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Post image for J2 IGA (Over 21) Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Interested Government Agency Approval for Honduran Client in Missouri

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

NATIONALITY: Honduran

LOCATION: Missouri

Our client was a citizen of Honduras who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in August 1991.  He came with his father who came on a J-1 Visa for his research program in the United States. Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, meaning they had to go back to their home country for two-years before they can apply for permanent residency or some non-immigrant visa such as the H, L, and O visas. After his father’s J-1 program was completed, his family remained in the United States.

He turned 21 in December 2000. He has a U.S. citizen fiancé who can file an I-130 petition for him after their marriage is entered. However, because of his two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot file his adjustment of status application in the United States without the fulfillment of requirement or the 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 2000.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver, and on March 10, 2017, 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 March 27, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On April 5, 2017, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

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Post image for H-1B Visa Petition Approval (Change of Employer) for Waste Management Company and Indian Chief Financial Officer in St. Louis Missouri

CASE: H-1B Change of Employer

PETITIONER: Waste Management Company

BENEFICIARY: Indian Chief Financial Officer

LOCATION: St. Louis, MO

Our client is a wastewater treatment and management company in the St. Louis, MO area. They contacted our office in early July 2016 to seek a legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee. The beneficiary is from India and obtained her Master’s degree in Business Administration. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Chief Financial Officer which qualifies as a specialty occupation. This proffered position is clearly a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirements for this position are a Master’s Degree in Business Administration or its equivalent.  

The foreign beneficiary in this case already had her H-1B visa from her previous employer.  However, her H-1B visa was not expired yet, and she wanted to extend her H-1B status on the change of employer basis.

Once retained, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on July 21, 2016. Since this petition was based on the change of employer, this petition was exempted from the annual cap of the H-1B.  Thus, we could file prior to the April 1.  There were no Requests for Evidence during the processing of the H-1B.  Eventually, our client’s H-1B Petition was approved on November 15, 2016.  Now the Beneficiary can work for her Petitioner-Employer as an H-1B visa holder and she can work there for next three years.

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Fiancé Visa Approved for Filipino

by JP Sarmiento on August 4, 2013

Post image for Fiancé Visa Approved for Filipino

CASE: I-129F Fiancé Petition and Fiancé Visa
PETITIONER: US Citizen in St. Louis, MO
BENEFICIARY: Filipino
PETITION FILED: November 8, 2012
PETITION APPROVED: June 3, 2013
VISA APPROVED: July 31, 2013

Our client, a US Citizen Petitioner, met her Filipino fiancé in the Philippines in 2008 and 2010. Her fiancé also visited our client in the United States in 2010 and 2012. When he visited our client in May 2012, he proposed to our client. Months after his proposal, our client retained retained our firm to file a fiancé petition for him.

After retention, we told our client about the necessary supporting documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of their relationship. Our client retained our office on September 26, 2012. We helped her and her fiancé draft letters in support of the fiancé petition, and we filed the petition on November 8, 2012.

There were no requests for evidence, and eventually, on June 3, 2013, the I-129F fiancé petition was approved. On July 31, 2013, the beneficiary appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines for her fiancé visa interview.  The interview went well, and her fiancé (K-1) visa was approved on the same day. She will come to the United States and will marry to her fiancé within 90 days of her entry to the United States.

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Post image for Fiancé Petition (I-129F) Approved for Missouri Petitioner and Filipino Beneficiary

CASE: I-129F Fiancé Petition and Fiancé Visa

PETITIONER: US Citizen in St. Louis, MO

BENEFICIARY: Filipino

PETITION FILED: November 8, 2012

PETITION APPROVED: June 3, 2013

Our client, a US Citizen Petitioner, met her Filipino fiancé in the Philippines in 2008 and 2010. Her fiancé also visited our client in the United States in 2010 and 2012. When he visited our client in May 2012, he proposed to our client. Months after his proposal, our client retained our firm to file a fiancé petition for him.

After retention, we informed our client about the necessary supporting documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of their relationship. Our client retained our office on September 26, 2012. We helped her and her fiancé draft letters in support of the fiancé petition, and we filed the petition on November 8, 2012.

On June 3, 2013, the I-129F fiancé petition was approved.

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Post image for Cancellation of Removal Approved for Kenyan Client in St Louis Missouri

CASE: Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Resident
CLIENT: Kenyan
LOCATION: Respondent resides in St. Louis, MO / Kansas City Immigration Court in MO

Our client retained our firm back in March 2010 from St. Louis, MO. She came to the United States in 1999 from Kenya with a J-1 exchange visitor visa. She has one U.S. citizen son who has serious food allergies, asthma, and eczema, and she has not had lawful status in the United States since her J-1 visa is expired. She was subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. She was a single mom. The father of her child left her while she was pregnant.

The first thing we did for her was file an I-612 J-1 hardship waiver. She would not be able to adjust status without that. And our firm won the hardship waiver for her.

She was then placed in removal proceedings and on July 12, 2011, our client appeared at her master calendar hearing at the Kansas City Immigration Court in Missouri, and Attorney JP Sarmiento represented her at the hearing and sought cancellation of removal relief for non-permanent residents.

For a non-permanent resident to be eligible for Cancellation of Removal, the alien must prove that s/he:

• Has been physically present in the U.S. continuously for ten years prior to the issue date of the Notice to Appear;
• Has been a person of good moral character;
• Has not been convicted of any crimes that would make her/him inadmissible;
• Her/his removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to her/his U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.

The Court scheduled the individual hearing date on March 14, 2012.

Our firm worked with our client for the application and supplemental documents. We called her several times for supporting documents, and obtained the medical records from her son’s hospital. Obviously the central issue in this case would be whether or not our client has established exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to her qualifying relative, her U.S. citizen son.

As mentioned above, our client’s U.S. citizen son suffered from serious food allergies. He also suffers from eczema and was treated for asthma, though his asthma was in remission for a period of time. Our firm eventually was able to gather supporting documents and prepared supplemental evidence with multiple exhibits, and arranged them pursuant to the specific elements of Cancellation of Removal eligibility.

We arranged the medical documents for our client’s son as well. We arranged all her physical presence documents according to the specific year they referred to, and filed them with the Kansas City Immigration Court. We then prepared the client for her hearing, and focused on the extreme and exceptional hardships her U.S. Citizen son would face.

At the Individual Hearing on March 14, 2012, Attorney JP Sarmiento represented our client at the Kansas City Immigration Court. Testimony then followed and we questioned our client extensively on the hardships her U.S. Citizen son would face. Our client was prepared, was very consistent, and was honest in her answers. She was detailed with the specific medical issues of her son. She testified that her son’s food allergies present a very serious health issue for her son in that he suffers anaphylaxis. However, the Court could not render the decision at the end of hearing due to the exhausted annual quota for Cancellation relief.

On October 3, 2012, the Kansas City Immigration Court granted our client’s cancellation of removal relief. The Court specifically noted that our client’s son’s food allergies, in the aggregate with his asthma and eczema, together with the fact that our client has been a single mother since pregnancy, would be an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for him should he return to Kenya. The Judge mentioned that food labeling and medical treatment is not as readily available as in the United States. Finally, after 13 years of hard work and perseverance, our client is now a permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States.

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CASE: I-612 J-1 Hardship Waiver
APPLICANT: Kenyan
LOCATION: Missouri

Our client contacted us in March 2010 to inquire about applying for a J-1 hardship waiver. She intends to apply for adjustment of status afterwards.  She came to the United States from Kenya in July 1999 on a J-1 visa. She was subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.

Her husband left her while she was pregnant. He son was born in 2004. She raised him by herself. Her son has suffered from multiple medical issues, from asthma to allergies to severe skin problems.

Our client retained our firm and on April 21, 2010, we filed the I-612 J-1 Waiver application based on exceptional hardship. Our firm drafted an extensive 10-page brief with over 20 exhibits and submitted these with the application.

In May 3, 2011, after over 5 follow up letters, the J-1 waiver based on exceptional hardship was approved.

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