Be it an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status for a non-immigrant visa, immigration to the USA is a long drawn out process. Among the many trying phases of immigrating to the US, two that are the most challenging are filling out and keeping track of the innumerable forms and the other is the very long wait for the petition to be adjudicated. While there is little the petitioner can do about the tremendous backlogs of green card processing, he can be meticulous about the many forms that have to filled out.
Applying for a U.S. Green Card?
Here's the everything you need for the process
The US immigration process is complex and requires diligence when following through. Incomplete forms or filing out the wrong information can result in long delays in the form of RFEs or outright denials. We have identified 8 of the most often repeated mistakes petitioners make when filling out their immigration forms:
1. The correct application
Firstly, always ensure you have all the correct forms to fill out. Your immigration petition may be an employment based or a family based petition. It is important to pick the right one.
Secondly, USCIS often releases updated versions of the same form. It is important to identify the correct form before filling it out. Filling out an outdated form can end up in a denial. The latest forms can be found on the USCIS website.
2. Colored pens
USCIS only accepts black ink when filling out any paperwork. While many forms can be filled out online, there are several that will need you to print out before filling out. Always use blank inked pens, as forms filled out in colored inks are rejected.
3. Rectifying errors
If you make an error when filling out any of the applications, start over. Attempting to correct an error by crossing it out or writing over it using correction fluid is unacceptable.
4. Incomplete form
US immigration forms are long and at times tedious to fill out. Most application forms consist of many separate parts and each part may have additional pages. It is very important to certify that you have every section and sub-section of the application. Failure to do so will certainly result in a rejection of the petition.
5. Supporting documents
Most petitions require the petitioner to supplement them with supporting documents. Identify each requirement and submit all the required supporting documents.
Another important factor to consider is not to submit originals. All supporting documents should only be certified photocopies of the same.
Employment-Based,2nd Category Green Card
Document List, Processing Times & Priority Dates
The last and a defining part of the petition is the petitioner’s signatures on the form. After filling out pages and pages of these forms, the petitioner might forget to sign it at the end of it. Failing to sign a document will result in your petition being returned without an adjudication which delays the already lengthy process.
Most US immigration petitions come with a fee for filing. How much to pay and where to make the payment is an important consideration when filling out the forms. USCIS often upgrades this amount. To ensure you pay the correct amount, use the “fee calculator” on the USCIS website.
8. Club different applications together
Normally it is advised against clubbing multiple petitions together, unless it is a dependent’s immigration petition being submitted along with the primary beneficiary’s petition. If you end up filing multiple applications together, ensure each one has its own set – original application, supporting documents and other documents in together. This should be separated from other sets in a secure manner if submitting via postal mail (and not electronically). Preferably, make an index document with the contents to differentiate them.
While USCIS allows for electronic access and submission of most immigration petitions, these can all be filled out at one place. However, the US immigration process can be complex and lengthy with many technical terms and requirements that the petitioner might be unable to decipher. It is advisable to hire and reliable immigration lawyer to assist with the process.
Good To Know: Can You Self Petition For Your Green Card?