Following are representative examples of recent successes Brent & Powell has achieved for its clients. Of course our past successes do not imply any promise of similar result in any future case. (We've changed names to protect client's privacy.)

Adjustment Granted to Chinese Wife Even Though the Couple Had Lived Apart
During Most of Their Marriage

November 5, 2012

Jiao, a citizen of China, came to the US in F-1 status as an advance degree engineering student in 2002. While in graduate school in Rochester, NY, she met John, a US citizen also in graduate school studying political science and planning a career as a university professor. After John earned his doctorate he got a professorship at a New England Ivy League University, and moved to an apartment near the job. Meanwhile Jiao secured a professional job in her field in Rochester, changed status to H-1B, and continued living in the Rochester area. Their relationship, however, endured, as they'd spend weekends and holidays together when they could. In early 2010 they married in New England in a small civil wedding, but continued to live apart most of the time. When we filed their adjustment package in August they were in fact living together in Rochester, although shortly thereafter John commenced employment at a St. Louis university, and leased an apartment there while Jiao remained in Rochester. We candidly disclosed all pertinent information, and produced are large quantity of shared life documentation. The service agreed it was a good faith marriage and granted the adjustment application. (Because the adjustment came more than two years after the marriage commenced, the permanent status granted was unconditional.)

Waiver of Removal Granted to Client with Multiple Criminal Convictions

October 23, 2012

Our client, Pablo, has lived in the US since 1989 and has been a US lawful permanent resident since he adjusting status in 2003 based on marriage to a US citizen. In January, when he returned to the US after briefly visiting his home country, Guatemala, he was charged with being inadmissible because of multiple criminal convictions, and locked up at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center at Batavia. In fact he had been convicted of several alcohol related driving offenses and sentenced to aggregate imprisonment terms totaling five years about eight years ago. The sentences made him inadmissible, although not deportable. Pablo triggered the inadmissibility ground, however, when he sought to return to the US after his brief visit abroad. He'd departed from the US in reliance upon bad legal advance that his convictions would have no adverse immigration consequences. As an inadmissible alien Pablo was ineligible for bail. The case had dire implications not only for Pablo but for his wife, who is unable to work because of brain tumors, and her mentally disabled grandchild, for whom she's custodial guardian. Almost totally dependant upon him for financial support, they were almost penniless and shortly before the hearing had been evicted from their home for nonpayment of rent.

Our application for a waiver of removal was granted and our client released from custody to resume his lawful permanent residency after a testimonial hearing at the Batavia facility. There we produced proof he had stopped drinking since his imprisonment, and that Pablo's family was emotionally as well as financially dependent upon him. The court held we had satisfied our burden of proof that his removal would have caused extreme hardship.

Longtime Visa Waiver Overstay Gets Adjustment of Status

September 13, 2011

Gino, an Italian citizen, came to the US on a visa waiver in 1996, and never left. Four years later he married Cathy, a US citizen. Aware that persons in the US with visa waivers have almost have no right under the law to adjust status even if married to a US citizen once their 90 days of authorized stay has passed, they initially feared to file to seek lawful residency for Gino. Based on a policy followed by the Upstate New York USCIS office to approve otherwise meritorious adjustment applications of the visa waiver overstay spouses of US citizens, our office represented the couple in filing successfully for that benefit.

Subsequently the USCIS, after successfully litigating bars to adjustment filed beyond the 90-day period, announced informally it is now allowing adjustments in most immediate relative cases. Caution, however, that policy could change at any time.

H-1B Petition Approved Despite J-1 Foreign Residency Requirement

June 31, 2008

Peter, a physician, is a Canadian citizen, who completed medical residency in the US in J-1 status, subjecting him to the two year foreign residency requirement, INA § 212(e). That section prohibits such person for obtaining H-1B status by changing status in the US or by visa processing. We succesfully filed for H-1B status requesting neither visa nor status changes, but rather anticipating processing at a port of entry as Canadians seeking H-1B status are authorized to do. The service center questioned the physician's eligibility for H-1B status until he lived outside of the US for two years. We responded by showing that the statute didn't prohibit the J-1 from obtaining entry holding H-1B status at all, but merely by a change to it in the US or by visa processing. We successfully persuaded the service that application at a port of entry based on an approved visa petition, was neither. The service then approved the petition after which the physician at the port of entry obtained admission in H-1B status.

H-1B Petition Approved , Although Filed Long After Worker Started Current Job

June 30, 2008

Employer, a Fortune 500 company, transferred a foreign worker in H-1B status from a research and development job to a production one without previously seeking immigration service approval for a material change in previously approved employment. Months later it retained us to apply for the change after the fact. Citing an obscure letter written by an INS officer 12 years ago expressing the opinion that a petitioner should not be penalized for late filing in the case of a material change in H-1B employment, we filed the required petition. By action dated March 29, 2007, the service approved the petition and changed the worker's status in the United States to reflect the new employment. The action exempted the worker from the potentially risky necessity of applying for a new visa abroad, a usual requirement when a person violates status in the US.

Green Card Reissued As Service Waives Option to Deport

February 26, 2007

Upon evidence that came to light that he had been convicted of a controlled substance offense about 20 years ago, when Arthur, a Canadian citizen pro se filed to renew his green card, the immigration service initially requested further evidence. At that point, recognizing that the conviction, although very old, could trigger his deportation, he retained this firm. We investigated the history, found no further offences, and filed a response to the service's request. Shortly thereafter the service issued the green card, and a letter from a district director asserting the client's eligibility to be deported, but also declaring that it would not seek his deportation because that would not advance a substantial enforcement interest of the United States.

Spousal-Based Adjustment of Status Granted although Parties Were Separated and Wife Lived Out of State

November 28, 2006

Our client Joseph, a citizen of Kenya, came to the U.S. in 1996 and overstayed. In 2003 he married a U.S. citizen. Although they lived together in Upstate New York when we filed for adjustment of status on his behalf, she moved to another state before the mandatory interview they both needed to attend at the immigration service district office in Buffalo. The spouse did return to attend the interview where the facts were candidly disclosed to the adjudications officer, who nevertheless granted the application.

Brent & Powell

Immigration Law

95 Allens Creek Rd

bldg 1, suite 107

Rochester, NY 14618

phone: (585) 424-5330

fax: (585) 442-5232