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27Jun, 16

As we all know, filing a case with USCIS can be overbearing and sometimes can causes to lose sight of our main goal…which is to win your case. It is important to understand what USCIS expects when filing a case. First, it is wise to create a short checklist of specific documents USCIS requests that pertain to your case. Not sure where to start, well many people do not realize that USCIS provides a checklist of documents needed for each case on the USCIS website. The next important step is collecting all of the document requested by USCIS. It is important to make sure that all requested documents are provided in order to prevent an RFE (which is a Request for Evidence from USCIS). Now, you have gathered all of the information required and you ask yourself, what now? Well usually there are a set of forms to fill out that are to be submitted along with the documents. It is important to note that these forms are to be filled out carefully and should be review thoroughly. A simple mistake such as not using the most up-to-date form, spelling a name incorrectly, or forgetting to sign all places that require a signature in the form [to name a few] can lead to serious issues in your case. Before filing a case, the documents you collected and forms you filled out should be organized by exhibit so that once submitted, it is easy for the adjudicator to find all documents included within the file. It is suggested that a crisp and small cover letter, not running into multiple pages is put together to clearly grasp attention of adjudicator and make it easy for eyes to navigate the placement of each document submitted in support of petition/application. The cover letter should indicated 5 major things;

  1. What kind of case you are submitting (I-140, H1B Amendment, H1B Extension, L-1A etc.)
  2. The information about USCIS filing fee amount [note that in addition to amount of fee, it is always better to even be specific about filing fee instrument such as check date and number, money order etc. Avoid attaching the fee amount in cash]
  3. The petitioner’s name (whether it is a company or an individual)
  4. The beneficiary’s name (spelled correctly)
  5. The address of where the petition/application is going (this part is very important because USCIS has many different addresses for where to file certain cases, for example, with reference to petitions seeking H1B if you have a case where the beneficiary will be working in New Jersey then [as currently regulated by regulations] the petition/application should be filed with USCIS Vermont Service Center, however; if you have a case where the beneficiary will be working in Colorado, then the petition should be filed with USCIS California Service Center). It is also very important to note that if you are requesting expedited processing of your cases under premium processing facility, service center of USCIS usually has a separate address
  6. The exhibits should be laid out in a standard format on the cover letter as this will be the adjudicators guide on following how the documents are compiled

If an Attorney is representing the beneficiary, a G-28 should be attached along with the documents. It is important to make sure that the G-28 is printed with the barcode on the bottom of each page, and is duly signed by client and attorney representing the case. If there is an issue with the G-28, then notices will not be sent directly to the law office.

Lastly, it is important to note that each required submission will be pursuant to some benefit available under relevant statutes or regulation. Statutes act as a guide that people refer to when in need of some understanding of our legal system. You must carefully read statutes, regulations and USCIS memos to keep yourself updated on the ground rules of the law, laws that may have changed, etc. Knowing and understanding the relevant statutes/ regulations can provide you with the knowledge needed to make your case stronger.

Finding and using the law that applies to your case can help you in many ways. For example, always keep an eye out for USCIS memos that come from time to time. You never know what information is being provided and how it can help your case. If it does apply to your case, make note of it and attach a copy of it with your petition/application. By doing this, the adjudicator will appreciate and be impressed as it helps him/her adjudicate the case more efficiently.

Winning a case requires collection of valid evidence, preparation, reviewing and reviewing and reviewing. Knowing the relevant law and the fact that you have followed the guidelines will make your case much stronger. Remember to never lose sight of your main goal and always review..review..review!


Kine fatou

Office Manager

Bhagwati & Associates, PLLC.

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