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Success Stories: I-140 Special Categories

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Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC is a full-service immigration law practice that provides legal advice and representation to people and companies in the United States. The firm has over 200 years of combined legal experience among its attorneys and serves its clients from offices in Cleveland, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, Minneapolis, and Raleigh. Contact us here to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs. 

H-1B Microbiologist Ph.D from Nigeria Uses EB2 National interest waiver to live his dream of teaching and studying

Our client is a Nigerian-born Microbiologist, employed as faculty at Texas A&M University. He came to Margaret W. Wong & Associates with an H-1B Visa hoping to gain permanent residence in the United States through the EB-2 Visa program. We determined that he was eligible for the National Interest Waiver category as an accomplished microbiologist.

We worked with him to develop his case and collected documentation in support of his extraordinary abilities. In his home country, he studied Applied Microbiology at the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He served his country working at a center to control Tuberculosis and at a U.S. sponsored non-governmental organization to educate youth on HIV/AIDS. He was then a visiting research associated at Newcastle University in Great Britain in 2008. He began his Ph.D. studies at the University of North Texas in 2009. For his research and teaching at that university, he received numerous accolades, scholarships, and grants, most notably the Beth Baird Scholarship award, which recognizes outstanding potential in graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of North Texas.

His research has resulted in numerous published articles and participation at many international conferences. One such work examined the risk of foodborne illness in prepackaged vegetables past their expiry date. Another examined the increasingly vital area of biofuel, using two different engineered microorganisms to more efficiently create usable ethanol.

He has brought his expertise to teach at several American universities; he is currently an Instructional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.

It is our client’s passion to study microbiology and to mentor and teach the subject to students in order that they might make a better life for themselves and for their country. Furthermore, there is currently a marked shortage of trained Ph.D.-level microbiologists in the United States, so our client’s work is all the more meaningful and important for the nation, hence is eligibility for the National Interest Waiver.

We filed his 1-140 RFE application and less than one year after his initial consultation with us, our client was granted an EB-2 Visa. He is now a permanent resident of the United States of America, where he continues to work for the advancement of human knowledge, the education of the next generation of Americans, and the betterment of society through science.


H-1B Software Engineer from China Achieves Permanent Residency Through EB1-A Extraordinary Ability First Preference

Our client, born in China, is a highly accomplished, internationally acclaimed Software Engineer and Developer, employed as a Software Engineer at a large corporation in the United States.  He came to us on an H1-B visa wondering how he could obtain permanent residency.  We reviewed his C.V. and determined that he would qualify for the EB1-A employment category as an alien with extraordinary ability in the field of Software Engineering and Development, with a focus on Machine Condition Monitoring and Intelligent Data Analytics.  

We worked with our client to enhance his C.V. and collect evidence to support his application.  We learned that he demonstrated excellence in his field from the start.  He was a National Scholarship recipient while pursuing his bachelor’s degree.  A National Scholarship is awarded to only about 50,000 out of 25 million undergraduate students annually in China.  It is offered by the central government as an award for students who have demonstrated excellence in full-time college.  He also won the Special Prize Scholarship which is a university level award given to the top student in each major or department.  Finally, he was awarded the competitive Outstanding Graduate award in Beijing District.  

His research work has resulted in 4 articles published in academic journals or at premiere international conferences.  His publications have been viewed and downloaded an impressive number of times.  He has presented his work at major conferences to hundreds of attendees that include a combination of industry executives, academic leaders and experts from the international community.

While pursuing his Masters’ degree in Mechanical Engineering, our client developed a toolkit for machine fault diagnosis and prognosis.  This novel and groundbreaking piece of work is one of his most significant contributions to the field.  This toolkit uses a variety of intelligent data algorithms to solve machine condition monitoring problems in industries.  It aids engineers’ increasing need for monitoring and reporting the health status of machines, structures, components and systems.  

He brought his expertise developing toolkits to his current employer and has continued to make significant contributions to the field, as well as to his employer specifically, where he plays a leading or critical role for that company.  Based on his reputation and expertise, our client has been invited by numerous prestigious journals to review articles written by his peers.  He has successfully completed many peer reviews.

We prepared the documentary evidence, assisted with revising letters from experts in the field, and drafted a lengthy letter brief successfully arguing that our client  is at the top of his field and has achieved sustained national and international acclaim having produced novel, significant contributions to the field, and that he will continue to do so as a permanent resident of the United States.  USCIS reviewed our filing and agreed that our client’s achievements warrant an immigrant visa as a Software Engineer and Developer of extraordinary ability.  His I-140 petition was approved within two weeks using premium processing.  

We then prepared and filed his I-485 application which was approved a few months later.  Our client is now a permanent resident of the United States and can continue his important work benefitting our country. 


Mr. B, of the Ukraine, first came to the U.S. on an H-1B in October of 2008.  His employer approached our office to file the H-1B for him.  As we found out, this was Mr. B’s third attempt at an H-1B visa!  His prior two applications had not been selected in the H-1B “lottery” (USCIS’ method of randomly selecting applications when too many are received in a given year).  The third time was the charm, and after our office submitted his H-1B petition he was selected and subsequently approved.

After so much trouble obtaining an H-1B visa, the company decided to sponsor Mr. B for permanent residence.  Our office processed his PERM Labor Certification in the EB-3 category as a Chemist.  The case was filed in March of 2011.

After the PERM was approved our office immediately filed an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.  And then the waiting began.  You see, since Mr. B’s priority date (the date in March of 2011 when his PERM was filed) was not current yet in his category, he was not eligible to file his final set of green card paperwork, the I-485 Application to Adjust Status.

Mr. B’s priority date became current in December of 2013, and our office promptly filed his I-485.  After two H-1B cases that weren’t selected and a three-year wait for his priority date to become current, Mr. B deserved some good luck.  And he received it!  His I-485 took just two months to be approved!

Mr. B and his wife are now lawful permanent residents and no longer need to worry about visa lotteries or priority dates.

EB-2 National Interest Waiver Approved for Exceptional Research Scientist from Malaysia!

A young (under age 35) research scientist from Malaysia retained our firm to assist her in petitioning for an employment-based immigration, second preference (EB-2) visa with a request for a National Interest Waiver (otherwise known as “EB-2 NIW”). Our client was entering her fifth year on an H-1B employment visa sponsored by a well-known research institution in Ohio. However, her employer was not able to sponsor her for labor certification or PERM, and the 6-year limitation for H-1B visa holders was approaching.

Accordingly, our firm recommended that our client self-petition as an alien possessing an “advanced degree” or “exceptional ability” in the sciences, arts, or business, with a request for a National Interest Waiver (“NIW”). Normally, a petition under the EB-2 category requires a permanent job offer and an approved labor certification. However, a National Interest Waiver petition asks that the requirement be waived for the benefit of the “national interest of the United States” and consequently permit an applicant to apply for an NIW immigrant visa without a job offer from a U.S. employer and without having to undergo the labor certification process.

In addition to fulfilling the requirement of holding an “advanced degree” or possessing “exceptional ability” in the sciences, arts, or business, an EB-2 NIW visa petitioner must establish that he or she meets three additional criteria: (1) that the petitioner seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit; (2) that the benefit of the petitioner’s work is national in scope; and (3) that the national interest of the United States would be adversely affected if labor certification were required.

Due in part to her age, our client had received a limited number of awards and had contributed to less than 10 peer-reviewed articles at the time we prepared her NIW I-140 petition. However, she had presented a number of abstracts on groundbreaking bacterial research, and her letters of recommendation attested to her unique and valuable skill set combining microbiology and molecular genetics and her substantial scholarly contributions in cutting-edge areas of research critical to public health in the United States.

Currently, with the exception of individuals born in Mainland China and India, all employment-based, second preference applicants may concurrently file an I-485 Application to Adjust Status with their I-140 petitions. Thus, our firm filed an I-140 NIW petition and an I-485 application concurrently on our client’s behalf. Less than four months after filing, our client received an approval notice for her NIW I-140 petition! Because our client is from Malaysia, her employment-based immigrant visa category (EB-2) is now current, and we are anticipating that her I-485 adjustment of status application will also be approved shortly.

Outstanding Professor Receives Green Card

A linguistics professor at an Ivy League University retained our firm in 2010 to assist him in obtaining a green card. Since he was internationally renowned in his field, we decided to file under the EB-1 category which is reserved for individuals who demonstrate “extraordinary ability”, are outstanding professors or researchers, or are executives at multinational firms.  Our first step in this case was to submit a National Interest Waiver (NIW) to demonstrate that our client was an expert in his field who was well regarded and respected by other professionals and furthermore, that he would make positive contributions to the United States which would be in the best interest of our country.

After the client’s I-140 petition was approved, we proceeded to file an I-485 application to adjust status to permanent residency. In 2013, our client’s application was approved. He and his family are happy to have permanent residency and thank the staff at Margaret W. Wong & Associates for their hard work on the case.

Alien of Extraordinary ability gets I-140 approved for achievements as a violinist

Our client is a 29-year-old male born in China. He came to us after receiving a Notice of Intent to Deny his I-140 Immigrant Petition filed by another law firm. The client was seeking to classify himself as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability as defined by INA §203(b)(1)(A) based on his achievements as a violinist. We had only 30 days to respond to the NOID which set forth all of the reasons that USCIS intended to deny the petition. We went to work immediately gathering evidence to use to respond to the NOID. We argued that our client is one of the top violinists in the United States and in the world. While working in the United States on an O-1 nonimmigrant visa, he served as a 1st Chair Violinist of The Cleveland Orchestra, and then as an associate Concertmaster with one of the top five orchestras in the United States.  He has won many awards in the field and performed with orchestras all over the world. The evidence we submitted on his behalf, which included translated copies of awards, letters of support from fellow experts in the field, and extensive background information on the orchestras with which he is affiliated as well as the grueling auditions required, all demonstrated a high level of expertise indicating that he has sustained international acclaim and recognition for his achievements as a violinist. Approximately two weeks after filing our brief and evidence in response to the NOID, despite our client’s relatively young age, the I-140 petition was approved. We have filed an I-485 application to adjust status to permanent resident based on the approved I-140 petition. Our very deserving client will soon obtain his green card based on his extraordinary ability as a violinist.

Fracture Mechanics Engineer approved for EB11 I-140 and Green Card!

Our team was thrilled to inform a recent client that his EB-11 I-140 petition was approved. Our client, a fracture mechanics engineer, is a skilled and innovative researcher highly respected among his peers, but was at times unsure of the larger significance of his technical achievements. Our attorney worked closely with the client, reviewing his technical works and publications, in order to be able to explain the originality and significance of his research to USCIS, as well as how his work has advanced the field of fracture mechanics. We worked with the client to explore which companies and institutions throughout the world were implementing his techniques, and conducted background research into his highly specialized field. The client’s I-140 was approved, and the I-485 approvals for him and his wife should be arriving shortly. 

EB-11 approved for Chinese polymer scientist

A Taiwanese polymer chemist retained our office to file an EB-11 (Immigrant Petition for Alien of Extraordinary Ability). This client was an accomplished research scientist, having published in leading journals and completed multiple prestigious fellowships. Attorney Chela Marquez handled this case, conducting a significant amount of background research into his highly-specialized field and successfully arguing that he was at the very top of the polymer science field. His I-140 petition was approved within a week of filing, without a request for additional evidence. We immediately filed I-485 applications for the client and his wife, both of which are currently pending.

I-765/131 based on I-140/I-485

We filed EB-11 immigrant visa petition ( self petition) for an internationally athlete. The I-140 was approved in June 2011 without RFE after pending for 9 months without RFE.  In April 2011, we filed the I-458/765/131 based on Pending I-140. The I-765/131 was approved after pending for just a little over 2 months.

I-140 EB-11 approval: athlete, swimmer

A young promising swimmer who has competed internationally hired us last year to file for EB-11 alien of extraordinary abilitywhile visiting US on B visa. Since client was not prepared for the filing before he came to the US so he basically had very little documentation of his achievement, and he did not even know whom to go for support letters and was not even sure if he would get one support letter. We carefully reviewed his situation with him and told him that it sounded that he might have two potential candidates who could provide useful letters for him and explained to him how he should approach these two people and get their support. With our guidance, he successfully won their support. Based on the information he gave us, we did a lot of research for his achievements outside the United States and put together a decent presentation of his case to the USCIS. We filed the I-140 in late August 2010 and it was approved on June 1, 2011 without RFE.

After the I-485 (Chinese National) was filed September 13, 2005, the quota for China EB2 retrogressed. We anticipated that because of the quota retrogression, the I-485 likely will take a long time to issue the approval after completion of the review and that likely the USCIS will RFE on applicant's continued research in the NIW area, we asked our client to maintain an updated file of her research papers. During the course, we advised client to timely filed AR11 of any address change and we also called the Service to update same on the I-485 so USCIS will have a current address in the I-485 file. The quota finally became open this July. We immediately contacted the Service's representative that the Service memo requires timely adjudication regardless of the expiration of biometrics if the case was otherwise approvable. Indeed an RFE was issued on her continued research work. Because of the updated file, we were able to complete and file the response to the RFE within a week. The I-485 was approved on June 29, 2010 within the month of quota open.

A client from Brazil retained us for her I-140 EB11 and I-485 applications. We filed the applications on 03/16/2010 and received approval on 05/28/2010. The I-485 was filed with properly translated and certified foreign language documents. As client has not had vaccination record from home country, we advised and she accepted to have the shots taken again here. All her time in the US, including departure/admissions have been properly documented, birth and parentage established, The green card was approved without RFE in four months.

Client is Indonesian National and applied for i-140 National Interest Waiver and I-485 through our office. Client was in his second year of PhD study when the visa petition was filed and the I-140 and 485 were both approved while he was still pursuing his Ph.D degree. The I-140 was filed in October 2007 and was approved without RFE in January 2009 the I-485 was filed concurrently with the I-140 and was approved without RFE either. I-140 NIW national interest waiver approval: Korean national , Ph.D, in the field of chronic diseases, who has been conducting research in using natural and safe agents from sea brown algae for cardiovascular improvement, arthritic treatment, and memory enhancement and also cancer prevention treatments without hazardous side effects.

An alien from S. Korea retained us to work on his E-2 extension. His wife, who is a dependent of his, was also included in the application for E-2 status. The alien invested a significant amount of money into a retail fashion store for which he is the owner. For the extension he showed that he still operates the business and continues to generate income. We filed for the E-2 extension on October 1, 2009 and received approval on December 8, 2009. His E-2 status and work authorization was extended for a 2 year period. The alien was happy to know that he can continue to run his business and contribute to the US economy.

I-485's approval for whole family based on approved I-140 ( National interest Waiver): Korean research scientist with extensive research background in natural medicine who did postdoctoral research in the U.S. and then returned to his home country and set up his own business in Korea first and then in the US under E visa. While the client was working between the two locations in the U.S. and Korea, we filed the I-140 under national interest waiver in Feb. 2008 and it was approved in Jan. 2009. All I-485s for client and family members were filed in May 2008 and they were all approved in March 2009. Client and family members were so happy now they do not need to renew their E visa anymore to travel and do business between the U.S. and Korea. All I-140 and I-485s were approved without request of any additional information.

I-140 EB-21, National Interest Waiver for Indian postdoctoral researcher with background in Mechanical Engineering: We filed I-140 in January 2008 to Texas Service Center. While the I-140 was pending, client wanted to change his job from a research university to a private business to conduct research in the similar area. Our office provided extensive assistance to the client and his new employer related to his visa issues and employment during his job transition and client successfully secured his new job. The I-140 was approved in March, 2009, without request for any additional information. Many of our clients hired and paid us to do only one thing but ended up benefiting from us for many other things.

We were retained by an alien of Colombian descent. He is on H-1B until 2011 and he asked us for assistance in filing his NIW Petition as he is an expert physician in the field of neuroscience. His NIW was filed on December 15, 2009. It was subsequently approved on March 19, 2010. We are now able to assist him with the green card application.