Deciding to come to a new country is a monumental commitment.

Uprooting your family and settling in a new place is hard, especially when you do not know the language or the customs.

Moving to a new country is a huge endeavor.

You will need to procure a driver’s license, possibly a new bank and debit or credit cards and a new phone.

You will also need to secure a place to live, which can be a time-consuming task.

Avoiding common mistakes can save you time, energy, and peace of mind.

Immigration Mistake #1: Not Securing a Social Security Number Before Your Arrival

If you have arrived in the United States, obtaining your social security number should be a top priority.

Without a social security card, you will have a difficult time finding a place to live, getting a driver’s license, or establishing credit in the U.S.  

Typically, only noncitizens who are authorized to work in the United States are eligible for a Social Security number.

If you are a lawfully-admitted noncitizen, you can get private health insurance, apply for school lunch programs, subsidized housing, and a driver’s license without a Social Security number.

If you are eligible for a Social Security number, it is wise to get one as soon as possible.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends that newly arrived immigrants wait 10 days to apply for a social security card.

This makes it less challenging for the SSA to verify your documents with DHS.

Waiting the 10 days can speed up your social security application as well.

When Your application is complete, SSA will mail your card to you. 

Immigration Mistake #2: Not Completing Your Paperwork Properly

The process of applying to become an immigrant can become overwhelming quickly.

It is easy to forget to submit all of the required paperwork or miss a filing deadline.

It is crucial, however, to be as detail-oriented and thorough as possible in filling out your application.

In addition to submitting the application, you must also provide supporting evidence.

Supporting evidence can include tax documentation, marriage certificates, passports, and birth certificates.

Failure to include supporting evidence can result in delays. 

Usually, you can submit copies of the requested evidence.

In some cases, though you need to submit an original form or a certified copy produced by a government agency.

Pay close attention to which type of form is required.

Immigration Mistake #3: Not Submitting the Correct Payment Type

Almost every immigration form requires a filing fee.

If you do not pay the entire fee, the government will not even start the process of completing your application.

Your payment must be the exact amount made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The required payment must be made in U.S. currency. 

Make sure that you check the filing fee amount before submitting your application because they often change.

Even if you pay more than the required amount, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will reject your application and mail it back to you.

Immigration Mistake #4: Sending Untranslated Documents

You must submit your documents, including your supporting evidence with an English translation.

Your translated documents must include a certificate stating that the translator is competent to translate.

The certificate must also state that the translation is accurate and include the name of the translator, his or her signature, address, and phone number.

It is wise to use a professional translator for your documents. 

Immigration Mistake #5: Forgetting to Sign Your Application 

It might seem odd that someone would forget to sign the application after all of the work he or she put into it.

Sadly, forgetting to sign an application does happen.

An application could have more than three places where you must sign.

For example, naturalization applications require the applicant, translator, and the attorney to sign. 

If you are filing for an adjustment of the status package of your green card, it is easy to sign on the wrong line.

Only the Petitioner signs certain forms.

Other forms require only the Beneficiary to sign.

The joint sponsor may only sign the affidavit of support. 

If you have an incorrect signature, your application could be majorly delayed or even denied. 

Be sure to double check the signature requirements on your application.

Even with checking many times, mistakes happen.

If you are nervous about making sure your application is filled out correctly, hiring an experienced Miami immigration attorney can save you money and time.

Immigration Mistake #6: Failing to File Taxes in the United States

The United States tax system can be challenging for U.S. citizens and immigrants alike.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a new U.S. immigrant is navigating the tax system.

Many immigrants are not used to filing taxes on their own.

In many other countries, governments do not require citizens to file returns.

Authorized United States immigrants who are working in the United States need to file and pay taxes.

Over half of undocumented immigrants in the United States pay income tax.

Many do so with hopes that the income returns will establish a paper trail that may assist them in becoming citizens one day.

Immigration Mistake #7: Unintentionally Stating False Information 

It is easy to provide false information on immigration forms accidentally.

Nobody has a perfect memory, and these forms require a vast amount of information.

The government is very suspicious of incorrect or misrepresentative information.

The fact that you made a mistake is irrelevant to them.

They do not accept “I did not mean to” as a defense.

Inaccurate information may well lead to your application being delayed or even dismissed.

Immigration Mistake #8: Not Getting the Best Help Available

The stakes are high for new immigrants to the United States.

If you have just arrived in the United States or are planning to come soon, it is wise to make sure all of your applications and paperwork are in order.

If you are a new immigrant who is navigating the immigration process, the experienced Miami, Florida immigration attorneys at Canero Immigration Law Firm can help.

Contact us to set up a consultation today.


1101 Brickell Avenue, South Tower, Suite 700
Miami, FL 33131
Telephone:   305-579-9218
FAX:   305-579-9219
E-mail:  Canero Lammers Immigration Law Group