Immigration Law

Recent Posts

AAO Grants T Visa Appeal About Presence “On Account of” Trafficking
Posted on 8 Apr 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matthew Hoppock, Apr. 7, 2019 "After an informal policy shift last year led the USCIS to start denying human trafficking visas by misreading the statutory text, creating a requirement that never existed before, we’ve won our first appeal... Read More

AAO L-1A New Office Manager Victory
Posted on 30 Oct 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"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... Read More

AAO (Published) on 'Doing Business' - Matter of Leacheng Intl., Inc.
Posted on 9 Apr 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Official Headnotes: (1) The definition of “doing business” at 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(j)(2) (2014) contains no requirement that a petitioner for a multinational manager or executive must provide goods and or services to an unaffiliated third... Read More

AAO Update Telecon on Wed., May 28, 2014
Posted on 20 May 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

" 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... Read More

AAO: No Such Thing as a Part-Time Nun
Posted on 10 Oct 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The AAO agrees with counsel's argument. Unlike the definition of a religious occupation under 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(m)(5), the definition of religious vocation includes no requirements regarding the qualifying nature of the beneficiary's... Read More

AAO I-212 Victory in Michigan
Posted on 14 Feb 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Sarah E. Murphy writes: " The AAO reversed the decision of the USCIS Detroit field office director, which denied the application for permission to reapply for admission after removal [Form I-212], and concluded that the applicant had established... Read More

Tags: waiver , AAO , i-212

Matter of H-V-P-, Adopted Decision 2016-01 (AAO Feb. 9, 2016)
Posted on 14 Mar 2016 by Daniel M. Kowalski

USCIS, Mar. 9, 2016 - "This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of H-V-P- as an Adopted Decision. Accordingly, this adopted decision establishes policy guidance that applies... Read More

Judo Coach Earns EB-1 'Extraordinary Ability' Green Card: Matter of K-S-Y-, ID# 14269 (AAO Mar. 9, 2016)
Posted on 26 Apr 2016 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of K-S-Y-, ID# 14269 (AAO Mar. 9, 2016) - "Today we have occasion to explore how an individual may demonstrate eligibility for a first preference immigrant visa during a career transition from competing as an athlete to coaching the next generation... Read More

AAO Religious Worker Victory: Matter of I-S-O-A-, Inc.
Posted on 16 Mar 2016 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of I-S-O-A-, Inc., ID# 13560 (AAO Mar. 9, 2016) - "[N]otwithstanding the regulation at 8 C.F.R. 204.5(m)(4) and (11) as currently written, in accordance with the Policy Memorandum, we find that the Petitioner has established that the Beneficiary... Read More

USCIS Policy Memo: Initial Field Review of AAO Appeals
Posted on 10 Nov 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

USCIS, Nov. 4, 2015 - Initial Field Review of Appeals to the Administrative Appeals Office "This policy memorandum (PM) and accompanying revisions to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) provide guidance to employees of U.S. Citizenship... Read More

AAO Launches Online Practice Manual
Posted on 29 Jan 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"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... Read More

AAO: EB-5 Regional Center De-Certified; Job Creation vs. Job Preservation
Posted on 14 Feb 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The applicant's argument that the IWWTF will be a ghost plant if it does not obtain bridge financing is inherently an argument that touches on preservation of jobs, not creation of jobs. The regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 205.6(j)(4)(ii) allows... Read More

AAO Reverses Denial of I-140 in RIR Case
Posted on 3 Dec 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Jerry Friedman writes: "Attached is a decision from the AAO reinstating an I-140 that was revoked by the Texas Service Center. The revocation was based on the Service Center’s lack of understanding of the reduction in recruitment procedure... Read More

AAO I-212 Waiver Victory - Houston
Posted on 5 Feb 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"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... Read More

Tags: 212 , waiver , AAO , equities , Houston
  • Blog Post: AAO on the persistence of evidence

    A blast from the past (1985!) reminding adjudicators that evidence never dies. Matter of Deciga-Gallegos, Feb. 26, 1985 . Courtesy of Lisa Brodyaga .
  • Blog Post: AAO 212(i) Waiver Victory

    "The AAO acknowledges that the applicant's wife has been residing in the United States for many years and that she may experience some hardship in relocating to the Dominican Republic. Based on the record as a whole including the applicant's spouse's emotional issues, her separation...
  • Blog Post: AAO National Interest Waiver Victory: Nanotechnology

    Memphis attorney Richard Averwater scored this recent AAO NIW victory for his nanotechnology client. Matter of X-, Nov. 21, 2011 .
  • Blog Post: AAO 212(a)(9)(A)(iii) Waiver Victory

    "The favorable factors in this case are the applicant's close family ties in the United States, his U.S. Citizen brother and Lawful Permanent Resident son; an approved 1-130 Petition; no evidence of a criminal record; a grant of voluntary departure; over 25 years have passed since the applicant...
  • Blog Post: Seventh Circuit on IIRAIRA Retroactivity: Siddiqui vi Holder

    "Mohsin H. Siddiqui, a native of Pakistan, appeals the denial of his legalization applications by the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”), the appellate body of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). Siddiqui disputes the AAO’s finding that he failed...
  • Blog Post: AAO: EB-5 Regional Center De-Certified; Job Creation vs. Job Preservation

    "The applicant's argument that the IWWTF will be a ghost plant if it does not obtain bridge financing is inherently an argument that touches on preservation of jobs, not creation of jobs. The regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 205.6(j)(4)(ii) allows investors to be credited with preserved jobs, but...
  • Blog Post: AAO I-212 Victory in Michigan

    Sarah E. Murphy writes: " The AAO reversed the decision of the USCIS Detroit field office director, which denied the application for permission to reapply for admission after removal [Form I-212], and concluded that the applicant had established that a favorable exercise of discretion is...
  • Blog Post: Matter of SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER, ID 3752, 25 I&N Dec. 799 (AAO 2012)

    Matter of SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER, ID 3752, 25 I&N Dec. 799 (AAO 2012) - (1) Congress did not define the term “culturally unique,” as used in section 101(a)(15)(P)(iii) of the Immigration andNationalityAct, 8U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(P)(iii) (2006), leaving reasonable construction of...
  • Blog Post: AAO U Visa Age-Out Victory

    "The beneficiary in this matter, who is the petitioner's daughter, was born January 30, 1985. Thus, when the petitioner initially requested interim relief on or about November 22, 2002, the petitioner's daughter was 17 years old and unmarried. When the petitioner was granted interim relief...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victories: Colombia; Mexico

    Hats off to attorney B. John Ovink ! Matter of Mayorga Cespedes , Jan. 3, 2012 (Colombia) Matter of Contreras , Feb. 3, 2012 (Mexico)
  • Blog Post: AAO U Visa Victory

    "Upon reconsideration, the AAO concludes that the petitioner has met her burden of demonstrating that she was the victim of substantial abuse. Specifically, our prior decision failed to acknowledge that although the individual acts to which the petitioner was subjected might not constitute substantial...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victory: Matter of Inostroza de Palache

    Eric Bjotvedt writes: "This is a long and interesting case for your readers. I appealed the Field Office Director’s decision denying my client’s I-601 in Mexico City. The appeal was sustained by the AAO when I was able to convince it that the decision must be overturned since the totality...
  • Blog Post: AAO on Moral Turpitude, Willful Misrepresentation

    "[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. ... There is no indication that this applicant was aware that he had committed a crime involving moral turpitude...
  • Blog Post: AAO: No Such Thing as a Part-Time Nun

    "The AAO agrees with counsel's argument. Unlike the definition of a religious occupation under 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(m)(5), the definition of religious vocation includes no requirements regarding the qualifying nature of the beneficiary's duties or the amount of time spent perfonning religious...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victory: Burkina Faso

    "Based on her safety concerns in Burkina Faso, minimal ties to Burkina Faso, her separation from her family in the United States, the applicant's minor cousin's reliance on her for support, the family's financial circumstances in Burkina Faso, her limited employment prospects, and her...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victory; Adjustment Granted by USCIS

    Russell R. Abrutyn writes: "I thought your readers might be interested in this AAO 212(i) hardship waiver decision. The qualifying relatives were the applicant’s parents but the family member with the most significant hardship was the applicant’s niece. The niece suffers from cerebral...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victory: New Delhi

    "When considered in the aggregate, the documentation provided regarding the qualifying spouse's medical, emotional and financial hardships demonstrate that the qualifying spouse would suffer extreme hardship were she to remain in the United States without the applicant. The AAO thus concludes...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victory: India

    Scott D. Pollock writes: "Here is a nice decision we got from the AAO that overturns a previous denial of an I-601 for both 212(a)(9)(B) and 212(i) waivers. The qualifying relative U.S. citizen husband is an entrepreneur who is engaged in expanding his network of small retail establishments. We...
  • Blog Post: AAO Reverses Denial of I-140 in RIR Case

    Jerry Friedman writes: "Attached is a decision from the AAO reinstating an I-140 that was revoked by the Texas Service Center. The revocation was based on the Service Center’s lack of understanding of the reduction in recruitment procedure in place in 2001. Dvorak initially filed the labor...
  • Blog Post: CISOMB Telecon Dec. 19th: How is the AAO Working for You?

    Not on the CISOMB website yet, but from an email dated Dec. 7, 2012: " Teleconference Invitation The USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) December 19, 2012 2:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern Please join in a conversation facilitated by the Ombudsman’s Office concerning USCIS’s...
  • Blog Post: AAO VAWA Self-Petitioner I-601 / I-212 Waiver Victory

    "Upon review, the AAO finds that the applicant has established a sufficient connection between the battering and subjection to extreme cruelty she suffered at the hands of her former spouse and her departure and reentry to the United States that gave rise to inadmissibility under section 212(a)...
  • Blog Post: AAO Hardship Waiver Victory: Mexico

    Jennifer M. Morrissey writes: "Here is an I-601 AAO approval I received today. Only took six years…. (I-601 filed in 2007 with Portland Field Office – denied 2009, appeal to AAO denied 2012, Motion to Reopen granted and I-601 approved March 15, 2013 )."
  • Blog Post: AAO 212(i) Hardship Waiver Victory; Domestic Partnership Taken Into Account

    "Counsel notes that the applicant's domestic partner of 17 years will suffer emotional and physical hardship due to the applicant's inadmissibility. However, the AAO may only consider hardship to a qualifying relative. The AAO may give some consideration to the applicant's relationship...
  • Blog Post: USCIS Interim Policy Memo for Comment: Precedent and Non-Precedent Decisions of the 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 AAO decisions. This PM revises Subchapter 14.4 of the AFM;...
  • Blog Post: USCIS Policy Memo: Certification of Decisions to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

    "This policy memorandum (PM) and accompanying revisions to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) guide officers on the proper use of the decision certification mechanism described in 8CFR 103.4. This PM revises Subchapters 3.5, 10.7, 10.8, 10.14 and 10.18 of the AFM; AFM Update AD13-08."...