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J-1 Waiver Granted to a Colombian Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician to Serve in an Underserved Area in San Antonio, Texas

This physician from Colombia completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship while on a J-1 Visa. To forgo the 2 year home residency requirement, the physician found a job in an underserved area in Texas with an employer who agreed to sponsor her J-1 Waiver and H-1B. 

The physicians group retained our firm to file the J-1 Waiver. In the application, we demonstrated that the area in which the physician will work had diminished access to medical care. We showed that the physicians group is trying to expand their services to satisfy the needs of the community and enhance its access to primary medical care reducing the need for emergency care. We also argued that this can only be accomplished by adequate physician staffing. With adequate physician staffing, the community that the doctor will serve will enjoy better access to health care, decreased hospital costs and reduced burden on the emergency departments. The application was approved and the physician’s 2 year foreign residence requirement was waived. After we secured the J-1 Waiver, we successfully applied for the physician’s H-1B visa.

J-1 Waiver Granted to a Colombian Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician to Serve in an Underserved Area in San Antonio, Texas

This physician from Colombia completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship while on a J-1 Visa. To forgo the 2 year home residency requirement, the physician found a job in an underserved area in Texas with an employer who agreed to sponsor her J-1 Waiver and H-1B.

The physicians group retained our firm to file the J-1 Waiver. In the application, we demonstrated that the area in which the physician will work had diminished access to medical care. We showed that the physicians group is trying to expand their services to satisfy the needs of the community and enhance its access to primary medical care reducing the need for emergency care. We also argued that this can only be accomplished by adequate physician staffing. With adequate physician staffing, the community that the doctor will serve will enjoy better access to health care, decreased hospital costs and reduced burden on the emergency departments. The application was approved and the physician’s 2 year foreign residence requirement was waived. After we secured the J-1 Waiver, we successfully applied for the physician’s H-1B visa.

A Physician’s Group in Oklahoma retained our firm to assist with the employment of three hospitalists in H-1B status. The Physician’s Group serviced hospitals in medically underserved areas and needed to fill part-time positions. The Physician’s Group understood how complex the immigration process is and wanted to ensure that this second employment would not negatively impact the physicians’ current H-1B status and full time employment. Our firm filed concurrent H-1Bs for each physician. In the petition, we outlined the details of the position including the location, duties, and the number of hours required of each physician. Two of the physicians also had previously secured J-1 Waivers. In drafting the concurrent H-1B petitions, our firm ensured that the physicians continued to fulfill all the requirements of their J-1 Waivers. Once our firm confirmed that the moonlighting met all the requirements and would not negatively impact the physicians’ current visas, we successfully submitted the petitions and received an approval shortly after.

The newly published final rule will allow more nonprofit entities to take advantage of the exemption.

USCIS has published a final rule on November 18, 2016 which introduces a fourth option to meet the exemption from the H-1B quota. A nonprofit entity can claim cap exemption by demonstrating that it has entered into a formal written affiliation agreement with an institution of higher education that establishes an active working relationship between the nonprofit entity and the institution for the purposes of research or education, and the fundamental activity of the nonprofit entity is to directly contribute to the research of education mission of the institution of higher education.

In the proposed rule, the term “primary purpose” was used instead of “fundamental activity.” However, in response to the public comments which suggested the term “primary purpose” was too restrictive, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) replaced “primary purpose” with “fundamental activity.” DHS expects that this substitution of the terms will allow more nonprofit entities to take advantage of the exemption. In the commentary preceding the regulation, DHS also clarified that if a nonprofit entity is engaged in more than one fundamental activity, it can still  take advantage of the exemption because the exemption requires that at least one of these fundamental activities directly contributes to research or education of an institution of higher education. This rule will go into effect on January 17, 2017.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Due to Hostile Work Environment and potential danger to US citizen Spouse and Child

April 25, 2016 - After obtaining a j-1 waiver and H-1B visa, this internal medicine physician began his j-1 waiver job in California. Shortly after he initiated his employment, the employer began engaging in illegal and unethical conduct as well as harassment, mistreatment, and retaliation against the physician. In addition, throughout his employment, the physician’s employer continuously disregarded and ignored the physician’s medical judgement, thereby jeopardizing the health of its patients and the safety of its community. After the physician complained of the harassment as well as the unfair compensation he faced, the physician was given a final warning.

In our petition, we argued that as a result of the employer’s behavior, the physician could not complete his j-1 waiver service. We also argued that the denial of the physician’s j-1 waiver transfer would cause extreme hardship on the physician’s spouse and young son, both US citizens. The physician’s wife has several mental illnesses and in the event of a denial, the physician and his family would need to return to India, a country that lacks adequate mental health care.

The physician and his new employer retained our firm to prepare and file the J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer to another hospital in California. Our petition included a declaration signed by the physician, his spouse’s medical records reflecting her diagnoses, treatment plan, and her physician’s recommendations, as well as articles regarding the access to mental health care in India. USCIS approved the physician’s J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer on April 25, 2016.

Russian Endocrinologist Granted NIW to Serve in Medically Underserved Community in Michigan

March 29, 2016 - This Russian national is an Endocrinologist that came to the United States on a J-1 visa in order to complete her residency training in Internal Medicine. Upon completion of her training program in 2012, she began her fellowship in Endocrinology, which she completed in 2014. Afterwards, we filed a J-1 visa waiver that waived the 2-year foreign home requirement and allowed her to remain in the US.

We were retained again recently to file this physician’s NIW in order for her to serve five years in an underserved community in Isabella County, Michigan. We stated that her employment will have an immediate and positive impact on the members of Isabella County by reducing the long wait by patients to see an endocrinologist, enhancing follow up procedures with the facility, as well as enchaining the availability and quality of care provided to patients. We also argued that a denial of the NIW would deprive the community of a specialty physician that can provide patients with much-needed preventative care. Her NIW was approved on March 29, 2016.

 

2.12.16

After seeking help in finding his stolen car, Salvadoran man is facing deportation 

Pedro Figueroa is facing deportation and was detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement after contacting police officials to get help in finding his stolen car. However, it is actually a violation of laws that are designed to encourage all to come forward and report crimes, regardless of their legal status.  

In other words, San Francisco PD was not supposed to have contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, when Figueroa contacted them. However, there was an ICE agent waiting outside when Pedro arrived at the San Francisco Police Station, and he ended up being detained for “45 days and counting, at risk of deportation to danger and even death in El Salvador,” his lawyers noted in their statement on the case.  

Pedro Figueroa is an El Salvadoran man who has been living in San Francisco, and is a father to an eight-year-old girl. If San Francisco Police were indeed in violation of these immigration laws designed to allow everyone, regardless of citizenship status, the right to contact law enforcement to report crimes, this would be a very disturbing case. Pedro’s case is “now being reviewed by the immigration courts to determine whether he has a legal basis to remain in the U.S,” according to the statement made by ICE. 

2.2.16

 

Music Teacher in Minnesota may be forced to leave country  

 

In Lancaster, Minnesota, the music teacher of the Lancaster School may be forced to return to Canada, as her visa runs out on February 15th. Alanna Dawson is the music teacher there at the school in northwestern Minnesota, and because of U.S. Immigration Law may be forced to move back to her home near Winnipeg, Canada. The Superintendent of the district, Steve Swiontek, has reached out to Minnesota Senators Klobuchar and Franken, as well as Representative Peterson in his attempt to keep Dawson from being forced to leave the country.  

If Ms. Dawson is forced to leave, the school will be without a music teacher, as there are no others in the area. This is why U.S. Immigration Law is so important. While in some cases it is important to maintain a balance of those immigrating to the United States, it is important for circumstances such as this one to receive individual consideration. 

The Election of a New President is Bound to Affect Immigration Law

The President of the United States has a major say in the immigration policies of the country. With 2016 being an election year, there may be changes coming to the approach of the executive branch towards immigration policy. Two important topics heading into the presidential race are immigration from Mexico and Central America, and the immigration of refugees from Syria and the Middle East. It is important to keep an eye on the elections and how the differing opinions of the candidates will affect immigration law and policies such as J-1 Visas.

Students in Ireland and other countries to need jobs before they can secure a J-1 visa

Starting in 2016, foreign exchange students who wish to spend time in the United States will be required to obtain and provide proof of employment in the U.S. prior to their J-1 visas being accepted. These ordinances have been put in place by the agencies CIEE and Interexchange, who are responsible for the immigration of students who wish to obtain J-1 waivers and selecting and determining which students are accepted. The U.S. Dept. of Foreign Affairs backed them in this decision.

On November 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs announced that students who wish to obtain a J-1 visa to the United States would be required to have employment first. Supporters of these changes to the J-1 waiver program believe that the new changes will make it easier for foreign exchange students to hit the ground running, and that having employment prior to entering the country will make their transition easier. Opponents of the changes, such as Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, believe that the adjustments to the J-1 visa program will greatly reduce the number of students eager to participate in the program.

on.Students in Ireland and other countries to need job
s before they can secure a J-1 visa

PERM LC Certified and I-140 Approved for Hospitalist in Michigan

October 30, 2014 – This Indian National requested to get his adjustment of status process started. His employer retained our firm for the PERM Application. We submitted the PERM Application on March 7, 2014 locking in that date as the priority date for filing the adjustment of status petition. The PERM Application was certified on August 27, 2014. After certification we quickly filed the petition for the I-140 to move to the next step of the green card process. The I-140 was filed on October 9, 2014 and approved on October 30, 2014. We are now waiting for the priority date to become current so we may file the I-485 Adjustment of status Petition.

 

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Family Medicine Physician from India to Servie in a Medically Underserved Community in Texas

September 29, 2014 – This physician from India was completing her residency training in family medicine while on a J-1 visa. Per the J-1 Visa requirement, the physician was initially required to go back to India to fulfill the requirement of providing healthcare to people of India. However, do to the critical need of family physicians in Texas, a health center petitioned for the physician’s J-1 Waiver.

The health center retained our firm to file the J-1 waiver in order to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement. We filed the petition explaining the great need for a family physician as well as the furtherance of the goals of the state and national interest because the program reduces the cost of health care. Upon review , the USCIS approved the application on September 29, 2014.

Peruvian National Obtains J-1 Visa Waiver to Serve in the Midwest

May 16, 2014 - This neonatologist is a Peruvian national that was on a J-1 visa while completing her residency in Pediatrics. Upon completing her residency training as well as the expiration of her J-1 visa, a practice based in Illinois and Indiana sponsored this physician’s J-1 visa waiver in order for her to work three years with them instead of fulfilling the 2-year foreign residence requirement.

The hospital retained our firm in order to file the J-1 visa waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement. We submitted the application, demonstrating the hospital’s needs for a neonatologist as well as their failed recruitment efforts to hire a neonatologist for a long period of time. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on April 23,2014. In addition, on May 16, 2014, USCIS approved the hospital’s H-1B visa application filed on behalf of the physician.

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Pakistani Neonatologist to Serve in Danville, Illinois

May 8, 2014 - This Pakistani physician obtained his residency training in pediatrics in June of 2011 in the United States while on a J-1 visa. After completion of his residency, he began his fellowship training in neonatology. Because of his qualifications, a hospital in Illinois retained our firm in order to file for this physician’s J-1 visa waiver in order to forgo the 2-year foreign residence requirement to allow him to work under a three year contract in the Danville, Illinois, a federally designated health professional shortage area.

In his petition, we stated that the hospital is in critical need of this physician’s services as 1) his employment would greatly reduce health care cost; 2) his employment is in the national interest; and 3) the hospital’s traditional recruitment efforts have not been able to retain such a physician for a sufficient long period. We filed his J-1 visa waiver petition on April 7, 2014 and it was approved on May 8, 2014.

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Internal Medicine Physician from Pakistan to Serve in Medically Underserved Community in Michigan

April 24, 2014 - This internal medicine physician from Pakistan entered the United States on a J-1 visa. While on her J-1 visa, she completed her residency training and became certified in internal medicine. Per the 2-year foreign residence requirement, this physician was initially required to return to Pakistan to fulfill the requirement of providing healthcare to people of Pakistan. However, due to a Michigan hospital’s critical need of this physician’s services in their underpriveleged and underserved communities, the Michigan hospital petitioned for the physician’s J-1 waiver.

The hospital retained our firm in order to file the J-1 visa waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement. We submitted the application, demonstrating the hospital’s needs for an internal medicine physician as well as their failed recruitment efforts. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on April 24, 2014.

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Neonatologist to Serve in Gary, Indiana

April 23, 2014 - This neonatologist entered the United States on a J-1 visa in 2008 to complete her residency training in Pediatrics. After completing her residency, she began her fellowship training in neonatology. Per the 2-year foreign residence requirement, once a J-1 visa has expired, the physician must leave the United States for a two year period. In this physician’s case, however, a hospital in Indiana needed her employment in order to serve an underserved community in Gary, Indiana, in which the people of the community have very limited access to healthcare. Because the hospital needed this physician’s employment, the hospital retained our firm to file this physician’s J-1 visa waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement.

Once we were retained, we filed the J-1 visa waive on behalf of the hospital, stating that the offered employment and the approval of the J-1 visa waiver are in furtherance of the goals of the state of Illinois and the national interests because the program will reduce the cost of health care. We filed the petition on March 31, 2014 and the J-1 visa waiver was approved on April 23, 2014.

Salvadorian Staff Pulmonary Physician Granted National Interest Waiver to Serve in a Medically Underserved Community in Texas

March 11, 2014 - This Salvadorian national is a staff pulmonary physician that came to the United States on a J-1 visa to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine in 2008 as well as his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in June of 2011. After he was granted his J-1 visa waiver and waived of the 2-year foreign residence requirement, we filed his J-1 visa waiver transfer to another location in Texas.

Recently, we were retained again to file this physician’s NIW in order for him to serve five years in an underserved community in San Antonio, Texas. We stated that his employment will have an immediate and positive impact on the medical services provided in this community by reducing the long wait by patients to see physicians as well as enhance follow-up procedures with the facility and enhance the availability and quality of care provided to patients. His NIW was approved on March 11, 2014.

J-1 Waiver granted to Pulmonary Physician to serve a Medically Underserved Community in San Antonio, Texas

February 27, 2014 - This Ecuadorian physician entered the United States in 2009 on a J-1 visa in order to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine. Upon completion of his training, he began his fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Because a healthcare clinic needed this physician’s employment to serve their community in San Antonio, Texas, they retained our firm to prepare the physician’s J-1 visa waiver in order to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement.

As such, we completed this physician’s J-1 visa waiver file and filed it on December 23, 2013, stating that this healthcare clinic needed the physician’s services to treat the underserved people of San Antonio and nearby communities that do not have access to healthcare. In addition, we also stated that waiving the 2-year foreign residence requirement is in furtherance of the goals of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the national interest because the program will reduce the cost of health care. His J-1 visa waiver was granted on February 27, 2014.

Syrian National Granted J-1 Persecution Waiver due to Religious Persecution

February 5, 2014 - This Syrian national is an Internal Medicine Physician that came to Ohio on a J-1 visa in order to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine. Upon expiration of his J-1 visa, a hospital in Michigan that wished to employ him sponsored him for a J-1 visa waiver in order for him to work three years in an underserved community in Michigan where access to healthcare is limited.

Once retained, we filed a J-1 visa persecution waiver stating that this physician should be waved of the 2-year foreign residence requirement as 1) Syria is still in an ongoing civil war and persecuting Christians due to their religious belief; and 2) the hospital in Michigan is in desperate needs of this physician’s services. As a practicing Eastern Orthodox Christian, this physician would face severe violence due to his beliefs. In addition, the Department of State has indicated that violence in Syria is still prevalent and constant due to terrorism. Moreover, we also demonstrated that granting this J-1 persecution waiver would be in the public interest as the physician would be treating an underserved and underprivileged community in Michigan. After a request for evidence, USCIS granted this physician’s J-1 visa waiver on February 5, 2014.

Persecution Waiver Granted for Syrian National that cannot Return to Syria due to Violence and Religious Persecution

January 16, 2014 - This Syrian national was originally on a J-1 non-immigrant visa in order to complete his residency in Internal Medicine in Buffalo, New York. Once his J-1 visa was expire, we were retained by a hospital in Michigan that needed the physician’s services and wanted to sponsor him for a J-1 visa persecution waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement as well as an H-1B visa.

Once retained, we filed a J-1 visa persecution waiver in which we stated that the physician would experience great hardship if he were to return to Syria. We stated that if the 2-year foreign residence requirement was not granted, this physician would be sent to a war-torn country in which he would be faced with religious persecution as he is a practicing Greek Orthodox Christian. In addition, we demonstrated that the Department of State has indicated that the violence in Syria is prevalent and constant in Syria due to terrorism and the ongoing civil war. Moreover, we also demonstrated that granting this J-1 persecution waiver would be in the public interest as the physician would be treating an underserved and underprivileged community in Michigan. After a request for evidence, USCIS granted this physician’s J-1 visa waiver on January 16, 2014.