The following two cases demonstrate how USCIS, an "expert" agency, can misread immigration forms, causing unnecessary anxiety and expense for people.
We submitted two I-140’s for EB-2 cases in which the requirements from the PERM Petition were a Master’s Degree and three years’ experience, or a Bachelor’s Degree and five years’ experience. One case received a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) and the other a Request for Evidence (RFE). In both cases, USCIS misinterpreted the requirements as a MS+3 or, in lieu of Master’s, BS+5, meaning three years’ experience plus the Bachelor’s Degree and five years’ experience. Therefore, the officer required proof of each applicant having a Bachelor’s and eight years’ experience.
In the Intent to Deny case, the applicant had a Bachelor’s and more than five years’ experience, but did not have eight years. We responded, stating that the requirements were being read incorrectly from the PERM petition and that the requirements clearly did not require a BS+8, but a BS plus only five years. The USCIS denied this case, claiming that the applicant did not have the required eight years, and denied the accompanying I-485 petitions for the main applicant and his family. We immediately filed a new I-140 case, and this second filing was ultimately approved without any RFE or Intent to Deny. Upon extensive subsequent follow-up, we were also able to have the denied I-485’s reopened and linked to the approved I-140, saving the applicant thousands of dollars in filing fees. As the priority date for this case was current, the I-485’s were processed, and the applicant received his Green Card in a short period.
After the first case was denied, we received the RFE in the second case. The applicant had a Bachelor’s and approximately six years’ experience. Knowing about the denial in the first case, we responded with a detailed argument and an in-depth analysis of the PERM form and answers, the instructions, and the drafts of future PERM petitions that had been released by the Department of Labor (DOL) in attempt to show that the actual requirement was a MS+3 or BS+5, not MS+3 or BS+8 as the USCIS claimed. This I-140 was approved.