A FLOWCHART FOR PROCESSING NIW & EB-1A/B PETITIONS
Prepared by Liu & Associates, PLLC
I. Free Evaluation
1. Initial Evaluation:
a. E-mail resume to Lawyer for free evaluation;
b. Lawyer reviews resume and e-mails back with evaluation that analyzes whether your credentials meet the minimum NIW or EB-1A/B requirements; whether your case has a reasonable chance to be approved; whether Lawyer can take your case; and if, in Lawyer’s best judgment, you are not qualified for NIW or EB-1A/B, what other options you have to obtain a green card.
2. Follow-Up Communications:
a. Send follow-up questions to Lawyer via e-mail or phone;
b. Lawyer answers follow-up questions & makes necessary clarifications.
3. Choose a Service Package:
a. If you are interested in retaining Lawyer to handle your case, notify Lawyer of the specific service package you choose;
b. Lawyer e-mails you a retainer agreement according to the service package you choose;
c. Communicate with Lawyer if a question or concern arises from the retainer agreement.
II. Establishing Attorney-Client Relationship
4. Important Things You Need to Know Before Signing the Retainer Agreement:
a. The specific services covered by the agreement;
b. Whether the legal fees listed in the agreement include answering Request for Evidence (RFE);
c. Whether extra fees will be charged for a service you need but is not listed in the agreement;
d. Whether you fully understand what Lawyer has explained to you regarding the chance and the risk your case bears;
e. If necessary, revisit the previous communications you had with Lawyer and make sure each of your concerns is clarified.
5. Sign the Retainer Agreement & Pay the Initial Legal Fee:
a. Sign your name on the agreement;
b. Mail the signed agreement along with payment check of the initial legal fee.
6. Attorney-Client Relationship:
a. Lawyer receives the retainer agreement and payment of initial legal fee;
b. Lawyer signs the agreement and attorney-client relationship is established;
c. Lawyer mails a photocopy of the signed agreement to client;
d. Lawyer e-mails a set of documents and questionnaires to client;
e. Under Attorney-Client relationship, Lawyer is bound by professional rules and other pertinent laws and owes a fiduciary duty to client.
III. Processing the Case
7. Contacting Recommenders or References:
a. Lawyer e-mails client a sample email requesting assistance from potential recommenders or references;
b. Client contacts potential recommenders or referees using the modified sample email;
c. Lawyer answers questions regarding choice of recommenders.
8. Preparing Letters of Recommendation:
a. Lawyer e-mails client instructions and sample letters of recommendation;
b. Recommenders and client email Lawyer all letter drafts, usually 5 or 6 letters for one case;
c. Lawyer makes revisions and comments on all letter drafts within two weeks after receiving all drafts from recommenders and client;
d. Client forwards the letter drafts to recommenders for final review and signature;
e. Recommenders review and sign the letters of recommendation, and they send the originally signed letters to client and a copy to Lawyer;
f. Lawyer confirms with each recommender of the receipt of the signed letters.
9. Drafting Petition Letter & Preparing Forms:
a. Client mails to Lawyer all supporting documents including the signed letters of recommendation;
b. Lawyer drafts the NIW or Eb-1A/B petition letter to be submitted to USCIS;
c. Lawyer e-mails client the petition letter draft within approximately two weeks after receiving all supporting documents;
d. Lawyer e-mails client completed immigration forms for client’s review and signature;
e. Lawyer modifies the petition letter based on client’s feedback;
f. Client signs and mails the immigration forms to Lawyer;
g. Lawyer finalizes the petition letter.
10. Filing the Case:
a. Lawyer makes final review of the accuracy and completeness of the documents to be submitted to USCIS;
b. Lawyer signs all the documents and finalizes the petition package to be submitted to USCIS;
c. Petition package is shipped to USCIS via FedEx;
d. Lawyer e-mails client the FedEx tracking number for the shipment.
IV. After Case is Filed
11. USCIS Receipt:
a. Lawyer receives USCIS receipt (usually within two weeks after case is filed);
b. Lawyer e-mails to client a scanned copy of the USCIS receipt;
c. Client may check the online case status with the USCIS receipt number.
12. Approval of the Case:
a. Lawyer receives Approval Notice from USCIS;
b. Lawyer notifies client of the approval;
c. Client mails the payment due for legal fees upon approval;
d. Lawyer mails client the USCIS Approval Notice;
e. Lawyer e-mails to client a sample “Thank You Letter” addressed to the recommenders;
f. Client e-mails or mails to the recommenders a modified “Thank You Letter” to them for their support;
g. Lawyer closes the case file.
V. In Case of Receiving Request for Evidence (RFE)
13. Preparing the Response to RFE:
a. Lawyer immediately notifies client regarding the content of the RFE and e-mails client a scanned copy of the RFE;
b. Lawyer advises client of the documents to be prepared in response to the RFE;
c. Lawyer drafts the Response Letter to RFE;
d. Lawyer files the Response Letter to RFE;
e. See Item 12 above if case is approved.
VI: In Case of Receiving Erroneous Denial
14. Preparing Appeal or Pursuing Other Relief:
a. Upon receipt of the USCIS denial notice, Lawyer immediately notifies client of the denial and the USCIS reasoning for the denial;
b. Lawyer evaluates whether appeal is in client’s best interest;
c. Lawyer advises client of appeal or other available relief and options;
d. Client determines whether to appeal or to pursue other options;
e. Lawyer takes further action to appeal or to pursue other relief.
*Note: The processing of each individual case may be slightly different according to the specific situation.