It’s been a while I wrote the last post here. Several readers of our NIW blog and clients who bought our DIY Kit asked me to reveal how to organize the whole NIW petition.
Today I’m going to show you the details how to assemble EB2 NIW green card application. I want to provide a complete how-to guide which would be easy to follow for you.
I will go through the official recommendation from USCIS and then add some photos with practical tips how we put this huge bunch of papers together in a nice and clear form.
Official tips and instructions from USCIS
First of all, here are a few tips from USCIS FAQ – how should you organize the evidence with the petition:
- Provide all required documentation and evidence with the petition when filed. Form I-140 petitions may be denied without issuing a request for evidence in the instances where the required evidence described in the instructions and regulations are not initially provided. – read our blog posts where we already pull out important information for you but ALWAYS read the most recent information in official USCIS resources (every form has instructions – just google “[the form number] instructions”
- All foreign language documents must be submitted with a corresponding English translation. The English translation must be certified by a translator who is competent to translate and must verify in writing that “the translation is true and accurate to the best of the translator’s abilities.” It is helpful if the English translation is stapled to the foreign language document.
The certification format should include the certifier’s name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:
Certification by Translator
I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________.
Date Typed Name
- If documenting the alien’s publications or citations of the alien beneficiary’s work, please highlight the alien’s name in the relevant articles. It is not necessary to send the full copy of a dissertation, thesis, or research paper written by the alien beneficiary, or one in which the alien beneficiary’s work has been cited. Include the title page and the portion(s) that cite the alien’s work and the “works cited” or bibliography. – we sent the full length papers but it seems it is not necessary (I found this note after our submission)
- Tab and label the evidentiary exhibits at the bottom of the first page of each exhibit, and provide a list of the evidentiary exhibits and the eligibility criteria that each exhibit is submitted to establish for petitions supported by a substantial amount of documentation. An exhibit that is being provided to meet multiple eligibility criteria should be so identified in the exhibit list.
USCIS issued also general tips on assembling applications and here are appropriate parts which might be valuable for you:
- Mark both the envelope and the cover letter as to the nature of the submission. Example: ORIGINAL SUBMISSION – BRIEF FOR AN APPEAL – RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION – etc.
- Use the appropriate mailing address and mark both the envelope and the cover letter as to the form type. Example: I-140, I-485 etc.
- Provide both the receipt notice number and the A-Number as an identifier, if they are available. – we didn’t have the A-number in the first step (I-140) but in the second step (I-485) we submitted this information (we received that when our I-140 was approved). If you don’t know the A-Number, provide a COMPLETE name and date of birth. ALSO: Provide ANY AND ALL names used by the individual, including aliases, maiden names, names used when originally admitted to the United States, etc. Providing this information is extremely helpful and speeds up processing time.
- Send copies of any prior approval notices with any new requests for extensions of stay, change of status or amended petitions. Don’t assume the officer will have access to a prior file or record. Submit as complete a packet as possible so the case can be adjudicated from what you submit. Submit a complete packet of information for each petition or application. If officers have to review prior files or records, the adjudication of the case can be delayed substantially. For example when you file I-485 in second step, submit approvals from first step (I-140)
- When an opinion from a recognized authority is submitted, the opinion should state: the writer’s qualifications as an expert; the writer’s experience giving such opinions, citing specific instances where past opinions have been accepted as authoritative and by whom; how the conclusions were reached; and the basis for the conclusions, including copies or citations of any research material used.
How USCIS wants to assemble EB2 NIW petition
USCIS further recommends – in preparing your packet, please take note of the following:
- Do not use binders or folders that cannot be easily disassembled.
- Use ACCO fasteners to hold together thick or bulky applications or petitions. Two-hole punching the top of the material for easy placement in the file is appreciated.
- The use of tabs assist in locating items listed as attachments. The tabs should be placed on the bottom and not the side for ease in filing.
- Avoid using heavy-duty staples; instead use ACCO fasteners or heavy clips.
- Avoid submitting originals unless specifically required.
- Avoid submitting oversized documentation when possible.
Example – how we organized our National Interest Waiver petition
OK, enough theory, let’s see the practical part. Here is how we organized and assembled our NIW packet.
Tools we needed for assembling NIW petition
See the tools we needed in order to put the huge NIW package together:
Printing of NIW documents
First of all, I printed all the documents which we wanted to submit to USCIS in the first step (I-140). As you can see, the whole floor in my room was covered by several hundreds of papers.
Organizing EB2 National Interest Waiver petition
We had 70 evidence and documents in our EB2 NIW petition. It would not be possible to make 70 tabs on the bottom side of the package as recommends USCIS. For that reason I grouped the evidence into 27 main groups and each group contained several closely related evidence. For example group of education related documents included academic degrees, evaluation reports, university rankings etc.
I created cover page for every single evidence and document. This initial page showed clearly basic information about the evidence, type of submitted petition and name of the applicant.
I included also a small label on the right bottom of the cover page. Imagine yourself going quickly through the bulky petition. You would need to carefully turn around page after page to see what is written in the middle of each page. But what if this information is also in the right bottom corner? It allows you going through all the papers much faster because now you need to see just a corner of the page in order to know immediately what’s there. I believe this can help the officer tremendously to save time and orientate better in the NIW package.
You can see how exactly I grouped all the evidence, how I chose the order and get all the cover pages in our NIW DIY kit.
Tabs clearly organize the evidence
I needed to create tabs at the bottom of each main group of evidence. As I already mentioned I couldn’t make the tab for every single evidence because there is limited space on the bottom side of the documents. My personal opinion is that there should not be more than 30 tabs there to keep it nice and clear.
At first, I printed the colored numbers on the card stock paper. The width of each tab is chosen that all 27 tabs fit the whole width of the page bottom as shown in the following picture.
I cut the numbered tabs out.
I took one tab with number…
… put a clear tape on it…
… and stick the label on the first page of the evidence (cover page) and cut the rest of the clear tape.
Similarly, I created all other tabs as shown below.
Punching the holes on the top side (!) and fastening
I had to punch two holes on the top side of all pages as it is recommended by USCIS.
We used the fastener shown below however it couldn’t hold more than 500 pages. I wasn’t able to find any better fastener so we had to divide the NIW petition into two parts and put simply one part on another in one package.
Here is the final result – bulk package of papers compared to AA battery (yes, it was huge!).
I put this whole package into the box with a little stuffing around so the tabs wouldn’t be destroyed by heavy papers.
NIW petition was sent to the appropriate address and that was it.
Then just waited until my receipt number arrived and checked my case status online.
And what is you experience? How did you organize your petition? Please let us know in comments below. Thank you!