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What kind of documents can a client get from their EB-5 attorney?

Can an EB-5 investor request to get copies of correspondences between USCIS and their attorney? For example, if a client asked an attorney to write to USCIS and push them to give a reply on certain matters, can the client request to get a copy of the writing from the attorney? What kind of documents can a client get from their EB-5 attorney?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A client should be able to receive a complete copy of his or her immigration file from the attorney. Under most state bar rules, the file belongs to the client and the attorney must keep the client informed of relevant case matters. If you ask your attorney to make multiple inquiries to the USCIS, however, this might not be an effective way to get information. Unless your case is lost or well beyond the normal processing time, it is generally accepted that you just have to wait until there is news from USCIS. Sending them multiple emails does not do anything but create "busy work" and actually slows the system down.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A client is generally entitled to a complete copy of the case, including any USCIS communications pertaining to a client's case. A client may not be entitled to drafts of documents or attorney's notes. Please look at the attorney-client agreement; that should generally cover this issue.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The client should be able to get all documents filed on their behalf as well as a complete copy of their file. It is yours.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The client may request any and all correspondence regarding their case from their attorney, other than the personal notes of the attorney.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It really depends on the State Bar rules in which the attorney is licensed. In certain states the file belongs to the attorney and not the client. If the attorney is reasonable then the client should be able to retain the requested documents.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It depends on the state in which the attorney practices, but you are getting into the realm of attorney work product. If you are still being actively represented by an attorney, and your case has not been "closed" by the attorney, he or she may not share every item for your case. Your attorney should be keeping you advised of action taken on your case, even if the exact correspondence is not shared. At the end of the day, you decided to retain this attorney, and pay them for their services, so your trust in them would be appreciated.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is an interesting ethics question that many immigrant clients, particularly the ones coming from a migrant agents, seem to be confused about. Please note that the I-526 petition is your own case, i.e., the Petitioner who signs the application is the Investor. The attorney is simply preparing and filing the petition for you - it is not their case. If you are asking the attorney to communicate with USCIS, he is doing so on your behalf and you absolutely have the right to see all that communication and the filings that were done on your behalf. The communication between you and the attorney is privileged and the attorney is not supposed to disclose to a third party without consent of you. In case that a migrant agent acts as a liaison between you and the attorney, it is assumed that you have given the consent/release to the attorney to communicate your case with that migrant agent. However, it is not the migrant agent's case, but yours.

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    Sara Wang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In the United States, the client has the right to his/her file, including all of the attorney's work products, correspondence, filing that is related to the client's case. After all, the client has paid for these. The attorney however, does not need to retain your file forever (this is usually specified in your engagement agreement) and may or may not charge you for the cost of producing these records for your benefit.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    As a client you are entitled to all documents pertaining to your case, including correspondence and emails.

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    Yevgeny Samokhleb

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You generally have a right to the entire file that your attorney has for your case, including correspondences with USCIS. Having said that, please keep in mind that contrary to many clients' belief, USCIS does not typically respond to specific case-specific matters. Their most common reply is that the case is pending and will be adjudicated soon.

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