Contrary to popular belief, marriage to a U.S. citizen or green card holder does not automatically guarantee an immigrant visa. Here are the most common mistakes you must avoid during the application process to prevent any problems.
The first thing you need to do when applying for a marriage-based green card is to make sure you do it in a timely manner. Government processing times are always changing, so you should be very patient. Moreover, the process can vary based on both your and your spouse's place of current residence and immigration status, so you should start putting together the paperwork required as soon as possible. Here are a few other errors you should steer clear from:
As already mentioned, there is a lot of paperwork involved, and failing to file a form or pay a fee may result in your application being delayed or even rejected. Plus, always make sure that you send your case to the correct address, since filing locations change periodically.
This should go without saying; never lie in your application. If the immigration office catches you in a lie, they will doubt the legitimacy of your application, which can lead to your application being rejected. Plus, be prepared to provide solid documentation of a bona fide relationship as evidence. This can involve engagement and wedding-related documents, evidence that you have traveled together, records of communication, and more.
The application process involves an interview, so it's best to prepare ahead of time. Review with your spouse the particulars of your relationship — how you met, details of your engagement, wedding, finances, and so on, to make sure you are on the same page. Also, never miss a scheduled appearance. If the immigration office schedules an appointment for a time you cannot attend, you or your attorney can reschedule. While not ideal, since this can delay the process, it is better than to simply not show up.
Obtaining a marriage-based visa can be a lengthy process, but it does not have to be an overwhelming one. An experienced immigration attorney will help you choose the best visa strategy for your case, provide expert assistance every step of the way, and ensure you have all the information you need to avoid costly errors during the application process.
Do you have additional inquiries about the subject? Attorney Emmanuel V. Meimaris provides legal counsel on matters related to immigration, family law, real estate and business. Book a free consultation or call us at (781) 636-3636.