One Family’s Immigration Story

By Attorneys Robert L. Reeves & Jeff L. Khurgel

On April 11, 2008 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved the Adjustment of Status applications of Mr. Reynaldo Abad and his family. This joyful event occurred merely 45 days after the Abad family had their immigration hopes placed in doubt upon receiving a “Notice of Intent to Deny” their applications from the USCIS. Reeves & Associates filed a timely response with the USCIS, resulting in another success story.

The Abad family’s story as immigrants in the United States began when Mr. Abad entered the U.S. from the Philippines in December of 2000 on a Visitor’s Visa. His wife and daughter joined him in December of 2001. Mr. Abad was later approved for a change of status from Visitor to H-1B Specialty Worker. Mr. Abad, who held a bachelor’s degree and was trained in Computer Programming, was fully qualified for this status. He worked loyally and diligently for his employer, which subsequently decided to sponsor him for permanent residency. The Abad family’s second daughter was born a United States Citizen in 2002.

In June of 2007, after having been in the country for over 6 years, Mr. Abad began the legal process of adjusting from an H-1B worker in the U.S. to a permanent resident. Mr. Abad’s employer submitted the documentation necessary to initiate the Adjustment of Status procedure for Mr. Abad. As a Programmer Analyst with over 10 years of experience, Mr. Abad was petitioned in the Employment-Based Third Preference Category, as a Professional Worker. The immigrant visa petition and adjustment of status package also included Mr. Abad’s wife and eldest daughter.

On January 30, 2008, approximately 6 months after the filing of Mr. Abad’s Applications, the USCIS sent Reynaldo a Letter which shocked his family. The Letter from the USCIS informed Mr. Abad that they intended to deny his family’s Adjustment of Status applications. The Notice of Intent to Deny informed him that the applications are headed towards denial because Mr. Abad allegedly worked without authorization while in his H-1B status. The USCIS only allowed Mr. Abad 33 days to respond to the letter of intention.

A U.S. Worker must maintain legal immigration status in order to be eligible to adjust status in the United States. Throughout his entire period of stay in the U.S., Mr. Abad had complied with all the legal requirements out of respect for U.S. immigration laws. He was now being improperly denied his adjustment of status application. The USCIS’ Notice of Intent to Deny was based on an allegation that Reynaldo violated his H-1B Status by working without authorization.

An H-1B nonimmigrant worker in the United States is only permitted to work for their H-1B sponsor employer in the specialty occupation. The worker’s status in the U.S. is tied to their sponsoring employer and no other employment is permitted. The USCIS, in looking over Mr. Abad’s supporting documents determined that several of his tax returns indicated income derived from a personal business. This information was incorrect, and the result of an error by a previous tax preparer of Mr. Abad’s.

If the USCIS were to proceed in its intent to deny Mr. Abad’s Adjustment of Status application, it would also likely revoke his H-1B status, leaving him and his family without legal status in the U.S. and the family would have been placed in deportation.

On February 12, 2008, only 20 days before the deadline for responding to the USCIS, Mr. Abad retained Reeves & Associates to handle his immigration case. An in-depth conference with Reeves & Associates attorneys resulted in a full understanding of the details surrounding Mr. Abad’s case. In response to the Notice of Intent to Deny, a legal brief, detailing the factual circumstances and applicable law surrounding Mr. Abad’s case was drafted by R&A attorneys. An independent accountancy expert was consulted and various documents, including declarations from relevant parties were included in R&A’s comprehensive response. On February 26, 2008, R&A submitted a comprehensive rebuttal to the USCIS’ notice of intent to deny.

45 days later, and seven years after entering the United States, the Abad family learned that their dream of immigrating to the U.S. finally came true and the Abad family received their Green Card Approval Notices in the mail. Because of R&A’s representation, Mr. Abad and his family are now Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States, entitled to all of the rights and privileges that this status provides.