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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid on Immigration Forms


U.S. immigration applications can be both meticulous and complex, which is why having an experienced immigration lawyer guide you through the process can ensure the most favorable outcome possible. But due to the price of obtaining professional legal services, many applicants attempt to submit their petitions on their own.

However, there is plenty of room for error when filing immigration forms. When there are mistakes, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could deny or delay your petition.

The following are the most common mistakes when filing USCIS applications:

  1. Forget signature - Failure to sign any part of the document results in denial or return.
  2. Fail to complete the form - You cannot leave any parts of the form blank.
  3. Use colored ink - You are only allowed to write in black ink.
  4. Cross out answers - If you cross out--or even white out--an answer, USCIS scanners will not read it. If you make a mistake, use a new application.
  5. Use an old application - Ensure you are using the most updated forms by directly downloading them from the USCIS website.
  6. Pay an incorrect amount - Wrong payments can lead to denial. Fortunately, there is an online tool on the USCIS website which calculates the correct fees for various applications.
  7. Staple documents - Immigration officials must have the ability to easily separate the forms, so only use paper clips rather than staples and even binders/folders.
  8. Submit original documents - Only attach photocopies instead of original documents, unless otherwise requested.
  9. Mix different forms in one envelope - If you are filing two different petitions, ensure each application is discernable by using paper clips or rubber bands.
  10. Send the forms to the wrong location - If you fail to properly file your forms, immigration officials will deny or return your petitions.

To give yourself the best chance to fulfill your immigration goals, our Santa Barbara immigration lawyers at Appel & Morse are dedicated to guiding you through the rigorous legal process. For more information about our legal services, contact us and schedule a free criminal consultation today.

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