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The Importance of Accurate Documentation When Applying for a Green Card

green card application

Obtaining a green card can be a very long process, with many people waiting multiple years before they finally succeed.

However, this process can become even longer and more stressful if the documentation that you file is inaccurate. One such critical detail, often overlooked, is the importance of accurate documentation in the sibling's I-130 application.

There are many ways for it to become inaccurate, from moving to another address to changing careers. In this article, we’ll go over why it is so important to inform the USCIS of any changes that could affect your paperwork, what happens if your petition is denied due to outdated documents, and the best ways to avoid your petition being denied.



Notifying the USCIS

Notifying the USCIS of any massive changes, such as a change of address, is paramount to ensuring your green card application is accepted.

As the process continues, there will be multiple times you exchange paperwork with the USCIS, and this is where issues may arise. Sometimes, the issue will be a simple mistake on your part, and sometimes, the department will have made a typo. When this happens, you have a few options at your fingertips to remedy it.



If the mistake happens to be a typo or mistake from the USCIS, you have two options. The first one is to submit a service request. If you submitted your application digitally, this process is quick and straightforward; just visit the service request page on the USCIS website and select the Typographic Error option.

The Application Process

You may send your application through the mail or even have it hand-delivered to the appropriate office. In that case, you’ll need to submit form I-90, the incorrect documentation and documents showing what the USCIS documents should say.

Should you need to update your information for any reason, there are a few ways to do so, depending on where you are in the process. If you have an interview scheduled, you can inform the interviewer of what needs to change. So long as you can provide adequate proof that a change has occurred, the interviewer will update your information.

If you have been sent an RFE or Request for Evidence, then follow the instructions it provides. However, should neither of these be accessible to you, then you will either need to email the USCIS or log in to your online account, request a change of information, and provide the necessary documents.

To update your address information, you’ll need to fill out a change of address form online, log in to your USCIS account, and change it that way, or submit an Alien’s Change of Address Card, otherwise known as form AR-11, by mail. It includes mailing instructions on it, so be sure to follow those.

Failing to do any of the steps listed above could cause your petition to be denied due to inaccurate information. Luckily, there are steps you can take should this happen.

Taking Steps After Denial

There are a few reasons why your green card application may have been denied. For example, if your medical exam showed you have an infectious illness, you may be denied because your entry could be a health hazard to those around you.

If you have overstayed a visa in the past, failed to attend a deportation hearing, or any number of administrative errors occurred, you may be denied. Why you were denied and where you live at the time of submitting your petition both affect whether or not you can and how to submit an appeal or another application.

You must submit the Request to Adjust Status documents to the USCIS to obtain a green card while living in the US. Upon discovering your denial, the first thing to do is to read the notice closely.

You’ll be told why you were denied and whether or not you can appeal the decision. If you can, then you’ll need to pay a fee and request that the AAO or Administrative Appeals Office review your case and decide whether to open it back up or not.

You can instead try to file a motion for your case to be reconsidered should an appeal be unavailable. Instead of sending your case to the AAO for review, you’re asking the official who denied your application to reconsider.

If you instead file for a reopening of your case, that means that you have new information that may change the decision once reviewed. There is a deadline for submitting these claims, so do so as quickly as you can once you receive a denial.

Should you live outside of the US, there are a few other reasons why you may be denied. Should your information be incomplete, for example, you’ll need to send the correct documents as quickly as possible since you only have one year to do so.

When the consulate denies your petition, you’ll have to prove why your original petition should not be revoked. You’ll then have to conduct another interview. If successful, then your application should recenter the processing stage.

Avoiding the Hassle

The best way to avoid your green card being denied for any reason is to work with an immigration lawyer.

You can do so before your application is denied; their assistance may be paramount to preventing a denial. They have helped many clients in your situation in the past and can help you understand what documents you're filling out, why you’re providing certain documentation, and so much more.

Should your initial petition be denied, then you definitely should at least consider hiring an immigration attorney. Their advice and assistance could help you get your case reopened or reconsidered.

Attempting to get a green card is a time-consuming process that involves a lot of paperwork, and even when you think you’ve done everything right, a simple typo could jeopardize it all. Hopefully, this article helped you understand what can go wrong in the attempt, how to rectify it, and the importance of employing an immigration lawyer to sidestep some issues.


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