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Five Immigration Mistakes Even Smart People Make

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is known for quickly rejecting applications in case of errors. Sometimes simple immigration mistakes can ruin your chances of being approved by USCIS. How to avoid them CitizenPath.

Photo: Shutterstock

In fact, even very smart candidates can make mistakes due to oversight and inattention.

Here is a list of five immigration mistakes that applicants sometimes make when applying for USCIS benefits.

Immigration is a legal process

The US immigration system is a legal process. In other countries, immigration may be a paperwork process. But in the United States, it is more difficult and can have more serious consequences if the paperwork is not completed correctly.

The statements you make at your USCIS interview and the answers you give on USCIS forms are recorded on a record.

If you take your answers lightly, it could be used against you in the future.

You may be applying for a green card or renewing your status. USCIS will keep these responses on its records. They may use these previous statements in your future applications for immigration benefits. If there is an inconsistency or omission of information, this can create a problem. Sometimes it can even create a problem for other family members.

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For the same reason, the USCIS electronic file (online filing) is not a good option for some people. The answers you provide on USCIS forms may cause problems later.

Incorrect preparation of an application or petition

Many people fail to get a USCIS approval notice on the first try due to these simple mistakes:

Signature:

Surprisingly, USCIS rejects thousands of forms each year because the applicant or petitioner has not signed and dated them. Make sure you also sign in the correct place.

Handwriting:

USCIS does not require you to provide a printed form. However, illegible handwriting may cause confusion on the part of the person responsible for reading it.

Payment:

Some forms may have a very confusing fee structure. Even overpayment will lead to refusal. This is because USCIS has no way to refund your money. If you are writing a check or money order, it is also important to indicate that it is for payment in the name of “US Department of Homeland Security.”

Providing misinformation or failing to explain missing information:

Most people are honest and would not lie on USCIS forms. But sometimes innocent people make mistakes that look like they're avoiding the truth. Not providing all the information may seem dishonest in some situations.

Sending the form to the wrong office:

As a rule, you do not have a choice where to send the application or petition. If you must send it to another state, it is usually a USCIS safe. The case is entered into the USCIS computer systems. If an interview is needed, the case will go back to your local office.

These types of mistakes are often made by people who rush through the process. Take your time to understand the requirements.

Come to an interview unprepared

While most immigration interviews end up being almost "routine", they can be extremely informative. Going into an interview without understanding what is going to happen or what is expected of you can have dire consequences. Not having the right document can seriously delay your case.

Before you go to an interview, you must reasonably understand the purpose of the interview. Understand what USCIS is trying to achieve. This will help give you an idea of ​​the interview. Also, find out what types of questions can be asked.

You also need to know what documents to bring and what to expect after the interview.

To prepare for your interview, consider the following tasks:

  • Consideration of the applicationA: Spend some time reviewing, updating, and researching your application, as many interview questions will refer to this information.
  • View the meeting noticeA: The meeting notice will tell you what you need to bring with you to your interview.
  • Create a folder with all documents: Gather all your original documents, make copies of everything, and take copies and originals with you.
  • Confirm that you have a valid ID. Make sure your ID and driver's license are valid and carry them with you.
  • Show your seriousness: Dress neatly and appropriately, such as what you would wear to an interview.
  • Prepare othersA: If you are bringing an interpreter, you must register him or her before the interview.

Most USCIS interviews are short and focused. Understanding the purpose of the interview can help you expedite the interview and get notified of USCIS approval.

Non-recognition of the consequences of the termination of the criminal case

Criminal charges, even if they are dismissed, have the potential to affect a person's immigration status. The impact of a criminal charge depends on your immigration status and the type of offense. In particular, USCIS conducts a thorough background check when an immigrant applies for a green card or becomes a US citizen. USCIS also learns about closed criminal cases.

The prosecutor's office can stop criminal cases due to lack of evidence, participation in the program and other reasons. You may assume that this also means that the issue will not affect your immigration status. It may not be.

Only an experienced immigration attorney can adequately advise you on the immigration implications of your criminal charge. Therefore, if possible, talk to an immigration lawyer before making any decision. If you already have past criminal charges (even if they were dismissed), talk to an immigration attorney to determine if they will affect your future requests for immigration benefits.

Misunderstanding the residency requirements

Permanent residents (green card holders) often misinterpret residency requirements. This misunderstanding can lead to problems when applying for naturalization (citizenship) or even cause loss of permanent resident status.

As a general rule, a permanent resident does not need to have an address outside of the United States. As a general rule, all travel outside the US must be limited to 180 days or less. The presence of a place of residence or work in another country may be sufficient grounds for initiating the removal (deportation) procedure. Of course, there are some exceptions.

Permanent residence requirement for naturalization

If you intend to become a US citizen, you must apply for naturalization. To file Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization), you must meet the permanent residence requirement. For most permanent residents, the requirement is five years. But for some categories it is reduced.

A trip abroad of less than 6 months does not interrupt continuous residence. It is assumed that a trip of more than 6 months but less than 12 months interrupts your permanent residence.

A trip of 12 months or more will necessarily disrupt your permanent residence.

The presumption of violating your habitual residence is almost as bad as violating a claim. Overcoming the presumption is expensive and difficult.

Renunciation of permanent residence

Even if you do not intend to naturalize as a citizen, prolonged absence may create suspicion that you have left your place of residence in the United States. In fact, even the appearance that you live or work abroad can lead to some immigration problems. A re-entry permit is useful for permanent residents who may be abroad for more than one year, but not more than two years.

However, this will not solve all the problems if it turns out that you intended to ever permanently reside abroad.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants, and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

If you have a reason to stay abroad for 180 days or more, talk to an immigration lawyer. Make sure you understand the implications and confirm that you have done everything to resolve your particular situation. Keep an open line of communication with experts who can maintain your immigration status and increase the likelihood of your next USCIS approval notification.

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