Jacksonville Florida

CASE: EB-2 / I-140

EMPLOYER: IT Consulting Company

BENEFICIARY: Indian Computer Systems Analyst

LOCATION: Jacksonville, FL

Our client is a computer systems analyst from India, who is currently working at an IT consulting company in Jacksonville, Florida who was willing to do an immigration petition for him for a second-preference petition (I-140 EB-2).  Our client has a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and has worked for this company under H-1B status.  After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Computer Systems Analyst II. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working background, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for the EB-2 classification for his I-140 petition.

Prior to filing PERM labor certification, our firm prepared the prevailing wage request, job order, advertisements, internal job posting, recruitment report, and all other steps which are important pre-PERM filing. Take note that the PERM Labor Certification application could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. Once retained, our office filed the prevailing wage request in April 2015.  On October 16, 2015, we filed the PERM labor certification application.  Eventually, on March 24, 2016, less than 6 months from filing, the PERM labor certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Indian Computer Systems Analyst.

We then proceeded with the I-140 Petition filing. We submitted the “ability to pay” letter for the I-140 petition application. We included the job offer letter, employer’s tax records, and other necessary supporting documents. The I-140 Petition was filed on August 2, 2016 via regular processing service. Eventually, on October 6, 2016, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Indian client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE). Our client can file his I-485 adjustment of status application once his priority date becomes current.

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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 PERM EB2 Labor Certification Approval for Indian Computer Systems Analyst Beneficiary and IT Consulting Company Petitioner in Jacksonville Florida

CASE: PERM Labor Certification

EMPLOYER: IT Consulting Company

BENEFICIARY: Indian Computer Systems Analyst

LOCATION: Jacksonville, FL

Our client is a computer systems analyst from India, who is currently working at an IT consulting company in Jacksonville, Florida which was willing to do an immigration petition him for a second-preference position (I-140 EB-2).  Our client has a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and has worked for this company under H-1B status.  After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Computer Systems Analyst II. Based on our client’s education and professional background, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for the EB-2 classification for his I-140 petition.

Prior to filing PERM, our firm prepared the prevailing wage request, job order, advertisements, internal job posting, recruitment report, and all other steps which are important pre-PERM filing. Take note that the PERM Labor Certification application could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. Once retained, our office filed the prevailing wage request in April 2015.  On October 16, 2015, we filed the PERM labor certification application.  Eventually, on March 24, 2016, less than 6 months from filing, the PERM labor certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Indian Computer Systems Analyst. Now our client can file the I-140 Petition.

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Post image for I-751 Response to RFE Approval for Filipina Client in Miami Florida

CASE: I-751 / Response to RFE

APPLICANT: Filipina

LOCATION: Miami, FL

Our client contacted our office in November 2015 regarding a Response to RFE for her I-751 application filing. She is from the Philippines and got her 2-year conditional green card through her marriage to her U.S. citizen husband.  She obtained a 2-year conditional green card in 2013, and her conditional residency terminated in 2015.

To comply with immigration requirements, our client and her husband filed an I-751 Joint Petition to Remove Conditions before its expiration date. However, she did not have an attorney back then, and did not submit sufficient evidence to prove the bona fideness of her marriage to her U.S. citizen husband. As a result of that, on November 13, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s I-751 filing.

After consulting, she retained our office on November 19, 2015.

We reviewed the CIS’ RFE letter and prepared our response.  On December 15, 2015, our office filed the Response to RFE to the USCIS with multiple affidavits from her friends and family members, joint bank statements, utility bills, credit card statements, joint tax records, joint vehicle title, insurance policies, and photos of our client and her husband to demonstrate the bona fideness of their marriage.

After that, there was no interview request for our client’s I-751 application. Instead, on January 11, 2016, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application and our client received her 10-year green card which removed the condition.

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