US immigration services are not always straightforward. There are unfamiliar terms, confusing rules, and stacks of paperwork involved. So if you or a loved one is trying to navigate the rough waters of US immigration, here are five tips to help you in your journey.
Five Tips For Navigating US Immigration Services
1. Start Early
Applying for a visa can be a long process, sometimes longer than expected. Start doing your research as early as possible to determine what kind of visa suits your needs. Are you looking for temporary work or permanent residency? Will you be immigrating alone or with your family? These are questions you should ask yourself before making any decisions. Prepare yourself for the required fees associated with your application, as well as any additional costs that may come up when sourcing paperwork or sending documents by post.
2. Read all form instructions thoroughly
Before you even pick up a pen, read through all form instructions from US immigration services for your application and make sure you understand them. Most forms can be downloaded free of charge from the USCIS website. If you aren’t sure about a term, check the USCIS glossary for help. Ensure that you have filled out all necessary sections and obtained all necessary supporting documents before submitting your application.
3. Understand the conditions of your visa
If you are successful in a visa application, congratulations! However, it’s likely that you will still be in touch with US immigration services. Know the conditions of your visa and what is required of you to keep it legal. Do not overstay your visa or you risk jeopardizing your chances of returning to the United States in the future. Find out what kinds of taxes you are expected to pay and abide by all visa conditions.
4. Keep copies of all forms, documents, and receipts
Make a copy of all forms and supporting documents that you send to US immigration services, and keep them in your files. Get a receipt for any payment that you make and keep them as well. After you file, you will receive a receipt from USCIS; keep this in a safe place and use the number to track the status of your application.
5. Consider consulting with an immigration law firm.
All immigration cases are different, but if you are concerned, it’s often a good idea to consult with immigration law professionals. They can answer your questions and keep you informed of changes and requirements throughout the visa application process.
At Hackley & Robertson, we focus our practice exclusively on US immigration services and are happy to consult with you about your individual case.