What if you’re an ex-pat living in the USA and need to apply for asylum, maybe because your country is unsafe or simply does not welcome you? Or maybe you want to become a US citizen but don’t know-how. The first step might be applying for something called an I-94 card. But what do you need to do to make sure that all of your applications go through smoothly?
As you prepare to file immigration and asylum application forms, please note that it is never too early to get started on the difficult task of filing for immigrant status in the United States. If you are planning to be a future U.S. resident, especially if your current status in this country is anything but permanent, there are some mistakes you will want to avoid when completing an application form for immigration or asylum purposes. The following are the four most common mistakes people make when filing their applications:
Immigrant Petition Form Errors: You can receive assistance with most immigrant petitions from experienced legal representatives who understand all the procedures necessary to ensure your success at every stage of the process. However, do not sign blank petition forms, even with an attorney’s assistance. Confirm that all required information is on the petition, and complete any additional spaces if they apply to your case. If you cannot answer a question or do not think it applies, leave it blank and seek advice from an attorney before applying to process.
Asylum Form Errors: Do not risk damaging your chances at asylum approval through careless mistakes when filing for this form of immigrant status. Answer every question completely and honestly on your asylum applications, but be patient with reviewing them once they are handed off to experienced professionals who can help you prepare these documents correctly the first time around.
It’s very easy for applicants for immigration benefits to make simple errors when they fill out forms. For example, if an applicant forgets to sign the form at the bottom, fails to provide his/her name in Part 2, or uses the incorrect email address in Part 5, then the application may be denied. So it’s critically important that you carefully review each form to ensure that all required information is provided and all necessary documentation has been submitted.
Filing Delays: One of the most common errors involving immigration and asylum applicants is failure to file within one year after entry into United States territory. Even in cases of changed circumstances involving an asylum applicant, that person must still seek asylum within one year of becoming eligible for the status. As an added precaution, you should not drop your immigration and asylum application forms off at any U.S. immigration office on the date your eligibility period expires.
Under immigration law, many forms must be filed within a certain period for them to be accepted by USCIS (formerly known as INS). Most forms require applicants to submit their applications within 30 days of submitting their visa petition. If an applicant fails to file his/her application within the allotted period, he/she may no longer qualify for the benefit sought.
For example, if your visa petition was approved but you failed to apply within 30 days, you may no longer be eligible for the visa. In such a case, your petition would be abandoned and you’d need to start all over again by filing a new petition with USCIS.
Improper Documentation: Do not assume that a foreign passport is enough documentation to apply for immigrant status in the United States just because it accompanies a completed petition form or an approved application package. Remember that if you are filing for a family member under 21 years old, he or she must have a valid passport from his home country. If this is not possible, please consider applying for temporary travel documents from appropriate government authorities to avoid delays when completing any application forms regarding immigration and asylum.
For many immigration benefits, applicants must provide evidence that demonstrates that they meet all of the criteria for eligibility and they must also submit any requested documents as well as translations of those documents if they were submitted in a foreign language. If they don’t provide adequate evidence or fail to submit any requested documentation or translations, their applications will most likely be denied. For example, if applying for asylum status based on religion and persecution, an applicant needs to submit an official police report from their home country which is sufficient proof of their claim.
You must understand the laws and regulations governing your immigration or asylum application. If you don’t, then it’s very possible that your case could be denied and in such a case, you would have wasted valuable time and money on filing fees. For example, if you file for asylum protection in the U.S. and you don’t demonstrate that you meet all of the criteria for eligibility under asylum law (including showing past persecution), then your application will most likely be denied even though you may face serious risks in returning to your country.
You must do everything possible to avoid these four mistakes if you are applying for immigration or asylum status. If your application is denied, you may have the right to appeal the decision. However, it’s always advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney so he/she can review your case and craft a winning strategy before you file any applications.
You can also ask questions about your eligibility or the status of your application either by phone or via email.
A good immigration attorney may be able to find out if any mistakes were made and how you can fix them to avoid a denial. But since those months are passing quickly, you must act as soon as possible after talking to an attorney so as not to miss vital deadlines.
If there is evidence suggesting that you should not file for asylum because of certain risks that apply in your case, then an experienced New York Asylum Lawyer will advise you accordingly and help guide you through the entire process from making sure all deadlines are met and applications submitted correctly and on time, preparing affidavits or other documentation needed for the application and representing you during any interview or Immigration Court proceedings that may be held. If asylum is not available to you then your attorney will advise on the alternative forms of protection such as withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
For more information, you may ask or consult with Houston immigration lawyers.