In your immigration case and in life, navigating the unknown can be exciting. It can also be extremely overwhelming and stressful. In the immigration journey you all are going to hopefully just have to do the steps one time.
It’s human nature to want to feel in control and you are probably doing a lot of research. Immigration has a lot of moving parts. You’re trying to pick a path, make sure that you’re filling out the right forms, making sure you’re eligible. It can be very stress-inducing.
A lot of individuals who are just starting or tried to go through their immigration journey on their own say, “There’s so much involved and I would read conflicting things on different websites and different places. I kept wondering, am I doing this right? I’m so afraid of making a mistake.”
You’re not alone if you feel that way. That’s very common. Immigration is complex. Here are some tips and ways that you can navigate the unknown in a healthy way.
1. Hire an Immigration Attorney
As immigration attorneys, we dedicate our lives to helping couples in navigating the immigration process. It may seem that we do it for our incentive but it’s not mandatory to have an immigration attorney. But having a professional help you not just with your immigration case but in any aspect of your life where you need a professional can definitely help to relieve stress.
One of the things that our clients say is, “I’m so glad that I hired an immigration attorney to help me. I was trying to do this on my own and now, I find that it’s still stressful but at least you can tell me what I can expect what’s to come. I don’t feel so out of control.”
You don’t have to hire an immigration attorney for your case. There’s no requirement. If you decide to do your case on your own, that’s completely fine. That’s completely up to you.
2. Have a Safety Net
It is highly recommended that you at least have a consultation with an immigration attorney to make sure that you are eligible and that you have a strategy laid out for what will be the best case type for you. We have seen so many people who have misdiagnosed themselves and actually weren’t eligible for a certain benefit or picked a path that wasn’t the most efficient and added more time or they had to start over.
Having that safety net if you decide to do your own case of at least consulting with an immigration attorney to make sure that you are on the right path and that you’re eligible will be key.
3. Use Reliable Resources for Reference
A general Google search and looking at blogs and reading things online is not sufficient information to help you with your case. We have a whole resource center on our website because we know that people want to be educated in their immigration journey.
See More: Complimentary Resource Center
It’s completely free and we have charts of the steps in the immigration process. What you can expect, information about eligibility. However, it’s not a substitute for legal advice but it does give you some foundational information that’s more reliable and accurate than anything you’d find in the internet. Websites from the government are also very reliable and helpful.
Immigration websites from the government have step-by-step information and instructions. They have detailed information on their websites. Immigration cases have a lot of moving parts so if you decide to do it on your own, you have that safety net that you’re using reliable resources.
4. USCIS Customer Service Cannot Give You Legal Advice
A lot of people contact USCIS and they’ll ask the representative on the phone for help regarding their immigration case. While these individuals work for USCIS and immigration, they are not attorneys. They cannot give you legal advice.
While the customer service representatives from immigration are trying to be nice, they have caused people problems by giving them misinformation and sending them off on the wrong path. A lot of the customer service representatives from USCIS want to be helpful but they are not experts on handling unique case situations.
That is not a substitute for legal advice. If you do want to do it on your own, you should speak with an immigration attorney to make sure that you are on the right path.
5. Expect the Unexpected
A lot of people say, “I think my case is simple. It’s easy.” Simple or easy cannot describe immigration because immigration is a bureaucratic system, there’s a lot of moving parts, policies and procedures. They’re constantly changing.
The forms can be updated and human beings are the ones that are reviewing and processing your applications so inevitably mistakes can be made. Things will happen out of your control and you just have to roll with the punches.
Sometimes immigration might ask you for documents you’ve already submitted. Take a deep breath and submit what they’re requesting. If you need help, ask for help. If you need to make an appointment with an immigration attorney, do those things.
You need to expect the unexpected no matter how easy or simple your case may seem.
6. Focus on Each Other
Stress can be all-consuming. We work with so many couples and we often see that the immigration case becomes this third party in their relationship because that becomes all that they might talk about or that they’re worried and stressed about it.
Focus on each other. That is what’s most important and that’s why you’re doing your immigration case, to be able to be together and to have a future together. It’s easier said than done but we believe that you can get through this.
You can talk about your future, do fun things together, or talk to each other as much as you can if you’re apart. Try to really foster your relationship because, at the end of the day, that’s what matters. That’s why you’re going through the immigration process.