Over the last few years, approvals of L-1B cases have become particularly difficult. An L-1B (Intra-Company Transfer Visa) petitioner retained us after receiving a Request for Evidence from USCIS requiring additional proof that the beneficiary had specialized knowledge and that the job duties required an individual with unique knowledge of the petitioner’s complex technology. We provided documentation to show that the beneficiary had skills that could not be obtained in the open market. We were also able to show that, within the petitioner’s employee pool, the beneficiary was unique and had gained specialized knowledge through training and years of hands-on experience with the technology.
Immigration.com Sample Cases
These are some sample cases from our files. It is impossible for us to present all have done past over 15 years of our practice. But these were some cases that came to mind when we started writing this column 2-3 years ago.
We represented a physician working for a healthcare network within several counties of a Medically Underserved Area (MUA). Initially, we submitted the required documents, but the tricky issue was the division of the physician’s service over several counties. The approval in this case required that we work closely with officials from the State Health Department to provide proper documentation and verification of the full-time nature of the job, albeit across several areas and proof of physician shortage within each area. At the I-140 stage of the NIW, USCIS issued a relatively minor Request for Evidence requesting a recently dated full-time employment contract listing the full, required period of service.
We were retained for an H-1B petition. USCIS issued a Request for Evidence asking for proof that the beneficiary would be employed in-house and that the petitioner has sufficient specialty level work available for the beneficiary. No project information or agreements entered into with the clients could be provided to USCIS as evidence because of the confidential nature of the projects that the beneficiary would be required to work on in-house. Therefore, we relied on secondary evidence supported by legal arguments. USCIS accepted our arguments and approved the application. Albeit inconsistently, USCIS does understand that sometimes it is impossible for an H-1B employer to provide expected documents because of confidentiality requirements in their contracts with end-clients.
We represented a physician working for a veteran’s facility within a medically underserved area. The NIW was approved. Before completing her waiver time, she needed to move from the approved location to another location AND switch from a MUA to the Veterans Administration. Unfortunately, the law and the procedures involved in moving MUA’s and moving from a MUA to another NIW mode are very poorly documented. Some of the legal territories are just not well defined. Nevertheless, we filed the appropriate petition,submitting what we believed were the required documents. To meet the total five-year requirement, we also submitted employers’ letters to capture all prior service at other medical facilities within underserved areas while the applicant was on valid H-1B.
USCIS acknowledged the prior service, approved the case, and assigned the original priority date to our client.
We filed an application seeking a waiver of the foreign residence requirement for our client based on exceptional hardship upon the client’s U.S. citizen child. We argued that the minor child would suffer extreme hardship if he were forced to leave the U.S. with his mother to fulfill the two-year home residency requirement because of a serious medical condition, for which treatment was not readily available in the applicant’s home country. We provided ample supporting documentation in this regard.
USCIS granted the waiver.
Our client, a former Tri-Valley University of California (TVU) student who was left out of status due to unexpected closure of TVU, applied for reinstatement to student status. He retained us to respond to the Request for Evidence (RFE) he received on his reinstatement application. There were several serious issues raised by USCIS in the RFE. One of them was that the USCIS alleged that the online classes our client took at TVUdisqualified him from full-time F-1 student status. We prepared a comprehensive response and documented our client’s entire case history. We argued that our client complied with F-1 regulations before and after his association with TVU, followed all the instructions of his Designated School Officials (DSO’s), and should not be faulted for relying and acting on the advice of TVU DSO’s.
USCIS accepted our arguments and approved the reinstatement.
We filed an EB-2 I-140 Petition for a petitioner corporation and a beneficiary Senior Systems Analyst. The USCIS sent us a Request for Evidence (RFE), requesting information proving that the petitioner would be in an employer/employee relationship with the beneficiary and that the petitioner had the ability to pay the proffered wages for all of the beneficiaries for whom it had petitioned.
We filed a lengthy response with nearly forty exhibits. The petition was approved less than three weeks later.
We filed a Form ETA 9089 Foreign Labor Certification (PERM) for a petitioner corporation and a beneficiary Software Architect. The Department of Labor sent us an Audit Notification, which functions as a Request for Evidence in these cases, requesting information on the necessity of the high level of education and experience the petitioner required for the position and details about the process the petitioner used to advertise for the position.
The information we provided seemed to be satisfactory on those points, but the DOL denied the petition, alleging that the position included a telecommuting benefit that was not included in the advertising. After we filed a Motion to Reconsider in which we argued that, in fact, the position did not include a telecommuting benefit and explained the illogical conclusion reached by DOL, they accepted our argument of government error and certified the petition. Later, USCIS approved the I-140 petition as well.
We won a case following a Request for Evidence for a scientist. We were able to establish that he is an internationally renowned scientist who is acclaimed and respected in the international research community for his expertise in the area of nanotechnology, magnetic nanoparticles and nanocomposites, nanomagnetism, thermoelectric nanoparticles and nanocomposite materials. His unique specialty set him apart from others in the field. The applicant provided documentary evidence to show that he qualified for four criteria of the category; publications, original contributions, professional membership in a society that required extraordinary achievements and reviewer of work of his peers. He was invited to review for several high-impact scientific journals. He also had an extensive publication list as well as presentations world-wide for his innovative and pioneering work. One of his articles was selected and featured as an “article of impact” in a virtual scientific journal. Only a very small percentage of articles are chosen for this particular publication. As a result of his noteworthy original contributions, he had an impressive number of citations of his work. We also showed in our response to the RFE that this applicant’s extensive contributions to the field were beyond the normal scope of a researcher with his years of educational and work experience.
We filed a petition under premium processing for the beneficiary, who qualified based on his publication record, original contributions, membership in a professional society and service as a reviewer of others’ work. The beneficiary had more than sixteen years of research experience and thus had garnered an international reputation for his outstanding work. We provided letters of recommendation from various international experts in his field that confirmed his status amongst his research peers. The beneficiary had documentation to show his senior level membership in a professional society. We provided documentary evidence to show the stringent criteria for this level of membership. Due to the beneficiary’s exceptional work in his field as an author of numerous publications and a reviewer for this particular society, a Research Fellow nominated him for senior membership. We also provided evidence of the beneficiary’s extensive list of scientific journals for which he had been selected to act as a reviewer. His research peers held his expertise in high regard; thus, he has an extensive list of editors who request his services to review and edit manuscripts for publication. The beneficiary’s original work had been commercialized and had a significant impact on his field of expertise. His continued employment was essential for the maintenance of some highly noteworthy projects of several distinguished institutes with which he was collaborating. The petition was certified, and he obtained his Green Card.