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JP Sarmiento
United States
Immigration Attorney
Recent Activity
CASE: Asylum CLIENT: Chinese LOCATION: Arlington, VA Our client is a Chinese national who came to the United States on a B-2 visitors visa. He now resides in Virginia with his Malaysian wife and two children. All of them were in B-2 status. He contacted our office in October 2010 asking us for representation in his possible asylum case. He planned to seek asylum in the United States based on religious persecution in China. He became a Christian a few years ago while away from China. After he came back to China, he started church meetings and gospel preachings. Eventually,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
Recently, our office has been contacted by numerous people inquiring about H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2012. As you may know, April 1, 2012 is the first date for filing H-1Bs and that day is around the corner. It is very important to note that the H-1B program has an annual cap of 65,000, so it is important to file your H-1B visa on April 1, 2011 promptly or soon after. The start date for the H-1B fiscal year 2012 is October 1, 2011. Introduction – What is H-1B Visa? The H-1B program is used by U.S. businesses to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings CLIENT: Filipino LOCATION: Chicago, IL / Los Angeles, CA This case is an example of how new immigration regulations applied and helped in a situation where the immigrant beneficiary’s petitioner is deceased before she applied for adjustment of status. Our client is from the Philippines and came to the U.S. on a B-2 visitor’s visa in 2001. Since her last admission, she has overstayed in the United States. Currently, she resides in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to retaining our firm, her father filed an I-130 petition for her back in 1987. As some of you may... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization) APPLICANT: Jordanian LOCATION: Ohio ISSUES: Permanent Residency Based on Marriage Our client contacted us in November 2010. She came to the United States from Jordan and married her U.S. citizen spouse eight years ago and through this marriage, she was able to obtain a green card in the United States. She retained our office to assist her citizenship application. Their marriage was bona fide, but a major issue was the separation of the couple years after the marriage. Although their marriage was not terminated, they physically reside in different places. Our client was concerned about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: J-1 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement, No Objection Statement NATIONALITY: Korean LOCATION: Ohio Our client is from South Korea who came to the U.S. on a J-1 Visa six years ago. She came to the U.S. to work at her internship program. Before her J-1 visa was expired, she managed to get an F-1 visa and continuously pursued her studies in Ohio. According to her DS-2019, she was subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, meaning you would have to go back to your home country for two-years before you can apply for permanent residency and some non-immigrant... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: F-1 Reinstatement APPLICANT: Indian LOCATION: Los Angeles, California Our client came from India in 2009 to pursue his Master’s in Computer Science degree in California. Unfortunately, extreme and exceptional hardships related to his family caused him to drop a course in his third semester which caused him to fail to maintain his F-1 visa status. There are many reasons why some F-1 students fall out of status. In limited circumstances, they could still apply for F-1 reinstatement if they meet the requirements. It starts by talking to the school’s international student immigration representative. Upon providing all the necessary documentation,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: I-751 / Waiver of the Joint Waiver Requirement APPLICANT : Korean LOCATION: Virginia ISSUE: I-751 Application Pending Divorce Proceedings We initially met our client in our Washington DC office when she scheduled a consultation with our office. She is from Korea who came to the United States in the 90s, and has maintained her F-1 status throughout until she married a U.S. citizen in 2006. Through her marriage with a U.S. citizen spouse, she obtained a 2-year conditional green card in May of 2008. Therefore, her conditional residency was scheduled to terminate in May 2010. To comply with the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: I-130 / I-485 POTENTIAL ISSUES: Visa Waiver Entry - Overstay APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: French LOCATION: San Francisco, California Our client entered the United States on February 5, 2010 from France under the visa waiver program. She married her U.S. Citizen spouse on April 14, 2010. However, her authorized stay in the United States expired on May 6, 2010. The critical point of her green card application through a marriage was the fact that she came to the United States under the visa waiver program. On March 31, 2008, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Momeni v. Chertoff issued... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
Success Story: Adjustment of Status Based on First Preference Petition for Jamaican Client in Connecticut CASE: Adjustment of Status – First Preference Petition CLIENT: Jamaican LOCATION: Connecticut Our client has been on F-1 status for many years. He went to colleges in the United States, and has maintained his status lawfully throughout his stay in the United States. His mother was a naturalized U.S. citizen, and wanted to file her I-130 petition on behalf of her son. However, since our client was over 21 years old at the time of filing the I-130 petition, our client had to wait 5... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: H-1B Visa Petition PETITIONER: Law Firm BENEFICIARY: Taiwanese Lawyer LOCATION: Colorado Our client is a boutique Bankruptcy Law Firm in Colorado. The beneficiary is from Taiwan, obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in the United States and is admitted in Colorado Bar to practice law. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is an associate attorney which clearly qualifies as a specialty occupation. One could not work as an associate attorney without having a bar license, which one could not even apply for without a law degree (which equates to a “Master’s Degree or Higher” standard for H-1B petitions). Once... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: H-1B Visa Petition PETITIONER: IT Consulting Company BENEFICIARY: Mexican LOCATION: Ohio ISSUE: Third-Party Placement / Consulting Company Issue Our client is an IT consulting company in Ohio. The beneficiary is a Mexican who obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree. The proffered position for the Beneficiary was a computer systems analyst which qualifies as a specialty occupation. Previously, the petitioner filed an H-1B visa petition on behalf of the beneficiary, but it was denied by the USCIS due to third-party placement issue. Thereafter, our office promptly filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on November 10, 2010 via... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2011 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
The Religious Worker (R-1) visa is for persons who seek to enter the United States to work as ministers or in religious occupations or vocations on a temporary basis. The religious worker should be employed at least part-time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by a non-profit religious organization in the United States (or an organization which is affiliated with the religious denomination in the United States). There is no numerical quota on R visa issuances. The initial admission period is 30 months with extensions available in 30-month increments for up to five years. R-2 Visas may be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
Matter of A and Z (IJ Dec. 20, 1994) (Arlington) (Nejelski, IJ): Granted asylum to a Jordanian woman who had been physically and verbally abused throughout a 30 year marriage by her husband who was a wealthy and successful businessperson. Husband also sought to control her activities and isolate her. Respondent testified she believed in Western values and was not content to be a slave to her husband. There was also a failure of state protection because the respondent could not go to the police to seek protection, nor could she divorce her husband. Judge found applicant to be a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
The TN (Trade NAFTA) status is a special non-immigrant status in the United States only for citizens of Canada and Mexico. To be eligible for the TN Visa, your occupation must belong to one of the approved professions listed in NAFTA Appendix 1603.D. If you have a job offer in the United States and your job belongs to one of the professions lists, you can apply for a TN visa without going through the H-1B process. Within the TN set of occupations, a Canadian or Mexican can work for up to three years at a time. However, the TN status... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce, I-130, and I-485 Green Card Process NATIONALITY: Filipino LOCATION: New Jersey Our client is a Filipino national who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa. He came with his ex-wife who was on a J-1 Visa. Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, meaning you would have to go back to your home country for two-years before you can apply for permanent residency and some non-immigrant visas. (Please read the article below for more details about J-1 Waiver and 2 year foreign residency requirement). He got divorced from... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the U.S. government to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical, certain level of academic (mostly Post-Doctorate Program) or business training within the U.S. All applicants must meet the eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program. Recently, the number of J-1 visa issuances has rapidly increased. However, most of the J-1 visa holders are subject to the Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement. Under INA Section 212(e), this requirement is one of the grounds of inadmissibility. Nevertheless, this mandatory two-year home... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings and Adjustment of Status with USCIS CLIENT: Senegalese LOCATION: Columbus, OH Our client is a Senegalese national who came to the U.S. with fraudulent documents many years ago. He resides in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to retaining our firm, he married a U.S. citizen spouse and filed an I-130 petition, I-485 green card application and I-601 waiver application for his fraudulent entry. The I-130 petition was approved by the CIS, however, his I-485 application and I-601 waiver were denied by the CIS. Fortunately, his appeal of the 601 waiver was sustained by the Office of Administrative... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: H-1B Visa Petition – Response to Request for Evidence PETITIONER: Advertising Media Company BENEFICIARY: Albanian LOCATION: California ISSUE: Specialty Occupation Our client is an advertising media company in California. The beneficiary is from Albania, obtained both a Bachelors and Masters degree in the United States and worked for her employer under the OPT program. The Petitioner-Employer filed an H-1B application on behalf of our client on June 21, 2010 by themselves. However, USCIS mailed a 5-page Request for Evidence to the Petitioner-Employer and requested Petitioner to submit additional evidence to establish that the proffered position to the beneficiary qualifies... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: I-130 and Consular Processing – Marriage-Petition CLIENT: Indian LOCATION: Petitioner: Cleveland Ohio; Beneficiary: Pakistan Our client is a U.S. citizen who married a Pakistani lady in Pakistan. He had his marriage ceremony with his wife in Pakistan, so he wanted to file an Immigrant visa for his wife by filing an I-130 petition. It is important to note that an alien cannot adjust his or her status (gets a green card) outside U.S. by filing I-130 and I-485 simultaneously. The Petitioner also had questions on the fact that he was married before and filed an I-130 Petition for his... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: Change of Status from H-1B to H-4 CLIENT: Indian LOCATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Our client has been on H-1B status for two years and held his specialty occupation position. However, his H-1B status expired on September 10, 2010. Before his H-1B status was expired, our client married his girlfriend who was an H-1B visa holder in the United States living in Cleveland Ohio. As a family dependent of H-1B visa holder, our client has a chance to change his status from H-1B to H-4 before his H-1B is expired. Our firm was retained and we helped the client obtain supporting... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: J-2 Waiver of Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement Post-Divorce NATIONALITY: Romania LOCATION: Arizona Our client is a Romanian national who came to the U.S. on a J-2 Visa. She came with her husband who was on a J-1 Visa. Both were subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, meaning you would have to go back to your home country for two-years before you can apply for permanent residency and some non-immigrant visas such as H, L, and O visas. (Our firm’s blog will explain this two-year residency requirement for J-1 visa holder and possible waiver application process later with further... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
Our firm was contacted on early November regarding 4 Chinese individuals detained in Houston. They entered with fake documents at the George Bush International airport and was detained thereafter by immigration officers. The government informed them and they confirmed with us that it was a “no bond” situation. That meant they would not be released by the Department of Homeland Security even on a bond. The only recourse was to argue their eligibility for a bond with the Immigration Judge in Houston. Upon our retention, we immediately filed bond hearings for our 4 clients. Despite them being in jail in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
Definitions Both Asylum and Withholding of Removal require a fear of persecution on account of one of five protected grounds. Persecution: Need not be physical and includes other violations of human rights, such as psychological torture, imposition of severe economic disadvantage, deprivations of liberty, food, housing, employment and other essentials. Five protected grounds: The REAL ID Act of 2005 requires that one of the five grounds must be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant. Race Religion Nationality Membership in a particular social group Political opinion Ineligible groups An applicant is ineligible for asylum if he falls into... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: Adjustment of Status CLIENT: Egyptian-Canadian LOCATION: New York, NY Client retained us late August of this year. Our client got married to a U.S. Citizen on May 6, 2010 and she was from Ontario, Canada. She came to the United States with a valid visitor visa. Our firm filed the I-130 Petition and Adjustment of Status Application on September 3, 2010. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. There was no Request for Evidence. Our firm thoroughly prepared our clients for their upcoming USCIS marriage interview. On November 18, 2010,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog
CASE: Adjustment of Status CLIENT: Jamaican LOCATION: Tampa, FL Our client has been on F-1 status for many years. She went to colleges in the United States, and has maintained her status lawfully throughout her stay. Her mother was a naturalized U.S. citizen, and wanted to file her I-130 petition on behalf of her daughter. However, since our client was over 21 years old at the time of filing the I-130 petition, our client had to wait 5 years to have a current priority date. In these situations, it’s not just the wait that’s tough. It’s also the fact that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Sarmiento Immigration Law Firm Blog