Preparing Forms For Filing

For employment-based nonimmigrant visas, each client is assigned a Lead Attorney and Paralegal. When an employer contacts the Lead Attorney or Paralegal to begin a new case, the Lead Attorney will discuss the proposed position and its requirements to determine the appropriate visa type for the case.

Our firm then advises the employer on the information needed in order to prepare the petition materials. (Click here to view visa information requirements of an employer.)

We then enter the sponsored employee’s name and e-mail address into our case management system. Our system will then send the employee an e-mail listing the documents needed as well as providing the employee with a user name and password. The employee will be instructed to log onto our website and complete the relevant questionnaire. When the employee submits the questionnaire, the data provided is loaded into our secure case management system.

In most employment-based cases, the following documents are required:

  • Copy of biographic page of passport for principal applicant and each dependent family member
  • Copy of every U.S. visa stamp for principal applicant and each dependent family member
  • Copy of Form I-94 card (front and back) for principal and each dependent family member
  • Copies of all current and previous Forms I-797 approval notices for the principal applicant
  • Copies of all postsecondary academic documents confirming the degree awarded for the principal applicant (diploma and transcript)
  • Copy of state license (if applicable)
  • Copy of an education evaluation equating a foreign degree to a U.S. degree (if applicable and available)
  • Copy of marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Copy of dependent’s birth certificate listing both parents’ names (if applicable)
  • Copy of an updated resume for the principal applicant and
  • Copy of most recent paystub from current employer (if applicable).

Once we receive a completed questionnaire as well as copies of the requested documents, our team may begin preparing the petition forms. Once the forms are completed, we e-mail them to the applicant and sponsoring employer for review and signature.

Within one to two weeks after filing the petition (unless the petition was filed with a request to Premium Process), our firm should receive a Receipt Notice (Form I-797A) in the mail. We can then scan and upload to our web portal a copy of this receipt notice to the employer and sponsored employee who may then check the processing times on the USCIS website to gauge the petition’s approximate approval date. They may also sign up on the USCIS website for automatic notification of case status updates. In addition, our firm monitors the pending petition and provides periodic updates.

In some cases, the USCIS will issue a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE). The USCIS typically updates its online case status system when an RFE is issued. The RFE is usually sent directly to our law firm as the attorney-of-record. Following our receipt of the RFE, we can then provide a copy to the employer and sponsored employee for reference and input, if needed, before we respond.

When a case is approved, we generally receive the Approval Notice from the USCIS and then send the sponsored employee an e-mail to confirm his/her mailing address before forwarding the original approval notice.

Although the Notice of Action (Form I-797) Approval Notice is no longer required for visa issuance, some U.S. consulates may still require this document. Applicants may also be required to show this document when applying for a driver’s license, social security card or mortgage.

The effective date of an individual’s immigration status as listed on the approval notice depends on the nature of the filing: Change of Status, Extension of Stay or Consular Notification case.