It’s hard enough to immigrate to the US legally even when everything goes smoothly. But what happens if you make a mistake on your paperwork, or someone helping you makes a mistake? Some mistakes are more serious than others, and seemingly small mistakes can turn into bigger mistakes.
If you think you made an error on your immigration paperwork, or you think someone else did, don’t try to fix it yourself. It’s too easy to make more mistakes, repeat the same mistake, get confused about the form, and otherwise “dig yourself into a hole.”
Contact Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez. Giselle helps clients with the full range of immigration challenges, including immigration paperwork and paperwork errors. She is bilingual (English & Spanish), and works with clients throughout Greater Boston and Massachusetts. Contact Giselle today to discuss your case and your application, or read on to learn more about filling out your immigration paperwork and what to do if something’s gone wrong.
What are the most common immigration paperwork errors?
The most common errors happen when applicants try to tackle the process on their own. That is understandable, because on the surface the immigration process can look straightforward: You find the form for your situation, you fill it out, and you send copies of the application that USCIS asks you to submit. It seems simple.
Sometimes the process is that simple, but often it is not. Many applicants struggle to understand what the form is asking. Even native English speakers often make mistakes, assuming the form means one thing when in reality it means something else. Those difficulties are greater if one is new to speaking English.
In addition, many people run immigration scams or promise “document preparation services” in return for large sums of money. Those people are not legal professionals and may make a mistake on your form out of ignorance. They get your money either way, and may not care much about what happens to you.
How can you fix immigration paperwork errors?
If you have made a mistake on your immigration form you should contact USCIS as soon as you receive a notice that the government has received your form. You can call USCIS, tell them about the error, and ask them to correct it. You may want to work with an immigration attorney before attempting to correct your application.
If USCIS has already acted on your application they may well notice the error before you do. They may reject your application, force you to restart the process, send a Request for Evidence form, or require another remedy. You will probably need to pay additional fines and fees.
What immigration paperwork errors are big problems?
Lying and forgery are always mistakes that will keep you from getting a visa. Misunderstanding certain questions about past run-ins with the police can trip up immigrants as well. For example, one question asks whether you’ve ever been charged with a crime. Those who have been charged but not convicted often answer “no,” believing the two terms are interchangeable. In reality you’d need to answer “yes,” even if you were acquitted or the charges were dismissed. Very counterintuitive, but it can sink your application.
USCIS officials are highly suspicious of oversights, even if you made innocent and honest mistakes. They will almost always accuse you of lying, even if you did not try to misrepresent yourself. In some cases those kinds of mistakes can lead to a lifetime ban from the United States.
Get your immigration paperwork done right the first time or fixed now
The simplest way to handle mistakes on your paperwork is to make sure they never happen at all.
Or if you think you made an error, an attorney can help you correct that error in a way that doesn’t do more damage your immigration application, and maybe helps you get the outcome you want.
Contact the Law Offices of Giselle M. Rodriguez in Boston to get your paperwork fixed, or done right the first time. You’ll save time, money, and frustration, and you’ll get peace of mind about your changes to immigrate to the United States.