A U.S. citizen from India had filed an I-130 Petition for the entry into the United States as a permanent resident of her married daughter over the age of 21. Her daughter’s husband and children under 21 were derivative beneficiaries. After nearly a decade of waiting, their priority date finally became current. However, in that one of the children was about to turn 21 years of age, the family hired our firm for legal assistance to ensure the child could still obtain a green card even after turning 21 years old. Pursuant to the Child Status Protection Act of 2002, our lawyers filed Form DS-230 with the National Visa Center to “freeze” the child’s age and avoid “aging-out.” If she had “aged-out,” the child would have needed her parents to file a new I-130 petition on her behalf once they became permanent residents and she would have been the unmarried child over 21 of a permanent resident alien under Section 203(a)(2)(B) of the INA and faced a wait of many years before she would have been able to obtain a green card. We secured the “freeze” of her under-21 status, allowing her to enter the United States with her parents as a permanent resident. In doing so, our lawyers helped prevent any further delays or familial separation.
Getson & Schatz represented a U.S. citizen living in New York who was born in Sierra Leone in the K-1 fiancé visa application process. She wished to have her fiancé from Sierra Leone enter the US so that they could get married. Our client filed an I-129F Petition for his K-1 Visa that would grant him entry into the US for a period of 90 days for the purpose of getting married and thereafter filing for a green card. We provided evidence to establish that she and her fiancé had personally met within the 2 year time period prior to filing the application. The evidence included travel itineraries, passport stamps, photographic and testimonial evidence showing that our client and her fiancé had personally met. We also submitted evidence of their bona fide relationship U.S. CIS approved our client’s I-129F Petition, which enabled her fiancé to obtain a visa to enter the United States so they could get married.
When a foreign national marries a US Citizen, the US Citizen can sponsor children of the foreign national for a green card so long as the child was under 18 years of age at the time of the marriage. This is the law under Section 101(b)(1)(B) of the INA. Our client had married a US Citizen and had a child in Jamaica who was 14 years old. Her husband filed a Form I-130 petition on her son’s behalf before he turned 21 making him immediately eligible to apply for a green card as the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen under INA Section 201(b)(2)(A)(i). As such, our client and her husband were able to bring the son to the Philadelphia area without any delay other than the government processing times. Getson & Schatz is always please to assist in reuniting families, one of the INA’s primary purposes.
Our immigration lawyers handled a matter involving the application of a Form I-601 waiver for our client, a Jamaican national who had married a U.S. Citizen, both of whom reside just outside of Philadelphia. This Form I-601 waiver was necessary because our client had committed a crime that rendered her inadmissible to the United States and therefore ineligible of adjusting her status to that of a Permanent Resident absent a showing that her husband would suffer extreme hardship if she were not granted Permanent Resident Status. In preparing the extreme hardship waiver, our lawyers guided our client in preparing an abundance of documentary evidence to demonstrate the hardship her husband would suffer. Our client’s husband supplied a lengthy, heart-warming, and very personal affidavit chronicling his relationship with our client, with special emphasis on how her steadfast and accepting character helps him deal with his mother’s schizophrenia and his own diagnosed anxiety, and the medical symptons he would experience should she be forced to leave. Numerous letters and records from both her mother-in-law and her husband’s medical providers detailing their respective schizophrenia and anxiety supplemented his claims of extreme hardship. We also guided our client’s husband in obtaining an evaluation from a Clinical Psychologist. U.S. CIS granted our client’s Form I-601 waiver due to the extreme hardship it would impose on her husband and issued her a green card.
Getson & Schatz represented an Uzbeki national who entered the United States on a F-1 Visa. She violated her F-1 status and was placed into removal proceedings. However, she never received a Notice to Appear (NTA) from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since DHS did not send it to her correct address in Philadelphia. Therefore, she did not attend her removal proceedings, something she most definitely would have done had she received the NTA, and was ordered removed in abstentia. The Immigration Court issued this in abstentia order even though an alien may only be subject to such an order if she has in fact received the NTA. Our client never received that NTA, and found out about the order after her Form I-485 application for adjustment of status, which she filed in conjunction with her U.S.-citizen-husband’s Form I-130 petition on her behalf for Permanent Resident status, was terminated on the basis of her in abstentia order.
Following the denial of her I-485 application our client retained our legal services. To combat this outcome, our immigration lawyers first filed a motion to reopen her removal proceedings on the grounds that the in abstentia order was invalid due to the fact that she never received her NTA from DHS. Our lawyers highlighted that she could prove she did not live at the address in Philadelphia to which DHS sent her NTA by submitting proof of residence at another location in the form of a signed lease agreement, select rent checks, and utility bills for the property. Our lawyers also raised the issue that even though DHS did not have record of having her NTA returned for failure to reach our client, her actual receipt of the NTA was controlling. An Immigration Judge in Philadelphia found these arguments to be persuasive and granted our client’s motion to reopen.
After successfully reopening our client’s removal proceedings, our lawyers guided our client and her husband through the process of adjusting her status to that of a Permanent Resident. A key element of this process was establishing they had entered into a bona fide marriage during her removal proceedings. To do so, our client’s husband submitted clear and convincing evidence that the marriage they had entered into during removal proceedings was entered in good faith, not for immigration purposes, and not connected with the payment of anything but an attorney’s fee. Our client’s affidavit stating that she did not have any knowledge of the outstanding order against her was strong evidence in this regard. We also offered the couple’s jointly filed tax returns for the years preceding this matter as support of their good faith marriage. Further, our lawyers helped our client and her husband compile all of the documentation needed to enable her to become a Permanent Resident, including securing co-sponsors for her petition. In addition to guiding our client in filing her Form I-485 with the Immigration Judge in the reopened removal proceedings, our lawyers also instructed her in filing a Form I-765 for work authorization. In the end, our client successfully adjusted her status to that of a Permanent Resident..
Getson & Schatz represented a contract research organization (CRO) in the Philadelphia area in the process of sponsoring an individual for H-1B status. CROs provide support, outsourced on a contact basis, to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, as well as foundations, research institutions, universities, and governmental organizations. This particular CRO employed a Canadian citizen in TN Status in the position of chemist. The CRO wished to sponsor the Canadian citizen for permanent resident status and since TN is not a dual intent visa whereas H-1B is a dual intent visa the Beneficiary wished to change status from TN to H-1B. Our immigration lawyers filed an I-129 Petition to change Beneficiary’s status from TN to H-1B based on the specialty occupation nature of the position. To establish Beneficiary’s eligibility for this change of immigration status, our lawyers submitted numerous documents. First, our lawyers included a certified copy of our client’s Department of Labor-certified Labor Condition Application that showed our client would both pay Beneficiary the required wage and that Beneficiary’s employment would not negatively affect the labor conditions of other similarly situated employees. In addition, our lawyers included a letter from our client in which our client outlined the specialization Beneficiary’s job demanded, the Ph.D. requirement of that job, and how Beneficiary satisfied those requirements through his education. Moreover, our lawyers provided Beneficiary’s professional credentials, degrees and academic evaluations as proof of his eligibility for the position our client offered. U.S. CIS approved the change of status from TN to H-1B.
Getson & Schatz successfully aided a Kenyan national in going through the process of entering the United States as the fiancée of a U.S. citizen all the way through obtaining citizenship, all in Philadelphia. First, our immigration lawyers helped our client obtain a K-1 Visa available to fiancées of U.S. citizens that will be marrying that citizen within ninety days upon entry to the United States. Upon marriage, our client applied for Permanent Resident status and obtained a two-year conditional green card due to the fact that she had obtained that status through marriage. We reminded our client that, pursuant to Section 216(d)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, she would have to file a Form 751 petition for the removal of her conditional status ninety-days before the second anniversary of her marriage. After fulfilling the requirements of Section 216(d)(1)(A) – that the marriage was entered into in accordance with the laws of the place where the marriage took place, that it had not been judicially annulled or terminated, other than through the death of a spouse, that it was not entered into for the purpose of procuring an alien’s admission as an immigrant; and that no fee or other consideration was given, the U.S. CIS removed our client’s conditional status. Lastly, since the spouse of a U.S. citizen who has continuously resided with the U.S. Citizen in a bona fide marital relationship may apply for citizenship three years after obtaining Permanent Resident status instead of the normal five years required by Section 316(a) of the INA, our immigration lawyers guided our client through the naturalization process by providing evidence they had been in a qualifying marriage for the three years preceding her application for citizenship. To prove their qualifying marriage, our client provided her jointly filed tax returns for the three prior years and her husband accompanied her to the interview in support of her citizenship application. Ultimately, our client obtained U.S. citizenship at the Immigration Service Center in Philadelphia, PA, and they continue to live happily together outside of Philadelphia.
We represented a corporation in Florida dealing in the acquisition, management, and disposition of residential real estate properties in sponsoring an individual for an H-1B change of employer petition for part-time employment as a financial advisor. The nature of the position was to advise the corporation with regard to all financial aspects of the purchase and sale of its real estate properties. Since the corporation was a small business we provided extensive documentation to USCIS to demonstrate that the position offered was a bona fide non-speculative job offer. We provided documentation regarding the nature our client’s business, the complexity of its financial matters, and documents illustrating the type of real estate transactions the employee would be analyzing as part of his job duties. The employee was qualified for the position as he had a Master of Business Administration Degree with a double-major in Real Estate and Finance. The H-1B petition was approved.
Our Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers represented a native and citizen of Mexico in applying for relief from removal proceedings in the form of Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents under Section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). To fulfill the requirements of the statute, we demonstrated to the Immigration Court that our client had been continuously physically present in the United States for more than 10 years prior to issuance of the Notice to Appear, that he was a person of good moral character, that he had not been convicted of a crime that would make him inadmissible to the United States, and that if the removal were carried out, it would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to his U.S. citizen children. By presenting extensive evidence to the court, we were able to meet the demanding standard of the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship requirement of the statute is rarely met. We showed that one of our client’s U.S. citizen children would have suffered exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if our client had been removed from the United States. Our client’s 14-year old daughter has a severe lifelong learning disability similar to autism and she has been medically diagnosed as having the mental capacity of an 8-year old. She is enrolled in a school for children with special needs. She only speaks English, and her learning disability prevents her from learning Spanish. Her mother, our client’s wife, only speaks Spanish, has less than a high school education, and is not able to learn English. We successfully argued that because of the vital role our client played in taking care of his daughter, and because of the lack of availability of the type of special education needed by his daughter and her inability to adapt to life in Mexico, removal of her father to Mexico would represent exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to her. To establish our client’s continuous physical presence in the United States for 10 years, we presented the court with our client’s federal tax records for each year since 1999. To establish the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship removal would cause to our client’s US Citizen daughter, we presented the court with a report of results of educational testing performed at the time his daughter entered kindergarten, a letter from his daughter’s school verifying her attendance and that the school’s program is a special education program, and minutes of a meeting held by school psychologists, speech therapists, and other special education specialists to consider placing his daughter in a more restricted setting. Our client’s employer provided an affidavit stating that he had employed our client since 1997, that to his knowledge our client had not been absent from the United States during that period, and that he knows our client’s daughter who suffers from a lifelong learning disability. Our client provided a sworn affidavit detailing his family situation: his daughter’s lifelong learning disability, his vital role in caring for his daughter and interpreting all communications between his daughter and her mother, his wife’s inability to support his daughter, and the unavailability of the necessary special education in Mexico. Our client’s wife and a close family friend also provided sworn affidavits attesting to the specifics of their family situation and were prepared to testify in court on our client’s behalf. His daughter’s primary care physician, a Developmental Pediatrician who had evaluated her medically, and her Middle School Counselor wrote letters explaining her situation and that in their professional opinions it was crucial to her well-being that both she and her father remain in the United States. We also submitted to the court two academic articles detailing the shortcomings and scarcity of special needs education in Mexico, and the disparity in cultural acceptance and availability of suitable educational opportunities for those with symptoms of autism in the United States as compared with Mexico. The Immigration Court considered the evidence presented along with our EOIR 42B Application for Cancellation of Removal and granted Cancellation under INA 240A(b)(2).
Our immigration law firm represents one of the largest manufacturers in the United States of measurement instruments in the field of chemistry. The United States Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Foreign Company. The Foreign Company had employed an individual for several years in the Executive Position of General Manager of European Operations where he directed the business activities of the Foreign Company related to its products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He established the goals and policies of the Foreign Company’s business activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with regard to sales channels, business strategy, and identification of partnership or acquisition opportunities for its products. Because of his knowledge of the United States Company’s products, it was desired that the individual transfer to the United States to work for the United States Company on a full-time basis in an executive capacity as Vice President, Global Sales, Service and Applications where the individual would expand upon his executive role in order to direct the sales, services and application support of the products of the United States Company on a global level. Getson & Schatz, P.C. filed an L-1A Executive Petition with USCIS which was approved. After the individual had worked in the United States for an extended period of time, the CEO of the United States Company decided to retire. The individual who had been in L-1A status was chosen as the successor CEO. An EB-1C I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker was filed on behalf of the individual for him to continue to serve in an executive capacity for the United States Company but as its CEO instead of its Vice President, Global Sales, Service and Applications. As CEO the job duties involved directing all facets of the business of the United States Company as its highest-ranking executive. As CEO, the individual would be solely responsible for setting the goals, direction and strategy for the corporate objectives and operations and oversee the Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Service, Engineering/Product Development, Manufacturing, and Operations departments in order to assure that company objectives are met. The EB-1C Petition was approved and the individual and his derivative family members subsequently received green cards. This type of scenario is exactly how the laws for L-1A and EB-1C are designed to help United States Companies remain competitive in the global marketplace.
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