How much will it cost to file an NIW petition?
The attorney’s fees for an NIW petition are a flat fee of $3,900, which can be paid in either four or nine installments. We understand that you have other financial demands, so we allow these flexible no-interest attorney fee payment plans to be paid by credit card, with no additional processing fees. We also offer a MONEY BACK and/or a REFILE GUARANTEE for qualified cases. In the highly unlikely event that your NIW petition is denied, ALL attorney’s fees paid for your NIW petition would be completely refunded or we will refile your case for no additional attorney fees.
Why choose The Arkell Immigration Team and the Dunn Law Firm?
While some firms brag about their volume, we firmly believe in quality over quantity. Every client is very important to our firm – he or she is not just a statistic. That is why we always start with an in person phone conversation and why we make ourselves available to our clients throughout the process. The Team personally reviews each case and only accepts the cases they believe will be approved. Having personally gone through the immigration process themselves, both Attorney Thomas Arkell and Attorney Jim Arkell know how important an approval is to our clients. Our success rate is OVER 99% on cases with a full refund over the last twenty years.
How qualified is the Arkell Immigration Team
The Arkell Immigration Team has over one hundred (100) years of collective experience in handling complex immigration matters. The team is led by Attorney Thomas Arkell and Attorney Jim Arkell. Tom Arkell earned both his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Notre Dame (ranked in the top 25 law schools) and has been licensed to practice law for over twenty years. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Jim Arkell has been a licensed attorney for over 30 years and has presented on National Interest Waivers to Universities all over the U.S. including Harvard, MIT, USC, the University of Michigan, Penn State University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, among several others.
What is a National Interest Waiver (NIW)?
A NIW is a petition under the employment-based, second-preference immigration category that waives the labor certification and U.S. job offer. The NIW is self-sponsored and does not require Employer sponsorship.
What factors are considered by USCIS to be beneficial to the national interest of the United States?
- The applicant’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
- The applicant is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
- It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification.
What services do you provide?
We prepare and file the NIW petition and all supporting documentation including drafting all forms and working collaboratively with you to draft recommendation letters. We also draft a detailed NIW petition cover letter. We address any Request For Evidence (RFE) made by USCIS. Additionally, we can be retained to represent you throughout the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process and we follow up on your case with USCIS until green card approval.
We have also been retained by new clients simply to prepare and file their Adjustment of Status application. (AOS).
Finally, we have been retained by new clients (represented by someone else for the NIW) to respond to and address the issues raised in their RFE.
How long does the NIW process take?
We have filed NIW petitions from start to finish in as little as 5 working days. It depends on how motivated you are and how long it takes for your recommenders to return signed letters of recommendation. Letters can be sent as signed PDFs to save time. After the petition is submitted, it takes approximately six months for the NIW to be approved although processing times vary depending on where the petition is being processed. At present NIW decisions out of the Texas Service Center are taking anywhere from a few weeks to six months. The Nebraska Service Center is pretty consistently taking five to six months.
How long does the AOS process take?
After the petition is submitted, it usually takes three to six months for the AOS to be approved although processing times vary. The accompanying temporary work and travel documents will typically be approved in three to four months.
How much would it cost to file an AOS petition with the NIW petition?
Attorney fees for Adjustment of Status, Employment Authorization and Advance Parole vary from case to case depending on state of residence, number of dependents, length of employment and whether there are any issues related to public charge. Additionally, the USCIS filing fee for any applicant or dependent over the age of 14 will be $1,225.00. The USCIS filing fee for any dependent under the age of 14 will be $750.00.
How many letters of recommendation do I need for the NIW petition?
We suggest obtaining 3 to 4 letters of recommendation. You have the option to retain us to work collaboratively with you in writing the letters; or you can retain us to write the letters for you. This allows you a choice.
Where will my NIW application be filed?
All NIW petitions are filed at the Texas Lockbox and assigned to a USCIS Service Center based on the state in which you reside. Your case may be reassigned by USCIS to a different Service Center, depending on the caseloads at the different Centers.
What are my options if I am in F-1 status?
If you are in F-1 status, you have three options:
- You can wait to file the NIW (and possibly AOS) petition until after OPT is approved. You should speak to your university to find out its policies about OPT and STEM extensions.
- You can wait to file the NIW (and possibly AOS) petition until after STEM extension is approved. Again, you should speak to your university to find out its policies about OPT and STEM extensions.
- If you are very well qualified, you can file both your NIW and AOS prior to obtaining OPT and obtain a temporary employment authorization and advance parole (travel) document within 3-4 months of filing your adjustment of status and then receive your green card in 6-9 months. Highly qualified PhD students can get their green cards before they graduate.
What if I am in J-1 status?
If you are in J-1, you need to make sure the two-year home residence requirement does not apply to you, as you will not be able to adjust your status until you obtain a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement or fulfill the requirement by returning home for two years.
How do I know if the J-1 two-year home residence requirement applies to me?
There are two ways to check if this applies to you.
- If you renew your DS-2019 you should see if the “Not Subject” or “Subject” box is checked.
- You may also look at your J-1 visa stamp to see if it states that you are subject or not.
What if I am currently in J-1 status and subject to the two-year home residence requirement?
If you are currently subject to the two-year home residence requirement, you can still apply for the NIW. However, you will need to obtain a J-1 waiver or satisfy the requirement before applying for adjustment of status.
What if I am in H-1B status?
An H-1B petition is your best option because H-1B status provides for dual intent. If you have an employer willing to file an H-1B petition on your behalf you should do so. Generally, dual intent means you can enter the U.S. on a valid H-1B visa while your adjustment of status application is pending. On F-1 or J-1 status, you must obtain advance parole before you leave the U.S.
Who will be assigned to my case?
Your case will be personally handled by one of the Arkell Immigration Team attorneys. Your case will be handled exclusively by members of our Team. We do not outsource any of the work. When hiring an attorney to handle your case, you should insist that your case will not be outsourced. Your NIW petition and letters of recommendation will not be drafted overseas. Your research will not be sent to a foreign country which is potentially a serious violation of Federal Law.