It can feel incredibly frustrating to have filed your EB-2 NIW green card petition and waited the sometimes 18 months of processing time, only to receive a request for more evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). Worse still is when you are diligent in responding to the RFE or NOID, and then you get denied by USCIS.
As with most failures; however, you can learn something from the green card denial. Either you can use the information gathered from USCIS to refile your case, or you can hire a new or different lawyer to do it for you.
Learning from an RFE
Since premium processing on the EB-2 NIW green card petition is only available to a limited number of cases, you may not receive your RFE from USCIS until after about 18 months of processing time. After you respond to the RFE, if you receive a denial of your green card petition, you can still use the RFE letter as a bit of a “cheat sheet.”
Now you know what USCIS said was lacking in your original petition and the examples of evidence that you might provide to make the EB-2 NIW case approvable. So when you refile you can combine all of the evidence from both the original NIW petition and the RFE response.
Speak Their Language
Another goldmine that can be excavated from an RFE letter from USCIS is specific language. If USCIS cites a specific court holding or statute when stating that your EB-2 NIW is deficient, you can use that same language in your petition letter when you refile.
For example, here is a sample paragraph from an actual EB2 NIW green card RFE letter:
“Please submit evidence to establish that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification. This balance was described in Dhanasar as on one hand protecting the domestic labor supply through the creation of the labor certification process, while on the other hand recognizing that in certain cases the benefits inherent in the labor certification process can be outweighed by other factors that are also deemed to be in the national interest. USCIS may evaluate factors including, but not limited to, the following:
Therefore, since USCIS gave you a “gift” in the form of bullet points, you can have headings in your refiled EB-2 NIW petition letter based on each of the five factors above that apply to you.
Asking an Immigration Attorney to Refile Your EB2 NIW Case
If you filed the first case on your own, you might consider consulting with an immigration attorney on your second EB-2 NIW green card filing. Often it is more difficult for an immigration lawyer to save your case by responding to your RFE than it is for her to rework and refile the NIW case.
If you would like some assistance with filing an EB-2 NIW green card immigration petition, this is the focus of Gallagher Domanski Professional Law Corporation. Jean Domanski is one of the few EB-2 NIW lawyers in the USA who has both an M.A. in Communications and is a member of MENSA. You can rest assured that your EB-2 NIW petition will be well written. Gallagher Domanski does limit its cases to a certain client profile.
Photo by Daria Sannikova from Pexels
If you are considering coming to the United States as a student, you may be still in the planning phase and feel confused about the alphabet of visas offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Unfortunately, the names of the visas do not correspond with the first letter of their purpose, in most cases.
This article will discuss the following to help you to plan your stay in the United States:
F visa vs. M visa
An F student visa covers a variety of educational categories. The U.S. Department of State lists the following:
F and M visas for spouses and children
Foreign nationals who are approved for an F or an M visa to the United States may be able to bring their marital partner and their unmarried minor children with them. These dependents would be issued an F-2 or an M-2 visa.
The children would be able to attend school while they are in the United States residing with their parents. Each dependent would be issued a Form I-20 by the main beneficiary’s education institution, so that they can apply for their visas.
Student Visa vs. Visitor Visa
Some may believe that they can circumvent the whole Form I-20 process by just arriving in the USA on a visitor visa and enrolling in school. Unfortunately, this will not work.
B1/B2 visitor visa holders are not authorized to go to school or work in the United States. Although a new student visa can be issued up to 120 days before the school program starts, an F or M visa holder may not enter the United States more than 30 days before the start of the instructional program. Alternatively, continuing F or M visa students may enter the United States at any time prior to the start of their program, so long as they are currently enrolled in an SEVP-approved program and in SEVIS.
Can you go from an F-1 or M-1 visa to a green card?
Although the intention for F-1 or M-1 students should be to depart the United States upon completion of their program, some may have the opportunity to remain in the USA. Many students do practical training, such as CPT, OPT, and/or STEM-OPT as part of their studies. This may lead to a dual intent H-1B visa through a sponsoring employer.
Those who are getting a master’s degree or a Ph.D. may want to consider applying for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW). Although the EB2 NIW processing time can be long because the NIW does not have premium processing right now, it might be worth the wait. You may contact Gallagher Domanski Professional Law Corporation for a free CV evaluation.