Waiving Goodbye to Unappealable Decisions: Indirect AAO Jurisdiction

"While the AAO does not have jurisdiction directly over the denial of an adjustment application, the AAO does have jurisdiction over the denial of most waiver applications. And in the AAO’s view, appellate jurisdiction to determine whether someone should have been granted a waiver necessarily...

AAO CIMT/Waiver Victory: London

"[W]e acknowledge that the term "moral turpitude" is not in common usage, and it is unlikely that the average person is aware of its meaning and application in U.S. immigration law. In this case, the applicant did not disclose his conviction when asked about crimes involving moral turpitude...

AAO Sec. 212(i) Waiver Victory - New York

Alan Lee writes: "[Linked] is a decision that we just received from the AAO sustaining our appeal of an INA §212(i) denial for a Chinese national entering the U. S. with a photo substituted Taiwanese passport who was placed in proceedings and remained in the country following an in absentia...

Asylum Applicant with Administratively Closed Case Entitled to EAD: AAO

"The joint request administratively closing the asylum request appears to make the asylum application remain "undecided" within the meaning of 8 C.F.R. § 274a.12(c)(8) because the IJ has made an interlocutory or non-final order rather than dismissing the case. The AAO agrees with...

AAO I-601 Victory: China

Alan Lee writes: " Attached is another recent I-601 win at the AAO . In this case, the qualifying relatives were the applicant's U. S. citizen wife and permanent resident parents. The portion of the field office denial relating to the case was a peremptory paragraph of 13 lines focusing mainly...

AAO H-1B Victory: Forensic Alcohol Criminalist

Camiel Becker writes: "I am writing to share a recent win I had at the AAO on an H-1B denial . The case involves an in-house Forensic Alcohol Criminalist for a California-based law firm. The California Service Center denied the H-1B petition, inter alia, on a finding that a three-year bachelor’s...

AAO L-1A New Office Manager Victory

"While the beneficiary is required to apply his business expertise in carrying out his job duties and perform some operational or administrative tasks, the petitioner has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the majority of the day-to-day non-managerial tasks associated with the function...

USCIS Policy Memo: Precedent and Non-Precedent Decisions of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

"This policy memorandum (PM) and accompanying revisions to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) guide U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers on the distinction between and proper use of precedent and non-precedent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decisions. This PM revises...

Recruiter Not a 'Specialty Occupation' for H-1B: Health Carousel v. USCIS

"Because the AAO denied Health Carousel's petition on four alternative grounds, Health Carousel can only succeed in its challenge by showing that USCIS abused its discretion with respect to each enumerated ground. Id. at 1037. USCIS must show that it had at least one valid ground for denial...

AAO Extreme Hardship Waiver Victory: Pakistan

"The AAO finds the record to establish that the applicant's spouse would experience extreme hardship if she were to relocate to Pakistan to reside with the applicant due to his inadmissibility. The applicant's spouse has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, becoming a U.S....

AAO 'Doing Business' L-1 Victory

Alan Lee writes: "The attached unpublished decision of the AAO involves the interpretation of the words “doing business” in an I-140 EB-1C multinational executive/managerial petition where the U. S. petitioner’s evidence of such was only between itself and an overseas affiliate...

AAO I-601 Hardship Victory

"The favorable factors in this matter are the extreme hardship the applicant's U.S. citizen spouse and child would face if the applicant were to relocate to India, regardless of whether they accompanied the applicant or stayed in the United States; community ties; support letters from the church...

AAO Update Telecon on Wed., May 28, 2014

" U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference and listening session on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 , from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern) regarding recent developments relating to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) and appeals processing...

AAO 212(h) Hardship Victory; Mexico; Drug Conviction

"The favorable factors in the applicant's case include the extreme hardship his spouse would suffer as a result of his inadmissibility; his other family ties to the United States; the lack of any criminal record beyond the conviction for possession of marijuana, and, as attested to by numerous...

AAO 212(i) Hardship Victory; Mexico, Alien Smuggling, False Claim

Tarik H. Sultan writes: "Applicant, married to U.S. citizen husband with U.S. citizen children, filed adjustment with INA § 212(i) waiver to address pre-1996 false claim to citizenship. USCIS denied adjustment, finding her inadmissible for alien smuggling because her underage brother had also...

AAO 212(e) (J Waiver Hardship) Victory by Hake & Schmitt

Brian Schmitt writes: "For about a 9-10 month period, the USCIS CSC was very hostile towards I-612 hardship and persecution cases. We received an RFE on almost every case we filed. We overcame just about all of the RFEs except for the one we received in the instant case. We haven't received...

AAO on CIMT, Maryland Simple Assault

"Although the Hearing Transcript from July 15, 2008 indicates that the applicant's assault was committed against a police officer and that the applicant's actions resulted in scrapes and bruises to the police office, the Hearing Transcript states that the applicant was convicted of a misdemeanor...

Gauchos Skewer AAO: Fogo de Chao v. DHS (L-1B Specialized Knowledge)

"From 1997 to 2006, the Department of Homeland Security granted Fogo de Chao over 200 L-1B visas for its churrasqueiros. In 2010, Fogo de Chao sought to transfer another churrasqueiro chef, Rones Gasparetto, to the United States, reasoning that his distinctive cultural background and extensive experience...

That's One Expensive Cut of Meat

When you pay your bill at a restaurant, you are paying for the food, the employees' wages, the real estate, taxes, and more. But when you settle up at Fogo de Chao, you are also paying for lawyers, judges and bureaucrats to fight over the visa for a chef from Brazil . In 2010 the Brazilian steakhouse...

AAO Launches Online Practice Manual

"The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) conducts administrative review of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers’ decisions regarding immigration benefit requests in order to promote consistency and accuracy in the interpretation of immigration law and policy. We have...

AAO U Visa Victory: Texas Robbery a Qualifying Crime

"The evidence in the record establishes that the nature and elements of the criminal offense of which the petitioner was a victim, robbery, are substantially similar to felonious assault under section 101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of the Act. Accordingly, the petitioner has established the requisite victimization...

AAO I-212 Waiver Victory - Houston

"The record ... reflects that the applicant has expressed remorse for her actions and that she has paid taxes on her earnings as a nanny while in the United States. In addition, the applicant submits statements from friends and family describing her good character. The unfavorable factors in this...

News Excerpts From the Feb. 15, 2012, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Arizona Must Issue Drivers’ Licenses to DACA Recipients | On January 22, 2015, District Judge David G. Campbell permanently enjoined Arizona from refusing to issue drivers’ licenses to beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, finding that the state’s policy...

Pro Bono AAO Hardship 212(i) Waiver Victory; FGM; Cote d'Ivoire

Hats off to Cyrus D. Mehta for this pro bono publico victory: "Here we find that the record establishes that the applicant's spouse will suffer extreme hardship as a consequence of being separated from the applicant. The record shows that the spouse works extensive hours and would likely...

THE AAO ON H-1B VISA CREDENTIAL EVALUATIONS AND THE 'THREE-FOR-ONE" RULE

"As immigration practitioners, we file H-1B visa petitions all the time. We know that in each petition, the employer must demonstrate that the position requires a professional in a specialty occupation and that the foreign national – the intended employee - has the required qualifications...