Updated: Feb 21, 2022
U.S. Immigration forms are famously cumbersome and complex. This means that it is easy to make mistakes when filling them out. This post discusses what to do if you’ve made a mistake in your immigration petition, as well as some of the most serious mistakes that can be made when filling out immigration paperwork.
As with most things in life, different errors create different outcomes. For example, if you didn’t mention arrests or prior convictions, or didn’t include some other information about your eligibility, your form will probably be rejected. Other errors, like misspelling your name, giving an incorrect address, or entering the wrong birthday, might result in a delay in processing.
How to Fix a Mistake
So, what do you do if you have made a mistake in an immigration form? Unfortunately, you will have to wait until USCIS receives your application and provides you with an application receipt, which will contain a receipt number. Once you’ve received your number, you can call the National Customer Service Center and tell them you’ve made a mistake in your form. They will then use your receipt number to locate your case.
If the mistake is minor, the customer service agent might be able to fix it immediately. However, sometimes they aren’t able to fix even small errors right away. If this is the case, they will give you a reference number, which can be used if you call back in to check the status of the correction.
The customer service agent might not be able to tell you if the error is serious or not. In this situation, you will have to send a letter to USCIS providing them with your receipt number and explaining the mistake. USCIS will review your letter and give you further instructions. Depending on the nature of your mistake, it’s possible that you’ll have to send a new form and supporting documents along with the letter.
If USCIS receives your letter, corrected forms, and necessary documents before they start investigating your case, they may accept the corrections and start processing it without delay. However, if the agency has already started their investigation, your letter may not be considered. In this situation, they might send you a Request for Evidence asking you to provide additional information. Their request will also contain a deadline that you must provide the information by.
It should be noted that if your mistake is serious, your case may simply be rejected, and you will have to start the application and pay the fee again.
Serious Mistakes Made in Immigration Petitions
The best way to avoid making mistakes when filling out immigration forms is to hire an experienced immigration attorney. However, this can be prohibitively expensive. If this is true for you, here are some of the most common mistakes made in immigration petitions:
Not signing a document. Any document without a signature is automatically rejected and returned.
Using outdated forms. USCIS recommends downloading forms directly from their website to make sure you are using the most up to date versions.
Leaving portions blank. All forms must be filled in completely.
Using colored ink or illegible writing. You must fill in your form with black ink, use legible handwriting, and keep your answers within the space provided.
Using highlighters or correction liquids. It is difficult for USCIS scanners to read highlighted, crossed out, or whited out text.
Submitting forms with corrections. USCIS recommends starting over with a new form instead of trying to correct a mistake.
Paying the wrong fee. Problems with petition fees, and specifically sending incorrect fees, are an incredibly common reason for denying petitions.
If you are filling out your own forms, be sure to go slowly, review your answers at least once, and thoroughly read the directions that accompany your petition.
We understand how difficult it can be to navigate immigration paperwork. We also understand that working with an immigration attorney can be very expensive. If you have already started on your forms and have questions, or would like someone to review them for you, we do offer free hour-long consultations and would be happy to speak with you. Call us today at 385.334.4030, email us at email@example.com, our use our booking tool at https://www.skvlegal.com/book-online to schedule a one-hour immigration consultation with one of our immigration law experts.