When applying for any immigration benefit in the United States, one of the most important aspects of getting approved is presenting all the necessary evidence and supporting documentation with your application. Here are five (5) tips to keep in mind when gathering documents to submit with your immigration petition!
Always Provide Identification (ID) Documents
No matter what type of immigration benefit you are applying for, you will need to provide documents that can prove your identity, and/or that of the person petitioning for you, if applicable. The identification documents also establish your eligibility for various immigration petitions and demonstrate the relationship between you and any dependent spouse and/or children. Identification documents include but are not limited to:
- Current and past U.S. photo ID, including driver’s license;
- Current and past IDs from your country of origin;
- Passports, from your country of origin and any qualifying family member’s U.S. passport, if applicable;
- Birth Certificate;
- Social Security Card;
- Green Card, if applicable;
- Documentation of entry/reentry into the U.S.;
- Marriage Certificate; and
- U.S. work authorization, if applicable.
At a minimum, you need to provide every type of identification that the specific immigration petition requires. However, it never hurts to provide additional forms of ID if you have them.
Follow the Directions Carefully
It’s important to strictly follow the directions of the immigration petition you are submitting. Failure to provide any required documents or other pieces of evidence may result in your petition being rejected or denied. Before you start the application, go over the directions carefully and verify that everything has been completed correctly before you submit. If you have an immigration attorney, they will most likely give you a checklist of evidence. It’s a good idea to provide everything that your immigration attorney asks for to avoid delays, rejections, and denials of your immigration petition.
Plan in Advance if You Need Supporting Affidavits
If one of the pieces of evidence you intend to submit is a supporting affidavit, make sure you plan in advance with the person that you want to get the affidavit from, so they have time to write and send it, along with a copy of their identification. Do not wait until two to three days before you need to submit your petition. It’s important to have an affidavit well before you submit your petition if you have an attorney so they can proofread it, ensure that it meets certain guidelines, and there is enough time to make changes and get it properly notarized. Be in close communication with both your attorney and the people you seek supporting affidavits from.
Submit Requests to Relevant Government Agencies for Documents
In some circumstances, you might need to request documents from certain U.S. government agencies to submit with your application. Some of the cases where this could apply include if you have a criminal record or if you need to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that pertain to matters like past immigration petitions or removal proceedings history or need a police report clearance or FBI fingerprints check. Be sure to work with your immigration attorney to get these requests submitted well in advance of when you must submit your application so that you can get the necessary documents for your packet.
Consult an Immigration Attorney
Consulting an immigration attorney is an important part of ensuring a successful immigration petition. An immigration attorney will be able to walk you through all necessary laws and steps for compiling the evidence correctly and can review affidavits and letters of support to make sure they help your case. They can also tell you about additional evidence you can submit to address any potential immigration issues in your background that might have an impact on your application. Be sure to review all the evidence before you submit your application and work with your attorney to make sure that you have included everything.
If you would like to learn more about how to successfully submit an immigration petition, contact us for an assessment or consultation. We will help you put together the best application possible to maximize your chances of approval.