When filing for a Green Card, simple mistakes such as neglecting to sign a form or forgetting to include required documentation can lead to unnecessary delays, rejection, and even denial of your application. Below is a list of the most common mistakes and some practical tips to help you avoid them.
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Not verifying Green Card eligibility.
Before you start the process of applying for your green card, either inside the U.S. (through adjustment of status) or outside of the U.S. (via consular processing), you should first verify that you fall within one of the green card eligibility categories. There are different categories, including family-based, employment-based, and others such as green cards for Asylees or Refugees. Each class has its requirements and limitations.
Additionally, before you start, you should also make sure that you are not subject to any of the grounds of inadmissibility, which can lead to a denial of your application. There are various grounds, including certain criminal offenses and immigration violations. If you fall within one of these grounds, you might be able to waive it by filing a waiver request. Consult with an experienced attorney to understand the risks and determine the best solution for your case.
Outdated or missing forms.
Neglecting to file all required forms will lead to a rejection of your filing and cause delay. Please also note that USCIS constantly update their forms. Filing an expired form edition will also lead to a denial of the application.
Forms are not adequately signed.
Missing signatures on the application forms can lead to a rejection of the filing before it even gets adjudicated. Each form has different categories of participants who need to sign it, such as the beneficiary/applicant, the petitioner/sponsor, an interpreter, or a preparer. Each one must sign the correct box and date their signature as needed.
Incomplete or incorrect information.
Missing, omitted, inconsistent, or incorrect information on your forms can lead to unnecessary delays and even denial of your green card application. Failing to provide required documents with your application might also lead to its rejection.
Omitting translations of documents.
Any document not submitted in English must be accompanied by a certified translation to be considered by the adjudicator. If you do not include such a translation, USCIS might issue an RFE (request for evidence) asking for a proper translation, leading to a delay in your case.
Failing to submit the required filing fee.
Failing to submit the appropriate government processing filing fee will lead to the rejection of your application. USCIS and the Department of State occasionally update their fees, so it is crucial to verify the current ones. Note that, in some cases, there is an additional biometrics fee.
You must also ensure that you fill out your check or credit card authorization form in the correct format. For USCIS filing fee instructions, go to: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-fees.
Unsuitable passport-style photos.
USCIS provides detailed instructions for the passport photos on their website. It is recommended to follow them to ensure that the application will not be rejected on that ground which will cause an unnecessary delay. These are the basic requirements:
Submit a color photo taken in the last six months
Use a clear image of your face. Do not use filters commonly used on social media.
Have someone else take your photo. No selfies.
Take off your eyeglasses for your photo.
Use a plain white or off-white background.
The correct size of a passport photo is:
2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
The Head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 - 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the Head.
For more detailed information and questions about the green card process, we welcome you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This article has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current, and is subject to change without notice. Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice concerning any particular legal matter.
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