This appeal was pending for a long time at the BIA after the Government had appealed our client’s grant by the Immigration Judge who had approved our application for a waiver of fraud. Our client had attempted to enter the U.S. with a fake passport that her smuggler had provided to her and later submitted an asylum application based on her having undergone a forced abortion in China. She eventually married a U.S. citizen and applied for a green card (via the process known as adjustment of status) through her marriage. Because she had entered the U.S. by using a fake passport, we disclosed this on her application and applied for a waiver of fraud on Form I-601 which requires a showing of extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse in the event that the immigrant is deported. While a layman would expect that the extreme hardship would be easy to establish, “extreme hardship” is a legal term of art, and this legal standard is actually quite difficult to meet under the caselaw. By referencing the facts of the applicable BIA precedent cases and explaining how they relate to our client’s case, we were able to convince the BIA that our interpretation and that of our client’s judge was correct and that the Government’s interpretation was wrong. After waiting many years for a final decision in her case, our client is extremely happy, with her daughter also being granted a green card through her husband’s petition. Her daughter, who came to the U.S. only about two years ago is already a successful student at Drexel University.
A jointly filed I-751 Petition was approved for Joint Petitioners who are currently separated and living apart but are working on reconciling their marriage. A joint I-751 Petition was legally allowed to be filed under these circumstances as no legal separation or divorce proceedings had been commenced and the marriage was entered into in good faith. The marital situation of Joint Petitioners was fully disclosed to USCIS. Joint Petitioners provided an Affidavit regarding the history of their relationship and marriage including their efforts at marriage counseling and reconciliation along with evidence of their bona fide marital relationship. The I-751 Petition was approved based upon the initial filing.
The U.S. Department of Labor Certified a PERM Application for Permanent Employment Certification based upon the initial electronic filing for the position of Traffic Engineer which is a Civil Engineering position involving the preparation of various types of traffic studies and traffic facilities and systems design.
About two months ago, a new client came to our office for a consultation regarding his green card application which had been denied by the USCIS. His case had been denied due to a prior order of deportation by the Immigration Court although he was previously unaware that he had ever been in court proceedings. We immediately filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the USCIS to determine why our client had been placed into deportation proceedings without his knowledge. After obtaining his file, we learned that our client had been ordered removed from the United States in absentia and that his Notice to Appear and subsequent court hearing notices had been improperly sent by regular mail to an address of a friend that he provided at the airport when he first arrived in the United States. Therefore, our client never received notice that he was in deportation proceedings and did not attend his court hearing because he did not know he was in court proceedings. Our client was scheduled for an interview at the Philadelphia USCIS Office on his wife’s I-130 petition, which was still pending despite the denial of his green card application. The interview was scheduled only 4 days after we received a complete copy of his Immigration Court file. Because he had a final order of deportation/removal, we informed our client that he would likely be detained when he attended his interview and that he could be sent to an immigration detention center unless we were able to file a motion to reopen his case prior to the interview. After researching the matter, we determined that an appeals court case supported our position that our client’s final in absentia removal order should be reopened because the Notice to Appear and subsequent notices of court hearings had been improperly sent to him by regular mail at an address at which he had never resided. We immediately began working on the motion to reopen and assisting our client in obtaining affidavits from witnesses to confirm that he had not received any communication from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Court and that he had never lived at the address used in the Notice to Appear and subsequent court hearing notices. We were able to file our client’s motion to reopen the day before his interview, and obtain a receipt from the Philadelphia Immigration Court to prove to the ICE officers that a motion to reopen our client’s in absentia removal order was pending with the Court and that an automatic stay of removal had taken effect. Under the law, an immigrant who files a motion to reopen an in absentia removal order based on failure to receive notice of a removal hearing is automatically granted a “stay of removal” and for that reason, may not be deported pending the court’s decision on the motion. The next day, we accompanied our client and his wife to the I-130 interview. As we had explained to our client, ICE officials from the Detention and Removal Office came to the interview due to his final order of deportation/removal from the Philadelphia Immigration Court. We immediately handed them a copy of the motion to reopen and the receipt from the court, noting to them that an automatic stay of removal was in effect and that our client could not be deported. The officers took our client to obtain his fingerprints to confirm that he had no criminal record and proceeded to place him under a “order of supervision” which meant that he could return home with his wife rather than be detained and sent to an immigration detention facility. The government’s immigration lawyers filed a response to our motion, agreeing with the arguments in our motion, and informing the Philadelphia Immigration Court that they did not oppose our motion to reopen. Shortly thereafter, the Court granted our motion, making our client eligible to reapply for a green card and meaning that he is no longer under a final order of deportation. In a case like this, where a motion to reopen an immigration court case must be submitted on short notice to prevent a client’s arrest, it is crucial that the motion be properly prepared in accordance with the Immigration Court’s Practice Manual, that every factual assertion contained therein be thoroughly documented with documentary evidence and/or affidavits from qualified witnesses, and that the motion be properly filed with the Court to avoid it being rejected due to failure to comply with proper procedure.
An N-400 Application for Naturalization granting a change of name was approved by the Philadelphia Immigration Office. An oath ceremony will take place at the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The naturalization process is an excellent way for a United States Permanent Resident to change his or her name if desired without having to file a Petition for a Name Change in State Court.
In April 2007 our client filed an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application to apply for a green card based upon an I-130 Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative filed by a U.S. Citizen spouse. USCIS did not promptly schedule an adjustment interview and our immigration attorneys had to contact USCIS to have an interview scheduled. Our client and spouse attended an interview at the Philadelphia District Office in June 2008 but following the interview USCIS did not issue a decision on the adjustment of status application. Our law firm followed up on the status of the adjustment of status application in October 2008, January 2009, March 2009, April 2009, July 2009 and August 2009. We then put USCIS on notice of our intent to file a Complaint for Writ of Mandamus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania if the application for adjustment of status was not promptly adjudicated. USCIS did not respond to this final inquiry so in December 2009 our lawyers filed a Complaint for Writ of Mandamus requesting the District Court to issue an order compelling USCIS to decide our client’s green card application. Within a month of filing the Complaint for Writ of Mandamus our client and spouse were scheduled for a second adjustment of status interview which they attended and our client’s green card was approved within 10 days after the second adjustment of status interview.
Our Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers filed a FY-2010 H-1B cap Petition for a New Jersey Company sponsoring a foreign national for a change of status from L-2 to H-1B for part-time H-1B employment. The position was an Operations Research Analyst for a financial services company involved in risk management and required a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent in finance, economics, mathematics, engineering or a related field. Our client possessed a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering. We provided USCIS with independent evidence demonstrating that engineering is a relevant field of study to qualify for an Operations Research Analyst position.
Our law firm filed a PERM case for a Spa Manager working in California. Prior to filing the PERM application we obtained the prevailing wage for the position, prepared the required notice of filing for the employer to post at the work location, and prepared the recruitment consisting of a 30 day state job order, 2 Sunday Newspaper ads, and advertisements on the employer web site, on a job search web site and on the web site of a professional organization. The position required a Bachelor’s Degree plus 2 years experience in the job offered. The employer conducted recruitment for the position based upon the applications received and the recruitment failed to yield any ready, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers for the position. As a result, the PERM case was certified by the U.S. Department of Labor. We are now in the process of preparing a filing with U.S. CIS based upon the certified labor certification application.
- Asylum Applications (7)
- Deportation Defense & Immigration Court Appeals (28)
- Extraordinary Ability Aliens (11)
- F-1 Student Visas (1)
- H-1B Specialty Occupation Visas (45)
- K-1 Fiance(e) Visas (6)
- L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visas (5)
- Marriage & Family Sponsored Green Card Applications (70)
- National Interest Waiver Petitions (8)
- Naturalization/Citizenship (15)
- Outstanding Researchers & Professors (9)
- PERM Labor Certification (17)
- TN Status under the NAFTA (4)
- Uncategorized (11)