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Ken and John, would like to hear your thoughts on my unusual case...Approximately 5 years ago, I did a waiver for a client who was very heavily involved with drugs, both as a user and dealer and had spent 3 1/2 years in jail on his last conviction, which was only 5 years old at the time we did his waiver. I advised that he would not get his waiver, but his sister was getting married in the USA and he wanted to go. He had turned his life around and is a very successful business man in the oil industry. Short story, USA flat out refused his waiver, saying he needed more time. Now 5 years later, we started the process again recently. He has now contacted me and advised that he has been hired by a Canadian Company that wants to send him to the USA on a work permit (not sure the right term) and a lawyer in New York is taking over his waiver. While I am disappointed that I cannot continue with his file, I respect his decision. But, I am very curious to know what process the Lawyer is going to use that will allow him to enter the USA? Do you guys know if Visa or Work Permits have different rules then a regular waiver? What are his chances of getting a work permit? The company told him that his criminal record will be no problem for the work permit, which I find hard to believe...Thoughts?
Well, there are many things here to comment on. The first is that it sounds like maybe he has a 2009 PPT conviction for the actual trafficking and use. PPT cases have to be prepared a certain way or they will definitely get denied. These are the kind of cases that we see in Surrey BC daily and are our speciality. I have not seen the file but there is a way that he could get his waiver approved if he has done certain things since 2009 showing rehabilitation and more. It also sounds like they want to send him down on either an L-1 or H-1b visa to work in the oil industry. I will assume that it is either under the L-1a General Manager or L-1b Specialized Knowledge category. They may indeed be able to get him an L-1 since the courts have recently issued a stay that now allows L-1 visas and more to be processed. I assume they will get him the work visa in 2021 though.
Anyway, there is some truth here about lawyers as a group, but I think it just depends on the actual lawyer since I know quite a few and work with a number of them. There is a New York immigration lawyer that tried to charge a waiver client 15K to do her overstay case. I think that was excessive for her type of case. We charge as per the severity of the case but would never charge 15k on a case such as hers which was only a 4 year overstay and illegally working in the USA.
Also, getting the work permit will depend on his qualifications for the job. It is difficult to speculate without seeing his documented work history. Also, a waiver is a waiver regarding getting it for a work permit. You still have to qualify for the waiver. This is regardless whether you want to work at Exxon in Houston or enter to take your daughter to Disneyland.
I think he had better tread very carefully with these lawyers. A lot have a bad habit of providing poor service and charge excessive fees. A lot also have a bad habit of doing crappy waiver cases. He should especially tread carefully with New York lawyers since this sounds like it may be the firm that wanted to charge the client 15K to do her overstay case. He really needs to take note when the company says "no Problem" to his criminal background since this sounds like a major red flag.
I was looking at my law school paperwork yesterday and getting it ready for submission. I have already been accepted but have a stack of documents to submit. I will not like some of these other lawyers though.
Senior U.S. Immigration Law Intelligence Analyst
@John, I agree with you, I carefully advised him that I don't agree with Lawyer's advise, but Work Permits and other Immigration issues such as this are not my field of expertise, I did ask him to keep me updated on his progress and I will try to help him as if he was still my waiver client. We parted ways on good terms, and I am still doing his Pardon. The Lawyer wanted that too, but I stood my ground and said no!! Honestly, what does a lawyer in New York know about a Canadian Pardon? he finally agreed. LOL...
@Michelle yout way too nice. I can tell you EXACTLY what happened.
Company offers work. He says he needs a waiver and was refused. Company asks Lawyer they use if they can get him a waiver. Lawyer probably barely knows what a waiver is, how would he since he in the United States? Then they charge a fee and "try". They will fail, because they aren't waiver specialists like Michelle, they are lawyers.
How do I know this? Well for one, the poor guy probably wants a job so bad he didn't ask the right questions like "how will you do this since a waiver cannot be handed in?" And "how will you get me a permit when I am not even admissible?
He hears "our lawyers will handle it" and "YAY I am going to get the job".
Lawyers are not paid for "results". They are paid to "try". He could have gotten out of prison YESTERDAY and they would still say "no problem".
WHere you Michelle ask questions to see if you will be successful, Lawyers rarely care. They want the MONEY.
Please follow up in a couple of months with him and see if I am right. I am VERY confident I am. I have been doing this a long time, and honestly unless your on trail for a serious crime or can't simply defend yourself, Lawyers are overpriced TRASH. Any Lawyers here want to challenge me on this, go ahead.
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