One of the ways a foreign national (alien) can become a permanent resident is through a permanent employment opportunity in the United States. There are five employment-based preference categories.
National Interest Waiver
We represented a physician working for a healthcare network within several counties of a Medically Underserved Area (MUA). Initially, we submitted the required documents, but the tricky issue was the division of the physician’s service over several counties. The approval in this case required that we work closely with officials from the State Health Department to provide proper documentation and verification of the full-time nature of the job, albeit across several areas and proof of physician shortage within each area.
We represented a physician working for a veteran’s facility within a medically underserved area. The NIW was approved. Before completing her waiver time, she needed to move from the approved location to another location AND switch from a MUA to the Veterans Administration.
Our client recently received his green card after a long journey with USCIS. He approached us following a denial of his I-140 (NIW, physician in medically underserved area). The applicant had filed the I-140 and I-485 and then moved to a different state while the applications were pending. There had been no action on the file for 2 years. He submitted a service request with USCIS requesting a status update. USCIS issued a Request for Evidence shortly after the applicant’s move, which was sent to the original address and ultimately returned undelivered.
We have recently won a case for a physician working in several rural clinics as well as his private practice within a medically underserved area. We were retained following a denial of the I-140 petition for NIW. We filed an appeal as well as an amended (new) I-140 application to show that the physician had met the 5-year service requirements for an NIW. The applicant had moved from one medically underserved area to another while the original I-140 was pending. The issue was whether an “amendment” could have been filed in this case to notify USCIS of the move without an approved I-140.