Immigration Application Problems That You Can Avoid

Don't exaggerate your story.

Don’t say that you talk to your spouse every day if you can't prove it with a phone bill listing your daily long distance calls. Instead, say that you talk frequently. People want to make their case so good that they stretch the truth. If you are caught in a lie, regardless of how innocent it may be, it may have a serious negative impact on your credibility with immigration officials. I advise my clients to tell the truth, but make sure that the truth comes out in a clear and straightforward manner. One way or the other, the Immigration authorities will find out what is true and if you are not fully truthful, the results may not be positive for your application.

Remember, details are important

Clients need to give their lawyers all the facts so the lawyers can decide what is important or relevant and what is not. Something the client may decide is too small to worry about, may turn out to be a complication that slows the process, or it could make a positive difference. I had a client who e-mailed her spouse every day. Just a short note to say, “Hi. How are you? I did this today.” At first, she did not mention this fact to me because she didn't think it was important. In fact, this was important to be stated in the application because it created a clear picture of how their relationship worked and it was something that Immigration would want to know and consider in her favour.

Be courteous

One of the mistakes that I see is applicants taking an aggressive attitude towards the process. Rather than demanding action, consider making a request. Rather than demanding rights, explain in your invitation letter how you value the privilege of bringing relatives from overseas for a visit. Courtesy goes a long way in a system that can be trying on everyone's patience. Remember, immigration officials are people just like you and me. If you try to be aggressive or are impolite, this could negatively affect your case.

Be consistent and maintain your credibility

Don’t contradict your information. If you say you graduated college, then you should not say you dropped out of college somewhere else in the application. All documentation and supporting documentation has to agree. I had a client who clicked on marital status as married, then later she said, "Actually we are separated and I don’t know where he is." This is going to confuse Immigration officials and open up the issue of credibility. Establishing and maintaining credibility is one of the most important aspects of your application. It will either make or break your case. Especially, for refugee cases, I would say 90 per cent of the process relies on credibility and 10 per cent on law or fact. By contradicting, by confusing, by exaggerating, by misleading and misrepresenting, you are destroying your credibility and undermining your chance to obtain positive outcome for your application.

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