Your U.S. Immigration Attorney Tips on How to Stay Out of Trouble

Many people who are in a situation involving the US immigration services will not realize that even the slightest mistake can impact their visa or green card application. If you would like to be sure everything goes along smoothly, the first tip is to work with a specialized immigration attorney all through the process. Also, it helps to “stay out of trouble” by following a few essential tips, listed below.

  • Turn your application or renewal request in far in advance.

Planning for possible delays is always a good idea, but in the case of your work permit status that needs to be renewed, for example, you should always be prepared. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be an extremely busy office and if you want to avoid any legal issues, turn your application far in advance. This is especially important if your legal status has an expiration date. Failing to do so may end up in your arrest.

  • If you have a green card, file for U.S. citizenship as soon as legally possible. This will undoubtedly be helpful in avoiding any removal procedures and will ensure your more secure status in the US. Legally, people have to wait five years after their green card approval before applying, but a few categories can actually file an application sooner.
  • Notify the USCIS of any address changes. Legally, you are required to notify the local service of your changes of address, within ten days of moving.  Keep in mind that if more members of your family are under visa application procedures, every member of your family must send separate notifications. You don’t have to file the notification in person, but you can do it online by using the AR-11 form, currently available on the USCIS website.
  • Don’t be late on any procedure hearing. As any immigration attorney will be able to explain, this is extremely important. Never be late or skip any scheduled appointment with the USCIS, a U.S. embassy or consulate, or the U.S. immigration court. This can result in months of delays, for the best case scenario, but also can lead to your removal from the United States.
  • Avoid any form of  visa violations. Use the services of a specialized attorney to understand the fine print surrounding your visa, work permit, or green card, and follow the rules carefully. Violating even minor terms can result in visa deniability or deportation. Minor facts include working while you’re here as a tourist or helping to smuggle a family member over the border.
  • Take good care of your paperwork. USCIS is a really busy office and sometimes they may lose your documentation. Make sure all applications or requests are sent by certified mail, always keep a copy and a return receipt, as these will be your only proof of filing.
  •  Be careful who you accept advice from.  Don’t rely on friends and rumors, especially as legal situations can be so different. Don’t rely on minor USCIS employees either, rules and regulations are subject to change and they may give you the wrong advice. Do your own research where possible and, most importantly, take your unanswered questions to an immigration attorney.
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