My case is just like my friend’s……………No, no it isn’t. 5 immigration myths busted!

We see clients all day long, some have complicated problems, some are less difficult. Yet, what we see are that there are lots of myths about immigration processes. These common myths must be busted. While there are more than we can count, we thought we would start with 5.

  1. “Just explain it to me and I will explain it to them (whoever that is: friend, spouse, child)”In the game of telephone, you played as a child, by the time the message got to the last person, it was almost always distorted. The same is true with the law. It is not possible for you to ask questions about a case for someone else. This is because every person hears things a little differently and what makes sense to one person may not make sense to another. Immigration law is complicated.  It is also very much individualized. Every person must understand their role, the expectations and the issues in their case. Just like you could not go to the doctor for someone else’s ailments, you can’t get a legal solution for someone else either.
  2. “I took care of everything in my criminal case, so it doesn’t matter.”  We say this all the time, if you are not a citizen of the United States, it all matters. Although criminal cases are separate from immigration ones, the two are closely intertwined. What is done in one case will impact what occurs in the other. Always keep all criminal documents and papers; keep all immigration documents and papers as well. It does not matter if it was years ago, a month ago or just yesterday, it is very important for your immigration attorney to be fully aware of what occurred in your criminal case. If you paid a fine, were arrested, went to jail, paid a bond or simply got a ticket, always tell your immigration attorney of these things. They will want to know. 
  3. “My neighbor said they can help me fill out the forms, will you look at them for me?”  Remember when the teacher would not accept homework your best friend did for you? Most immigration attorneys will not simply review your forms.  They want to be able to review your case fully and not just review the documents. This is because attorneys don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s work especially when they have no control over it.  For example, if you leave their office and change something, there is no way for the attorney to make sure the change was correct. It’s just too risky and the only way to protect you and the attorney is simply for them not to review other people’s work. Think of it like this, would you ever let your friend, who is not even a doctor, operate on you? No? It is the same thing. 
  4. “According to the internet…” The internet can be a good thing.  It can help give you get quick general information. But, not everything you read on the internet is true. Think of all the allegations of “fake news” that have come up in the last few years. In the same way, unless the information is from a trusted source, it should not simply be accepted as true. 
  5. “My case is just like my friend’s”. This one is that comes up all the time. We can assure you that your case and your friend’s case is probably nothing alike. This is because while cases may look similar, a detailed look will reveal their differences. The problem, of course, is that the friend is not the one in the office. This means there is no way to get the required information necessary to help explain the differences in each case. Just like not each snowflake is unique, even though it is difficult to tell without a magnifying glass, each case is also one of a kind. 
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