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CASE: I-485 based on Approved I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A

APPLICANT: Mexican Registered Nurse

LOCATION: Midland, Texas

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from Mexico licensed in the state of Texas. She came to the United States and currently works in the United States on her TN visa.  Her current employer was willing to petition her for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140).

Since she is a registered nurse, she is 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 Professional Nurses is included in Schedule A.

Our client has a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree from a U.S. institution and has worked for the sponsor-employer. Our firm told her that her employer can petition her as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. Our office was retained on December 2, 2015 and started on her Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on March 23, 2016 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, and other necessary supporting documents.  However, on April 4, 2016, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) and requested our client to submit documents to prove her employer’s “ability to pay” standard. Our client’s employer provided a federal corporate tax record and other documents to demonstrate that they have ability to pay our client’s proffered wage. Our office filed the response to RFE on April 29, 2016. Eventually, the I-140 was approved on May 11, 2016.

In September 2016, her priority date became current. Our office proceeded with our client’s and her husband’s I-485 adjustment of status applications. We prepared and file our clients’ adjustment of status applications along with supporting documents to USCIS on September 7, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time.

This case was transferred to the local USCIS office in El Paso, TX and they appeared at the interview for the adjustment of status interview with Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office on February 9, 2017.  The interview went well; eventually, our client’s adjustment application was approved by the USCIS on February 13, 2017.  

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

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Filipina                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client is from the Philippines who came to the U.S. on a B-2 Visitor’s Visa in April 2011.  In September 2015, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in October 2015 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on November 5, 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 via conference calls as well. On December 8, 2016, our client was interviewed at Houston Texas USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office also accompanied our clients as well. Eventually, on December 9, 2016, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for Green Card Approval (EB-2 NIW) for Korean Researcher (in the field of power systems engineering and renewable energy technology) in Dallas Texas

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Dallas, TX

Our client contacted us in May 2015 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver. He is a researcher from South Korea and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of renewable energy technology.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of his field of endeavor. Throughout his research career, our client has made critical research contributions and developed an innovative algorithm to forecast the future variability of long-term wind power scenarios by analyzing the power spectral density of wind power outputs. Moreover, our client suggested an innovative stochastic storage operation algorithm based on his probabilistic wind power forecasting algorithm in order to limit the severe ramp rates of wind power. His expertise in probabilistic renewable energy forecasting is 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 19-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 7 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 34 exhibits (Exhibit A to HH).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on July 7, 2016. Eventually, on October 3, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.  Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. On November 17, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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Post image for EB3 Priority Date Retention Green Card Approval for Filipina Registered Nurse in Houston Texas

CASE: I-485 Adjustment of Status / I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A

BENEFICIARY: Filipina Registered Nurse

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. Prior to retaining us, she was working at a nursing / rehabilitation center in the greater Houston area under an H-1B status. Her current employer was willing to petition her for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Our client also has an approved EB-3 I-140 petition with a priority date of November 2009.

Since she is a registered nurse, she is 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 Professional Nurses is included in Schedule A.

Also, under 8 CFR 204.5(e):

“Retention of section 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) priority date. A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) or 205 of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.”

As mentioned above, our client’s approved I-140 petition was not denied, was actually approved, and was never revoked at any point. Thus, by virtue of 8 CFR 204.5(e), this succeeding I-140 Petition by our client’s prospective employer for our client is entitled to the previous priority date.

Our client has a nursing degree and has several years of related experience. Our firm told her that her current employer can petition her as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. More importantly, since the priority date of her previous I-140 was current, she can eventually apply for her immigrant visa via consular processing. Our office was retained on October 29, 2014 and we started on her Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on January 7, 2015 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents.  Eventually, on January 15, 2015, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  

Once the I-140 petition was approved, our client retained our office again for her and her family members’ I-485 adjustment of status applications. Our office filed an I-485 adjustment of status application for our client and her family members on February 11, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time. However, while the applications were pending, the EB-3 priority dates for the Philippines nationals were retrogressed so that our client cases could not be adjudicated.  

Her priority dates became current again in 2016. However, on August 25, 2016, the USCIS issued the Request for Evidence for our clients for their new medical records. Our client and her family members submitted their new medical records to the USCIS on October 4, 2016. Eventually, on October 27, 2016, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved our client and her family members’ adjustment of status applications. Now, she finally is a green card holder.

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Post image for Eb2 Nurse Manager Immigrant Visa Approval for Filipino Client in Bangkok Thailand

CASE: Immigrant Visa / I-140 (EB-2 Category) / Schedule A

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipino

LOCATION: Beneficiary: Thailand / Petitioner: Houston, TX

Our Filipino client was working in Thailand as a nurse coordinator. His prospective employer-sponsor in Texas was willing to petition him for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since he has a registered nurse license and the proffered position for him is a nurse manager at the nursing care facility, the petitioner wanted to try going for a “Schedule A” classification. They also wanted to do EB2 (requiring at least a Masters degree or Bachelors degree + 5 yrs experience).

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 having to file a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor. 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. We argued that the position of Health Services Manager should be classified under Schedule A. We argued that it falls under the broad spectrum of “professional nurse” occupations. We also argued that the job description has excerpts that fall under “professional nurse” and that the description justifies the requirements also of Bachelor’s degree in nursing and five years of related experiences.

Our client has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and 5 years of experience as a nurse coordinator and a coordination nurse. He also has a registered nursing license in the state of Texas. Our office was retained and we started on the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.

Once the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on February 16, 2016 via premium processing. We included a 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 the nurse manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

However, on March 2, 2016, the USCIS Texas Service Center issued the Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) for our client’s I-140. The USCIS alleged whether our client’s past experience letters from Thailand were genuine. We submitted new past experience letters and submitted the response to NOID on March 11, 2016.

Eventually, on March 17, 2016, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved his EB-2 I-140 petition.

Once his I-140 was approved, our client retained our office again for his immigrant visa processing. Once we were retained, our office filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on May 16, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. An interview notice was set for the client at the U.S. Embassy in Thailand. On October 4, 2016, our client appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. The interview went well, and the Embassy approved and issued his immigrant visa.

With the approved Immigrant Visa, our client can come to the United States immediately, and he will get his green card within two months of entry.

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Post image for Filipino Registered Nurse Immigrant Visa on EB-3 I-140 Schedule A Approved for Client in the Philippines

CASE: Immigrant Visa / I-140 (EB-3 Category) / Schedule A / Old Priority Date Retention

EMPLOYER: Nursing / Rehabilitation Center

BENEFICIARY: Filipino Registered Nurse in the Philippines

LOCATION: Manila, Philippines

Our client’s beneficiary is a registered nurse from the Philippines licensed in the state of Texas. Currently, he is working at a hospital in the Philippines as a nurse. His prospective employer was willing to petition him for a third-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Our client also has an approved EB-3 I-140 petition with a priority date of July 2008.

Since he is a registered nurse, he is 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 Professional Nurses is included in Schedule A.

Also, under 8 CFR 204.5(e):

“Retention of section 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) priority date. A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) or 205 of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.”

As mentioned above, our client’s approved I-140 petition was not denied, was actually approved, and was never revoked at any point. Thus, by virtue of 8 CFR 204.5(e), this succeeding I-140 Petition by our client’s prospective employer for our client is entitled to the previous priority date.

Our client has a nursing degree and has several years of related experience. Our firm told him that his potential employer can petition him as a Registered Nurse under the schedule A category. More importantly, since the priority date of his previous I-140 was current, he can eventually apply for his immigrant visa via consular processing. Our office was retained on July 22, 2014 and started on his Prevailing Wage Request.

We filed the I-140 application on March 15, 2015 via premium processing. We included the job offer letter, the notice of filing, his previous I-140 approval notice, and other necessary supporting documents.  Eventually, on March 23, 2015, the I-140 was approved and it retained our client’s old priority date.  

Once his priority date became current, our client retained our office again for his immigrant visa processing. Once we were retained, our office filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on May 12, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. An interview notice was set for the client at the U.S. Embassy in Philippines. On August 15, 2016, our client appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. Eventually, on October 25, 2016, the Immigrant Visa was issued for our client.

With the approved Immigrant Visa, our client can come to the United States immediately, and he will get his green card within two months of entry.

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Post image for I-130 and I-485 Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Approval for Thai Client in Dallas Texas

CASE: I-130/I-485 / J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement / Over 21-year-old dependent child

NATIONALITY: Thai

LOCATION: Dallas Texas

Our client is a citizen of Thailand who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in 1990.  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 our client came to the United States, he has remained in the United States beyond the expiration of his authorized stay period. He completed his elementary and secondary schools and finished his bachelor and graduate programs in the United States as well. He did not know of his overstayed status until he became a late teenager.

He turned 21 in 2005. Nonetheless, he did not know of the waiver process, lost his I-94 record and did not have J-2 related documents beside J-2 visa stamp on his old passport. Later, he became a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and got his work permit.

Our client married his current U.S. citizen wife in October 2012. He would like to get a waiver because he can get a green card based on his U.S. citizen wife’s I-130 petition. However, because of his two-year foreign residency requirement, our client cannot change his status 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 2005.

Our firm was retained to do his J-2 waiver and replacement of his I-94. We first filed I-102 application to USCIS on June 12, 2015 in order to obtain his I-94 record replacement. The USCIS issued his replace I-94 on September 21, 2015. Thereafter, on September 25, 2015, 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 October 14, 2015 the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver.  On October 25, 2015, the USCIS issued an I-612 approval notice for our client’s waiver request.

Once his J-1 waiver was approved, our client retained our office again for his adjustment of status application. Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and Adjustment of Status Application on November 23, 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 through conference calls. On October 14, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Irving, Texas USCIS office.  The interview went well, and eventually, on the same day of the interview, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Korean Researcher (in the field of power systems engineering and renewable energy technology) in Dallas Texas

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Dallas, TX

Our client contacted us in May 2015 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is a researcher from South Korea and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of renewable energy technology.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of his field of endeavor. Throughout his research career, our client has made critical research contributions and developed an innovative algorithm to forecast the future variability of long-term wind power scenarios by analyzing the power spectral density of wind power outputs. Moreover, our client suggested an innovative stochastic storage operation algorithm based on his probabilistic wind power forecasting algorithm in order to limit the severe ramp rates of wind power. His expertise in probabilistic renewable energy forecasting is 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 19-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 7 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 34 exhibits (Exhibit A to HH).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on July 7, 2016. Eventually, on October 3, 2016, the USCIS approved his I-140 petition without any Requests for Evidence.  When we filed his I-140, he concurrently filed his I-485 adjustment of status application. His adjustment of status application will be approved soon as well.

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Post image for Marriage Based I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Mexican Client in Dallas Texas

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: Mexican                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Dallas, TX

Our client is from Mexico who came to the U.S. on a B-2 Visitor’s Visa in May 2015.  In July 2015, our client married his current U.S. citizen wife.  He retained our office in July 2015 for his green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on August 25, 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 via conference calls as well. On September 6, 2016, our client was interviewed at Irving Texas USCIS office. Eventually, on September 28, 2016, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for Nurse Manager Immigration Schedule A EB2 I-140 Approval for Filipina Beneficiary and Nursing Care Facility Petitioner in Houston, TX

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

EMPLOYER: Nursing Care Facility

BENEFICIARY: Filipina

LOCATION: Beneficiary: Philippines / Petitioner: Houston, TX

Our client is in the Philippines. Her prospective employer-sponsor is willing to petition her for a second-preference employment immigrant visa petition (I-140). Since she has a registered nurse license and the proffered position for her is a nurse manager at the nursing care facility, the petition wanted to try going for a “Schedule A” classification. They also wanted to do EB2 (requiring at least a Masters degree or Bachelors degree + 5 yrs experience).

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 having to file a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor. 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. We argued that the position of Health Services Manager should be classified under Schedule A. We argued that it falls under the broad spectrum of “professional nurse” occupations. We also argued that the job description has excerpts that fall under “professional nurse” and that the description justifies the requirements also of Bachelor’s degree in nursing and five years of related experiences.

Our client has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and 5 years of experience as a staff nurse. She also has a registered nursing license in the state of Texas. Our office was retained and we started on the Prevailing Wage Determination filing and other related matters.

Once the prevailing wage was determined, we filed the I-140 application on September 20, 2016 via premium processing. We included a 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 the nurse manager position falls under a Schedule A and EB2 designation.

Eventually, on September 29, 2016, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved her EB-2 I-140 petition. Now, with the approved EB-2 I-140 petition (priority date for EB2 Philippines nationals is current), she can file immigrant visa in the Philippines.

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