How an immigration lawyer can help speed up your NIW and EB 1 process

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Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Embarking on the immigration journey towards achieving the American dream, especially through the NIW (National Interest Waiver) and EB-1 (Employment-Based, First Preference) pathways, can be daunting. Immigration lawyers play a pivotal role in navigating the complex process of U.S. immigration, ensuring that aspiring permanent residents and employment-based immigrants understand the criteria set by Citizenship and Immigration Services.

With the right legal guidance, the green card process can be demystified, and applicants can avoid unnecessary delays, making all the difference in their applications.

How an Immigration Lawyer Speeds Up the Immigration Process

Strategic Planning and Assessment:

  • Initial Evaluation: An immigration lawyer conducts a thorough assessment of the applicant’s case to determine the most viable and swift pathway to immigration, considering the unique circumstances and qualifications of the individual.

  • Pathway Selection: Based on this evaluation, the lawyer identifies whether the NIW, EB-1, or another category best suits the client’s profile and goals, potentially saving months or years by avoiding less suitable options.

Expertise in USCIS Procedures:

  • Understanding of USCIS Protocols: Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the procedures, forms, and nuances of dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), enabling them to navigate the system more efficiently.

  • Familiarity with Processing Times: They are aware of current USCIS processing times and can often anticipate delays, planning the application submission to minimize waiting periods.

Preparation and Submission of Application:

  • Comprehensive Documentation: Immigration lawyers ensure that all necessary documentation is comprehensive, accurately filled, and thoroughly checked, reducing the likelihood of USCIS requests for additional evidence, which can delay processing.

  • Professional Packaging: They know how to package and present an application in a manner that is most likely to expedite its progress through USCIS, highlighting key elements that demonstrate the applicant’s qualifications and eligibility.

Utilization of Premium Processing:

  • Premium Processing Service: When applicable, lawyers can recommend and facilitate the use of premium processing for the application, a service that expedites USCIS review for a premium processing fee. This can reduce the wait time from several months to just a few weeks.

  • Efficient Handling of Requests: Should USCIS issue a request for evidence (RFE) or need further information, an immigration lawyer can respond quickly and effectively, minimizing delays.

Avoidance of Common Pitfalls:

  • Anticipating Potential Issues: Experienced lawyers can foresee common pitfalls or issues that might slow down an application and address these proactively in the submission.

  • Correction of Mistakes: They also ensure that any potential mistakes in the application that could lead to delays or denials are corrected before submission.

Follow-Up and Communication:

  • Active Case Management: Immigration lawyers actively manage the case, following up with USCIS as necessary and keeping the application moving through the system.

  • Direct Communication: They can communicate directly with USCIS on behalf of their clients, obtaining updates, clarifying information, and, if necessary, advocating for the expedited review of the case.

Advising on Post-Submission Actions:

  • Guidance on Next Steps: While the application is being processed, lawyers advise clients on steps they can take to potentially speed up their case, such as preparing for the visa interview or gathering additional evidence that may help their case.

  • Preparation for Potential Interviews: Lawyers prepare clients for any interviews or interactions with USCIS, ensuring they can respond effectively and expediently to any questions or requests for information.

Legal Representation in Complex Situations:

  • Representation in Appeals or Motions: In cases where the application faces unexpected challenges or denials, an immigration lawyer can represent the client in appeals or motions to reopen/reconsider the case, often achieving a successful outcome more quickly than if the client proceeded alone.

Personalized Approach:

  • Tailored Strategy: By tailoring the immigration strategy to the individual’s specific situation and needs, lawyers can often find the quickest path to success, avoiding one-size-fits-all approaches that may not be as efficient.

Key Takeaways: Accelerating Your NIW and EB-1 Process with an Immigration Lawyer

  • Strategic Planning: Lawyers assess your case to select the most suitable immigration pathway, saving time.

  • USCIS Procedures: They understand USCIS protocols and processing times, enabling efficient system navigation.

  • Documentation: Ensure comprehensive and accurate documentation, reducing the need for additional evidence.

  • Premium Processing: Facilitate premium processing where beneficial, potentially reducing wait times significantly.

  • Avoid Pitfalls: Foresee and address issues that could slow down your application.

  • Active Case Management: Manage your case actively and communicate directly with USCIS to avoid delays.

  • Post-Submission Advice: Provide steps to strengthen your case while in process, including interview preparation.

  • Legal Representation: Offer representation in appeals or motions for cases facing challenges or denials.

  • Personalized Strategy: Tailor strategies to specific situations, finding the quickest path to success.

  • Premium Processing Considerations: Evaluate the suitability of premium processing based on case specifics and cost-benefit analysis.

  • Choosing the Right Attorney: An experienced attorney in EB-1 and NIW cases is crucial for navigating the immigration process efficiently.

  • Achieving the American Dream: Expert legal support smoothens the immigration journey, enhancing success chances and realizing the dream of living in the U.S.

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Premium Processing: A Critical Tool for Expediting Your Case Which Your Lawyer May or May Not Suggest in your Case

Premium processing is a feature offered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that, for a fee, promises expedited processing of certain immigration petitions and applications.

This service can significantly reduce the wait time for a decision, making it a valuable tool for applicants seeking to navigate the immigration process more swiftly.

However, whether to utilize premium processing is a decision that requires careful consideration and is something your immigration lawyer may or may not recommend based on your specific case. Here are some key points to understand about premium processing and its strategic use:

What is Premium Processing?

  • Faster Review Times: Premium processing guarantees that USCIS will take some action on your petition within 15 calendar days, a stark contrast to the regular processing times, which can extend to several months or even years.

  • Applicable Forms: It is available for specific forms and categories, including certain employment-based petitions such as EB-1 and NIW applications.

  • Premium Processing Fee: There is a significant fee associated with this service, which is in addition to any other USCIS filing fees. This fee is subject to change, so applicants should verify the current amount on the USCIS website.

When Your Lawyer Might Recommend Premium Processing

Case Urgency:

  • If your situation requires a rapid resolution, such as impending employment start dates or academic commitments, your lawyer might suggest premium processing to meet these time-sensitive needs.

Minimizing Uncertainty:

  • In cases where the prolonged uncertainty of application status could have personal or professional repercussions, opting for premium processing can provide peace of mind through quicker responses.

Strategic Timing:

  • Your lawyer might recommend this service if the timing aligns strategically with visa availability or other immigration timelines, ensuring that you can make the most of favorable conditions.

Situations Where Premium Processing May Not Be Advised

When It Doesn’t Affect the Outcome:

  • For some applications, especially those that involve a quota or waiting period due to visa caps, premium processing speeds up the petition’s processing but doesn’t impact the overall timeline for obtaining a visa or green card.

Cost Considerations:

  • Given the additional cost, your lawyer might not suggest premium processing if the expedited review doesn’t significantly benefit your case or if the financial burden outweighs the potential time saved.

Complex Cases:

  • In complex immigration cases that might require additional evidence or face potential legal challenges, your attorney might prioritize ensuring the application’s strength and accuracy over the speed of processing, as rapid processing might not mitigate the risk of a Request for Evidence (RFE) or denial.

How to Decide

Assessing Your Needs:

  • Consider your personal and professional timelines, weighing the importance of receiving a rapid decision against the additional cost and the specifics of your immigration case.

Consulting with Your Lawyer:

  • A knowledgeable immigration lawyer will provide guidance based on their experience with similar cases, USCIS processing times, and an understanding of how premium processing might impact your specific situation.

Evaluating USCIS Workloads:

  • Sometimes, the decision might be influenced by current USCIS workloads and processing times, which can fluctuate. Your lawyer can help interpret these factors and advise accordingly.

Premium processing can be a powerful tool in expediting the resolution of your immigration petition, but its utility is highly dependent on individual circumstances.

An experienced immigration lawyer can provide invaluable advice on whether this service aligns with your immigration goals and strategy, taking into account the nuances of your case, the current legal landscape, and USCIS policies.

By carefully considering the pros and cons of premium processing, you can make an informed decision that best supports your journey through the immigration system.

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The Importance of Choosing the Right Immigration Attorney

Selecting the right immigration attorney is critical in navigating the immigration system successfully. The best immigration lawyers provide guidance based on years of experience with EB-1 and NIW cases, helping to fast track the application and avoid significant delays.

Their expertise in immigration law and the green card process ensures that every individual circumstance is considered, tailoring the strategy to each client’s needs.

How Your Lawyer can Help Speed Up The Case by Navigating the USCIS Landscape

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is at the heart of the immigration journey, processing all petitions and applications for legal status in the U.S. An experienced immigration lawyer is familiar with USCIS processing times, offices, and the complexities of the immigration system, enabling them to navigate the landscape effectively for their clients.

Speed Up Your Case: Essential Documentation Your NIW Lawyer Can Advise You on

Speeding up your NIW case hinges significantly on submitting essential documentation accurately and comprehensively. Your immigration lawyer plays a crucial role in advising you on what documents are necessary to bolster your petition.

This typically includes evidence of your extraordinary ability or contributions to the national interest, such as peer-reviewed publications, awards of excellence, letters of recommendation from industry leaders, and proof of a significant impact on your field.

Additionally, detailed records of your employment history, educational background, and any previous immigration filings are vital. By ensuring these documents are meticulously prepared and presented, your lawyer can help streamline the review process, reducing delays and moving you closer to achieving your immigration goals.

Avoiding Unnecessary Delays with Professional Guidance

Professional guidance from immigration attorneys is key to avoiding unnecessary delays in the immigration process. Whether it’s an urgent request for expedited processing or navigating court proceedings, lawyers work to ensure that each application proceeds as smoothly as possible, addressing any issues promptly to avoid significant delays.

The Significance of Accurate Documentation in Your Application

Accurate documentation is the cornerstone of a successful immigration application. From the green card application to adjustment of status forms, every piece of paper submitted to USCIS must be meticulously checked for accuracy.

Immigration lawyers play a crucial role in compiling and reviewing this documentation, ensuring that it meets the strict standards of immigration services.

Expedited Requests and How Your Lawyer Can Help

In certain circumstances, applicants may need to submit an expedited request to USCIS. Immigration attorneys can assist in drafting these requests, highlighting the urgent need for processing based on individual circumstances, such as medical emergencies or unforeseen travel needs. Their expertise in making these requests increases the likelihood of approval.

Understanding Visa Availability and Its Effect on Your Case

Visa availability can significantly impact the green card process, especially for applicants from countries with high demand. Immigration lawyers understand how the priority date and visa availability affect their clients’ cases, advising on the best course of action and any potential wait times involved.

Employment Authorization Document: Securing Your Legal Status

Securing an employment authorization document is a critical step for many in the green card process, allowing them to work in the U.S. while their application is pending. Immigration lawyers assist in the application for these documents, ensuring that their clients maintain their legal status throughout the immigration journey.

The Complex Process of Adjusting Your Immigration Status

Adjusting your immigration status, whether through marriage, employment, or refugee status, is a complex process that requires careful legal navigation. Immigration attorneys are invaluable in this process, providing guidance on each step, from the initial application to the final adjustment of status.

Comprehensive Documentation: Making Your Case Stronger

A strong immigration case is built on comprehensive documentation, from scholarly articles and published material to evidence of commercial success and outstanding achievements. Immigration lawyers ensure that this documentation is not only complete but also organized in a way that clearly demonstrates the applicant’s eligibility for a green card.

How an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Can Navigate Court Proceedings

In the event that an immigration case goes to court, having an experienced immigration lawyer by your side is crucial. Their expertise in immigration law and court proceedings can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case, ensuring that the applicant’s rights are protected throughout.

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Conclusion: Achieving the American Dream with Expert Legal Support

Achieving the American dream through the U.S. immigration process is a journey fraught with challenges and complexities.

However, with the expert support of immigration lawyers, applicants can navigate the process more smoothly, avoiding delays and increasing their chances of success.

From the initial application to the final granting of a green card, legal support makes all the difference, turning the dream of living and working in the United States into a reality.

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