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Immigrate to the USA: Top 5 Major Mistakes of Potential Americans

Collect all the necessary documents, fill out the form correctly and arrive at the office of the Citizenship and Migration Service at the appointed time. At first glance, going through the process of issuing a green card or citizenship is easy. On the official website, the entire procedure is described in detail, there is a section of tips and even a schedule of consultations. However, potential immigrants so often make mistakes that both lawyers and migration officers There is a top-list of actions that are best not to commit, unless, of course, you want to stay in the country.

Фото: Depositphotos

ForumDaily understood in detail whether it is possible to fill out all the documents yourself, in which cases it is necessary to contact a lawyer and how to recognize immigration fraudsters.

The case of the former Muscovite Yulia Abelev was very simple: the girl arrived in the United States on a tourist visa, in New York met her future husband-American and after the wedding began the process of issuing a green card. Julia says that all the documents they had were in order, the marriage was real, and theoretically they didn’t need to contact a lawyer. “But my husband said to me: Yulia, I’m afraid to make some mistakes, let's go to a lawyer and we will do everything according to the rules,” the girl explains.

Error №1 - incorrectly filled documents

A lawyer was advised by acquaintances, and for 800 dollars she agreed to help the couple. There was only a small nuance - just before the last departure from Moscow, Julia received a new passport, where her name was written not by Yulia, as before, but by Iulia. The law firm offered to leave the old version of the name when filling out the documents.

“They told me, they say, why would you be here with such a strange name - let me write you everywhere as Yulia? I asked whether it was possible to do this, and I received an answer that the migration service does not pay attention to such things at all, ”the girl says.


Yulia Abelev is sure that the paperwork would have been better done without a lawyer. Photo: from the personal archive

Since then, Julia started having problems. At first they refused to take her fingerprints, as the names in the passport and the completed form were different. Then, when this question was settled, the difference in the spelling of the name caused bewilderment at the immigration officer already during the interview. “I was told at the interview that everything needs to be corrected, otherwise the green card will not be combined with my new passport.” As a result, Yulia still received the green card, during her registration she managed to pass on her rights, get a work permit and a social insurance number in the name of Yulia, because she was sure that she would be recorded in the green card as well same Therefore, the girl had to redo all the documents.

“My main advice to everyone who has an easy task is to fill out the documents themselves. Because I paid 800 dollars - and for what? For having filled out a questionnaire for me, in which they made a grave mistake? ”, Shares Julia’s bitter experience.

Error No.2: Intentional Concealment

Incorrectly filling in the required forms is the most common mistake of potential migrants, lawyer Ismail Shakhtakhtinsky believes. Most often, a person either does not understand what the Citizenship and Migration Service requires of him, or deliberately hides some data.

“People think, will the migration service know that I was once arrested? Or, for example, that was absent in the country for some time, worked without permission? So, you can be sure that the migration service will know everything, they have the ways, so you cannot hide the information, ”says the lawyer.

Ismail notes that most often they try to hide something from the American authorities from people from the former Soviet Union countries. “The USSR, unfortunately, is so educated in people this behavior pattern - to keep back the authorities, to hide. Russian-speaking migrants often have a different concept of how to write and how they really are. And I have to explain that it is impossible to do so here - there is a fact and everything ”.

It is also important to remember that obtaining citizenship is the final direct immigration, which is preceded by many other processes - issuing a green card or political asylum. It is important that the information coincides at all these stages.

“It happens that when you make a political asylum a person indicates that he was detained, arrested by the authorities, from which he fled. And then it comes time to do citizenship, and he responds negatively to the question of arrest or a criminal record, since he is afraid that he will be refused a criminal record. And now the discrepancy. Similarly, political asylum can be lost and citizenship is not obtained, ”explains the lawyer.

And he immediately adds: people will most likely not share such negative experiences. Few people admit why the Citizenship and Migration Service refused him, but if the system could be deceived, they would be loudly heard. So it seems that it is more than possible, and the mistakes are repeated.

Error #3: Unqualified Help

Not only did Julia mess up with the name in the documents, but the lawyer himself, not his lawyer, did the same thing. “The lawyer considered our case very simple, and all the documents gave to fill out the assistant, who, as it turned out, did not even have a legal education,” the girl said. All the lawyer did was look at the documents before sending them. She did not notice the obvious mistake either.

The site Citizenship and Migration Services written in large letters right in the center - “Improper help can harm”. Then follows a detailed description of those professionals who have the official right to assist in immigration matters.

The first ones are accredited representatives (Accredited Representatives) who are not attorneys, but who can give advice on how to properly collect documents and fill out a form. Most often, these are representatives of non-profit, charitable, or religious organizations that may request only a formal amount for their services. Be sure to find such an assistant in the list. accredited representatives and make sure his name is missing among violators.

The second are the attorneys themselves, who immediately need to ask for a license. To provide immigration assistance, it does not have to be issued in the same state where the client lives.

“Any lawyer, if he values ​​his name, will be much written online. It is also desirable that a lawyer be a member Migration Bar Association“- says Ismail Shakhtahtinsky.

Neither students nor graduates of law universities can work with a client in person, only to assist this lawyer.

But Ismail assures, more often than not, a potential immigrant knows exactly to whom he refers and how much this assistance is legal.

“During 10 years of practice, I only once met a man who thought that he was a lawyer, but it turned out that he had no right to legal activity. In most cases, people know that they are not turning to a lawyer at all, and are simply trying to save money. ”

In this case, if law enforcement agencies are interested in the activities of a false lawyer, then all his cases will be reviewed, especially successful ones.

Also on the official site Citizenship and Migration Services they are convincingly asked not to turn to notaries, because their function in the United States is the same as in Russia or Ukraine, namely, to act as a witness when signing documents.

Mistake # 4: refuse to help a lawyer when she really needs it.

Lana Monson, originally from Perm, flew to the States last year to a language school. Further, everything is like in a movie, - she met a man, fell in love, they played a wedding. With the green card, no problems were foreseen, so the couple decided to draw up the documents themselves.

“Thousands of people themselves filled out without the help of a lawyer, but in our case it was not very successful,” says Lana.

For the first time, the documents were returned to them, because they had left several columns blank due to inattention. Then it turned out that the form was outdated. “We were told to do everything anew. We printed a new version from the site and filled it out again. ” Usually, after sending the documents, a notification comes in that they are taken into work, but a couple have not received this. In the Migration Service they were advised to duplicate everything again, but the story did not end there either.


After a long execution of the green card, Lana Monson is sure: citizenship will be done only with a lawyer. Photo: from the personal archive

In Russia, the girl was married and left her husband's name after the divorce, but in the birth certificate the name remained the maiden. “I still thought, how can I prove that the birth certificate is mine? The immigration officer asked for a marriage certificate, which was impossible, because after his divorce he was simply destroyed. And in the certificate of divorce about the change of surname nothing was said, “- explains the girl.

Lana had to look for a notary in Salt Lake City, where she lives, to issue a power of attorney for her mother and send her to Russia. There, my mother managed to get a certificate that the marriage was and the girl really changed the name. Only the other day Lana received this final binding document and now hopes that she will finally issue a green card. The girl is sure: if she turned to a lawyer, she would immediately be told what documents would need to be provided additionally, and this would save her both time and nerves.

“My advice: do not fool yourself and go to a lawyer. Depending on the state, this will cost 200-300 dollars, but you will not make the silliest mistakes, ”says Lana Monson.

Error #5: ignore official site Citizenship and Migration Services



There is indeed detailed information on any of the immigration processes. And the officers are urged to use only their official website, and no other. AT separate section You will be able to study the list of the most common types of migration fraud. For example, it says here that the Citizenship and Migration Service never asks to pay for its services by telephone, and the application forms are always free.

Also, officers are advised to be cautious and those who participate in the annual green card lottery. Its results are never sent to the participant by email. Check whether you won or not, you can only personally.

The Citizenship and Migration Service never sends such letters. Photo:

And last but not least: you cannot buy a work permit. This right automatically gives you a green card, political refugee status or a work visa.

Answers to any questions related to registration of migration status can be obtained both online and personal meetings with migration officers. They hold both consultations and entire seminars where they tell for free how to fill out all the documents correctly the first time and get the right to live and work in the USA as quickly as possible and, most importantly, legally.

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