I receive multiple emails and Youtube comments every single day. Recently, I have been getting messages in which readers or viewers say they want to file an EB2 NIW (National Interest waiver) petition within one week. So I think it is time to stop and think: is it really doable an realistic to believe one can file a green card petition in only seven days?
The complexity of this EB2 NIW process
Many prospective petitioners, at a very early stage of research, think that submitting an EB2 NIW petition is only about filling out forms. However (and unfortunately), submitting an application for EB2 NIW is not as easy as to just fill out form I-140. One must put together a whole petition package that includes forms (I-140 and ETA-9089), payment (for example check or money order), a cover letter in which you explain why we qualify for this category of green card, and a list of Exhibits where we substantiate our claims with proof. If you want to read more about the petition package you can do so this link.
A more realistic timeline for EB2 NIW filing
In an earlier blog post I discussed in detail the timeline for all the steps involved in an EB-2 NIW submission. In that article, I included preparation time for the I-140 package, processing time for I-140, and processing time for adjustment of status.
My estimate for preparing a decent I-140 package is a minimum of one month and a half of work. That includes the following items:
- Understanding the EB-2 category and its requirements
- Complete your profile and make it stronger, if needed
- Strategize on your case
- Contact potential recommenders for your recommendation letters
- Draft recommendation letters and get them signed
- Gather all the other necessary evidence for your case to be attached as Exhibits
- Draft petition cover letter
- Fill out forms
- Review petition package and submit I-140 to USCIS
Factors that can affect your I-140 preparation time
Of course, the time that it takes you to complete this depends on multiple factors. Some of them are exclusively dependent on you, such as how much time you can spare to invest in this process, or how fast you are able to draft and perfect the documents you need to write. Other factors that will affect the total timeline are external factors such as the response time of your recommenders. You have little control over these.
The biggest threat to your I-140 preparation for EB-2 NIW: yourself
So, it is important to keep in mind what is the biggest challenge you will encounter during this process. We are talking about a complex process that takes time and effort. Therefore, the number one threat to a successful self-petitioned green card application is yourself. Chances are you will become frustrated at the process and you will lose interest and motivation. If this happens, you will dedicate less time to it and you will not see any results. This will frustrate you even more.
How to increase your chances of success for EB2 NIW
So it is important to follow a few simple rules to improve your success rate:
- Estimate how much time you can dedicate to your EB2 NIW preparation
- Create a schedule to ensure you do sit down regularly to work on your green card
- Break down the complex process into easier and more digestible pieces.
- Get all the resources you can to help your with this application! This website is one of them, along with my YouTube Channel. You can download my real petition to serve you as a reference.