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Immigration mistakes to avoid

Millions of people throughout the world hold the dream of living and working in the United States, but not all are successful in achieving that goal. If this is your dream, you can help your chances of success by avoiding a few common mistakes.

Filing the wrong forms

There are dozens of reasons people immigrate to the U.S. and just as many forms (and more) pertaining to those reasons. If you are coming here for work, the forms you fill out will be very different from the forms required for family immigration. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not help you pick out the right form and will not hesitate in throwing out your application if you submitted the wrong form.

Mistakes in filling out forms

Forms are complex, but you must accurately fill in all of the required information if you want to have a successful result. Some common paperwork mistakes include:

  • Filling in wrong dates
  • Failing to translate into English
  • Getting the filing fees wrong (they must be accurate in amount and made out to the correct government agency)
  • Failing to sign your name everywhere it is required

A single misspelled word may not get your form thrown out, but a wrong date, missing signature or identification number probably will. Have your forms carefully reviewed by someone knowledgeable in the immigration process so you can be assured the information is correct.

Failing to prepare for an interview

Whether you are seeking a visa, green card or citizenship, you can improve your chances of success by thoroughly preparing for the interview portion of the process. Make sure you:

  • Have filled out all of your necessary paperwork and know the information you submitted on immigration forms. If your answers in an oral interview do not match what you submitted on a form, it will raise red flags.
  • Bring any supporting documentation you may need (a marriage license or employment documentation, for instance).
  • Are familiar with likely questions your interviewer will ask. A practice session with a friend or professional advocate may be helpful.

While the immigration process is complicated, you can achieve success and avoid delays by avoiding a few common mistakes. An experienced immigration law attorney can help you with all of these steps so you can take on the process with confidence.