We provide here a list of documents which might be submitted in the first stage of green card application (I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker). Forms, fee, petition letter and letters of recommendation should be included at the very beginning of EB2 NIW package. We also added a complete list of all documents with reference numbers of exhibits in order to enable easy orientation.
Forms and fee
- I-140 and fee – filled and signed (!) current version of the form (not a photocopy of signed form but an original), accompanied by the appropriate fee $580 (check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NOT just USDHS or DHS), please check current fee at USCIS website
- ETA-9089 (in duplicate) – this is not an USCIS form, download it at Department of Labor website – this form should NOT be sent DOL for certification, just filled, signed and added in two originals to EB2 NIW package which will be sent to USCIS; (ETA-750B was an alternative form used in the past, but it expired)
Petition cover letter
- signed original of NIW cover letter which sufficiently demonstrate all NIW requirements and guide USCIS officer through all evidence
- reference letters – ordered by importance (independent letters are more valuable)
- curriculum vitae of recommender, other document showing he / she is noteworthy, e.g. newspaper article, may be also added
Other supporting evidence – general tips
Official USCIS instructions say that unless specifically required, a legible photocopy may be submitted, originals will not automatically be returned. Please note that we don’t mention further in this text that we are talking about copies of documents not originals.
Any document containing a foreign language submitted to USCIS must be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.
Advanced Degree, education
- Advanced Degrees – all university degree diplomas (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD etc.)
- credential evaluation reports – in case of degrees from foreign country (it includes US equivalent degree and usually also information about foreign university, study program, requirements and system of education)
- university information – not required, but for example we included QS World University Rankings page because we mentioned order of university in rankings in our NIW petition letter
Evidence regarding past track of achievements and impact on field
- curriculum vitae – updated version of CV (carefully checked if data match with these in NIW cover letter)
- work experience – we added confirmation letters from institutions with very simple statements: “We certify that Dr. XXX was employed as a researcher at Institute XXX in the period from XXX till XXX. His duties were…” (only for work experience mentioned in NIW petition cover letter)
- short institution information – in case it is important to show significance of the institution (we included brief description with main objectives and achievements)
- important grants – contracts, proposals, reports, media news or testimonies showing that Dr. XXX was Principal Investigator etc.
- awards, scholarships – for example letters of confirmation or receipts from institutions, requirements of granting such award and background information about institution if these are significant (simply demonstrating how prestigious it is, how many applicants are selected etc.)
- memberships in noteworthy industry or research organizations – only top level memberships where applicant is selected based on his / her significant achievements
- reviewing of work of other peers – documents confirming applicant’s service and importance of reviewed publication
- requested advising – confirmation letter from research institution, individual expert, media etc.
- requested publication – confirmation letter, showing also importance of publication (impact factor etc.)
- member of selected committee at conference – requirements of selection
- invited talks at conference
- patents – should be accompanied by evidence that the patented technology has been used, licensed, or commercialized by others in the field or industry (patent no one else is using cannot show the impact of applicant’s work)
- citations – we have heard that USCIS officer has an access to record only from Google Scholar, however in our case it had lower numbers so we used record from Web of Knowledge; you may prefer Scopus etc.
- publications – some people include all publications (we did it because we referred to several of them from our NIW petition letter and we also didn’t have too many of them), but we think that only first pages with abstracts might be enough; regarding order – the most important are peer-reviewed papers where applicant is first author, some people also submit conference proceedings papers and even conference posters or presentations from talks; if it is significant the proof of high impact factors of peer-reviewed journals were applicant published may be included
- media reports – newspapers, TV channels, websites etc. discussing significance of applicant’s particular work
- reprint requests
These documents can show U.S. national goals which match with petitioner’s research goals even when it doesn’t mention exactly his / her or your particular work. Articles should show how important the field is. Documents from government can easily demonstrate first two NIW criteria.
Evidence regarding current employment and nonimmigrant status of applicant and dependents
- current employment contract
- all paychecks – for example in case of H-1B status these can prove that applicant was covered by prescribed salary all the time
- passport – showing biometric data page and expiration date
- current and all previous visa stickers
- current and all previous approval notices from USCIS (I-797)
- current and all previous I-94
- marriage certificate – maybe not required here, but we have different names so we submit it just to be sure
- J-1 Visa waiver – if applicant was on J-1 status
Of course there is no need to submit everything from this list but forms, fee, petition letter, reference letters and nonimmigrant status documents are a MUST. The rest is optional. Also note that this is not complete list of all possible evidence for NIW case. If you have an idea what is not in the list and you think it could be helpful for our readers, please write it in the comments below this post. We would appreciate your help.