St. Louis Immigration Attorney Jim Hacking Helps Overstay Obtain Lawful Permanent Residence

Our office was contacted last year by a young Bosnian American from south St. Louis county whose mother-in-law had come to the United States in 2007 on a B1/B2 visitor visa.  The visitor visa had expired long ago and the fact that the elderly lady was living in the United States for three years out of status had caused the family a significant amount of stress.  The family had tried to file an immediate family visa application on their own, but had experienced difficulty in completing all of the forms correctly and gathering the necessary documents.  The lady’s lawful permanent resident (green card) application was therefore denied.

We met with the family and advised them that because the woman’s son was a U.S. citizen and was over the age of 21, she was eligible for an immediate visa based on her family status.   The fact that she was the mother of a U.S. citizen would also allow USCIS to “forgive” the fact that she had been in the U.S. out of status.

Happy to report that we went to the USCIS office in downtown St. Louis today for our client’s interview.  Her application for lawful permanent resident status was approved and the immigration officer informed us that our client would receive her green card in the mail in a few weeks.

St. Louis Immigration Law Firm Helps Local Professor Obtain Green Card as EB-1 Outstanding Professor; I-140 approved in 24 hours

“Thank you oh so much,” was the phrase recently delivered to us by a local university professor after receiving word that she had been granted lawful permanent resident status as an Outstanding Professor in the EB-1 Category.  Our client teaches at a local university and we had prepared an extensive package demonstrating the outstanding nature of her application.

This particular client had received numerous prizes and grants in her field of study.  She had collaborated with researches from around the country and throughout the world in her particular area of expertise.  Her work had been cited by experts in other scientific journals and she had been asked to judge the work submitted by others to academic journals.

While we certainly never purposefully add bulk to an application, this particular client had such extensive documentation of her numerous successes, that her application with USCIS ended up weighing nearly 4 pounds.  Because we paid the premium processing fee, we knew that our client’s application would be decided relatively quickly.  We were shocked, however, to find out that the professor’s I-140 immigrant worker petition (which served as the basis of the green card application) had been approved in less than 24 hours.  We have had many successful immigration applications in the past, but this was an absolute first!

We are very happy for our client, the professor.  The United States will be a better place because she will stay here.

If you need assistance with an employment-based immigrant visa, please call the St. Louis immigration law firm of the Hacking Law Practice, LLC at (314)961-8200 or visit our contact page right here.

St. Louis Immigration Attorney Jim Hacking Discusses R-1 Visa Holders Changing Jobs

The Board of Immigration Appeals recently handed down an unpublished opinion in which it held that a religious pastor from Guyana was inadmissible because his employment with his sponsoring church had ended while he was outside of the country.

In this case, the man from Guyana began working for a church in Maryland.  The church sponsored him for an R-1 religious visa and the visa was approved.  After some time, the relationship between the pastor and the church deteriorated.  The pastor tendered his resignation, effective Marh 9, 2008.  He then left the U.S. without having a new R-1 visa on file and without having a new job with a potential R-1 sponsor lined up.  This proved a crucial error.

When he returned to the U.S., deportation proceedings began and the immigration judge decided that he was inadmissible as he had no R-1 employer.  She ordered him removed.  On appeal, the pastor argued that because he was looking for an R-1 eligible job, he should be allowed to enter.  The Board rejected this argument as “immaterial.”

The Board also said it was “immaterial” that his prior R-1 visa had not been formally revoked before the pastor attempted to reenter the U.S.

If you have questions about the R-1 religious visa or how churches can sponsor leaders for a visa, please give us a call at (314) 961-8200 or email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com.