Common mistakes and how to avoid them in Immigration
There are several things to keep in mind whether you are unlawfully in the US, in your immigration process or are in immigration proceedings. Most of which are normally ignored and then when they are in depth are needed. These are common mistakes of people and ways to avoid them.
First thing to always consider is KEEPING YOUR DOCUMENTS, and by that every single one that will help in the future to make your immigration process easier. After you consult an immigration attorney to see if you have a possible case they will ask you for numerous documents which is why its better to be prepar
ed always, due that many documents are lost or misplaced and when needed you must issue them again from your country of origin and they are not expedited fast which delays your process. Also, its important to always keep bills receipts and statements as well, any type of documented evidence because you never know what you might end up needing and its better to have as much possible. Or if in your case you’ve been the victim of some kind of crime, also having the police report is fundamental for your case to be treated accordingly. All this is beneficial to have a better backed up case, and most of the times people have a great chance of obtaining legal status but due that they have nothing or very little documents for evidence then their cases are much longer delayed or sometimes they even sadly lose their opportunity.
The next one is a pretty obvious one but sometimes even being so its forgotten or they don’t have certain precautions. That is DO NOT ENGAGE IN ANY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, and by includes from shoplifting to something even more offensive. People believe that only certain activities would be taken into consideration, but the truth is anything that can involve from 365 days of jail time is already going to affect your case. This even applies for lawful permanent residents due that they can still be propense to be deported in cases like this. For immigrants, it’s really important that they avoid this in its totality due that they will be seen as more vulnerable targets and therefore their chances of a deportation are higher. For immigrants being involved in a crime is much more of a risk regardless if they are not even guilty sometimes because they bring up the fact that they are here unlawfully and that just sums it all unfortunately.
A common factor is NOT CONSULTING WITH AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY, many people often make this mistake by going with other people that are not specialized in the area or simply seem to “have some knowledge” in the practice but its not their strongest. This happens a lot with those people who may not have the funds to afford an attorney and they go with someone who will maybe charge less, but most of the time the service is also less, its like the phrase “you get what you pay for”. Also, sometimes you run into unethical people who only advice non accordingly and you end up with a bigger mess, out of money and sometimes deported or weakens your case. All this because you didn’t go to right person since the beginning. This one mistake also pairs with the previous one for situations where a person is being accused of a crime but is also in an immigration process or was in the wait to be eligible, they need always an immigration attorney to speak to their criminal attorney to explain their situation and seek a better route to benefit this person due to the complexity of immigration law.
The most heard allegation from a client is “but my neighbor did this and told me that…”, something to always keep in mind is that EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT, and therefore the outcome for everyone also differs and not many people understand that, because there’s always a background that not everyone knows. Every case is treated differently and accordingly to their circumstances, situation and needs. Its fundamental to be aware of this that even if two cases have a similarity it doesn’t automatically mean that they will be filled the same.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY, is super important. The right attorney doesn’t mean the most affordable nor the one that tells you what you want to hear. I believe there is many aspects that need to be seen, like is this person qualified, the experience, and also what is not always analyzed is what does this attorney specialize in immigration. Due that immigration law is so wide and diverse some attorneys only do family based, employment based, asylums, professional visas, some only go to court proceedings and some don’t etc. There is a huge range where attorneys can concentrate on, and sometimes there’s a small percentage that can do all. Its good to do some research or ask before hand what this attorney does most, and even reading some reviews and getting some feedback on existing or past clients to get an idea if this would be a good match.
Having the right COMMUNICATION, is fundamental to help your immigration process go smoother and easier. Its extremely important to be very transparent with your attorney so that way they will be able to give you options that fit best your situation. Avoiding the truth or lying just because you think its best or think some events are not relevant is a big mistake, most of the time when a person has a criminal background but was years ago they don’t give it importance or even if you had an incident and paid the fine you thinks its no longer relevant but this sometimes is key to obtain a better treated case. Immigration considers numerous factors from beginning to how you resolved your mistakes. Like it was mentioned previously every case is different and therefore a process. Communication is also important to be aware what stage your case is in, what to expect, what not to do and its helpful to be prepared.
One point that can be subdivided is TRUSTING YOUR ATTORNEY. Now we all need to be aware that an attorney will only do the best they can and will advice you, but if you don’t listen to this and decide to make your own choices without consulting your attorney then it will be more difficult for you to achieve your dream. This also includes feeling comfortable with them, because I’ve seen cases where they call everyday asking the same question or they heard something and get scared when they have already been explained that it does not apply for them. But still continue to interrupt and put the attorney in an uncomfortable place. Only making it harder for the attorney to work on their case, there needs to be mutual trust, respect and effort in order to proceed any case. Another point is that immigration is not exempt from making mistakes, its important to be aware that there are so many cases that they are receiving and there are many people in the same situation, delays are expected and its not a time that an attorney designates. Some cases are longer than others and some are faster, some have deadlines, some priority dates but some don’t, truth is it all depends and it’s something your attorney should let you know from the beginning.
EDUCATING, now this is mostly a tip for immigration attorneys and how important I consider it to be. Having the client understanding what his or her case implies and what is going to get done to resolve and handle the case. Enough for the person to feel comfortable and know what’s going on, what to expect and what to do. Guiding them to help them obtain their residency in according time and matter. Because there are cases where they are desperate and look for other options that don’t apply to them and end up loosing their opportunity to then expect an attorney to help them fix it all. Its not an easy practice it involves a lot of effort and knowledge in the subject.
Having said all this, it should make your immigration process much easier and avoiding as much mistakes possible also is very helpful. The best way to begin with your case is to do it the correct way the first time.