Yesterday I went to a Hispanic Chamber meeting at the Paul Brown Stadium. Like all of the meeting of the Hispanic Chamber, this was very informative and a good chance to meet with other businesses. As a special treat we were given a tour of the stadium and a chance to take the field. I had not been on a football field since I played my last game in high school.
I will keep the football metaphors to a minimum, but we will talk about practice which in the immigration context will be preparation, taking the field or the application process and covering both the preceding the issue of heart which is the same for both football and immigration. Three metaphors, no more, just enough to justify the pictures.
In simplest terms in football practice you get your gear and practice plays. In immigration instead of gear, you need to get your supporting documents and instead of practicing plays we make sure that you are eligible and prepare the application and you for immigration. In both endeavors this phase is critical, a lack of preparation will not get you the win in either case.
In football, equipment is standard, the same for each game. In immigration the supporting documents change from application type and based upon the persons circumstances. Each application has a basic list of documents that are required to be filed in support, but this basic list will need to be supplemented based upon the person’s individual circumstances, when the application is filed and where the application is filed. Each USCIS office, as well as each consulate, have their own way of doing things and what they feel is more persuasive or relevant. It is important to prepare for the office that will make the decision. Having the necessary documents avoids delays in the process and potential denials for lack of proof.
Practicing plays in football practice is comparable to meeting with your immigration attorney and mapping out and filing your case. The first meeting with the attorney is critical, we use this meeting to determine eligibility. If you are not eligible to apply there is no reason to move forward with the case. If you are eligible then we discuss the specific needs and requirements to be successful. It is important for you to know what is needed and what is nice to have. If we do not have all of the required documents it will be necessary to re-evaluate the case map to make sure you are eligible. Because a document is difficult to obtain does not make optional. Having all of the required documents as well as some additional documents can make process a blowout, where the government does not have any doubts or objections and approves the application as quickly as possible.
The next two articles will discuss the process of getting your application approved and some simple theories to help keep your application from being blindsided and the last article will be about the importance of keeping your motivation up through the process and an example of where this has saved a recent case.