Application for adjustment of status is an integral part of the USCIS green card through marriage application. Many married couples assume that because they are in a healthy marriage, the process of acquiring a greencard, or becoming a US permanent resident, will be straightforward for them. However, this USCIS green card process is more complex than it at first appears, and failure to properly prepare the adjustment of status application can cause legitimate couples to experience application delays or outright denial. Below we discuss the seven common mistakes on the adjustment of status application to avoid making.
1. Misspelling your name
A common mistake that many individuals make when making the application for the greencard is misspelling one’s name, or submitting different spellings on different forms. While it may not be a cause of the application denial, it may create delays and cause more thorough questioning during the green card through marriage interview.
2. Failing to provide supporting documentation or providing inadequate one
When an alien marries a US permanent resident or citizen, one does not gain an automatic immigration status. In fact, the marriage certificate only provides a basis to apply for an immigration status. For the USCIS to approve the green card application, the immigration officers need to review evidence, also known as supporting documentation. The alien must prove that the marriage is real and is not entered into just for immigration reasons. This typically involves a history of being together and proof that the lives of the couple are integrated through financial or other means.
3. Failing to disclose a previous marriage
If the applicant for adjustment of status had been previously married, he or she must disclose such a marriage. Furthermore, one must be prepared to demonstrate that the previous marriage had been properly dissolved and will not be a cause for the dissolution of the current marriage.
4. Failure to provide appropriate mailing address
While your adjustment of status application is pending, it is assumed you are actively pursuing the application and ready to respond to the immigration officials requests for additional information. For that you must include a mailing address that regularly receives U.S. Post Office mail. It is generally a good idea to have only one mailing address on all application forms to avoid confusion or delays. If you do not include correct mailing address, the immigration officials can send you notices, requests for additional evidence and/or invitation for the interview – and you will not be aware of them. Most notices come with deadlines. The failure to respond by any given deadline typically means the abandonment of the application, which results in automatic denial of the application.
5. Failure to sign
It is important to remember to sign your application forms. Forgetting to sign your forms can lead to substantial delays in your application. Although it may not lead to automatic denial, a form without a signature means that your USCIS green card application is not formally submitted. Your application may be returned and you may be requested to apply again.
6. Failure to include the fee
It is very important to remember to check the application fee(s) and include appropriate payment amount and method. The USCIS does not start reviewing your application before the payment is processed. If your payment fails, you may receive a notification from the government requesting you to resubmit another form of payment. However, such request typically puts you at the end of the queue. If your payment fails for the second time, we believe your application will be automatically returned without being processed so that you have to start from the very beginning.
7. Lying on the application
Last but not least is lying on your US permanent resident application. This is probably the harshest mistake one can make. The greencard application review is designed to flash out inconsistencies that typically prop up as a result of lying. Failing to disclose something, submitting incomplete or inaccurate information, providing fraudulent documents as supporting documentation – all these could be sufficient for the USCIS to deny your application immediately. Furthermore, depending on how severe the attempt to pass on fraud is, the U.S. government may pursue criminal charges against you, which may involve automatic cancellation of any immigration benefits for certain amount of time, fines or even imprisonment.
The mistakes on the adjustment of status application are fairly common. Some may result in delays, while some may have more severe consequences to your immigration status. A well-prepared, accurate, complete and buttoned up application is key for the application approval. To ensure your application meets all these criteria, please visit Green Card By Marriage to download the Green Card by Marriage guide and subscribe to our newsletter, or www.doityourselfgreencard.com/blog for further discussion of immigration and green card issues. Share this on Facebook or Google+.