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Asylum
Past persecution or fear of future persecution on account of politics, race, religion, social group, or nationality. Let us guide you in the asylum application process.
Post image for Green Card Approval Based on  NIW Approved for Jordanian Pharmaceutical Science Researcher in Virginia

CASE: I-485 / I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Jordanian

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in November 2014 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is a researcher from Jordan and he is an exceptional scientist in the field of Pharmaceutical science. His research focuses on discovery, design, and development of small molecules therapy or technology to treat various cardiovascular diseases and conditions. He has obtained his J-1 hardship waiver through our office’s legal assistance in 2014 and contacted our office again for his NIW.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of pharmaceutical science. He has significantly and extensively contributed to the drug discovery, design, and development aspects of glycosaminoglycans and their structural mimetics to treat various diseases including, but not limited to, thrombosis, inflammation, cancer, and several infectious diseases. His researches were highly evaluated by the reviewers of various journals and by colleagues and experts in the field.

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 34-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 10 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized scientists. Our office also included his publication records, presentation records, 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 116 exhibits (Exhibit A to LLLLL).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on December 26, 2014. However, on May 29, 2016, the USCIS issued Requests for Evidence and requested our client to submit updated ETA-9089 form. On May 31, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE. On July 12, 2016, his I-140 was approved by the USCIS.  Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. On June 15, 2017, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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Post image for Asylum (Future Persecution) Approved for Gay Jamaican Client, Social Group Issue, at the New Orleans Immigration Court

CASE: Asylum in Immigration Court

CLIENT: Jamaican

LOCATION: New Orleans Immigration Court

Our Jamaican client came to the United States on a B-2 visa in September 2013.  He was persecuted in Jamaica, and was scared to go back home to Jamaica, fearing that he will be persecuted on account of his social group. Thus, within one year of his entry, he filed an asylum application (Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and relief under the CAT) to the USCIS with our office’s legal assistance.  He was interviewed at the Asylum Office in Lyndhurst, NJ in May 2014, but his case was referred to an immigration judge. The Notice to Appear was issued and our client was placed in removal proceedings.  

After the case was referred to the Immigration Court, our client retained our office again. His court case originated at the Philadelphia Immigration Court, but after he moved to Louisiana, the venue was changed to the New Orleans Immigration Court.

We helped him prepare his asylum application, going over several drafts until his claim was as detailed as possible. Names, addresses, dates, and all possible issues relevant to his asylum claim were addressed. We also asked him to provide supporting documents corroborating his claim, some of which were letters from Jamaica and friends in the U.S. who were part of his social group. Our firm also did some research on articles pertaining to his particular claim, and the type of persecution that members of his social group suffer in Jamaica.

Our client’s individual hearing was scheduled on February 6, 2017, at the New Orleans Immigration Court. Partner and Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu represented our client at the hearing. During the hearing, our client testified credibly as to his past persecution in Jamaica and likelihood of future persecution. On February 24, 2017, the Immigration Judge issued a written decision and granted asylum relief for our client. He is now an asylee who will get his work permit soon and will be eligible to apply for permanent residency in one year.

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Post image for Termination of Removal Proceedings and Successful Adjustment of Status for Nigerian Client in New Orleans, LA

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition / I-485 Adjustment of Status / Response to Notice of Intent to Revoke

CLIENT: Nigerian

LOCATION: New Orleans, LA

Our Nigerian client came to the United States in August 2011 with a valid F-1 student visa to study in a college. However, he did not maintain status and was placed in removal proceedings in July 2012. After he got a Notice to Appear, he appeared at his initial master calendar hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court without an attorney.

In May of 2014, he contacted our office and asked us whether we can take his case. He was married to a US Citizen, but he also had two previous marriages and divorces, also to US Citizens. We told him an I-130 can be filed, but that we need bona fides from his first two marriages also. We explained that the strength of his wife’s I-130 for him would also depend on how he can prove that his first two marriages were in good faith.

He retained our office on May 16, 2014. He married his U.S. wife in May 2014 and our office filed the I-130 petition for our client with a bona fide marriage exemption letter and bona fide marital documents. We organized the exhibits so that bona fide evidence from his first two marriages were also shown. We filed the I-130 application to the USCIS on June 12, 2014.

On June 17, 2014, our attorney Glen Yu appeared at his master calendar hearings via telephonic appearance. Attorney Yu did pleadings for our client, requested adjustment of status relief for our client, and requested a continuance based on a pending I-130 petition. However, the DHS requested a Velarde hearing to the Court. The DHS requested this hearing to determine whether proceedings should be continued to allow USCIS to adjudicate the I-130. DHS argued that our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen spouse is presumptively invalid under immigration purposes since he married his wife after initiation of removal proceedings.

A Velarde Hearing is a hearing to establish whether good cause exists to continue proceedings for adjudication of a pending I-130 petition. A variety of factors may be considered, including, but not limited to: (1) DHS’ response to the Motion to continue; (2) whether the underlying visa petition is prima facie approvable; (3) the Respondent’s statutory eligibility for adjustment of status; (4) whether the Respondent’s application for adjustment merits a favorable exercise of discretion; and (5) the reason for the continuance and any other relevant factors. Matter of Hashimi, 24 I&N Dec. 785 (BIA 2009).

The Velarde hearing for our client was scheduled for August 18, 2014. Prior to the hearing, our office filed a brief in support and more documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen wife.  Attorney Sung Hee Yu from our firm prepared him and his wife extensively via conference calls. He also represented our client at the Velarde Hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court on August 18, 2014.

The hearing went well and as a result, the Court concluded that our client’s I-130 petition is prima facie approvable. After the Velarde hearing, the USCIS scheduled the I-130 interview for our client and his U.S. citizen wife. Our office prepared them for their interview. On December 31, 2014, our client and his wife appeared at the USCIS New Orleans Field Office for their I-130 interview. The interview went well, and the USCIS approved the I-130 petition for our client on the same day.

Once his I-130 was approved, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. The DHS counsel in New Orleans agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice on August 14, 2015.

After his removal proceeding was terminated, our client retained us again for his I-485 adjustment of status application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on September 14, 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 via conference call. On December 1, 2015, our client was interviewed at the New Orleans, LA USCIS.  Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients.

Although the interview went well, the USCIS New Orleans office issued Notice of Intent to Revoke our client’s I-130 petition. In the Notice of Intent to Revoke, the USCIS argued that our client’s marriage to her U.S. citizen spouse was in violation of Louisiana law so that the marriage is invalid. However, after careful review of related marital laws and local statutes, we determined that our client’s marriage to his wife was valid. Our office promptly filed the Response to Notice of Intent to Revoke on December 15, 2015. Eventually, on January 13, 2016, his I-485 application was approved.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Despite THIRD Marriage to a DIFFERENT US Citizen spouse and Being in Removal Proceedings, I-130 Approval after Successful Velarde Hearing for Nigerian Client in New Orleans, LA

CASE: I-130 Approval / Velarde Hearing in Immigration Court

CLIENT: Nigerian

LOCATION: New Orleans, LA

Our Nigerian client came to the United States in August 2011 with a valid F-1 student visa to study in a college. However, he did not maintain status and was placed in removal proceedings in July 2012. After he got a Notice to Appear, he appeared at his initial master calendar hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court without an attorney.

In May, he contacted our office and asked us whether we can take his case. He was married to a US Citizen, but he also had two previous marriages and divorces, also to US Citizens. We told him an I-130 can be filed, but that we need bona fides from his first two marriages also. We explained that the strength of his wife’s I-130 for him would also depend on how he can prove that his first two marriages were in good faith.

He retained our office on May 16, 2014. He married his U.S. wife in May 2014 and our office filed the I-130 petition for our client with a bona fide marriage exemption letter and bona fide marital documents. We organized the exhibits so that bona fide evidence from his first two marriages are also shown. We filed the I-130 application to the USCIS on June 12, 2014.

On June 17, 2014, our attorney Glen Yu appeared at his master calendar hearings via telephonic appearance. Attorney Yu did pleadings for our client, requested adjustment of status relief for our client, and requested a continuance based on a pending I-130 petition. However, the DHS requested a Velarde hearing to the Court. The DHS requested this hearing to determine whether proceedings should be continued to allow USCIS to adjudicate the I-130. DHS argued that our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen spouse is presumptively invalid under immigration purposes since he married his wife after initiation of removal proceedings.

A Velarde Hearing is a hearing to establish whether good cause exists to continue proceedings for adjudication of a pending I-130 petition. A variety of factors may be considered, including, but not limited to: (1) DHS’ response to the Motion to continue; (2) whether the underlying visa petition is prima facie approvable; (3) the Respondent’s statutory eligibility for adjustment of status; (4) whether the Respondent’s application for adjustment merits a favorable exercise of discretion; and (5) the reason for the continuance and any other relevant factors. Matter of Hashimi, 24 I&N Dec. 785 (BIA 2009).

The Velarde hearing for our client was scheduled for August 18, 2014. Prior to the hearing, our office filed a brief in support and more documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen wife.  Attorney Sung Hee Yu from our firm prepared him and his wife extensively via conference calls. He also represented our client at the Velarde Hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court on August 18, 2014.

The hearing went well and as a result, the Court concluded that our client’s I-130 petition is prima facie approvable. After the Velarde hearing, the USCIS scheduled the I-130 interview for our client and his U.S. citizen wife. Our office prepared them for their interview. On December 31, 2014, our client and his wife appeared at the USCIS New Orleans Field Office for their I-130 interview. Attorney JP Sarmiento accompanied them at the interview. The interview went well, and the USCIS approved the I-130 petition for our client on the same day. With the approved I-130 petition, we can terminate his removal proceedings with the cooperation with New Orleans DHS office.

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Post image for Successful Velarde Hearing for Nigerian Client on HIs Third Marriage to a US Citizen at the New Orleans Immigration Court

CASE: Velarde Hearing in Immigration Court

CLIENT: Nigerian

LOCATION: New Orleans Immigration Court

Our Nigerian client came to the United States in August 2011 with a valid F-1 student visa to study in a college. However, he did not maintain status and was placed in removal proceedings in July 2012. After he got a Notice to Appear, he appeared at his initial master calendar hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court without an attorney.

In May, he contacted our office and asked us whether we can take his case. He was married to a US Citizen, but he also had two previous marriages and divorces, also to US Citizens. We told him an I-130 can be filed, but that we need bona fides from his first two marriages also. We explained that the strength of his wife’s I-130 for him would also depend on how he can prove that his first two marriages were in good faith.

He retained our office on May 16, 2014. He married his U.S. wife in May 2014 and our office filed the I-130 petition for our client with a bona fide marriage exemption letter and bona fide marital documents. We organized the exhibits so that bona fide evidence from his first two marriages are also shown. We filed the I-130 application to the USCIS on June 12, 2014.

On June 17, 2014, our attorney Glen Yu appeared at his master calendar hearings via telephonic appearance. Attorney Yu did pleadings for our client, requested adjustment of status relief for our client, and requested a continuance based on a pending I-130 petition. However, the DHS requested a Velarde hearing to the Court. The DHS requested this hearing to determine whether proceedings should be continued to allow USCIS to adjudicate the I-130. DHS argued that our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen spouse is presumptively invalid under immigration purposes since he married his wife after initiation of removal proceedings.

A Velarde Hearing is a hearing to establish whether good cause exists to continue proceedings for adjudication of a pending I-130 petition. A variety of factors may be considered, including, but not limited to: (1) DHS’ response to the Motion to continue; (2) whether the underlying visa petition is prima facie approvable; (3) the Respondent’s statutory eligibility for adjustment of status; (4) whether the Respondent’s application for adjustment merits a favorable exercise of discretion; and (5) the reason for the continuance and any other relevant factors. Matter of Hashimi, 24 I&N Dec. 785 (BIA 2009).

The Velarde hearing for our client was scheduled for August 18, 2014. Prior to the hearing, our office filed a brief in support and more documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen wife.  Attorney Sung Hee Yu from our firm prepared him and his wife extensively via conference calls. He also represented our client at the Velarde Hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court on August 18, 2014.

The hearing went well and as a result, the Court concluded that our client’s I-130 petition is prima facie approvable. The Immigration Judge granted a continuance based on the pending I-130 petition. His next master calendar hearing is scheduled for October 2015. Until then, and presumable eligible for further continuances, our client and his wife can wait for adjudication of the I-130 petition.

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CASE: PERM and EB-2 I-140
PETITIONER: Professional Services Staffing Company
BENEFICIARY: Pakistani
LOCATION: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Our Pakistani client contacted our office in December 2010. He called from Houston Texas. A potential employer headquartered in Sacramento California wanted to hire him as an Operations Research Analyst for their office in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Our had questions regarding may possible issues they may face, including the headquarters being in a different location and the fact that their 2010 tax return shows more than a negative $300,000 taxable income. Prior to the company retaining our office, we made sure the case was winnable and asked them to fax us some documentation to assess the feasibility of the I-140, especially the “ability to pay” issue. We reviewed the documents (still part of the free consultation) and told them it could be done. The company thus retained us to do an EB-2 Labor Certification (PERM) and I-140 for our client.

All the pre-PERM filing steps were executed quickly, from the prevailing wage request, job order, advertisements, and internal job posting. Specific rules pertaining to these steps in Louisiana were also reviewed thoroughly prior to execution. We then filed the Labor Certification on March 7, 2011 and on May 2, 2011, the application was certified and approved.

We then proceeded with the I-140. One of the main requirements for the I-140 is that the petitioning company must show that it has the ability to pay the proffered wage for the beneficiary’s position. Despite the negative taxable income, we provided all schedules of Petitioner’s tax return and argued that their net current assets are over and above the proffered wage. We provided the calculation on the cover letter, cited a CIS internal memo on the “ability to pay” issue, and attached the tax return schedule that showed the net current assets. The I-140 was filed on June 16, 2011 and on July 27, 2011, the I-140 was approved.

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CASE: PERM Labor Certification
EMPLOYER: Professional Services Staffing Company
BENEFICIARY: Pakistani
LOCATION: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Our client is a Computer Engineer who had a Professional Staffing Company willing to petition him for an second-preference petition. Second preference petitions for Pakistanis are current, which means that if a PERM Labor Certification for a second preference position gets approved, the I-140 and I-485 could be filed simultaneously. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his potential employer can petition him as an operations research analyst, which is an EB2 position. We were retained in the last week of December.

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. Within a week from our retention, the prevailing wage request and the job order were both immediately filed. Thus the earliest we could file was around the first week of March. On March 7, 2011, we promptly filed PERM. On April 27, 2011, less than two months from filing, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Pakistani beneficiary. Now were on to the next step which is filing the I-140, I-485, and I-765 simultaneously.

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If you have any questions, please fill out the free consultation form below, and we will respond as soon as possible privately. 

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