Whether you are seeking a new or renewed visa, permanent residency via a green card, or citizenship through the naturalization process, there are a number of actions and inactions which can do serious damage to your chances of obtaining your immigration goals. You might not even know for months or years that your acts (or failure to act) will cause you headaches and potentially even a denied immigration application.
While this is by no means a complete list of things to avoid as you look forward to obtaining a visa, green card, or naturalization one day, these five actions and inactions should be at the front of your mind as you move towards your future plans in the US.
Not Having Your Finances In Order
Much of US immigration law focuses on whether the person seeking to come to the US will be financially beneficial for the US (meaning the applicant will contribute to the economy through a job, investment, or some other service), or, on the other hand, whether that applicant will be a drain on local, state, and national resources by needing welfare and other public benefits.
Clearly, in most cases, immigration authorities want applicants who will boost the economy, not draw on public resources. Thus, it is often important for applicants to show that they have suitable financial resources to support themselves, whether their own or those provided by a family member or other person in the US.
Getting in Trouble With the Law
One of the biggest arguments that anti-immigration forces make against immigration (somewhat unfairly) is that immigrants will cause crime. Certainly, a criminal record can seriously hurt your chances of obtaining the immigration status you desire.
Not all crimes are considered equally, however. Some misdemeanors will not permanently bar you from the US, while other crimes can. Avoid trouble with the law and speak to an immigration attorney about any past crimes on your record.
Not Following the Requirements of Your Current Immigration Status
Immigration authorities want to avoid granting status to people who will not follow the rules imposed by their immigration status. Thus, if you entered the US illegally in the past or took other unlawful actions such as overstaying your visa, this can cause problems in your application. Some violations can result in a three-year bar from returning, and others can result in a ten-year bar.
Waivers can be sought to remove these bars, but the best bet is to avoid violating US immigration law in the first place.
Providing Inaccurate or Incomplete Information to Immigration Authorities
As you probably know by now, immigration involves a lot of paperwork. It is important to complete the paperwork both completely and accurately. If you fail to provide truthful and comprehensive information in your application and supporting documents, this can mean delay or outright rejection of your application.
Failing to Work With an Experienced Immigration Attorney
Many people try to save money by doing the immigration process alone or working with a person who says they can help but who is not actually an attorney who can provide immigration advice. By working with an experienced immigration attorney, you can work through all issues before they become problems and present your best possible case for reaching your immigration goals.
Contact the Los Angeles Immigration Attorneys at Gastelum Law
At the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC, our attorneys have experience in all aspects of immigration, including obtaining visas, green cards, citizenship, and in avoiding deportation. With offices in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, we have the ability to work with clients from all backgrounds, and our professionals speak English, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Farsi. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC today to discuss your immigration matter.