Immigration status changes in the U.S. usually involve navigating a complicated process that can involve lots of paperwork, interviews, background checks, filing fees and possibly more. What can make this process even more complex – if not overwhelming – is the fact that making a mistake at any point along the way can result in:
- Processing and case delays
- Higher financial costs
- Denials of petitions
- Far more stress and headaches
- Other difficulties (like a family separation, career delays, etc.).
The good news, however, is that these mistakes ARE avoidable, as long as you’re aware of them and know what to do to sidestep them.
To this end, below are a handful of some of the most common mistakes that can compromise petitions for immigration status changes.
When Pursuing an Immigration Status Change, Do NOT:
- Lie on your application – Failing to disclose the truth about who you are, your criminal history, your reasons for entering the U.S. or any other aspect regarding your immigration petition can be a form of fraud.
In fact, you should be aware that USCIS will dig into the details of your petition to verify the “facts” you have disclosed on it. If officials find that you have lied or failed to present the truth for any aspect, your petition can be denied immediately – and you could even be barred from seeking another status change in the future.
- Send in USCIS forms without first looking them over – It’s always a good idea to carefully read through any USCIS form before sending it off for formal review. A second (or subsequent) review of these forms (and, really, your complete petition) can help you discover if you may have missed something, if any parts are unclear, or if you need to add additional information in order to satisfy a specific field (or answer a certain question).
If, however, you just fire off a USCIS form without checking it over at least once, your petition can be on hold until USCIS gets the information it needs (which could mean that you case is delayed for weeks – or possibly even longer).
- Forget to sign the USCIS forms – Similar to the above mistake, this one can result in USCIS putting your petition on hold until you have signed it. Your signature is important to verifying that you have reviewed the information in the form(s) and you affirm that it’s true.
- Forget to send in all of the required supporting documentation – For many immigration status change petitions, applicants will be required to send in supporting documents that prove (i.e., support) the information in the USCIS form. These documents vary, according to the specific status change requested (as well as the specific situation or circumstances of the petitioner).
Generally, however, these documents can include (and are not at all limited to) documents like copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, and professional certifications. Failing to send the necessary supporting documents in with the USCIS form(s) can delay your petition indefinitely – and until USCIS does receive all of the documentation needed to process and fully review your request.
- Miss any deadlines – Once you submit a petition for an immigration status change to USCIS, there may be various deadlines associated with your case that you must meet. For example, you may be required to submit follow-up documentation by a certain date or to submit to biometrics within a specific timeframe.
If you miss any deadline (and you haven’t requested or received an extension from USCIS), you run the risk of your petition being denied (which can mean that your filing fees are lost and you have to reapply for the status change you are seeking).
Avoid Costly Mistakes with Your Immigration Case: Contact a San Francisco Immigration Lawyer at the Law Office of Peter Duong
For experienced help resolving your important immigration issues, contact a San Francisco immigration lawyer at the Law Office of Peter Duong. For nearly 20 years, our trusted lawyer has been committed to providing individuals and businesses alike with exceptional legal services related to all aspects of U.S. immigration and naturalization law.
Call us today at (415) 231-5143 or email us via the contact form on this page to discuss your options for resolving your immigration issues – and to learn more about how we can help you. From our offices based in San Francisco, our attorneys provide superior representation and legal services to clients throughout the Bay Area, the state of California and the world.