Immigration law is something to be taken very seriously. To ensure that you are able to be afforded all of the rights of residency or citizenship in the USA, follow these top immigration tips.
- Plan for delays in application and renewal processes. Even with a good immigration lawyer like Jinhee Wilde, immigration cases are often behind schedule. Sometimes, applications can take as long as three years to process. If your green card or immigration status has expired, you are at risk of being arrested by immigration authorities or even of being deported. This can happen even if you have applied for renewal and are waiting for a renewed immigration visa or green card.
- Consider establishing citizenship in the USA. If you have a green card already and are thinking about staying in the USA, the file for US citizenship as soon as the law allows you to. For most people, this will be after five years after the green card is granted, or after three years or less if your spouse is an American citizen or if you got your green card through marriage. Citizenship protects you from certain grounds for deportation which you might be subject to with only a green card. If you have citizenship, it will also be easier for your close relatives to secure legal status in the USA.
- Avoid summary removal. Summary removal is the power that border officials have to turn you away from entering the USA. You can avoid summary removal by being prepared to convince border officials that you deserve an immigration visa. Border officials can turn you away if they see you as a security risk or if they have reason to believe that you have lied in order to get your immigration visa. If you coming into the USA as a tourist, be careful not to pack anything that would suggest that you intend to stay, such as job resumes or a wedding dress.
- Notify USCIS of any changes of address. All immigrants who stay in the country for longer than thirty days must notify USCIS of any changes of address. You must notify them within ten days of the address change. Each family member, including children, must send a separate notification. You can print, fill out and mail the relevant form to notify them or go through USCIS’s online service. If you have an application pending, remember to send written notice of your new address to every USCIS office that is handling your application.
- File multiple immigration visa petitions. If you have applied for a green card or an immigration visa through the petition of a family member, then check if more than one of your family members is able to petition for you.
- Be on time for every appointment that you have with USCIS. Never arrive late for any appointments with a US consulate or embassy, immigration court, or the UCSIS. Being late could result in your deportation or in a delay in processing your proceedings. Status applications can be very time-sensitive, so avoid delays as best you can.