The Most Common Family Immigration Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding the Pitfalls: How to Steer Clear of Common Family Immigration Mistakes

Going through the steps of family immigration can be difficult. It gets even more difficult if you make mistakes because you need to understand how the system works.

At Gateway Immigration Law Firm, we take pride in our deep understanding and extensive experience with immigration procedures. Located in St. Charles, Missouri, our immigration attorneys have guided numerous families through the immigration process with a careful, hands-on approach. Our mission is to ensure our clients’ immigration journeys are as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact us today and allow us to help you avoid any family immigration mistakes.

What are the Most Common Family Immigration Mistakes to Avoid?

The following minor errors can result in setbacks or even application rejection: 

Forgetting to Sign Your Application

Forgetting to sign your application is a common mistake that can have serious repercussions. Every immigration form requires the applicant’s signature, typically together with the date of signing. The signature verifies that the information provided is truthful and accurate to the best of your knowledge.

Leaving the signature field blank could lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deny the application assuming the application was not completed and verified. 

Using Outdated Forms

An outdated form may not meet current requirements, resulting in a returned or denied application. It’s wise to download documents directly from the USCIS website.

Using Colored Ink

Always complete your forms using black ink to ensure clarity and avoid potential issues. 

Crossing Out Mistakes or Using Correction Liquid

Making corrections on immigration documents can cause issues. If you make a mistake, use a fresh form to ensure all information is clear and legible. 

Paying Incorrect Fee

Paying the incorrect fee for an immigration application can cause delays or even rejection. USCIS offers a fee calculator tool on its website to help applicants determine the correct costs. 

Binding or Stapling Documents Together

USCIS officials must be able to separate the forms quickly, and binders, folders, or staples can hinder that process. Instead, use paper clips or rubber bands to keep documents organized without making them difficult to separate. 

Submitting Original Documents

Only send original documents to USCIS if they specifically ask for them. Instead, provide photocopies, retaining the originals for your records. Only send originals when specifically instructed. 

Sending Application to the Wrong Address

Always verify the submission address before sending your immigration application. Incorrect addresses can lead to returns or denials. 

What to Do if I Make a Mistake on a Submitted Immigration Form?

Discovering a mistake on an immigration form can be stressful, especially given the high stakes involved in the immigration process. Here are steps you should consider taking if you’ve made an error on an immigration form:

What To Do If USCIS Has Not Yet Processed the Immigration Application

Recognizing an error early in your immigration application, especially before any governmental action, makes it easier to fix the problem. Assess the seriousness of your mistake. Critical errors like misidentified personal data or omissions that influence your application’s outcome should be corrected immediately. 

How to Correct Mistakes on USCIS Forms

Once you receive a notice from USCIS with your receipt number, contact the USCIS Contact Center about your error.

Often, USCIS can correct minor errors on the spot. Record any reference numbers if the mistake is too severe for USCIS to fix immediately. Since forms can sometimes be transferred between USCIS offices, it’s advisable to wait until you’re sure of the exact address of the USCIS office handling your case before sending anything. Write a detailed correction letter to the identified USCIS office for serious mistakes, and include a corrected and signed form. Stay updated on your case status online or through the Contact Center.

Correcting Mistakes on Department of Labor Forms

Post-submission modifications are prohibited for employers who made errors in a Labor Condition Application (LCA) submitted via the iCERT portal. While you can withdraw the LCA, you will need to file a brand new LCA. For guidance on iCERT, refer to this iCERT External User Guide.

Errors in PERM labor certification applications also cannot be edited. Withdrawal and refiling through the online PERM system is the only option available. However, for minor discrepancies between the Department of Labor and associated USCIS filings, reconciliation might be possible during the USCIS filing. This option is only viable if there is no longer time to withdraw and refile the LCA or the labor certification and if the mistake isn’t grave. Remember, the Department of Labor strictly scrutinizes LCAs and PERM applications for errors.

What To Do if USCIS Has Already Started Processing the Form

If you send corrections to USCIS soon enough, they might accept the changes and proceed with your application.

However, if they’ve already begun processing and detected an error, you may receive a “Request for Evidence,” which asks you to clarify the error. In the event of serious errors, USCIS might decline your initial submission, requiring you to submit a correct form and pay another filing fee.

How to Request a Correction to Your Notice or Document (Due to USCIS Error)

Notice an error on your USCIS document that isn’t your fault? You have the right to get this corrected. Follow the steps below to request a correction based on the type of document:

  • General Instructions: Submit a service request to correct the error by choosing the Typographic Error option.
  • There would be no fee for corrections if the mistake was made by USCIS.
  1. Employment Authorization Document (EAD):
  • Send the EAD with the mistake.
  • Write a letter and explain the error.
  • Include documents showing the correct information.
  • Mail everything to the USCIS location that approved your EAD. Check the Form I-765 webpage for addresses.
  1. Green Card (Permanent Resident Card):
  1. Travel Document (Advance Parole Document, Reentry Permit, Refugee Travel Document):
  • Send the document with the mistake.
  • Write a letter explaining the typo.
  • Attach documents showing the correct info.
  • Mail to the USCIS office that issued you the travel document.
  1. Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate:
  • Complete Form N-565, explaining the error in Part 4 of the form.
  • Attach the certificate with the error.
  • Add documents showing the correct details.
  • File online and check the Form N-565 webpage to see where to send the wrong certificate. If using paper, visit the Form N-565 webpage for the address.
  1. Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record:
  • If U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued this to you, visit the nearest CBP office.
  • For electronic Form I-94s issued at an air or sea port, see CBP’s Form I-94 page.
  • If a USCIS asylum office gave it to you, contact them for a new Form I-94.
  • For errors on Form I-94 that have been ADIT stamped, call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283.
  • If USCIS issued it, fill out Form I-102. Attach the I-94 with the mistake, a copy of your government ID, and any needed documents that show the correct info. See the Form I-102 webpage for addresses.

Always double-check your documents upon receipt and act if you spot any errors to ensure a smooth immigration process.

Take the Next Step with Gateway Immigration Law Firm

Avoiding family immigration mistakes can be challenging. But with our legal team at Gateway Immigration Law Firm by your side, the journey becomes a lot more manageable. We’re not just here to guide; we’re here to listen, understand, and provide solutions tailored to your unique situation. Whether it’s assistance with Immigration Amnesty, Student Visas, E-2 Investor Visas, or other immigration concerns, we’ve got your back.

Don’t let minor slip-ups jeopardize your family’s future in the U.S. Choose a partner who truly cares and understands. Contact Gateway Immigration Law Firm today, and let’s make your American dream a reality.

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