I'm a post doc with an MS and PhD (2008) from US, with 5 publications (3 first author papers) and 20+ conference papers. I have occasionally reviewed papers for journals in my field.
Several lawyers told me that I could apply for PR with NIW. My questions are;
1) What should I consider when hiring a lawyer? All the lawyers I found ask for $5000 fee + expenses. But if they are get paid even if the application is rejected, how should I know whether they will be seriously working on my case or not?
2) Does the USCIS contact the people who give the applicant recommendation letters? I'm havening a hard time finding independent experts, who know me only through my work and I wonder if that is the case.
Thank you very much in advance.