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Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Korean Researcher in the field of Urban Forestry in Virginia

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Korean

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in October 2016 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 urban forestry and urban ecosystem research.

Our client’s significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of his field. He has identified innovative solutions for improving energy conservation in dense urban areas. Specifically, our client is making significant contribution in the area of urban forestry for energy conservation and other ecosystem services. His research is revealing and identifying how trees influence local climate and can decrease building energy consumption which has important implications for city, state, federal policies across the United States.

Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was definitely 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. While we prepared his case, the AAO set the new standards for NIW cases in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016). Under the new standard, the petitioner must demonstrate that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance. Next, it must be shown that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. Finally, the petitioner seeking the waiver needs to demonstrate that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements. Id.

Our office prepared a 24-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 11 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized researchers. Our office also included his publication records, presentation records, and conference materials in the NIW application. We demonstrated that our client is one of the few elite researchers who have made significant and substantial contributions to his field of endeavor, that he is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, and it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification for our client. His NIW application contained 43 exhibits (Exhibit A to QQ).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on January 26, 2017. Eventually, on September 27, 2017, 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 VAWA I-360 Petition (Spouse of Abusive USC) Approval for Saudi Arabian Client in Georgia

CASE: I-360 Petition

NATIONALITY: Saudi Arabian

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client is from Saudi Arabia who came to the U.S. on an F-1 Visa in 2010.  She had a U.S. citizen husband who filed an I-130 petition for him. However, their relationship did not work out and they ended up in divorce.

In July 2016, she contacted our office to seek legal representation for her I-360 petition. According to her story, they had to get divorced because her husband was very abusive. With her story and other evidence, our office determined that she would be eligible for a VAWA I-360 self-petition as a spouse of abusive U.S. citizen.

Our client experienced domestic violence and spousal abuse during her marriage. Her husband physically and mentally abused our client throughout the years. Thus, we filed and prepared her I-360 petition, which included 14 exhibits and a detailed brief to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on August 11, 2016.  

Finally, on July 25, 2017, the USCIS Vermont Service Center approved our client’s I-360 petition. With the approved I-360, our client can file her I-485 adjustment of status application to the USCIS for her permanent residency.

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Post image for Green Card Approval Based on  NIW Approved for Jordanian Pharmaceutical Science Researcher in Virginia

CASE: I-485 / I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Jordanian

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in November 2014 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver self-petition. He is a researcher from Jordan and he is an exceptional scientist in the field of Pharmaceutical science. His research focuses on discovery, design, and development of small molecules therapy or technology to treat various cardiovascular diseases and conditions. He has obtained his J-1 hardship waiver through our office’s legal assistance in 2014 and contacted our office again for his NIW.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of pharmaceutical science. He has significantly and extensively contributed to the drug discovery, design, and development aspects of glycosaminoglycans and their structural mimetics to treat various diseases including, but not limited to, thrombosis, inflammation, cancer, and several infectious diseases. His researches were 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 34-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 10 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 116 exhibits (Exhibit A to LLLLL).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on December 26, 2014. However, on May 29, 2016, the USCIS issued Requests for Evidence and requested our client to submit updated ETA-9089 form. On May 31, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE. On July 12, 2016, his I-140 was approved by the USCIS.  Our office filed his I-485 application along with his I-140 petition concurrently. On June 15, 2017, the USCIS approved his I-485 application as well. Now, he is a green card holder.

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Post image for J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, Post-Divorce Interested Government Agency, Approved for Turkish Client in Virginia

CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce
NATIONALITY: Turkish
LOCATION: Virginia

Our client is a citizen of Turkey who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa in April 2007.  He came with his wife who held a J-1 Visa as a researcher.  Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. Since 2008, our client changed his status from J-2 to F-1 and pursued his graduate studies in the U.S.

Unfortunately, while they are residing in the United States, his marriage did not work out well. Eventually, he got divorced from his ex-wife.  Before he divorced with his ex-wife, he changed his status from J-2 to F-1. However, he was still subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement.  Our client wants to be petitioned by his prospective employer. Nevertheless, he cannot change his status to other non-immigrant visa in the United States because of the 2 year foreign residency requirement.

In April of this year, our client contacted our office. He retained our firm to do his J-2 waiver. On May 1, 2017, the J-2 Waiver (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.  Eventually, on May 19, 2017, the DOS recommended to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that our client be granted a waiver. Finally, the USCIS issued I-612 waiver approval notice on June 2, 2017.

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Post image for J-1 Waiver Through No Objection Statement for Korean Researcher in Blacksburg Virginia

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

NATIONALITY: Korean

LOCATION: Blacksburg, VA

Our client is from South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa in 2001 to work as a term appointed, non-paid Guest Scientist. His J-1 program made him subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement. After his J-1 program was completed, he went back to South Korea and got his F-1 student visa. With his F-1 status, he finished his Ph.D. degree and started to work as a post-doctoral researcher. He retained our office to seek legal assistance for his I-140 (National Interest Waiver Classification) and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. However, our client completely forgot about his J-1 status in the past and was not fulfilled the 2-year foreign residency requirement. Thus, before we file his I-485 application, 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 November 17, 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 February 15, 2017, the Waiver Review Division issued a favorable recommendation based on the No Objection statement. Eventually, on March 22, 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 Green Card Approval Based on Approved EB-2 I-140 for Korean Pastor in Virginia

CASE: EB-2 Green Card Approval Based on Approved I-140 (EB-2)    
EMPLOYER: Korean Church
BENEFICIARY: Korean Pastor
LOCATION: Virginia

Our client is a senior pastor of a Korean church in Virginia, who currently does his ministry at this church under an H-1B status.  This church was willing to petition him for a second-preference petition (I-140).  Our client has a master’s degree in Divinity. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Pastor.  Second preference petitions for Koreans are current, which means that if a PERM Labor Certification for a second preference position gets approved, the I-140 and I-485 could be filed simultaneously. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working backgrounds, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-2 classification for his I-140 petition.  Our client eventually retained us on December 15, 2014.

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 March 4, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained foreign degree evaluation report, our office filed the job order on May 4, 2015.  On July 29, 2015, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on January 28, 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 financial records, and other necessary supporting documents. The I-140 Petition was filed on June 14, 2016 via premium processing service. However, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) on June 29, 2016 and requested the Petitioner’s audited balance sheet to demonstrate whether Petitioner has sufficient net current asset to pay proffered wage of beneficiary. On September 8, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE to USCIS along with Petitioner’s 2015 audited balance sheet. Eventually, on September 16, 2016, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Korean client was approved.

Once the I-140 petition 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 November 28, 2016. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices and fingerprint appointment came on time.

Eventually, on March 9, 2017, the USCIS Texas Service Center approved our client’s adjustment of status application. Now, he finally is a green card holder.

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Post image for Marriage Based I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Green Card Approval for Client from Congo in Washington DC

CASE: Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY: DR Congo                                                                                                        

LOCATION: Washington DC

Our client is from the Democratic Republic of Congo who came to the U.S. on an F-1 Student Visa in July 2013.  In January 2016, our client married her current U.S. citizen husband.  She retained our office in February 2016 for her green card application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on August 15, 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 via conference calls as well. On January 12, 2017, our client was interviewed at Fairfax Virginia USCIS office. Eventually, after the interview, her green card application was approved.

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Post image for I-140 EB2 for Korean Pastor Beneficiary and Church Petitioner in Virginia Approved

CASE: I-140 (EB-2)    
EMPLOYER: Korean Church
BENEFICIARY: Korean Pastor
LOCATION: Virginia

Our client is a senior pastor of a Korean church in Virginia, and currently does his ministry at this church under the H-1B status.  This church is willing to petition him for a second-preference petition (I-140).  Our client has a master’s degree in Divinity. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Pastor.  Second preference petitions for Koreans are current, which means that if a PERM Labor Certification for a second preference position gets approved, the I-140 and I-485 could be filed simultaneously. Based on our client’s educational, professional and working backgrounds, our office determined that he is clearly eligible for EB-2 classification for his I-140 petition.  Our client eventually retained us on December 15, 2014.

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 March 4, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained foreign degree evaluation report, our office filed the job order on May 4, 2015.  On July 29, 2015, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on January 28, 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 financial records, and other necessary supporting documents. The I-140 Petition was filed on June 14, 2016 via premium processing service. However, the USCIS issued Request for Evidence (RFE) on June 29, 2016 and requested the Petitioner’s audited balance sheet to demonstrate whether Petitioner has sufficient net current asset to pay proffered wage of beneficiary. On September 8, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE to USCIS along with Petitioner’s 2015 audited balance sheet. Eventually, on September 16, 2016, the I-140 EB-2 Petition for our Korean client was approved. Our client can file his I-485 adjustment of status application once his priority date becomes current in October 2016.

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Post image for I-140 National Interest Waiver Approval for Jordanian Researcher in the field of Pharmaceutical Science in Virginia

CASE: I-140 / National Interest Waiver

CLIENT: Jordanian

LOCATION: Virginia

Our client contacted us in November 2014 about the possibility of doing a National Interest Waiver. He is a researcher from Jordan and he is an exceptional researcher and scientist in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences; specifically, his research focuses on discovery, design, and development of small molecules therapy or technology to treat various cardiovascular diseases and conditions. He obtained his J-1 hardship waiver through our office as well in 2014 and contacted our office again for his NIW.

His significant contributions have placed him at the pinnacle of the field of pharmaceutical science. He contributed to the drug discovery, design, and developmental aspects of glycosaminoglycans and their structural mimetics to treat various diseases including, but not limited to, thrombosis, inflammation, cancer, and several infectious diseases. His research were highly evaluated by 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 34-page brief for our client’s NIW filing. Our client also obtained 10 letters of recommendation from his colleagues and internationally-recognized scientists. Our office also included his publication record, presentation record, 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 116 exhibits (Exhibit A to LLLLL).

Our office filed his I-140(NIW) petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center on December 26, 2014. However, on May 29, 2016, the USCIS issued Requests for Evidence and requested our client to submit an updated ETA-9089 form. On May 31, 2016, our office filed the Response to RFE. Eventually, on July 12, 2016, his I-140 was approved by the USCIS.  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 Pastor for Korean Church Labor Certification PERM Approval for Korean Beneficiary and Church Petitioner in Blacksburg Virginia

CASE: PERM Labor Certification
EMPLOYER: Korean Church
BENEFICIARY: Korean Pastor
LOCATION: Virginia

Our client is a senior pastor of a Korean church in Virginia, and he currently does his ministry work at this church under an H-1B status.  This church was willing to petition him for a second-preference petition (I-140).  Our client has a master’s degree in Divinity. After talking to our client, our firm concluded that his employer can petition him as a Pastor.  Second preference petitions for Koreans are current, which means that if a PERM Labor Certification for a second preference position gets approved, the I-140 and I-485 could be filed simultaneously. Based on our client’s education, professional and working background, our office determined that he is eligible for EB-2 classification.  Our client eventually retained us on December 15, 2014.

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 March 4, 2015, the prevailing wage request was filed.  After we obtained his foreign degree evaluation report, our office filed the job order on May 4, 2015.  On July 29, 2015, we promptly filed PERM.  Eventually, on January 28, 2016, the PERM Labor Certification was approved – an EB2 position for the Korean beneficiary. Now our client can file the I-140 petition and I-485 Application.

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