The Green Card Process Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

The process for obtaining a green card can be time consuming and complicated. Not all foreign citizens are eligible to work in the United States, but if you are, then you should follow this list to better protect your green card status.

The Green Card Process, What to DO

FOLLOW the instructions exactly in the forms in the Office of the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the USCIS does not believe that some information is important, it would not have been included in the forms. If you do not provide all the information requested, there could be substantial delays in the processing.

ATTACH all the documents mentioned in the forms and provide the necessary translation when necessary. In most cases, the USCIS will not process forms if any documents are missing.

FOLLOW the instructions of the USCIS with respect to photographs. The local office of the USCIS may even have a photographer in the place. It is advisable to ask.

CALL the local USCIS office or visit the office in person if you have questions. You can also access the USCIS website.

ASK for an interpreter if you have difficulties to understand English. Many offices of the USCIS have interpreters available. If anything, the best thing might be to bring your own interpreter.

HIRE a lawyer who specializes in immigration if you have previously been denied admission to the United States, has been deported, convicted of a felony or has made false statements to the USCIS, it has remained in the country beyond the expiration date of the visa, or if you are currently in the country illegally.

TELL your lawyer about all the times that previously has been denied admission to the United States, has been deported, convicted or made false statements to the USCIS, it has worked without authorization or have remained in the country beyond the date of expiration of the visa. Your attorney will be able to determine if some of these problems can be solved or if they are important in relation to its goals of current immigration. If you do not reveal the possible problems of immigration, and that causes the present immigration forms with false information, you could be deported and could be prohibited from returning to the United States.

CONSULT with an attorney if you are contemplating accepting public benefits, like social assistance, or participate in the program aid to families with dependent children. If the USCIS has reason to believe that you have become a “public charge,” you could lose your green card.

The Green Card Process, What to do NOT

DO NOT commit any crime. Your green card will not keep you from being deported.

Do NOT engage in political subversive activities.

DO NOT help other foreign nationals to illegally enter the United States.

DON’T charge others for legal advise. Even though your experience of obtaining a green card may have made you an expert, it is not legal to practice law without a license.

Do NOT make the impression of not living in the United States once you obtain the green card. If you are going from the United States for a long time, you may lose the green card.

Don’t lie on any USCIS form.

Don’t lie to the officials of the USCIS.

Do NOT leave blank parts of the forms or assume that any part of the form is not important. If the information really does not apply in your case, put “N/A” or “None”. For example, if you are not married, you must put “N/A” in the parts of the forms where you are prompted for information about your spouse. But if the form asks for addresses during the last five years, you must provide the complete addresses, taking into account all the periods.

Do NOT open the envelope containing the results of the medical examinations. If you want to see the results of their examinations, the majority of doctors will give you a copy.

How to Get Legal Help with the Visa Process

The application process for visas can be complicated and may involve many forms, and documentation. For that there are no problems and to guarantee a favorable result, applicants to receive a visa should contact an experienced immigration lawyer to provide them with key tips and guide you properly.

Watch video Getting Your Green Card Step by step

Immigration Attorney Heather L. Poole discusses common ways to obtain lawful permanent residency (green cards) in the U.S.