Immigration can be a long and complicated process, especially if you are ill-prepared and do not have adequate help. Here are a few practical tips that can help you better handle a few of the most common immigration issues and make your immigration process a lot easier.
1. Plan For Delays
The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) is constantly behind schedule with their application and renewal processes. Some applications have been known to take up to three years just to process. This is not ideal as if your immigration visa or green card has expired, authorities are within their legal rights to arrest and even deport you. This unfortunately even happens in cases where renewal has been applied for and you are just waiting for your renewed visa or green card.
2. Establish Citizenship In The USA
If you have a green card and are considering the possibility of staying in the US, apply for citizenship as soon as you are legally allowed to. If you are unsure of this process and can’t find the exact information relating to you contact an immigration lawyer. The professionals at Lightman Law Firm stress how important “open and frequent communication” is during this process, as it can be awfully complicated and stressful. Most applicants can apply for citizenship five years after they have received their green card.
However, if you obtained your green card through marriage, or you have a citizen-spouse you might be eligible to apply after 3 years, or even less. Having citizenship will protect you against certain grounds for deportation that are more likely to occur if you just have a green card and it makes it easier for your relatives to secure legal status in the US.
3. Avoid Summary Removal
Summary removal is a term that refers to the power border officials have to turn you away from entering the US. If they think you are a security risk or that you have lied in order to get an immigration visa they can bar you from entering the country. If you claim that you are only coming as a tourist you cannot have a job resume on you or something like a wedding dress. Be truthful about your intentions to enter.
4. Notify USCIS Of Address Changes
It is your duty to notify the USCIS of any address changes. This must be done within ten days of your change of address and a separate notice must be given for each individual member of your party, including children. You can either go on the ISCIS website and use their online change of address service, or you can print, fill out, and mail your AR-11 Form. Be sure to send it to each USCIS office handling your application.
5. Be On Time To Every Appointment With USCIS
It is never polite to be late. Always arrive on time for your appointments with the U.S. consulate or embassy, immigration court, or the USCIS. Late arrival can result in deportation or a sizable delay. Status applications are very time-sensitive, so avoiding delays is essential. The most important immigration tip is timeliness.
6. Do Not Violate Any Immigration Visa Provisions Or Laws
The consequences of violating your visa provisions can be catastrophic. Make sure that you follow all of the laws and requirements of your visa, work permit, or green card. Even the smallest violation can result in deportation or a permanent ban from the US.
7. Keep Copies And Stay Current On The Status Of Your Application
This is self-explanatory. The USCIS is notorious for losing paperwork, so it is important that you keep a copy of everything.
8. Conduct Research From Reliable Sources
Be careful about what you read online and who you get your advice from. There are tons of misleading myths and beliefs about immigration that are just plain wrong. Your situation is unique and is likely very different from your friends’ or family members’ experience. Even USCIS employees have been known to give out misleading and even wrong immigration tips and information. Unfortunately, even if you make a mistake based on something a USCIS employee has told you, it is still your fault. Consult a lawyer and only follow what you read on the USCIS website.
When it comes to immigration each case is unique. You’ll need a thorough understanding of what the laws are regarding your circumstances in order to best proceed. Having an immigration lawyer discuss your individual situation can help you get the immigration benefits you need.