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Post image for Green Card Marriage Approval Despite Visa Waiver Entry and Potential Immigrant Intent Issues for French Client in Cleveland Ohio

Case: I-130/I-485

Applicant/Beneficiary – French

Location: Cleveland, OH

Our client entered the United States in November 2013 from France under the visa waiver program. She came here to visit her U.S. citizen boyfriend (now husband). As a Visa Waiver Entrant, she was only authorized to remain in the United States for 90 days.

Less than a month after her entry, in late November 2013, our client and her U.S. citizen boyfriend got married in the United States.

Afterwards, she contacted our office, and they retained us.

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.  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.

Another potential issue was immigrant intent. When someone comes on a non-immigrant status or visa waiver, there shouldn’t be any intent on that entry to apply for adjustment of status. In their case though, despite the marriage, at that point they weren’t set on actually living in the United States. Thus, there was no immigrant intent upon entry.

Our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on December 26, 2013.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status and argued that the application was filed before her authorized period of stay expired. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, the fingerprint appointment, and the work permit all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients.

On April 10, 2014, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS Field Office.  We accompanied them at the interview as well.  Despite the visa waiver and potential immigrant intent issue, on the same day, the USCIS approved her green card application.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for I751 Approval for Russian Client in Cleveland, OH with Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement due to Divorce

CASE: I-751 / Waiver of the Joint Waiver Requirement

APPLICANT: Russian

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client contacted our office in early February of 2013 regarding her potential I-751 filing. She came to the United States as an F-1 student from Russia and she married a U.S. citizen (her ex-husband) in December 2010.

Through her marriage, she was able to obtain a 2-year conditional green card in July of 2011. Thus, her conditional residency terminated in July 2013.

Unfortunately, their marriage ended in February 2012. Our client experienced a lot of difficulties during her marriage with her ex-husband. Thus, our client could not file the I-751 application jointly with her ex-husband.

Our client’s case was tough because they got separated a few months after she got the green card. However, she had compelling reasons for getting separated and eventually divorced. We requested a waiver because our client entered into the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was terminated through divorce or annulment before they can file a joint petition. We focused on the supporting documents that she can show and helped her draft an extensive affidavit about their marriage, and why it ended the way it did.

On March 19, 2013, our office filed the I-751 application with various supporting documents (over 18 exhibits and an affidavit over 5 pages) to demonstrate our client’s bona fide marriage with her ex-husband.  We also attached numerous notarized affidavits from our client’s friends.

However, on July 29, 2013, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFEs) to demonstrate the bona fideness of our client’s marriage with her ex-husband. We filed an extensive Response to RFE to the USCIS with more bona fide marital documents on September 30, 2013.

In October 2013, the USCIS scheduled an I-751 interview for our client.

Prior to the interview, our office thoroughly prepared our client at our office and informed them of potential issues at the interview.

On November 14, 2013, our client was interviewed for her I-751 application at the USCIS Cleveland, OH Field Office.  Attorney Glen Sung Hee Yu from our office accompanied our client.  The interview was very extensive.  Nevertheless, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application on April 10, 2014. Now, she has her ten-year green card.

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Post image for I-751 Removal of Conditions Approval for Filipina Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-751

APPLICANT: Filipina

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client contacted our office in early October 2013 regarding her I-751 application.

She is from the Philippines and she married a U.S. citizen in October 2011. Through her marriage, she obtained a 2-year conditional green card in January 2012.  Her conditional residency terminated in January 2014.

To comply with immigration requirements, our client and her husband had to file an I-751 Joint Petition to Remove Conditions. She retained our office again on October 13, 2013 and our office prepared an I-751 application for our client with other supplemental exhibits.

On October 30, 2013, our office filed an I-751 application to the USCIS with multiple affidavits from her friends and family members, joint bank statements, utility bills, insurance policies, and photos of our client and her husband to demonstrate the bona fideness of their marriage.

After the application was filed, the fingerprint notice was issued two weeks later. There was no RFE issuance or interview request for our client’s I-751 application. As a result, on March 15, 2014, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application and our client received her 10-year green card.

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Post image for Marriage to US Citizen F2A to IR Green Card Approval for Indian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage to US Citizen Green Card

CLIENT: Indian

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from India. Currently, she is working for her employer under an H-1B visa.  Later, she married her current husband, who was a green card holder at the time of filing, in September 2012.

Our client retained our office in the middle of September 2013 for her I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application. Although the Petitioner was a green card holder, we could file the I-130 / I-485 simultaneously at that time because the priority date for the F2A category was current in August and September 2013.

Our office prepared and filed an I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, together with all necessary supporting documents, on September 26, 2013. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time.

While her green card application was pending, our client’s husband took his naturalization test and interview in February 2014.  Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office. On February 6, 2014, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office.

The interview went well, however, our client’s green card application could not be adjudicated because of the retrogression of priority dates.

On February 21, 2014, our client’s husband finally took his oath and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. After the ceremony, our client’s husband gave us a copy of his naturalization certificate which our office eventually submitted to the USCIS office on the same day.

By doing this, our client’s case was upgraded from the F2A category to Immediate Relative, which has available immigrant visa numbers all the time. Eventually, on February 27, 2014, the USCIS approved our client’s green card application.

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Post image for Approved I485 on Approved I140 NIW National Interest Waiver for Korean Material Scientist in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: I-485 (National Interest Waiver)

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client contacted us in April 2012 regarding the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition for him. He is a post-doctorate researcher and scientist in the field of Material Science / Engineering, and is currently working as a post-doctorate researcher in an academic institution in Cleveland, Ohio.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of material science and engineering. He is a leading scientist with an excellent reputation in alloy design, especially in titanium alloys which are promising structural and functional materials for the next generation. Our client successfully brazed Ti alloys which are mostly used in aerospace and chemical applications. Successfully joining of titanium alloys is of great importance to national defense. He also developed very low-melting Ti-based filler alloys for Ti alloys. Lower brazing temperature would ensure lower risk of damaging aerospace components during processing.

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 23-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 9 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized scientists. Our office also included his publication records, patents, 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 58 exhibits.

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on November 8, 2012. Eventually, on November 14, 2013, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s I-140 petition.

While his I-140 was pending, we filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client on November 6, 2013. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on February 21, 2014, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Cap Exempt to Non Cap Exempt H1B Change of Employer Approval for Industrial Material Company and Chinese Industrial Material Research Scientist in Ohio

CASE: H-1B Change of Employer (Cap Exempt to Non Cap Exempt)

PETITIONER: Industrial Material Company

BENEFICIARY: Chinese Industrial Material Research Scientist

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client is an industrial material company focused on the production and commercialization of high-performance / non-immunogenic biomaterials for use in the medial and consumer healthcare arenas. They are located in Wooster, Ohio. They contacted our office in early January 2014 to seek legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee. The beneficiary is from China and he obtained his Master’s degree in Plant Pathology in the United States. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is an industrial material research scientist which qualifies as a specialty occupation. This proffered position is clearly a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s Degree in Science/Engineering or its equivalent.

The foreign beneficiary in this case already had his H-1B visa from his previous employer.  However, his H-1B visa was not yet expired, and he wanted to extend his H-1B status on a change of employer basis. His H-1B at that time was with his first petitioner, which was a cap-exempt organization – a university.

There were articles online noting that when a change of employer is done from a cap-exempt organization to a non cap-exempt organization, that the change of employer may be subject to the cap. But there was no specific law on that. We simply based the application on the fact that it was a change of employer, and thus the petition should be exempted from the annual cap of the H-1B.

Once retained, our office filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on January 29, 2014 via regular processing.  Since this petition was based on a change of employer, we argued that this petition was exempt from the annual cap of the H-1B.  Thus, we could file prior to April 1.

There were no Requests for Evidence during the processing of the H-1B.  Our client did not even want to do premium processing. But in approximately two weeks, our client’s H-1B Petition was approved on February 14, 2014.  Now the Beneficiary can work for his Petitioner-Employer as an H-1B visa holder and he can work there for the next three years.

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Post image for Marriage to US Citizen Green Card Approval for Chinese Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Green Card

CLIENT: Chinese

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client came to the United States in May 2003 with a B-1 Visa from China. After his authorized stay expired, he remained in the United States. He married a U.S. Citizen in August 2013.  Our client retained our office for his I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application on October 8, 2013. Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, together with all necessary supporting documents, on November 25, 2013. 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 February 14, 2014, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu accompanied them as well.  On the same day, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for NFL Player Cleveland Brown Marriage Based Green Card Approval for Jamaican Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage-Based Green Card

CLIENT: Jamaican

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is a professional football player who plays for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. He came to the United States from Jamaica when he was a high school student and went to college as an F-1 student. After he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, he started to play in the NFL as a P-1 visa holder. Later on he was picked up by the Cleveland Browns as a free agent.

He married a U.S. Citizen in August 2012.

Months later, our client retained our office for his I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, and our firm prepared and filed the I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, together with all necessary supporting documents, on November 25, 2013. 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 February 14, 2014, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu accompanied them as well.  On the same day, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for Marriage to US Citizen Green Card Approval for Indian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Marriage to US Citizen Green Card

CLIENT: Indian

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from India. Currently, he is working for his employer under an H-1B visa.  Later, he married his current wife, who was a green card holder at the time of filing, in June 2011.

Our client retained our office in early September 2013 for his I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application. Although the Petitioner was a green card holder, we could file the I-130 / I-485 simultaneously at that time because the priority date for the F2A category was current in August and September 2013.

Our office prepared and filed an I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, together with all necessary supporting documents, on September 26, 2013. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time.

While his green card application was pending, our client’s wife took her naturalization test and interview on January 7, 2014.  Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office. On January 10, 2014, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office.

The interview went well, however, our client’s green card application could not be adjudicated because of the retrogression of the priority date.

On February 7, 2014, our client’s wife finally took her oath and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. After the ceremony, our client’s wife gave us a copy of her naturalization certificate which our office eventually submitted to the USCIS office on the same day.

By doing this, our client’s case can be upgraded from the F2A category to Immediate Relative, which has available immigrant visa numbers all the time. Eventually, on February 10, 2014, the USCIS approved our client’s green card application.

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Post image for Termination of Proceedings and Late Filing of I-751 Removal of Conditions Approval for Ecuadorian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Termination of Proceedings / I-751

APPLICANT: Ecuadorian

LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client contacted our office in April 2012 regarding her removal proceedings representation and I-751 application.

She is from Ecuador and married a U.S. citizen in October 2004. Through her marriage, she obtained a 2-year conditional green card in September 2006.  Her conditional residency terminated in September 2008.

To comply with immigration requirements, our client and her husband had to file an I-751 Joint Petition to Remove Conditions. However, they filed their I-751 application late. Later on, our client was placed in removal proceedings and had to appear for her Master Calendar hearing at the Cleveland Immigration Court on May 2, 2012. Our client retained our office on April 30, 2012 and Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu represented our client at her initial Master Calendar Hearing. After the hearing, the Court scheduled an individual hearing to review her denied I-751 application.

In the meantime, our office contacted the Cleveland DHS office to terminate her removal proceedings. We prepared an affidavit of “good cause” for the late filing and showed it together with the bona fide evidence to the DHS. As a result, on September 19, 2013, the DHS agreed to terminate her removal proceedings. Accordingly, the Immigration Judge terminated our client’s removal proceedings.

Once her removal proceeding was terminated, our office prepared an I-751 application for our client with other supplemental exhibits including a detailed brief on why she filed her initial I-751 application late.

On September 30, 2013, our office filed an I-751 application to the USCIS with multiple affidavits from her friends and family members, joint bank statements, utility bills, insurance policies, and photos of our client and her husband to demonstrate the bona fideness of their marriage.

Once the application was filed, the fingerprint notice was issued two weeks later. There was no RFE issuance or interview request for our client’s I-751 application. As a result, on January 29, 2014, the USCIS approved our client’s I-751 application and our client received her 10-year green card which removed conditions on her residency.

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