Thursday, September 8, 2011

Immigration Tips

1.  Know Your Plans :

When you have a dream for where you want to live and work for the medium-term, your immigration decisions become very much easier. You won’t apply for your spouse’s U.S. permanent residence if you want to move to his country.  You’ll apply for a fianc√© visa if your boyfriend’s abroad and you want to get married in the U.S.  Etc.  So plan ahead with your partner.  It’s a good practice anyway.

2. Be Organized and Timely :

Know your deadlines, and respect them.  Have a file with all documents, and copies of documents, that are ready to be used when needed.  I wouldn’t have had to go to Tapachula if I had gotten my act together to file paperwork earlier.  Remember that maintaining your immigration status is your responsibility, not the government’s.
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3. Keep It Legal :

Immigration will ultimately be 100 times smoother if you stay within the bounds of the law.  Don’t take risks; take decisions that show you respect and desire to uphold the law.  This greatly enhances your case for big petitions like permanent residence or citizenship down the road.

4. Maintain Documentation of Every Things :

Maintain originals and copies of flight tickets, bus tickets, photos from trips that show where you’ve been and when.  All those love letters you sent each other?  Hold on to them, and then submit as proof of your relationship.  Same goes for wedding invitations and programs, birthday cards, photos, visits, and the like.  And it goes without saying that you should always have translated certified copies a-plenty of your own personal records (birth and marriage etc).  If you’re doing immigration abroad, get your personal documents apostil led early it takes forever.

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5. Give Immigration Reason to Believe You :

keep in mind that having property, cars, or a job show strong ties to ones home country and gives officials reason to believe that immigration is really based on a relationship instead of a wish to take benefit of U.S. jobs.  Remember that having combined accounts, credit cards, property, kids, and bills are good proof of a committed relationship.  And always plead your exact case.  Mention shared interests, or reasons why you need to be together (disease, grief, violence in foreign country, etc.).  Use these personal details, and be convincing.  The immigration officials adjudicating your case are human, and will be more likely to give approvals if they’re reading something interesting, moving, or influential.

These are just some little rule to help overall processes.  Remember it’s always a good idea to consult a professional. And “a professional” does not mean your friends.  From your friends, you may hear stories about “this is what we did” or “this is what you should do,” but keep in mind that the case of every couple is different, and that you probably don’t know all the details, and things will most likely go differently for you. But on the actual letter of the law or on someone who knows how to interpret it well.  Happy immigrating.

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