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Speeding Things Up

Filling out all paperwork carefully is rule number one. Dealing with bureaucrats is never easy. Since the INS bureaucrats have to deal with many people who don’t speak English and who are not familiar with American customs and procedures, they really appreciate proper paperwork. While it is often advisable to pay the money for a professional advisor or an attorney, most American communities have social service personnel and legal aid services who can help you with immigration problems for free or for a low fee. It is always advisable to pay a little extra to have the forms carefully typed. At all times, and with all forms, make copies of everything and keep them neatly sorted.

Filing fees, which are non-refundable, will be due on all forms and should always be paid by check or money order–never cash. You’ll also need translations of any supporting documents. Proofs of birth such as birth certificates must be originals or official copies from your original country.

Don’t tell too much when filling out INS forms; just answer the questions. Unnecessary information can cause the examiner to put your application aside for further review and can delay the process.

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