US immigration does not come with a step-by-step manual with how to properly and correctly proceed, which can make it difficult for some immigrants to know whether they have done everything correctly or if they missed anything that could prove vital to their case. It is a process that immigrants and their immediate family members will have to learn as they go along. But once an immigrant has been able to successfully establish their status and has received Permanent Residence, they are in a better position to provide assistance to newer immigrants who are just starting out.
How Established Immigrants Can Help New Immigrants with the Immigration Process: Forms
The USCIS website is a great resource for immigrants. It has a lot of information regarding the immigration process, as well as providing immigration forms that can be downloaded and sent in to USCIS. But with so many forms, which is the right one? Are three forms needed for a single benefit? Which service centre covers the immigrant’s state of residence and where should forms be sent? These and many other questions regarding immigration forms can cause a lot of anxiety to new immigrants who are confused with what they need to do next.
Permanent Residents who have gone through the immigration process themselves can help to alleviate some of the anxiety by offering advice on which forms are relevant for a particular case. Sending in the wrong form along with the fee will only delay matters. USCIS does not make it a practice of returning form fees, even if the form was unnecessary.
How Established Immigrants Can Help New Immigrants with the Immigration Process: Waiting Times
US immigration is a very lengthy and time consuming process. Even when immigrants are careful to follow every step precisely, they will find that the benefits that they have sought are slow in coming. Permanent Residents can offer advice to newer immigrants on how long they will have to wait for their next immigration interview, how long they should expect to wait to receive their first Permanent Resident Card and when they should start compiling information when applying to remove their conditions on residence, based on immigrants who are Conditional Permanent Residents.
How Established Immigrants Can Help New Immigrants with the Immigration Process: Moral Support
Not to be forgotten is the value of moral support. Do not underestimate what a sympathetic, listening ear can do for an immigrant who is concerned about the immigration process. Talking with someone who understands what they are going through can really work and make the immigration process so much more bearable for them.
These are just a few ways in which Permanent Residents can help new immigrants. Talking to a fellow immigrant who has been through immigration themselves can be less intimidating than reading page after page of information on the USCIS website. Permanent Residents can also steer new immigrants in the right direction, which could potentially save them hundreds of dollars.