To make sure you maintain your visa status, keep your application moving along, and have a successful immigration experience, here aremy top tips for avoiding trouble.
1.Plan for Delays.US Citizenship and Immigration services is very busy and often backed up with applications and reviews. If you are submitting a change request, or your status needs tobereviewed, you will want to turn in your application and any applicable documents plenty farinadvance. This is especially important if there isan expiration status on your status. If that date passes before you’re renewed, immigration officials can arrest you.
2.Always Beon Time.Itis very important that you are punctual for any appointment or review with the USCIS, an embassy, consulate, or the US immigration court. If you arrive late –or miss an appointment entirely – you could have long delays in your application process, even to the extent of being deported from the US.
3.Notify USCIS When Moving.If you will bein the US for longer than 30 days, you have to notify officials of your address change within 10 days of moving. Every person in your family has tosubmit a separate notification to the USCIS. You can mail a Form AR-11or use their online change of address service (both available on the USCIS website). If you have a local USCIS office that is handling an application or status change request of yours, be sure to send them written proof of your new address so they know of the change as well.
4.Request US Citizenship.If you are given a green card for permanent residency, consider applying for US citizenship as soon as you are legally allowed todo so. This can protect you from being deported (since you will be a citizen), but you can also secure a more permanent status close to your family and community. Most of the time, you have to wait five years to apply for citizenship. 5.Avoid Immediate Removal from the US. When you get to the US from your home country, beprepared to show that you earned your visa. The immigration officials you will meet have significant power in letting you enter –if they think you lied or will be a risk to the country if you come into the US, they can send you back. If you are a tourist and here on a nonimmigrant visa, make sure you don’t pack anything that makes it look like you have a permanent stay in mind.
6.Submit Multiple Visa Requests.If you are requesting a green card through a family member already in the US, try to use more than one family member to submit the petitions. This increases your chances of one of your applications being reviewed quickly and decreases the odds that something is missed or you receive delays.
7.Avoid Violations. Just like with any other contract or legal application, there is fine print involved with your visa submission. Read it closely and follow the rules. Anything from minor offenses like working part time to make money while being a tourist, all the way upto helping smuggle someone over the border can result in cancellation of your visa and/or being deported.
8.Keep Copies of Everything. Just like any other government bureaucracy, the paperwork will gomissing from time to time. All applications and other documentation should first be copied, then
sent by certified mail with a return receipt. This proves when you filed and keeps documentation of all details if USCIS loses your file and requests proof of anything.
9.Do Your Research. Not everything you hear from a friend or read online is true – every legal situation is different. Even employees of the government say the wrong information sometimes, and you are the one who will suffer. Research everything you are doing, and don’t be afraid tohire a legal professional you trust to help you through the process.
10.Request Political Help.If these tips aren’t enough to help you get through the system legally and efficiently, contact your US representative who can possibly submit an inquiry into your case. This can influence the USCIS oran embassy to expedite your case.
Have More Questions about Immigration Law?
The US Federal Government manages all immigration law, and the laws are consistent across the country and in consulates and embassies in foreign nations. You will find these laws in Title 8 of the USCode or the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). You can find additional information in Title 8 and Title 22of the Code for Federal Regulations (CFR).
Unfortunately, these laws can be difficult to understand – even those with advanced degrees have trouble figuring them all out!It’s a good idea to hire a qualified lawyer who has made it his business tohelp people seeking travel to the US– whether it’s to study at our colleges or make it your home. If you need professional help to navigate the complicated visa application process, look no further than the Law Office of Yoel Molina P.A. He has experience assisting people just like you with their American Dream. He has the knowledge, insight, and legal expertise to make it happen. Give our office a call and we’d be happy to discuss your legal needs and concerns. Call us now at 305-548-5020.