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Post image for Immigrant Visa Based on Approved I-130 for Petitioner in Chicago Illinois and Beneficiary in Manila Philippines

CASE: I-130 and Consular Processing
CLIENT: LPR Petitioner; Filipina Beneficiary
LOCATION: Petitioner: Chicago, IL; Beneficiary: Manila, Philippines

Our client is a green card holder from the Philippines. She has a daughter who lived in the Philippines. After our client got her green card in 2014, she decided to petition her daughter in the Philippines for an immigrant visa. She contacted our office again in September 2014 and retained our office to help bring her daughter to the States.  It is important to note that an alien cannot adjust his or her status (get a green card) outside the U.S. by filing an I-130 and I-485 simultaneously. Since the client’s daughter was not in the United States, our office promptly filed the I-130 petition to the USCIS first on October 2, 2014.

After the I-130 was filed, everything went smoothly and the receipt notices came on time. The I-130 Petition was approved by the USCIS on March 2, 2015. After the I-130 approval and when the I-130 priority date became current, we filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on January 27, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. An interview notice was set for the client’s daughter. On July 20, 2016, the beneficiary went to her interview in Manila. On the same day, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines approved and issued her immigrant visa.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Client from Antigua and Barbuda in Illinois

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Antigua and Barbuda                                                   

LOCATION: Illinois (residence) / Des Moines, IA (USCIS Interview)

Our client is from Antigua and Barbuda who came to the U.S. on a F-1 Student Visa in August 2013. He is still pursuing his undergraduate program in the U.S. In November 2015, our client is married his current U.S. citizen wife.  He retained our office for his green card application on November 30, 2015.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on December 3, 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 via conference call as well. On November 7, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Des Moines, IA USCIS office. The interview went well, and eventually, on November 8, 2016, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for 245i Adjustment of Status Approval for Korean Client in Chicago Illinois

CASE: Marriage Based Adjustment of Status / 245(i)

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Our Korean client came to the U.S. without inspection and admission by crossing the U.S./Canada border in March 1999. When she came to the United States, she was only 3 years old. Thereafter, she married her U.S. husband in May 2015. Currently, she resides in Illinois with her husband and daughter.

Our client contacted us around February of 2016 for consultation and sought legal assistance for her case. Initially, our office determined that she is eligible for I-601A provisional waiver. However, after the care review of her case and story, we determined that she is eligible for adjustment of status under INA 245(i). Our client retained us on February 5, 2016.

The basis of her 245(i) eligibility was that her father was a beneficiary of the labor certification which was filed on April 23, 2001. Therefore, she was a beneficiary of a labor certification filed after January 15, 1998 and before April 30, 2001. Moreover, according to the Robert Bach “Accepting Applications for Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i) of the “Immigration and Nationality Act” memorandum (“Bach Memo June 10, 1999)

“Section 245(i) defines the term “beneficiary” to include a spouse or child ‘eligible to receive a visa under section 203(d) of the Act’ This applies to spouses or children ‘accompanying or following to join’ the principal alien….

The spouse or child of a grandfathered alien is also grandfathered for 245(i) purposes. This means that the spouse or child is grandfathered irrespective of whether the spouse or child adjusts with the principal. The spouse or child also are grandfathered even after losing the status of spouse or child, such as by divorce or by becoming 21 years of age

Often, a principal alien who has filed a visa petition or labor certification application will have a “child” who reaches the age of 21, and thus no longer meet the statutory definition of child, before the petition or application is approved or the principal alien adjusts status. However, such an “aged-out” beneficiary will remain a beneficiary for the purpose of determining whether he or she may use section 245(i) to adjust status.”

Thus, our client was grandfathered by her father’s Labor Certification, and is eligible for 245(i).

Section 245(i) of the INA allows certain foreign nationals to become permanent residents of the United States despite entering without inspection (EWI) or overstaying (if beneficiary of petitions filed not by an immediate relative). Immigrants are barred from adjusting their status if they entered the United States without first being inspected and admitted by a Customs and Border Patrol officer and if they have either failed to maintain lawful status or been unlawfully employed in the country, with certain exceptions. Section 245(i) was first added to law in 1994 to allow certain people who otherwise would not be eligible to adjust their status to be able to do so upon payment of a $1,000 fine.

Four years later, on January 14, 1998, Congress phased Section 245(i) out of law. Immigrants and their families who had already begun the process of changing their status under Section 245(i) by January 14, 1998 were grandfathered into the section’s benefits. However, this left thousands of otherwise qualified persons who had not begun the process unable to adjust status in the United States. They could not return to their countries to begin the legal process of obtaining their permanent residency in the United States also without being subject to either a three- or a 10-year bar upon returning to the United States.

On December 21, 2000, Congress extended the qualifying date for Section 245(i) benefits to April 30, 2001. This law allowed immigrants who had labor certifications or visa petitions filed on their behalf between 1998 and April 30, 2001, to qualify for adjustment of status. Those who were beneficiaries of petitions filed prior to January 14, 1998 could still adjust despite an EWI record, and those people do not have to meet the December 2000 physical presence requirement.

On April 28, 2016, our office initially filed I-130 petition for our client. While the I-130 petition was pending, our office filed their I-485 adjustment of status applications under the 245(i) category for our client on June 1, 2016.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment all came on time.  We thoroughly prepared our client prior to her interview as well.

On October 31, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Chicago, Illinois USCIS Field Office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu, Esq. from our office accompanied our clients as well. The interview went well, and her adjustment of status application was approved on November 1, 2016. After a long wait, our client is finally a green card holder.

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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 Immigrant Visa Approval Based on Marriage, I-130 Petitioner in Illinois, Beneficiaries from Johannesburg South Africa

CASE: I-130 and Consular Processing (Immigrant Visa) – Marriage-Petition

Our client is a U.S. citizen who married his wife in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015.  After the marriage, he came back to the United States and contacted our office and retained us to bring his wife and step-children to the States.

Our office prepared and filed three I-130 petitions for his wife and step-children to the USCIS on December 7, 2015. After the I-130 petitions were filed, everything went smoothly, there were no requests for evidence, and the receipt notices came on time. The I-130 Petitions were approved on April 20, 2016.

After the I-130 approval, we filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on June 16, 2016, who in turn forwarded our clients’ materials to the U.S. Consulate at Johannesburg, South Africa. An interview notice was set for the client at the US Consulate in Johannesburg, and we prepared them for the interview. On October 11, 2016, the interview was conducted.  Eventually, after the interview, the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa approved and issued their immigrant visas.

With the approved Immigrant visas, our client’s wife and step-children can come to the United States immediately, and they will get their green cards within two months of entry.

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Post image for Naturalization and Citizenship N400 Approval for Filipina Client in Chicago Illinois

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)

APPLICANT: Filipina

LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Our client contacted us in March 2016 to seek legal representation for her naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. She came to the United States from the Philippines and obtained her green card in February 2012 through marriage to her U.S. Citizen husband. She retained our office on March 14, 2016.

The N-400 application was filed on April 8, 2016 with all supporting documents. Prior to her citizenship interview, our office prepared her through conference calls. On August 15, 2016, our client appeared at the Chicago, IL USCIS office for her naturalization interview. Our client answered all questions correctly and passed her naturalization and citizenship interview. Eventually, her application was approved on August 17, 2016. Her oath taking is scheduled in which she will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.

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Post image for I140 Registered Nurse Priority Date Retention (EB3 Schedule A) Approval for Filipino Registered Nurse Beneficiary in the Philippines and Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Petitioner in Des Plaines Illinois

CASE: I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A / Old Priority Date Retention

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipino Registered Nurse in the Philippines

LOCATION: Des Plaines, IL

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Illinois. Currently, he is working at a hospital in the Philippines as a nurse. His prospective employer was willing to petition him for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Our client also has an approved EB-3 I-140 petition with a priority date of December 2008.

Since he is a registered nurse, he 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 Professional Nurses is included in Schedule A.

Also, under 8 CFR 204.5(e):

“Retention of section 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) priority date. A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) or 205 of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.”

As mentioned above, our client’s approved I-140 petition was not denied, was actually approved, and was never revoked at any point. Thus, by virtue of 8 CFR 204.5(e), this succeeding I-140 Petition by our client’s prospective employer for our client is entitled to the previous priority date.

Our client has a nursing degree and has several years of related experience. Our firm told him that his potential employer can petition him as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. More importantly, since the priority date of his previous I-140 was current, he can eventually apply for his immigrant visa via consular processing. Our office was retained on September 21, 2016 and started on his Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on December 18, 2015 via regular processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents.  Later, we upgraded our client’s I-140 petition to premium processing. Eventually, on June 2, 2016, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  

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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 Green Card Approval Based on EB2 I-140 Approval for Nigerian Director of Business Technology in Chicago Illinois

CASE: I-485 / I-140 (EB-2)

EMPLOYER: Home Health Services in Chicago Illinois

BENEFICIARY: Nigerian Director of Business Technology and Strategy

Our client is a Nigerian individual who was in the U.S on H-4 status. His prospective employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. Our client has a Master’s degree in Engineering Management.

After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Director of Business Technology and Strategy. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working background, our office determined that he is eligible for EB-2 classification.

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.

On October 28, 2014, the prevailing wage request was filed.  On April 17, 2015, we filed the PERM labor certification application.  Eventually, on November 17, 2015, the PERM labor certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Nigerian Director of Business Technology and Strategy.

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 November 24, 2015 via premium processing service. However, on December 7, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s petition. In the RFE, the USCIS requested our client to submit any documentation that demonstrates his specific software usages in the past. Our office filed the Response to RFE on December 8, 2015 to USCIS. Eventually, on December 16, 2015, the I-140 EB2 Petition for our Nigerian client was approved.

Once his I-140 petition was approved, our office prepared his adjustment of status application. On December 23, 2015, our office filed I-485 adjustment of status applications for our client and his wife. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on March 23, 2016, the USCIS approved our client and his wife’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. Now, he is a green card holder.

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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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