Although some people would like to save money by doing immigration paperwork on their own, here are some things that could go wrong:
- Getting the Status Wrong. Sometimes it can be really complicated what the person’s immigration status actually is. Not understanding the foreigner’s current immigration status correctly can really botch things up.
- Forgetting Forms. Sometimes a lot of different forms are required, and it’s not totally clear which ones can be submitted.
- Typographical Errors. Typos are common. There can be a lot of forms. You need to have somebody go through them with a fine-toothed comb to make sure all of the information is correct and consistent.
- Missing Information. Not sure how to answer that question? Leaving it blank could be a mistake. It could mean your application getting rejected, or hopefully it would just result in delays and the extra step of responding to a Request for Evidence.
- Missing signatures. All forms need to be signed in the right places.
- Mailing it to the wrong address. USCIS has lots of lockboxes and Service Centers that receive thousands of applications and petitions every day. You need to follow the instructions carefully to make sure that you’re sending yours to the right location so it doesn’t get rejected.
- Forgetting Translations. Every document in a foreign language must be submitted to USCIS with full English language translation that the translator has certified as complete and accurate. The translator must also certify that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.
- The Wrong Filing Fees. Sometimes several checks in different amounts are required. Make sure they are written out to the proper U.S. government agency in the correct amount based on the form instructions.
- Forgetting Address Changes. Anyone living in the U.S. who is not a U.S. citizen must report every change of address to the USCIS on Form AR-11. Plus, if you fail to update your address when a form is pending, you might fail to get important information about your case.
You may think that you’re saving money by skipping an attorney, but if something goes wrong, in the long run, it’s going to cost you more to try to fix everything.