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Post image for J-1 Waiver Approved Through No Objection Statement for Kenyan Client in Colorado

CASE: J-1 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, No Objection Statement 

NATIONALITY: Kenyan                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Colorado

 

Our client is from Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in February 2016 to work at a non-profit organization in the U.S.  His program sponsor was willing to sponsor our client longer if he can change his non-immigrant status. However, he will not be able to change his status unless he gets a waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement.  When he came to the United States in 2016, his program made him subject to the 2-year foreign residency program.

 

Thereafter, our office promptly prepared for filing a waiver request through a No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Kenyan Embassy in the United States. Every country’s Embassy maintains different procedures and policies with regard to the J-1 No Objection Statement waiver.  Our office promptly contacted the Kenyan Embassy in D.C. to pursue the waiver for our client.  The Embassy requested several documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the clearance letter from J-1 program sponsor, Clearance certificate from HELB and KSCE in Kenya, and a letter of reason for obtaining J-1 waiver. 

 

On March 16, 2017, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Kenyan Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client is eligible to change his status if he gets the waiver.

 

Eventually, the Kenyan Embassy issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On April 14, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. On April 24, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for the waiver of our client’s two-year foreign residency requirement. Now, our client can change his status.  

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Post image for J2 IGA (Over 21) Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Interested Government Agency Approved for Kenyan Client in Wyoming

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

NATIONALITY: Kenyan

LOCATION: Wyoming

Our client is a citizen of Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in August 2001. She came with her mother who came on a J-1 Visa for her 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 her mother’s J-1 program ended, our client remained in the United States.

She turned 21 in 2011. She would like to get a waiver because she has a U.S. citizen husband who already filed an I-130 for her after their marriage. This I-130 petition was approved by the USCIS.  However, because of her two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot adjust her status in the United States without fulfilling the waiver requirement.

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 April 2011.

Our firm was retained to do her J-2 waiver, and on September 8, 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 September 27, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On March 8, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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Post image for EB-2 Green Card Approval for Kenyan Non-Profit Housewarming Project Manager in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status based on Approved I-140 (EB-2)

APPLICANT: Kenyan Non-Profit Housewarming Project Manager

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is currently working as a Non-Profit Housewarming Project Manager whose current employer was willing to petition him for a second-preference petition (I-140).  Our client has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a related field and work experience. He has been working for his current employer under an OPT status. Based on our client’s education, professional and work background, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-2 classification for his I-140 petition.  Our client eventually retained us.

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 application could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. On April 2, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  Once we received the Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on August 20, 2015.  On November 20, 2015, we promptly filed PERM.

However, on May 2, 2016, the Department of Labor issued a request for audit. The DOL requested documents from Petitioner to determine whether the recruitment process was done properly. In response to the Audit request, our office prepared the response to Audit brief along with Employer’s declaration, notice of filing, and recruitment documentation on May 11, 2016.  

Eventually, on July 18, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Kenyan beneficiary. 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 July 28, 2016 via premium processing service. On August 8, 2016, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Kenyan client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE).

Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. On March 1, 2017, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Based on Approved I-360 VAWA (Spouse of Abusive USC) for Kenyan Client in Atlanta Georgia

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status based on Approved  I-360 Petition

NATIONALITY: Kenyan

LOCATION: Atlanta, GA

Our client is from Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in May 2002.  After she finished her J-1 program, has remained in the United States. With our office’s assistance, she got her J-1 waiver in February 2015.

In February 2016, she contacted our office to seek legal representation for her I-360 petition. According to her story, our client’s marital life was deteriorating and she was a spouse of an abusive U.S. Citizen.  With her story and other evidence, our office determined that she would be eligible for a VAWA I-360 self-petition as a spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen.

Our client experienced domestic violence and spousal abuse during her marriage. Her husband physically and mentally abused our client throughout the years. Thus, we filed and prepared her I-360 petition, which included several exhibits and a detailed brief to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on March 17, 2016.  

Despite our client’s thoroughly prepared I-360 application, in April 2016, the USCIS Vermont Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE).  Specifically, the RFE letter requested our client to submit more documents to prove her good moral character. Our client and our office thoroughly gathered the requested documents, and filed a response to RFE on May 24, 2016.

Finally, on October 18, 2016, the USCIS Vermont Service Center approved our client’s I-360 petition. With the approved I-360 petition, our firm prepared and filed her Adjustment of Status Application.  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. On January 13, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Atlanta, Georgia USCIS.  Eventually, on the same day of the interview, the USCIS approved our client’s adjustment of status application and issued a green card.

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Post image for EB-3 I-140 Approval for Kenyan Sales Manager Beneficiary and Hydraulic Pumps and Motors Manufacturing Company Petitioner in West Virginia

CASE: EB-3 I-140 Petition
EMPLOYER: Hydraulic Pumps and Motors Manufacturing Company in WV
BENEFICIARY: Kenyan Sales Manager in Kenya

 

Our client is from Kenya, who used to work in the U.S. on his H-1B status. His former employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, third-preference. Our client has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and has worked for the current employer as a Sales Manager. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Sales Manager. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working backgrounds, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-3 classification.

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 PERM could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. On February 5, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on July 6, 2016.  On September 27, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on November 22, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB3 position for the Kenyan beneficiary.

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, ability to pay letter, and other necessary supporting documents. The I-140 petition was filed on December 9, 2016 via premium processing service. However, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) on December 21, 2016 and request our client to submit documents regarding Beneficiary’s special skills for the proposed job position and employer’s ability to pay proffered wage. Our office prepared and filed Response to RFE to USCIS on January 3, 2017.

Eventually, on January 5, 2017, the I-140 EB-3 Petition for our Kenyan client was approved. Now, our client can file his immigrant visa application in Kenya once his priority date becomes current.  

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Post image for PERM Labor Certification Approved for Kenyan Sales Manager Beneficiary and Hydraulic Pump and Motor Manufacturing Company Petitioner in West Virginia

CASE: PERM Labor Certification    
EMPLOYER: Hydraulic Pumps and Motors Manufacturing Company in WV
BENEFICIARY: Kenyan Sales Manager

 

Our client is from Kenya, who is currently working in the U.S. on his H-1B status. His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, third-preference. Our client has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and has worked for the current employer as a Sales Manager. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Sales Manager. Based on our client’s education, professional and work background, our office determined that he was clearly eligible for EB-3 classification.

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 PERM could be filed at least 60 days from the job posting date or 30 days from the last ad. On February 5, 2016, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on July 6, 2016.  On September 27, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on November 22, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB3 position for the Kenyan beneficiary. Now our client can file the I-140 petition.

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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through Exceptional Hardship Approved for Kenyan Client in Maryland

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

NATIONALITY:  Kenyan

LOCATION: Maryland

Our client came from Kenya in February 1993 with a valid J-1 visa.  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 resident requirement. After he completed his J-1, he remained in the United States. Later, he married his current U.S. citizen wife and became a father of two U.S. citizen children. Our client would like to file his adjustment of status application along with his wife’s I-130 petition; 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 wife 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. On December 17, 2015, 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 wife’s medical conditions.  On December 18, 2015, 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 wife would experience exceptional hardship if our client needs to go back to Kenya for two years.

However, on May 11, 2016, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for our client’s I-612 case. The USCIS asked our client to submit more evidence to demonstrate the extreme hardship to his U.S. citizen wife if he has to go back to Kenya for 2 years.  On August 2, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE to USCIS along with additional documents to support the claim of financial and medical hardship including income and expenses, plus more recent medical documents of his U.S. citizen wife evidencing the hardship.

Eventually, the USCIS approved his I-612 waiver on October 26, 2016. Now that our client’s two-year foreign residency requirement is waived, he can file his adjustment of status application along with his wife’s I-130 petition in the United States.  

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Post image for VAWA I-360 (Spouse of Abusive USC) Approved for Kenyan Client in Atlanta Georgia

CASE: I-360 Petition

NATIONALITY: Kenyan

LOCATION: Atlanta, GA

Our client is from Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in May 2002.  After she finished her J-1 program, she remained in the United States. With our office’s assistance, she got her J-1 waiver in February 2015.

In February 2016, she contacted our office to seek legal representation for her I-360 petition. According to her story, our client’s marital life was very deteriorating and she was a spouse of abusive U.S. Citizen.  With her story and other evidence, our office determined that she would be eligible for I-360 self-petition as a spouse of abusive U.S. citizen.

Our client experienced domestic violence and spousal abuse during her marriage. Her husband physically and mentally abused our client throughout the years. Thus, we filed and prepared her I-360 petition, which included 15 exhibits and a detailed brief to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on March 17, 2016.  

Despite our client’s thoroughly prepared I-360 application, in April 2016, the USCIS Vermont Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE).  Specifically, the RFE letter requested our client to submit more documents to prove her good moral character. Our client and our office thoroughly gathered the requested documents, and filed a response to RFE on May 24, 2016.

Finally, on October 18, 2016, the USCIS Vermont Service Center approved our client’s I-360 petition. With the approved I-360, our client can file her I-485 adjustment of status application to the USCIS for her permanent residency.

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Post image for Despite Late Filing, I-751 Removal of Conditions Approval for Kenyan Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-751

APPLICANT: Kenyan

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client contacted our office in January of this year regarding his I-751 application.

He is from Kenya and obtained his conditional residency based on being the minor son of his mother. In October 2005, while he was in Kenya, his mother married her U.S. citizen husband and got her conditional permanent residency through the marriage. Her U.S. citizen husband filed the I-130 petition for our client and as a result, our client got his immigrant visa in December 2006. Later, his mother got divorced to her U.S. citizen husband, but she removed the condition on her permanent residency. However, she did not file the I-751 petition for our client because she did not know that our client also should apply.

Without the proper guidance of any immigration counsel, our client’s mother filed I-130 petition again for our client and our client filed his green card. Obviously, because of the wrong procedures that they took, our client was placed in removal proceedings. Nevertheless, the Immigration Judge administratively closed his proceedings and advised him to file I-751. she married a U.S. citizen in July 2007. Through her marriage, she obtained a 2-year conditional green card in March of 2008.  Her conditional residency terminated in March 2010.

The USCIS still allows the I-751 applicant to file his or her I-751 application as long as there is a good cause for the late filing. After the administrative closure of his case, our client then retained our office for the I-751 filing. Once retained, our office prepared an I-751 application for our client with his mother’s divorce decree, naturalization certificate, and his letter to explain his late filing.

On February 16, 2016, our office filed an I-751 application to the USCIS with an affidavit of applicant to explain his late filing and other supporting documents.

Eventually, on October 4, 2016, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application without any RFE or interview. Now, he has her ten-year green card.

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Post image for J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Post-Divorce Interested Government Agency Approval for Kenyan Client in Las Vegas Nevada

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce
NATIONALITY: Kenyan
LOCATION: Las Vegas, NV

Our client is a citizen of Kenya who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in 2007.  She came with her husband who held a J-1 Visa as a Ph.D student.  Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.

Unfortunately, while they are residing in the United States, her marriage did not work out well. Eventually, she got divorced from her ex-husband.  Thereafter, she lost her J-2 status in the United States; but she was still subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.  Later in July 2015, she married her U.S. Citizen husband.  He intends to file I-130 petition for her, but she could not file adjustment of status in the U.S. and change her status to other non-immigrant visa in the United States because of the 2 year foreign residency requirement.

In August of this year, our client contacted our office. She retained our firm to do her J-2 waiver on August 8, 2016. On August 11, 2016 the J-2 Waiver (DS-3035) 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 was divorced from the J-1 visa holder.  Eventually, on August 29, 2016, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver. Finally, the USCIS issued I-612 waiver approval notice on September 21, 2016.  Now, our client’s U.S. citizen husband can file I-130 petition for our client and our client can file an adjustment of status application (I-485) for her green card with a waiver.

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