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Uche O. Asonye, CPA, JD, founded the Chicago law firm of Asonye & Associates in 1993. His firm concentrates on workplace issues, immigration law, employment, and civil litigation. His practice includes employment contracts, discrimination, workplace harassment issues as well as immigration, with special focus on physicians, health care workers and medical institutions. The firm relies on advanced technology to provide competent and cost effective representation for clients

The newly published final rule will allow more nonprofit entities to take advantage of the exemption. 

USCIS has published a final rule on November 18, 2016 which introduces a fourth option to meet the exemption from the H-1B quota. A nonprofit entity can claim cap exemption by demonstrating that it has entered into a formal written affiliation agreement with an institution of higher education that establishes an active working relationship between the nonprofit entity and the institution for the purposes of research or education, and the fundamental activity of the nonprofit entity is to directly contribute to the research of education mission of the institution of higher education.

In the proposed rule, the term “primary purpose” was used instead of “fundamental activity.” However, in response to the public comments which suggested the term “primary purpose” was too restrictive, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) replaced “primary purpose” with “fundamental activity.” DHS expects that this substitution of the terms will allow more nonprofit entities to take advantage of the exemption. In the commentary preceding the regulation, DHS also clarified that if a nonprofit entity is engaged in more than one fundamental activity, it can still  take advantage of the exemption because the exemption requires that at least one of these fundamental activities directly contributes to research or education of an institution of higher education. This rule will go into effect on January 17, 2017.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Due to Hostile Work Environment and potential danger to US citizen Spouse and Child

April 25, 2016 - After obtaining a j-1 waiver and H-1B visa, this internal medicine physician began his j-1 waiver job in California. Shortly after he initiated his employment, the employer began engaging in illegal and unethical conduct as well as harassment, mistreatment, and retaliation against the physician. In addition, throughout his employment, the physician’s employer continuously disregarded and ignored the physician’s medical judgement, thereby jeopardizing the health of its patients and the safety of its community. After the physician complained of the harassment as well as the unfair compensation he faced, the physician was given a final warning.

In our petition, we argued that as a result of the employer’s behavior, the physician could not complete his j-1 waiver service. We also argued that the denial of the physician’s j-1 waiver transfer would cause extreme hardship on the physician’s spouse and young son, both US citizens. The physician’s wife has several mental illnesses and in the event of a denial, the physician and his family would need to return to India, a country that lacks adequate mental health care.

The physician and his new employer retained our firm to prepare and file the J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer to another hospital in California. Our petition included a declaration signed by the physician, his spouse’s medical records reflecting her diagnoses, treatment plan, and her physician’s recommendations, as well as articles regarding the access to mental health care in India. USCIS approved the physician’s J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer on April 25, 2016.

Russian Endocrinologist Granted NIW to Serve in Medically Underserved Community in Michigan

March 29, 2016 - This Russian national is an Endocrinologist that came to the United States on a J-1 visa in order to complete her residency training in Internal Medicine. Upon completion of her training program in 2012, she began her fellowship in Endocrinology, which she completed in 2014. Afterwards, we filed a J-1 visa waiver that waived the 2-year foreign home requirement and allowed her to remain in the US.

We were retained again recently to file this physician’s NIW in order for her to serve five years in an underserved community in Isabella County, Michigan. We stated that her employment will have an immediate and positive impact on the members of Isabella County by reducing the long wait by patients to see an endocrinologist, enhancing follow up procedures with the facility, as well as enchaining the availability and quality of care provided to patients. We also argued that a denial of the NIW would deprive the community of a specialty physician that can provide patients with much-needed preventative care. Her NIW was approved on March 29, 2016.

Peruvian National Obtains J-1 Visa Waiver to Serve in the Midwest

May 16, 2014 - This neonatologist is a Peruvian national that was on a J-1 visa while completing her residency in Pediatrics. Upon completing her residency training as well as the expiration of her J-1 visa, a practice based in Illinois and Indiana sponsored this physician’s J-1 visa waiver in order for her to work three years with them instead of fulfilling the 2-year foreign residence requirement.

The hospital retained our firm in order to file the J-1 visa waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement. We submitted the application, demonstrating the hospital’s needs for a neonatologist as well as their failed recruitment efforts to hire a neonatologist for a long period of time. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on April 23,2014. In addition, on May 16, 2014, USCIS approved the hospital’s H-1B visa application filed on behalf of the physician.

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Pakistani Neonatologist to Serve in Danville, Illinois

May 8, 2014 - This Pakistani physician obtained his residency training in pediatrics in June of 2011 in the United States while on a J-1 visa. After completion of his residency, he began his fellowship training in neonatology. Because of his qualifications, a hospital in Illinois retained our firm in order to file for this physician’s J-1 visa waiver in order to forgo the 2-year foreign residence requirement to allow him to work under a three year contract in the Danville, Illinois, a federally designated health professional shortage area.

In his petition, we stated that the hospital is in critical need of this physician’s services as 1) his employment would greatly reduce health care cost; 2) his employment is in the national interest; and 3) the hospital’s traditional recruitment efforts have not been able to retain such a physician for a sufficient long period. We filed his J-1 visa waiver petition on April 7, 2014 and it was approved on May 8, 2014.

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Pakistani Neonatologist to Serve in Danville, Illinois 

April 24, 2014 - This internal medicine physician from Pakistan entered the United States on a J-1 visa. While on her J-1 visa, she completed her residency training and became certified in internal medicine. Per the 2-year foreign residence requirement, this physician was initially required to return to Pakistan to fulfill the requirement of providing healthcare to people of Pakistan. However, due to a Michigan hospital’s critical need of this physician’s services in their underpriveleged and underserved communities, the Michigan hospital petitioned for the physician’s J-1 waiver.

The hospital retained our firm in order to file the J-1 visa waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement. We submitted the application, demonstrating the hospital’s needs for an internal medicine physician as well as their failed recruitment efforts. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on April 24, 2014.

J-1 Visa Waiver Granted to Neonatologist to Serve in Gary, Indiana

April 23, 2014 - This neonatologist entered the United States on a J-1 visa in 2008 to complete her residency training in Pediatrics. After completing her residency, she began her fellowship training in neonatology. Per the 2-year foreign residence requirement, once a J-1 visa has expired, the physician must leave the United States for a two year period. In this physician’s case, however, a hospital in Illinois needed her employment in order to serve an underserved community in Gary, Indiana, in which the people of the community have very limited access to healthcare. Because the hospital needed this physician’s employment, the hospital retained our firm to file this physician’s J-1 visa waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement.

Once we were retained, we filed the J-1 visa waive on behalf of the hospital, stating that the offered employment and the approval of the J-1 visa waiver are in furtherance of the goals of the state of Illinois and the national interests because the program will reduce the cost of health care. We filed the petition on March 31, 2014 and the J-1 visa waiver was approved on April 23, 2014.

Salvadorian Staff Pulmonary Physician Granted National Interest Waiver to Serve in a Medically Underserved Community in Texas 

March 11, 2014 - This Salvadorian national is a staff pulmonary physician that came to the United States on a J-1 visa to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine in 2008 as well as his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in June of 2011. After he was granted his J-1 visa waiver and waived of the 2-year foreign residence requirement, we filed his J-1 visa waiver transfer to another location in Texas.

Recently, we were retained again to file this physician’s NIW in order for him to serve five years in an underserved community in San Antonio, Texas. We stated that his employment will have an immediate and positive impact on the medical services provided in this community by reducing the long wait by patients to see physicians as well as enhance follow-up procedures with the facility and enhance the availability and quality of care provided to patients. His NIW was approved on March 11, 2014.

J-1 Waiver Granted to Pulmonary Physician to Serve a Medically Underserved Community in San Antonio, Texas 

February 27, 2014 - This Ecuadorian physician entered the United States in 2009 on a J-1 visa in order to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine. Upon completion of his training, he began his fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Because a healthcare clinic needed this physician’s employment to serve their community in San Antonio, Texas, they retained our firm to prepare the physician’s J-1 visa waiver in order to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement.

As such, we completed this physician’s J-1 visa waiver file and filed it on December 23, 2013, stating that this healthcare clinic needed the physician’s services to treat the underserved people of San Antonio and nearby communities that do not have access to healthcare. In addition, we also stated that waiving the 2-year foreign residence requirement is in furtherance of the goals of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the national interest because the program will reduce the cost of health care. His J-1 visa waiver was granted on February 27, 2014.

Syrian National Granted J-1 Persecution Waiver Due to Religious Persecution in Syria

February 5, 2014 - This Syrian national is an Internal Medicine Physician that came to Ohio on a J-1 visa in order to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine. Upon expiration of his J-1 visa, a hospital in Michigan that wished to employ him sponsored him for a J-1 visa waiver in order for him to work three years in an underserved community in Michigan where access to healthcare is limited.

Once retained, we filed a J-1 visa persecution waiver stating that this physician should be waved of the 2-year foreign residence requirement as 1) Syria is still in an ongoing civil war and persecuting Christians due to their religious belief; and 2) the hospital in Michigan is in desperate needs of this physician’s services. As a practicing Eastern Orthodox Christian, this physician would face severe violence due to his beliefs. In addition, the Department of State has indicated that violence in Syria is still prevalent and constant due to terrorism. Moreover, we also demonstrated that granting this J-1 persecution waiver would be in the public interest as the physician would be treating an underserved and underprivileged community in Michigan. After a request for evidence, USCIS granted this physician’s J-1 visa waiver on February 5, 2014.

Persecution Waiver Granted for Syrian National that Cannot Return to Syria Due to Violence and Religious Persecution

January 16, 2014 - This Syrian national was originally on a J-1 non-immigrant visa in order to complete his residency in Internal Medicine in Buffalo, New York. Once his J-1 visa was expire, we were retained by a hospital in Michigan that needed the physician’s services and wanted to sponsor him for a J-1 visa persecution waiver to waive the 2-year foreign residence requirement as well as an H-1B visa.

Once retained, we filed a J-1 visa persecution waiver in which we stated that the physician would experience great hardship if he were to return to Syria. We stated that if the 2-year foreign residence requirement was not granted, this physician would be sent to a war-torn country in which he would be faced with religious persecution as he is a practicing Greek Orthodox Christian. In addition, we demonstrated that the Department of State has indicated that the violence in Syria is prevalent and constant in Syria due to terrorism and the ongoing civil war. Moreover, we also demonstrated that granting this J-1 persecution waiver would be in the public interest as the physician would be treating an underserved and underprivileged community in Michigan. After a request for evidence, USCIS granted this physician’s J-1 visa waiver on January 16, 2014.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer approved Where Employer’s Director Pressured Physician into Engaging in Medicare Fraud, LCA Violations, and Prescribing him Narcotics

July 25, 2013 - This emergency medicine physician began a waiver position in Alabama after obtaining a J-1 waiver and an H-1B visa. Upon beginning his employment, he experienced extenuating circumstances justifying his transfer which include the director of the employer pressuring the physician to prescribe himself and his family narcotics, requesting that he engage in medicare fraud after constant complaints regarding same from the physician, and not providing the physician with the required forty hours of patient care per week per the J-1 waiver requirements. In addition, as a result of the physician expressing his concern regarding the violations mentioned above, the director threatened to terminate the physician’s employment as well as have his visa revoked.

We were retained by the physician and new employer to prepare and file the J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer to a hospital in the state of Georgia. We prepared and submitted the waiver transfer petition on July 5, 2013. USCIS determined that the extenuating circumstances requirement had been met and approved the H-1B and J-1 waiver transfer application on July 25, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician’s Spouse, a J-1 Visa Holder, had to Relocate Due to J-1 Waiver Policy Violations and Contract Inconsistences

July 12, 2013 - This family medicine physician was employed by the same practice as her husband in Alabama. Due to extenuating circumstances, her J-1 hospitalist husband filed for and obtained a J-1 visa waiver transfer. Such extenuating circumstances include her husband being informed that he would be terminated if he did not sign a contract that would outsource his services to a third party, thereby reducing his benefits and paid time off as well as conflicting with the J-1 visa waiver policy and federal regulations requiring the J-1 holder to work at least forty hours per week in a medically underserved area. On June 26, 2013, USCIS granted the physician’s husband’s H-1B and J-1 waiver transfer application.

Upon her spouse finding a qualified position in Missouri, we were retained to file a J-1 waiver transfer petition for the wife family medicine physician on the basis that she needed to join her husband in Missouri. We submitted the application, claiming that the situation was entirely unforseen and amounted to extenuating circumstances. Further, it was important that the couple stay together as starting a family was very important to them. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on July 12, 2013.

J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician is Forced to Sign a New Contract Violating J-1 Waiver Terms after Waiver Approval

June 26, 2013 - This hospitalist began a waiver job after obtaining a J-1 waiver and an H-1B visa. After approval of both, his employer began outsourcing their hospitalist program to a third party that would not be able to comply with the terms of the original employment contract. As such, the physician was presented with a new contract that reduced his benefits and paid time off as well as failed to comply with the J-1 waiver policy by not requiring at least forty hours of service in an underserved area each week. The physician was told that if he did not comply and sign the contract, his employment would be terminated.

We were retained by the physician and new employer to prepare and file the J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer to a hospital in the state of Missouri. We prepared and submitted the waiver transfer petition on May 1, 2013. Our petition included declarations signed by the physician and his spouse, the original employment contract as well as the new one, and the letter regarding the employer’s outsourcing of the hospitalist program. USCIS approved the physician’s H-1B and J-1 waiver transfer application on June 26, 2013.

Extenuating circumstances for J-1 waiver transfer approved due to J-1 waiver violations

June 24, 2013 - This pediatrician was originally approved for a J-1 waiver position in which it was agreed that the physician would work at least forty hours in a medically underserved area. Upon beginning his employment, however, the employer presented the physician with a schedule that differed from the one previously submitted to the State Conrad 30 coordinators which resulted in the approval of his wavier application. The new schedule indicated that the physician would only work 36 hours in a medically underserved area, thereby violating the terms of the J-1 waiver. Though the physician complained to his employer that his visa and wavier completion status were being jeopardized, his employer insisted on the arrangement and did not alter the physician’s schedule. In addition, the employer required the physician to work extra shifts and take shifts of other pediatric physicians whenever they chose to abruptly abandon their shifts. Though the employer promised to pay the physician for his work, they frequently failed to so. As a result, the physician would occasionaly work 60 hours a week, have call shifts, work through his vacation, and still receive his normal rate.

The physician then retained us to prepare the J-1 waiver transfer petition in which we claimed that extenuating circumstances are met where a physician’s visa status is in jeopardy as a result of an employer’s insistence that he work at an unapproved and unqualified location in addition to refusing to pay the physician his wages. We filed the petition on June 14, 2013 and requested premium processing. Upon review, the USCIS approved the waiver transfer application on June 24, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician’s Spouse, a J-1 Visa Holder, Had to Relocate to State with Available Conrad 30 Spots

April 23, 2013 - This pediatrician was employed by a practice in South Carolina to complete his 3 years of J-1 waiver service after obtaining his waiver. At the time, his spouse, also a J-1 physician, was completing an OB/GYN fellowship. She had also been promised a waiver job in South Carolina once her residency was complete. However, prior to her completion, the offer for the OB/GYN position in South Carolina was withdrawn. Unfortunately, she could not find another OB/GYN positions in South Carolina that would qualify for a waiver as there were no longer sufficient OB/GYN waiver spots left. She was then forced to look in other states with available OB/GYN spots. In addition, the couple had an infant to care for.

Upon finding a qualified position in Kansas, we were retained to file a J-1 waiver transfer petition for the husband pediatrician on the basis that he needed to join his wife in Kansas. His employer was supportive of the transfer and released him from the contract. We submitted the application, claiming that the situation was entirely unforseen and amounted to extenuating circumstances. Further, it was important that the couple stay together to take care of the infant that was born after he had started the waiver position. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on April 23, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician’s Family Members were Diagnosed with Food Allergies, Having to Travel Long Distances for Food and Medical Specialists

April 19, 2013 - This Hospitalist was approved for a waiver job in Virginia. While he was completing his 3 years of waiver service, his 2 children became diagnosed with severe food allergies and other ailments. The children were also high risk for severe allergic reactions. As a result, the family had to travel close to 100 miles twice a month to purchase appropriate and tolerable foods and drinks. Furthermore, they had to travel 45 miles to the nearest hospital, if they were to be admitted. The closest pediatric immunologist that could take care of the children was approximately 80 miles away.

The physician located a J-1 waiver eligible position in Tennessee which afforded better and immediate access to the required specialists, foods and drinks for his children. We were then retained to prepare the J-1 waiver transfer petition in which we claimed that extenuating circumstances were met. We filed the petition on March 28, 2013 and requested premium processing. Upon review, the USCIS approved the waiver transfer application on April 19, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician was Required to Work at a Location That is not Designated as HPSA, MUP or MUA

April 18, 2013 - This family practice physician was originally approved for a J-1 waiver position in Texas in which the employer and physician agreed and represented that the physician would work at least 40 hours per week in a medically underserved area. After the approval however, his employer changed his scheduled and required that he work 20 hours at a different location that was not identified in the waiver applications. That location was also not medically underserved. His hours at the medically underserved location were also reduced to 20, instead of 40. The physician complained to the employer that his visa and waiver completion status were being jeopardized. The employer, however, insisted that he continue with that arrangement in violation of the agreements and representations made to the State Conrad 30 Program, the Department of State and USCIS.

The physician then retained us to prepare the J-1 waiver transfer petition in which we claimed that extenuating circumstances are met where a physician’s visa status is in jeopardy as a result of an employer’s insistence that he work at an unapproved and unqualified location. We filed the petition on March 29, 2013 and requested premium processing. Upon review, the USCIS approved the waiver transfer application on April 18, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Employer was Having Difficulty and Unable to Pay J-1 Waiver Physician

March 13, 2013 - This pulmonary physician had accepted a waiver position in August 2011 in Pennsylvania. Within two years into the waiver service, his employer encountered financial difficulties and was no longer able to pay him. His employer then informed the physician that the contract was being withdrawn. The physician located a HPSA/MUA/MUP qualified position in Texas. We were then retained to prepare and file the J-1 Waiver transfer petition. We submitted the petition on March 1, 2013 via premium processing. The application was approved fairly quickly on March 13, 2013.

J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician is Forced to Sign a New Contract after Waiver Approval, LCA Violations, Harassment and Exposure to Malpractice Risks

December 18, 2012 - This pediatric neurologist began a waiver job in Missouri after obtaining a J-1 waiver and an H-1B visa. After both were approved, his employer presented him and required that he sign a new contract. However, the terms of the new contract differed from the original that had been submitted with his waiver and H-1B applications. The physician resisted the new contract. In addition, the physician was paid a wage rate that was different from that on the LCA. Finally, the physician was placed at a greater risk of malpractice by the different practices that his employer engaged in. He was also subjected to harassing emails from the employer. We claimed that these acts amounted to extenuating circumstances warranting a waiver transfer.

We were retained by the physician and new employer to prepare and file the J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer to a hospital in the state of Illinois. We prepared and submitted the waiver transfer petition on September 19, 2012. Using multiple RFEs, the USCIS required that we submit further and extensive documentation to support each reason we claimed created the extenuating circumstances. In response, we submitted multiple sworn statements, payroll records, emails exchanged between physician and the employer as well as schedules to show that patients were triply over-booked, creating malpractice risks for the physician. After much documentation, the USCIS determined that the extenuating circumstances requirement had been met and approved the H-1B and J-1 waiver transfer application on December 18, 2012.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician’s Spouse, a J-1 Visa Holder, Had to Relocate to State with Available Conrad 30 Spots

April 23, 2013 - This pediatrician was employed by a practice in South Carolina to complete his 3 years of J-1 waiver service after obtaining his waiver. At the time, his spouse, also a J-1 physician, was completing an OB/GYN fellowship. She had also been promised a waiver job in South Carolina once her residency was complete. However, prior to her completion, the offer for the OB/GYN position in South Carolina was withdrawn. Unfortunately, she could not find another OB/GYN positions in South Carolina that would qualify for a waiver as there were no longer sufficient OB/GYN waiver spots left. She was then forced to look in other states with available OB/GYN spots. In addition, the couple had an infant to care for.

Upon finding a qualified position in Kansas, we were retained to file a J-1 waiver transfer petition for the husband pediatrician on the basis that he needed to join his wife in Kansas. His employer was supportive of the transfer and released him from the contract. We submitted the application, claiming that the situation was entirely unforseen and amounted to extenuating circumstances. Further, it was important that the couple stay together to take care of the infant that was born after he had started the waiver position. Upon review, the USCIS approved the application on April 23, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician’s Family Members were Diagnosed with Food Allergies, Having to Travel Long Distances for Food and Medical Specialists

April 19, 2013 - This Hospitalist was approved for a waiver job in Virginia. While he was completing his 3 years of waiver service, his 2 children became diagnosed with severe food allergies and other ailments. The children were also high risk for severe allergic reactions. As a result, the family had to travel close to 100 miles twice a month to purchase appropriate and tolerable foods and drinks. Furthermore, they had to travel 45 miles to the nearest hospital, if they were to be admitted. The closest pediatric immunologist that could take care of the children was approximately 80 miles away.

The physician located a J-1 waiver eligible position in Tennessee which afforded better and immediate access to the required specialists, foods and drinks for his children. We were then retained to prepare the J-1 waiver transfer petition in which we claimed that extenuating circumstances were met. We filed the petition on March 28, 2013 and requested premium processing. Upon review, the USCIS approved the waiver transfer application on April 19, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician was Required to Work at a Location That is not Designated as HPSA, MUP or MUA

April 18, 2013 - This family practice physician was originally approved for a J-1 waiver position in Texas in which the employer and physician agreed and represented that the physician would work at least 40 hours per week in a medically underserved area. After the approval however, his employer changed his scheduled and required that he work 20 hours at a different location that was not identified in the waiver applications. That location was also not medically underserved. His hours at the medically underserved location were also reduced to 20, instead of 40. The physician complained to the employer that his visa and waiver completion status were being jeopardized. The employer, however, insisted that he continue with that arrangement in violation of the agreements and representations made to the State Conrad 30 Program, the Department of State and USCIS.

The physician then retained us to prepare the J-1 waiver transfer petition in which we claimed that extenuating circumstances are met where a physician’s visa status is in jeopardy as a result of an employer’s insistence that he work at an unapproved and unqualified location. We filed the petition on March 29, 2013 and requested premium processing. Upon review, the USCIS approved the waiver transfer application on April 18, 2013.

Extenuating Circumstances for J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Employer was Having Difficulty and Unable to Pay J-1 Waiver Physician

March 13, 2013 - This pulmonary physician had accepted a waiver position in August 2011 in Pennsylvania. Within two years into the waiver service, his employer encountered financial difficulties and was no longer able to pay him. His employer then informed the physician that the contract was being withdrawn. The physician located a HPSA/MUA/MUP qualified position in Texas. We were then retained to prepare and file the J-1 Waiver transfer petition. We submitted the petition on March 1, 2013 via premium processing. The application was approved fairly quickly on March 13, 2013.

J-1 Waiver Transfer Approved Where Physician is Forced to Sign a New Contract after Waiver Approval, LCA Violations, Harassment and Exposure to Malpractice Risks

December 18, 2012 - This pediatric neurologist began a waiver job in Missouri after obtaining a J-1 waiver and an H-1B visa. After both were approved, his employer presented him and required that he sign a new contract. However, the terms of the new contract differed from the original that had been submitted with his waiver and H-1B applications. The physician resisted the new contract. In addition, the physician was paid a wage rate that was different from that on the LCA. Finally, the physician was placed at a greater risk of malpractice by the different practices that his employer engaged in. He was also subjected to harassing emails from the employer. We claimed that these acts amounted to extenuating circumstances warranting a waiver transfer.

We were retained by the physician and new employer to prepare and file the J-1/H-1B visa waiver transfer to a hospital in the state of Illinois. We prepared and submitted the waiver transfer petition on September 19, 2012. Using multiple RFEs, the USCIS required that we submit further and extensive documentation to support each reason we claimed created the extenuating circumstances. In response, we submitted multiple sworn statements, payroll records, emails exchanged between physician and the employer as well as schedules to show that patients were triply over-booked, creating malpractice risks for the physician. After much documentation, the USCIS determined that the extenuating circumstances requirement had been met and approved the H-1B and J-1 waiver transfer application on December 18, 2012.

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