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Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval After 601 Hardship Waiver Approval for Chinese Client in China

CASE:   Immigrant Visa / I-601A Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Chinese

LOCATION: Guangzhou, China (Visa Interview)

Our client came to the United States from China without inspection and admission. Removal proceedings were initiated against him as an alien present in the United States without having been admitted or paroled. He was deported back to China in 2001. He has a naturalized citizen son and LPR wife.

Our client’s U.S. Citizen son filed an I-130 petition for him and this I-130 petition was approved on March 24, 2014. However, our client cannot file for an immigrant visa without a waiver of inadmissibility to become a green card holder.

INA § 212(i) provides for a discretionary waiver of the entry without inspection inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her US Citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(i)(1). In addition to the equities presented, the USCIS may consider the nature of the inadmissibility ground.

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified the factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

Our client’s I-601 application had a good chance since our client’s LPR wife suffers from a great degree of medical and psychological hardship. In the I-601 brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports of his wife.  We argued that it would be extremely difficult for our client’s wife to get the same level of therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in China in case she joins our client there.

In our brief, we also argued that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in China, and that his wife will face extreme financial and emotional difficulties if she joins him in China.

On February 1, 2016, we file the I-601 waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife’s extensive medical and psychological examination records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if she joins our client in China. Eventually, his I-601 waiver was approved on October 18, 2016. Then, we filed our client’s immigrant visa package to National Visa Center on October 25, 2016 with an approved I-601 waiver. The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China informed our office that they scheduled an immigrant visa interview for our client. On February 8, 2017, our client appeared at his immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, and the Consulate officer approved his immigrant visa on the same day.

 

Now, our client can come back to the United States with an approved immigrant visa and he will get his green card in a mail within two months of his entry to the United States.  

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Post image for Green Card Approval after Successful Response to RFE for Filipina Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Adjustment of Status / Response to RFE

CLIENT: Filipina

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is from the Philippines with K-1 Fiancée Visa. Once she came to the United States with her K-1 Visa, within 90 days of her entry, she married to her boyfriend (now her U.S. citizen husband). Then, she filed I-485 adjustment of status application by herself in 2016. However, on August 26, 2016, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence. After the issuance of RFE, our client contacted our office and retained us on October 17, 2016.   

Once retained, we helped our client obtain supporting documents for the adjustment of status and prepared the response brief for RFE. We fully explained the basis of her adjustment of status and her husband’s financial ability through Form I-864. On October 20, 2016, we filed the Response to RFE.

On February 17, 2017, our client’s adjustment of status application was approved. Our client finally becomes a green card holder.

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Post image for Immigrant Visa Approval Based on Marriage-Based I-130 for Petitioner in Ohio and Chinese Beneficiary in Hunan, China

CASE: I-130 and Consular Processing (Immigrant Visa) – Marriage-Petition
CLIENT: US Citizen Petitioner; Chinese Beneficiary in China
LOCATION: Petitioner: Ohio; Beneficiary: Hunan, China

Our client is a U.S. citizen.  He married his wife in China in November 2015.  After the marriage, he came back to the United States and contacted our office in early January 2016 and retained us to bring his wife to the States.

Our office prepared and filed the I-130 to the National Visa Center on January 22, 2016. After the I-130 was filed, everything went smoothly, there were no requests for evidence, and the receipt notices came on time. The I-130 Petition was approved by the USCIS on April 8, 2016. After the I-130 approval, we filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on June 1, 2016, who in turn forwarded our client’s materials to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. An interview notice was set for the client at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, and we prepared her for her interview. On August 3, 2016, the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China approved and issued her immigrant visa.

With the approved Immigrant visa, our client’s wife can come to the United States immediately, and she will get her green card within two months of entry.

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Post image for I-130 Approval and Termination of Removal Proceedings for Cameroonian Client in Columbus Ohio

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition

CLIENT: Cameroonian
LOCATION: Columbus, Ohio

Our client is from Cameroon who came to the U.S. on a F-1 Student Visa in April 2008 to study. Our client currently resides in the greater Columbus area with his current U.S. Citizen wife. They were married in July 2013, and he retained our office on July 11, 2016 for the I-130 petition. Our client’s U.S. citizen wife filed the I-130 petition for our client before, but it was denied. Moreover, our client was placed in removal proceedings in 2010 at the Baltimore Immigration Court and the Court granted withholding of removal relief for our client. Once we were retained, our office prepared and filed the I-130 petition for our client and filed it to the USCIS on July 22, 2016.

Our client’s I-130 interview was scheduled on October 18, 2016 at Columbus USCIS Filed Office.  Prior to the interview, our office thoroughly prepared our client and his wife for the interview at our office. Attorney Yu also accompanied them for their interview. The interview lasted two hours, but the I-130 petition was eventually approved on the same day of the interview.

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 Baltimore, MD agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice on February 10, 2017.  Now, he can file his I-485 adjustment of status application to USCIS to obtain his green card.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Through Marriage, Visa Waiver Entry for Korean Client in Cleveland, OH

Case: I-130/I-485
Applicant/Beneficiary – Korean
Location: Cleveland, OH

Our client entered the United States in August 2016 from South Korea under the visa waiver program. She came here to visit her U.S. citizen boyfriend (now her husband) during summer. As a Visa Waiver Entrant, she was only authorized to remain in the United States only for 90 days.  

Later, in September of 2016, our client and her U.S. citizen boyfriend married in the United States. Her husband contacted our office, and they retained our office on September 27, 2016.  One main issue in her green card application through marriage was the fact that she 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.

Since our client resided in Cleveland, Ohio, her application had a better chance compared to states under the 9th Circuit (see Momeni v. Chertoff).  However, it was quite foreseeable that the USCIS field office will exercise its discretion to deny his application because of her visa waiver entry.  

Nevertheless, our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on October 11, 2016.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status and argued that the application was filed before her authorized stay period was expired. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, the fingerprint appointment, and the work permit all came on time. There was no Request for Evidence.  Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients. On January 30, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS Field Office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu accompanied them at the interview as well.  Despite the visa waiver issue, the USCIS officer approved her green card application on February 9, 2017.  Now, our client becomes a green card holder.

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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through No Objection Statement for Korean Researcher in Columbus Ohio

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

NATIONALITY: Korean

LOCATION: Columbus OH

Our client is from South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in September 2013.  He came to the U.S. for a post-doctoral program, but his J-1 program made him subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement.  He retained our office to seek legal assistance for his I-140 (National Interest Waiver Classification) and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. Before we file his I-140/I-485 application simultaneously, he has to get a waiver for his two-year foreign residency requirement.

Once retained, our office promptly prepared and filed a waiver request through the No Objection Statement (NOS) from the Korean Embassy in the United States.

Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office contacted the Korean Consulate General Office in Chicago to pursue the waiver for our client.  The Consulate requested six different documents including a statement of reason for the waiver, the applicant’s resume, a J-1 visa waiver confirmation application, and a letter of reason for obtaining the J-1 waiver.  Most of those documents needed to be written in Korean, so Attorney Yu, a Korean himself, assisted our client in completing those documents.

On October 13, 2016, the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  We also sent a request to the Korean Embassy to issue a No Objection Statement and recommend this waiver based on the fact that our client is eligible to file a National Interest Waiver petition and adjustment of status application.

The Korean Consulate General in Chicago forwarded our client’s documents to the Korean Embassy in DC.  After that, the Korean Embassy issued a No Objection Statement for our client, and sent this letter to the State Department’s Waiver Review Division.  On December 8, 2016, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. Eventually, on February 1, 2017, the USCIS issued I-612 approval notice and waived our client’s 2 year foreign residency requirement.

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Post image for Nurse Practitioner EB-2 Schedule A I-140 Approval for Thai Beneficiary and Non-Profit Mental Health Care Petitioner in Ohio

CASE: I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A / Premium Processing

EMPLOYER: Mental Health Non-Profit Organization

BENEFICIARY: Thai Nurse Practitioner

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client is a certified nurse practitioner. Her prospective employer was willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she was a certified 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 a Bachelors and Masters degree in nursing and is a certified Nurse Practitioner. Our office was retained on September 12, 2016 and we filed the Prevailing Wage Determination immediately.

We filed the I-140 application on January 23, 2017 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 January 31, 2017, without any Request for Evidence (RFE), the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Since the priority date for Thai national is current for the EB-2 category, she is eligible to file her adjustment of status application now.

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Post image for Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval Based on K-1 Fiancé Visa for Filipina Client in Cleveland, Ohio

CASE: Adjustment of Status Based on Approved K-1 Visa

CLIENT: Filipina

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States in July 2016 on a K-1 visa from the Philippines.  Our client is the beneficiary of an approved I-129F petition. She came to the United States as a K-1 Fiancée of a U.S. Citizen whom she married within 90 days of her entry. By law, if you marry your petitioner-fiancé within 90 days of your K-1 visa entry, you are eligible to apply for adjustment of status (green card) in the United States.

Our client contacted our office initially in the middle of August 2016 and consulted with us for her adjustment of status application. After retention, our firm quickly prepared and filed the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on September 6, 2016.  Things went smoothly and the receipt notices, and the fingerprint appointment all came on time.  

It is not mandatory to have an adjustment of status interview for an applicant who entered on a K-1 visa.  However, the USCIS may require an interview to test the validity and bona fide nature of the marriage between the Petitioner and Beneficiary. The USCIS did not require an adjustment interview for our client. On January 17, 2017, her green card application was finally approved.

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Post image for Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Filipina Client in Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Filipina                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client is from the Philippines who came to the U.S. on a B-2 visitor’s visa in October 2009. Since then, she has remained in the United States.  In February 2016, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in August 2016 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on September 19, 2016.  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 at our office as well. On January 13, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office also accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on January 25, 2017, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for I-140 EB2 Approval for Korean Dentist Beneficiary and Dental Group Petitioner in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-140 (EB-2)
EMPLOYER: Dental Group in Cleveland, OH
BENEFICIARY: Korean Dentist

 

Our client is from South Korea, who is currently working in the United States as an associate dentist under F-1 (OPT) status. His current employer was willing to do an immigration petition for him, second-preference. Our client has a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in the United States. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as an associate dentist. Based on our client’s education, professional and work background, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-2 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 October 6, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained Prevailing Wage determination, our office filed the job order on December 17, 2015.  On March 3, 2016, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on June 27, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Korean 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 22, 2016 via regular processing service. Eventually, on January 25, 2017, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Korean client was approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE). Our client already filed his I-485 adjustment of status application with his I-140 petition concurrently and his green card application will likely be approved soon.  

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