Applying for a U.S Green Card can take a lot of your time and money. It can be a very exhausting process with no promise of legal residency at the end. You are only one mistake away from a rejection. Trying for the first time, you must give it your best and all your effort so not to waste resources spent. Here are some tips that can definitely help you get a U.S Green Card Application.
1. Know Your Privileges (self-petition)
Given certain situations, you can self-petition yourself.
If you are a battered spouse, you are entitled to a self-petition right under Violence Against Women Act passed by the Congress in 1994. You can also self-petition even when your marriage has been terminated within 2 years prior to the filing, given that the divorce was caused by the abuse.
You can also self-petition if you are a parent of a child who was abused by a lawful permanent resident. If you are the child who has been abused by a lawful permanent resident, you are also allowed to self-petition. The other children of the lawful permanent resident who may not have been abused and are under 21 and unmarried can be derivative beneficiaries.
To learn more about self-petitioning, click here.
2. Follow Instructions
Instructions are very important in applying for a green card. Learn from applicants who were rejected for forgetting to slip in one piece of requirement. Some even skip signing papers for unknown reasons.
These mistakes are totally avoidable by reading instructions carefully or simply by double checking.
3. Prepare for Your Interview
If you ever reach the interview stage… well hopefully you do, don’t forget to prepare.
Preparation will save you from slip-ups and hiccups.
If you know the process, you get a bigger chance of going through it smoothly, but how do you do that if it’s your first time?
It’s actually pretty simple: Ask those who have gone through interviews during their applications. If you have friends in the US, don’t hesitate to contact them for tips as this can give you a helpful boost in passing the interview.
One more thing that you can do is attend mock interviews which are offered by review centers. You can also contact individuals who offer this service. Just be aware of frauds and known scams.
If your budget is tight, you can even do it yourself! Have a set of questions ready and test yourself. Actually, there are questions given in immigration interviews available on the Internet. So, go ahead and do your research.
4. Avoid Scams
You can spend as much as you can, BUT not too much. Remember this to avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of you during the strenuous process.
Be aware of “shortcuts” that can “guarantee” you a green card at the end of a year or in just a number of months. Take note! Everyone goes through the same process and the time of approval is undetermined for everyone. It’s all best guess.
Here are some other things to avoid:
- Immigration “agents” reaching out. Individuals who are legally allowed to assist applicants are most likely not going to call you first.
- Immigration “agents” asking for your personal information.
- Immigration “agents” or notary publics giving legal advice. Only attorneys can give legal advice.
- Lawyers who are not members of a known association.
Don’t forget to report fraudsters you encounter to the authorities.
5. Track Your Application’s Progress
You can do this to keep yourself updated on the next step. You can track your application directly at USCIS website. Find “Case Status Online,” and you’ll be asked to enter your receipt number.
6. Be Professional and Confident
Remember, you are being assessed by authorities to see if you’re an asset to the US or a liability who deserves a rejection.
Being professional and business-like can surely increase your chances of being accepted dramatically. Being confident with what you say during the interview will make your claims believable.
What happens if you get denied?
If you get denied, you still have the chance to get that green card. All you have to do is make an appeal. You will only need to submit an I-290B form, and once you do this, you’ll have to present hard facts as to why you should be given a green card.
In most cases, acquiring the assistance of a lawyer is advisable. You will not be provided a free attorney, so it will all be under your own expense.