Articles Posted in Denials

In this live stream, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent topics in immigration including the new USCIS policy giving immigration officers ample discretion to deny an application or petition filed with USCIS without first issuing a RFE or NOID, suspension of premium processing, fraudulent H-1B schemes, and more.

Overview:

RFE/NOID Policy

Beginning September 11, if you do not provide sufficient evidence to establish that you are eligible for the immigration benefit you are requesting, USCIS may exercise their discretion and deny your petition without first issuing a request for evidence or RFE. This new policy applies to all applications and petitions filed after September 11th, with the exception of DACA renewal applications.  The decision to deny your application or petition without issuing a RFE or NOID will ultimately be up to the discretion of the officer reviewing your petition. An officer may in his discretion continue to issue a RFE or NOID according to his best judgement.

If you are filing for a change of status or extension of your status, we recommend that you file early, so that you are not out of status in the case that USCIS denies your request for an immigration benefit. This will give you the opportunity to either re-file or to consider changing your status to another visa type. In addition, if you have the ability to apply for premium processing service, you should take advantage of that service.

Suspension of Premium Processing

At the moment premium processing services have been temporary suspended for cap-subject petitions until February 19, 2019, with the exception of cap-exempt petitions filed exclusively at the California Service Center, because the employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap exempt institution.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick covers the top ten tips to help you overcome the marriage fraud interview also known as the “STOKES” interview. A foreign national applying for permanent residence based on marriage may be required to attend a second interview. This typically occurs in cases where the officer, who interviewed the couple during the initial marriage interview, does not believe that the couple has a bona fide marriage, because of red flags that arose during the initial interview.

1. Be Honest

Our first tip to avoid being scheduled for a second interview also known as the STOKES interview is simple. Be honest with yourself, with your partner (the U.S. Citizen or LPR spouse), and your attorney if you have one. Before walking into your initial I-485 interview you should be careful not to misrepresent the facts in your relationship and ensure that you and your partner are both being honest and truthful regarding all aspects of your marriage. If you or your spouse misrepresent any facts about your relationship, the immigration officer will presume that you do not have a bona fide/genuine marriage, and it will be very difficult to overcome this presumption at the second interview.

2. Preparation

The second tip to avoid the STOKES interview is to be well prepared. You and your spouse should prepare all of your documentation proving bona fide marriage well in advance of your I-485 interview, so that you have enough time to review your documentation with your spouse and your attorney in preparation of your interview. This well make you feel more confident and prepared when it comes time to your I-485 interview.

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In this post, we discuss the top most commonly denied specialty occupations for the H-1B visa program. Don’t be caught in the dark. For more information just keep on watching.

0:19 – Marketing Manager

0:47 – Business Development Manager

1:12 – Technical Writer

1:37 – Computer Programmer

1:56 – Financial Analyst for Business

2:36 – Sales Positions

2:56 – Arts and Fashion

These occupations have been repeatedly denied over the years during H-1B filing season.

  1. Marketing Manager: It is very difficult to receive an approval with this occupation because USCIS has claimed that on the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), the occupation of marketing manager does not require the individual to have a specific degree or a bachelor’s degree at all.
  2. Business Development Manager: This occupation falls under the Market Research Analyst category. We have seen quite a few denials associated with this occupation within the past 2 years. It is difficult to receive an approval for market research analysts, and the rate of requests for evidence issued for this occupation have increased tremendously.
  3. Legal Technical Writer/Technical Writers: We have seen increasing denials associated with this occupation since the last filing season. Extensions have also proved difficult to receive for this occupation. The common reason for denying this occupation is also that the OOH does not require the individual to have a specific degree or a bachelor’s degree at all.
  4. Computer Programmer: Based on recent memos issued by USCIS it is very difficult to receive an approval for this occupation because USCIS does not think that a bachelor’s degree is required for this position.
  5. Financial Analyst for Business: We have seen denials for financial analysts seeking to work for a business that isn’t involved in the financial sector. This applied in a situation where the beneficiary was seeking a financial position within a large restaurant. In this situation, USCIS has questioned whether the degree is a specialty occupation because although the position requires a bachelor’s degree, within the restaurant industry it is not common to require a degree for the position.
  6. Sales Positions: It is very difficult to receive an H-1B for a sales position. We would recommend reconsidering applying for the H-1B visa, or changing your position based on your job description.
  7. Arts and Fashion: Positions that are not specifically geared toward fashion design or graphic design are increasingly scrutinized by USCIS.

If you have questions regarding your H-1B position, please contact our office for a free consultation.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses the stokes interview otherwise known as the infamous “fraud interview” for the green card application. A stokes interview may occur during the marriage based green card application process, and refers to an interview where the husband and wife are questioned separately, and their answers are compared by an immigration officer to determine whether the marriage was entered into in good faith. A stokes interview (also known as “marriage fraud interview”) is usually a second interview, after the first interview, when the husband and wife were interviewed together, raised some questions about the bona fides of their marriage.

The stokes interview is typically scheduled when couples do not provide enough evidence of bona fide marriage and cohabitation, when the testimony provided by the couple during the first interview contains discrepancies and/or is inconsistent, or the marriage is of short duration. Couples may also be scheduled for a stokes interview if USCIS is concerned about something that came up during the foreign spouse’s background screening process. In every case, the immigration officer is trying to determine whether the applicant’s marriage is bona fide or not. If the immigration officer is still not satisfied that the marriage is a bona fide one after the stokes interview, USCIS may send a field officer to the applicant’s house.

To learn more about the consequences of entering a “sham” marriage please click here.

To schedule a free first time consultation please contact our office.

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In this video, our clients speak about their unique experience with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your free first time consultation.

For more information please visit our website.

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It is our pleasure to introduce you to our in-house attorney Marie Puertollano. From preparing clients for their citizenship and marriage interviews to successfully filing I-601A waivers and I-360 applications, Marie Puertollano Esq. is an attorney that wears many hats.

Marie Puertollano specializes in processing various types of applications with USCIS including the successful processing of H1-B’s, I-751 waivers, religious worker visas, asylum, I-601A waivers, F-1 reinstatement, B-2 tourist visitors, B-1 business visitors, H-3 trainees, I-360 abused spouses, etc.

Bio: Marie Puertollano was born and raised in France. She earned two Master Degrees in Law at California Western School of Law; one in France in Public Law and one in the United States in Comparative Law (LL.M). Marie Puertollano is fluent in French, English and Spanish. Marie has been with the law offices of Jacob Sapochnick since March 2012.

Marie developed a passion for the protection of immigrants’ rights, while being a social worker in Gainesville, GA. Marie worked with an organization helping battered women to obtain their visa and for an organization helping detained and non-detained people seeking cancellation of removal proceedings.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, biking, and dancing. She regularly serves food to the homeless and is a motivational speaker.

To schedule a first time consultation please contact our office. Remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram 

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Attorney Charles Ward has been a long time attorney at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Charles received his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University graduating Cum Laude. He has been a California licensed attorney since 1997 and is also licensed to practice before the Federal Court system. His area of expertise includes Immigration and Family Law. Charles Ward is a stand-out member of our team and is known for his professionalism, compassion, infectious laughter, and colorful personality.

At the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick Charles handles cases that are in removal proceedings, including Asylum, Adjustment of Status, and Voluntary Departure. Mr. Ward also helps clients prepare for courtroom hearings, trials, green card interviews, fraud interviews, citizenship interviews, and much more. Mr. Ward is an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association and served as President of the “Small Firms & Solo Practitioners” section.

Outside of the office, Charles enjoys swimming in the ocean, hiking, traveling, and going to sporting events.

To learn more about the dedicated staff members serving and supporting our clients here.

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Want to learn more about the Law Offices of Jacob Sapochnick? Please keep watching.

Overview: 

The Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick provides specialist expertise in all aspects of US immigration and nationality law and practice. Our track record of successful practice in this area is evidence of the high standard of knowledge and skill brought to bear in respect of all cases that we handle and all instances when we provide advice and representation.

The firm prides itself on its speed of response, dealing with matters efficiently and conscientiously at all times. Our strength lies precisely in our understanding of clients’ needs, which stems from our broad and varied experience of legal practice in this area. We are aware that those consulting us are often in difficult positions, sometimes with urgent or compelling business or personal needs that hinge on their immigration requirements, calling for dependable and confident advice and assistance. Our practical approach is directed at understanding our clients’ needs and meeting those needs. Your immigration is our passion.

To learn more about the services we offer please visit our website.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the adjustment of status interview for permanent residence. What happens when a denial is issued? To hear the answer to this question just keep on watching.

Overview: 

As part of the application process for permanent residence based on marriage, you and your spouse are required to attend an in person interview before your green card may be issued. In this video we focus on the marriage visa interview. So what happens when things go wrong?

Typically couples prepare for the green card interview by bringing all of the necessary documents to verify to the immigration officer that they have a bona fide marriage (such documents may include photographs of the couple together and with friends and family, evidence of joint accounts, evidence of commingling of finances, evidence of cohabitation, and joint responsibility of assets and liabilities). In some cases, however the immigration officer may not be convinced by a couple’s particular situation. The immigration officer sometimes finds issue with something the client said, or there may be some inconsistencies that capture the attention of the immigration officer, etc. In these cases, at the conclusion of the interview the immigration officer will notify the couple that they will not able to make an immediate decision. They will send the couple home and tell them to wait for a decision in the mail. If the couple does not receive an approval notice in the mail within 30 days, what will likely happen is that USCIS will send a notice of intent to deny (NOID). In most cases this notice is issued within 30 days of the green card interview.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses the STOKES interview otherwise known as the infamous “fraud interview” for the green card application. During the STOKES interview the US Citizen petitioner is separated from the foreign spouse for questioning. The STOKES interview is typically scheduled when couples do not provide enough evidence of bona fide marriage and cohabitation, or when the testimony provided by the couple during the first interview contains discrepancies and/or is inconsistent. Couples may also be scheduled for a STOKES interview if USCIS is concerned about something that came up during the foreign spouse’s background screening process. In this segment we talk you through the STOKES interview process, and tell you how you can avoid such an interview. For more information regarding the green card application please visit our website.

Overview

Before a green card may be issued to any foreign national, the applicant must attend what is known as the green card interview. In the case of applying for adjustment of status on the basis of marriage to a US Citizen or LPR spouse, the couple must attend the green card interview together. At the time of the interview, the immigration officer will ask the couple to present evidence of good faith marriage and cohabitation. The burden of proof lies on the applicant to prove that they entered their marriage in good faith and not for the purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit or evading the laws of the United States. Failure to provide substantial evidence of good faith marriage, and proof that you have been residing with your spouse throughout your marriage, may result in a STOKES interview. USCIS immigration officers are trained to spot any inconsistencies and/or discrepancies that may arise during the green card interview. To avoid the STOKES interview it is important to organize your evidence and prepare with an attorney before hand.

Typically a STOKES interview notice is issued after the couple has attended the first interview. The couple is interviewed for a second time to address inconsistencies and/or discrepancies that arose during the first interview session. STOKES interviews are stressful, extensive, and have been known to last up to 8 hours depending on the complexity of the case. It is best to avoid the situation entirely and attend your green card interview with an experienced attorney, who can prepare you and perform a “mock” interview with you and your spouse to identify any potential issues.

Our office has extensive experience preparing for and attending STOKES interviews. It is important to provide as much evidence of “good faith” marriage and cohabitation as possible to avoid such interviews.

For a free consultation please contact us.

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