11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004
By the time we have completed drafts of these documents and send them to clients, in our view these are file-able and approvable (the exception being anything we specifically note in drafts as still missing).
Of course, a client (including a sponsoring employer) may have excellent ideas for addition to the materials, or see something that needs to be corrected for accuracy (from simple “typos” to something which, when taken out of the original context of the questionnaires completed at the start of the case, no longer appears accurate in the context of the actual materials).
This is exactly why we understand that reviews and revisions are necessary – both initial reviews and then again to judge the viability of the changes – at no additional charge as part of the service we offer.
Often, however, clients will continue to “fine-tune” an application even once necessary initial changes and new ideas have been added. Given the importance of an immigration petition or application, it is completely understandable that the desire is strong to make the petition as perfect as possible. However, in our experience, that isn’t what normally happens in these cases. The perfect becomes the enemy of the good, delaying filing while amendments or “corrections” that have in fact no bearing on the strength of the case are requested. We have yet to see an instance where we believed that changes made on a third or later round of revisions contributed anything whatsoever to the approval of the case.
Not only is submission of the case delayed, but what was originally drafted as a coherent, internally-consistent document turns into something with multiple voices, often saying contradictory things (thus weakening the likelihood of approval). We spend significant additional time not only making revisions, but in first reviewing to ensure that the revisions don’t in fact weaken the case or actually prevent it from being approved at all…and then explaining why this is so and the revisions cannot/should not be made.
Further, our office works on a flat fee basis, something our clients seem to appreciate. This means that our clients have a good sense of what they will ultimately end up spending, eliminating a major – and frightening – uncertainty. It also helps when initially choosing an attorney to be able to compare costs and services with other lawyers being considered (we try – as here –to make as clear as possible what is and is not included).
We can offer a flat fee instead of charging hourly because we can estimate, based on experience, how much time a case will take to complete. Where unexpected additional work is caused by the government agency handling the case, we often don’t charge for the additional work, taking on the risk for that possibility from our clients. We can’t do this where additional work is caused by the client for no legally valid reason. This would require us to raise our flat fee for all clients…including those who haven’t occasioned additional, unnecessary work (the overwhelming majority of our clients).
Alternatively, we can do what we are doing here: charge only those who require this additional work so as to more fairly treat the vast majority of our clients.