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Post image for Termination of Removal Proceedings and Adjustment of Status Approval for Chinese Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition / I-485 Adjustment of Status

CLIENT: Chinese
LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is a Chinese citizen who came to the U.S. on a B-2 Visitor’s visa in September 2011. She has stayed in the United States since then. Because of her overstay, the Notice to Appear was issued and our client was placed in removal proceeding.

Our client currently resides in Ohio with her current U.S. Citizen husband. They were married in October. After our office was retained, our office filed an I-130 Petition with bona fide marriage evidence on January 15, 2015.  While the I-130 petition was pending, our client appeared at the Cleveland Immigration Court for her master calendar hearing.  Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office represented her at the hearing, did the pleading and sought for adjustment of status relief upon the approval of the I-130 petition.

Her I-130 petition was approved by the USCIS on June 24, 2015 without any interview or RFE request.  Once the 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 Cleveland agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice in September 2015.

After her removal proceeding was terminated, our client retained us again for her I-485 adjustment of status application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on November 6, 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. On January 26, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, OH USCIS. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our client.  After the interview, her I-485 application was approved.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Green Card Based on Marriage to US Citizen I-130 and I-485 Approved for Filipina Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Immigrant Petition and Adjustment of Status

CLIENT: Filipina

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from the Philippines on a B-2 visitor’s visa in January 2012. She married a U.S. Citizen in February 2014 and retained our office on August 26, 2015 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485  of Status Application on October 28, 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 as well. On January 26, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on the same day of the interview, her green card application was approv

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Fiancée Visa Approved for Colombian Beneficiary

by JP Sarmiento on January 28, 2016

Post image for Fiancée Visa Approved for Colombian Beneficiary

CASE: Fiancée Visa

PETITIONER: US Citizen in Ohio

BENEFICIARY: Colombian

PETITION FILED: March 4, 2015

PETITION APPROVED: April 2, 2015

K-1 VISA APPROVED: November 25, 2015

Our client, a US Citizen Petitioner, met his Colombian fiancée in Colombia in 2013. They started their relationship, and he visited Colombia. In June 2014, he proposed to her during their trip to Mexico. After his proposal, he retained our firm to file a fiancée petition for her.

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 November 5, 2014. We helped him and his fiancée draft letters in support of the fiancé petition, and we filed the petition on March 4, 2015.

On April 2, 2015, less than a month of the filing, the I-129F fiancée petition was approved. On November 25, 2015, our client’s fiancée appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia for her K-1 visa interview. The interview went well, and on the same day, the U.S. Embassy issued her K-1 visa.

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Post image for 245i Adjustment of Status Approval for Indian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Family Based Adjustment of Status (F2B) / 245(i)

CLIENT: Indian

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the U.S. from India and applied for his permanent residency three times in the past. His past efforts were unsuccessful and applications were denied due to numerous and complex issues (aging out, unlawful presence, priority dates). His U.S. citizen uncle filed an I-130 petition for his father in February 1989. With this I-130 petition, his parents came to the United States and became green card holders. Although our client was a derivative beneficiary of this I-130 petition, at the time of his adjustment of status, our client’s application was denied due to the “aging out” issue. After the first denial, our client’s father filed an I-130 F2B petition for our client and our client’s employer also filed an EB-2 I-140 petition as well. Nevertheless, our client’s adjustment of status application was denied due to the “unlawful presence” that he incurred unbeknownst to him (he changed his status in the U.S. from B-2 to H-1B, but there was a gap).

Our client contacted us around July of 2015 for consultation and sought legal assistance for his adjustment of status. After consultation, we determined that he is eligible for adjustment of status under INA 245(i) since his uncle’s I-130 petition grand-fathered our client’s case. Our client retained us on July 29, 2015.

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.

As mentioned above, our client, despite “aging-out” and despite not having physical presence in December 2000, is eligible to adjust status based on the approved I-130 F2b Petition filed by his father because he is INA 245(i) eligible as the “beneficiary” of an I-130 Petition filed by his uncle to his father in February 1989. We also argued that our client was specifically listed as a derivative beneficiary of this I-130.  Therefore, he is grandfathered under 245(i) and even though he “aged-out”, he remains a beneficiary for purposes of 245(i). Moreover, since the I-130 Petition was filed in February, 1989, which is before January 14, 1998, he does not need to prove physical presence in December 2000.

On August 6, 2015, our office filed his I-485 adjustment of status application under the 245(i) category for our client.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment all came on time.  Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our client as well. On January 7, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office.  Attorney JP Sarmiento from our office accompanied our client. Eventually, on January 13, 2016, our client’s I-485 adjustment of status application was approved.

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Post image for I-130 I-485 Green Card Marriage Approval for Visa Waiver Entrant Korean Client in Columbus Ohio

Case: I-130/I-485

Applicant/Beneficiary – Korean

Location: Columbus, OH

Our client entered the United States in July 2015 from South Korea under the visa waiver program. He married his U.S. citizen wife in March 2015 in South Korea. He came to the United States as a visitor with his wife and first intended to help his wife who just began her graduate studies in the United States.  As a Visa Waiver Entrant, he was only authorized to remain in the United States for 90 days. While he was staying in the United States, he was informed that he could file adjustment of status in the United States even though he entered as a visa waiver entrant.  He contacted our office, and they retained us on August 31, 2015.

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.

Our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on October 7, 2015.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status. 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 at our office. On January 8, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Columbus Ohio USCIS Field Office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu, Esq. from our office accompanied our clients for the interview. Despite the visa waiver issue, on the same day of the interview, the USCIS approved his green card application.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for J2 Waiver Post Divorce IGA Approval for Chinese Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce

NATIONALITY: Chinese

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is a Chinese Citizen who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in 2008. He came with his wife who held a J-1 Visa as a researcher. Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.

Unfortunately, their marriage did not work out and he eventually got divorced from his ex-wife. He was still subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, and he would like to change his status in the United States. Until he gets a waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement, he cannot change his status in the United States.

He contacted our office, and our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver on October 14, 2015.

On November 6, 2015 the J-2 Waiver Application along with the Form 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.

On November 30, 2015, the DOS sent a recommendation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for our client be granted a waiver. On December 23, 2015, the USCIS issued the I-612 waiver approval.

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Post image for I-130 and I-485 Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Filipina Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

CLIENT: Filipina

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from the Philippines on a J-1 exchange visa in March 2014. Her J-1 program was not subject to the 2 year foreign residency requirement.  She married a U.S. Citizen in June 2015 and retained our office on June 29, 2015 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on August 18, 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 as well. On November 9, 2015, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on December 21, 2015, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for I-130 I-485 Green Card Marriage Approval for Visa Waiver Entrant Portuguese Client in Cleveland Ohio

Case: I-130/I-485

Applicant/Beneficiary – Portuguese

Location: Cleveland, OH

Our client entered the United States in December 2014 from Portugal under the visa waiver program. He came here to visit his U.S. citizen girlfriend (now his wife) for a couple months. As a Visa Waiver Entrant, he was only authorized to remain in the United States for 90 days. However, our client did not leave the United States after his authorized period of stay expired.

Later, in June 2015, our client and his U.S. citizen girlfriend married in the United States. His U.S. citizen wife filed an I-130 petition for him first. However, they contacted our office for the filing of his adjustment of status application. They retained us on August 13, 2015.

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.

Our office filed the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on September 3, 2015.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status. 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 in our office. On November 23, 2015, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland Ohio USCIS Field Office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients. Despite the visa waiver issue, on December 16, 2015, the USCIS approved his green card application.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Marriage Based I-130 and I-485 Green Card Approval for Ghanaian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

CLIENT: Ghanaian

LOCATION: Cleveland Ohio

Our client came to the United States in July 2011 with a J-1 visa from Ghana. Later, she married a U.S. Citizen in February 2015 and retained our office for her petition and adjustment of status application.

She also asked us to file her daughter’s (Petitioner’s step-daughter) adjustment of status application.

Once retained, our firm prepared and filed the I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application on September 25, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. There were no requests for evidence.

Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office. On December 3, 2015, our clients were interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied them at their interview as well. On December 11, 2015, our client and her daughter’s green card applications were approved.

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Post image for Green Card Approval for Chinese Pianist after I-140 EB-11 (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) Approval in Cleveland, Ohio

CASE: I-485 adjustment of status / I-140 / EB-11 (Alien of Extraordinary Ability)

CLIENT: Chinese

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client contacted us in May 2014 about the possibility of getting an immigrant visa through the EB-11 category. He is an internationally known Pianist and is currently working as a pianist in the Cleveland area.  Our client has received multiple international awards and has appeared in numerous recitals in several cities in the world.  Also, has performed at the Carnegie Hall in New York City, and has been published in publications such as the Plain Dealer. Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was qualified for the EB-11 category, an alien of extraordinary ability.

According to INA Section 203(b):

(1)   Priority workers – visas shall first be made available… to qualified immigrants who are aliens described in any of the following sub-paragraphs (A) through (C):

(A) Aliens with extraordinary – an alien is described in this sub-paragraph if-

(i)                The alien has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletes which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,

(ii)               The alien seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and

(iii)             The alien’s entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

USCIS has consistently recognized that Congress intended to set a very high standard for individuals seeking immigrant visas as aliens of extraordinary ability.  See H.R. 723 101st Cong.2d Sess. 59 (1990); 56 Fed. Reg. 60897, 60898-99 (Nov. 29, 1991).  The term “extraordinary ability” refers only to those individuals in that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. Id. And 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(2).

The regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3) requires that an alien demonstrate his or her sustained acclaim and the recognition of his or her achievements in the field.  Such acclaim and achievements must be established either through evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major international recognized award) or through meeting at least three of the following ten categories of evidence:

(i)                 Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

(ii)               Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;

(iii)             Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought.  Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;

(iv)             Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;

(v)               Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;

(vi)             Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

(vii)           Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at an artistic exhibitions or showcases;

(viii)         Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

(ix)             Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or

(x)               Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

After review of our client’s credentials and qualifications, we determined that our client can meet 4 of the 10 categories, which is more than 3 required as an alien of extraordinary ability. Our client has been awarded numerous national and international awards for his piano performance; has made an original contribution in the musical field of piano performance; has participated in a judging panel in numerous prestigious national and international piano competition events; and his distinguished achievements and success in piano performance were published in professional and major media.

Our office prepared a 19-page brief for our client’s EB-11 filing. Our client also obtained 8 letters of recommendation from internationally well-known piano professors and players. Our office also included his performance coverage, awards, media coverage, medals, recital records, and other materials to show that he is an alien of extraordinary ability in piano performance. His EB-11 I-140 application contained 55 exhibits.

Our office filed his I-140 (EB-11) petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center via regular processing on October 31, 2014.

However, on April 13, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE). In the RFE, the USCIS claimed that our client only met 2 of the 10 requisite statutory categories of EB-11. In the response brief, our office demonstrated that our client indeed met more categories and provided more letters of recommendations, media coverage documents, recent performance records, and leadership positions.  Our office filed the response to RFE on June 19, 2015.  Eventually, on July 7, 2015, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved his I-140 self-petition.

Once his I-140 was approved, our client retained our office again for his I-485 adjustment of status application. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client on August 6, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time. However, on October 9, 2015, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for his adjustment of status application. In the RFE, the USCIS claimed that our client did not comply immigration law while he was in OPT status. They also claimed he worked illegally while volunteering to provide piano lessons in Church. In response, we argued that his volunteer work was part of Church activities. He was not compensated for it, and it’s volunteer and charitable work that does not displace American workers.

 Eventually, on December 8, 2015, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, he finally is a green card holder.

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