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From Junior Accountant to CFO notwithstanding US Immigration

We’d like to introduce you to Mr. Smart, a young professional who at the time we first met him had just finished his MBA degree in the US. He looked to have a promising career ahead of him. After completing his MBA he took a position as a Financial Analyst with a small accounting firm Company A in California. He began this position using his Optional Practical Training.

Because the H-1B cap was fast approaching, after using only a few months of his OPT he came to us for assistance in getting an H-1B. We prepared and filed the H-1B petition under the Company A. This was the first H-1B for the small accounting firm which barely had an employee or two. We received an approval a short time later.

He has become another satisfied client … but not the end of our story.

A little over a year later Mr. Smart was offered a position as the Chief Financial Officer and Controller for Company B, a start-up company that provides management and accounting services to a group of controlled companies. They are also the sole distributor of the group’s products under their own brand name, in the US. The President of the company decided to use a local immigration attorney to assist with the filing of an H1B transfer petition for Mr. Smart.

After filing the petition, the local immigration attorney received an extensive Request For Evidence asking for proof that the position of CFO/Controller was a “specialty occupation” qualifying for H-1B treatment, proof that the employer was a legitimate business, proof that the position offered was a qualifying position and that Company B was not just acting as an agent for Mr. Smart, and that Mr. Smart had maintained his status while in the US.

After reviewing the RFE, the attorney advised Company B and Mr. Smart that the H-1B could not be approved and advised Mr. Smart that he would have to leave the country immediately. He also told Mr. Smart that he would continue to work on the RFE (even though he did not believe it could be approved) if the company would pay him an additional fee over the 5K retainer they have already paid.

Not believing that this could be the case Mr. Smart contacted VisaPro and forwarded a copy of the RFE for our opinion. After reviewing the offered position and analyzing the corporate and group structure we felt that the position offered did qualify for H-1B status. While it would take some work we felt that the company should pursue the H-1B for Mr. Smart and respond to the RFE.

We worked closely with the company to pull together the information the USCIS was asking for and organize it in a way that the USCIS examining officer could understand it. While it took extra efforts we were able to prepare and submit a package that we thought addressed all the concerns of the examiner. As it turns out, we were right. A short time after we submitted the response to the RFE we received the following message from Mr. Smart:

My case has been approved. Thank you for the good work and getting an approval on a near impossible case.

Unfortunately, this is still not the end of the story ......

The USCIS sent the approval notice to the former attorney in California. The attorney refused to release the approval notice or any of Company B’s documents. Finally, when Mr. Smart went to the office to try and pick them up (he was told they would not give him the documents and rudely told to leave). The attorney would not even respond to an inquiry from the congressman for the district. We again stepped in and assisted Mr. Smart. The attorney finally agreed to forward the approval notice to us and drop all claims that he was still owed money for the preparation of the initial H-1B package.

While the case took a lot of work, we were able to get an approval on a case that the local immigration attorney who originally filed the petition thought was impossible. With our flat fee structure, the client knew exactly what he was going to pay well ahead of giving us the case. Our attorneys and immigration advisors have the experience to review and analyze difficult cases and formulate strategies for success.

We would be happy to review your case and discuss your options.