On April 8, 2021, Attorney Christopher Gaston was featured in a WPTV segment titled, “Physical therapist from Brazil petitions U.S. in effort to stay in country,” which highlights how a Brazilian national is struggling to remain and work in the U.S. legally.
Dienaro Germanowicz is a physical therapist who has been working in Port St. Lucie (FL) under an EB2 National Interest Waiver, an employment-based visa for foreign nationals with exceptional abilities or higher education. But when he attempted to renew his legal status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied his petition, claiming that being a physical therapist is “not part of the national interest,” although there is a shortage of medical workers.
However, there is an exception for foreign nationals who “perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.” During the pandemic, our client said many of his patients are in long-term and assisted-living care facilities and have been recovering from the coronavirus symptoms.
Attorney Gaston told WPTV, “Physical therapists do meet the requirements for a COVID exception,” since many COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized need physical therapy to regain strength. Yet, he also mentioned how the visa approval process has become more difficult compared to before the outbreak, especially because unemployment is high in the United States.
Attorney Gaston added:
“It's disappointing because while there is an exception, everything with immigration is discretionary on a case-by-case basis.”
After his application was denied, USCIS granted Germanowicz an extension to appeal the agency’s decision to keep him working in Florida legally.
Whether you are interested in obtaining an employment-based visa or changing/extending your legal status in South Florida, do not hesitate to let The Gaston Law Firm, P.A. help you build a future in America. Our firm also provides legal services in family immigration, green cards, waivers, citizenship, and asylum.
Contact us today at (888) 388-6859 to discuss your case with our experienced legal team. Serving clients throughout South Florida!