I’ll be discussing with you four ways that can help to speed up your immigration process. We know how important it is for you to be able to be with your spouse, with your family, to be able to start your future without an immigration cloud hanging over you. This is a question we receive frequently, “How can I make the [immigration] process faster?”
Let’s dive into the four main steps or the four main pointers of how to keep your immigration case moving along.
Step one: file as soon as possible.
That seems pretty straightforward. You would you think it sounds logical but we see all too often that couples are overwhelmed. Not only are you planning on what immigration path is the best for you, you might also be planning on where you’ll be living and your wedding and you can get decision-fatigued.
Having to make so many important decisions about your life. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming and we’ve noticed and we’ve seen a lot of couples that are just overwhelmed with all of the decisions they need to make and they will delay in filing. There’s no judgment at all. It’s just something that we have noticed that many couples, from the overwhelm of trying to make so many decisions in their life, they just delay. Procrastinating on getting their application filed.
While we highly recommend that you explore the immigration options you have available to you and choose the path that’s best suited to you, when you’ve identified what option that you’re going to follow for your immigration case, it’s really important that you file the first step right away.
Wait times are extremely long. Frequently, cases can take over a year or more to complete and so, it’s really important that you get your application filed as soon as possible. While your application is pending, you can begin to make other decisions in your life about where you plan on living and if you need to plan a wedding and things like that. So, don’t delay if you have had an opportunity to explore your options.
We recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our attorneys to determine what path is best for you and once you’ve determined that, get your application filed right away.
The second tip is to work ahead.
We know that a lot of couples who are going through the immigration process already had that mindset about wanting to work ahead. But knowing how to do that effectively is really important. Some couple-based cases have a few steps. You might have to file your I-130 petition or your fiancé visa petition first. And then, you’ll wait for many months to get a decision. But during that time, use that time to look ahead and look at what the next steps are in the case and what documents you can be collecting and preparing. So when that next step in your case comes along, you can hit the ground running and avoid delays on that front as well.
Our firm has do-it-yourself packages as well as traditional full representation, where our firm and attorneys and team are in the driver’s seat. But for both of our clients, whether they’re going through the do-it-yourself process or full representation, we’re always working ahead. For our do-it-yourself clients, you’ll have a step-by-step instructions for every phase of the case and also document lists and what things you can begin working on while you’re waiting for the petition or while you’re waiting for that first step of your application while that’s pending.
Working ahead is extremely helpful. It can take months off of your case processing times if you have things ready to go when the next step comes around to get everything filed and keep moving ahead. That’s what we do for all of our clients here at Corado-Pastrana and we highly recommend that for you as well.
Step three is to always make sure that if you receive a request for evidence or for more documents from immigration on your case, you respond as soon as possible.
Not only should you respond as soon as possible, you should respond properly. You should be very careful when you get those requests for evidence. Sometimes, requests for evidence are things that we can anticipate. At our firm, if we know that there are certain things that an individual might not have been able to get before their adjustment interview such as a medical exam or something like that, we can be prepared with that.
For the most part, you want to do everything as much as possible to avoid getting a request for evidence. If you do get one though, it’s very important that you respond quickly but accurately. It’s very important.
We practice immigration law exclusively and it can be quite a labyrinth and sometimes things can seem straightforward. But those requests for evidence, you need to be very careful in making sure you respond accurately because we’ve seen it all too often individuals who’ve done their own case innocently think that they are understanding what the request is asking for only to respond and have their application denied. That’s going to set you back a lot. Typically, you’ll have to start over with filing your application and we hate to see that happen.
Our firm offers do-it-yourself courses that help you to navigate some of the common immigration some of the things that people tend to overlook that cause a request for evidence if they’re trying to prepare their own application. Our team can work with you if you’ve gotten a request for evidence, we can help you to understand what it means and how you can best respond to that request for evidence because we’d hate to have you not respond accurately. So responding quickly and accurately on your request for evidence is very important.
If you happen to be in a situation where you’ve received a request for evidence, please see the link below.
This link directs you to schedule an appointment with one of the attorneys on our team so we can help you to get clarity on what needs to be done in your case.
Step four is making sure that you’re using all of the tools available to you in terms of monitoring your case processing times.
USCIS has a case processing times tool to give you an idea of how long cases are taking on average. It’ll also have a date where they’re currently processing applications. There’s a way that you can make an inquiry on outside of processing times or an outside of processing times request on the USCIS tools. Sometimes, cases can be outside of that processing time and our firm reaches out to USCIS via that tool to inquire about what the delay is.
The other tool you can use if your case is well beyond those processing times and you’ve made numerous attempts to contact immigration is receiving congressional support or reaching out to your representatives.
Now, immigration cases take a long time. That doesn’t mean that you can reach out to your congressional representative or senator because it’s taking a long time. You have to be outside of normal case processing times. But again, using that USCIS processing times tool to make that inquiry and receiving congressional support when applicable is a really great way to keep your case moving forward. Our firm does that frequently and helping clients to get their cases moving along by using those two tools.
Those are the four steps for helping you to keep your immigration case moving along.