78 pages and $1760
© Attorney Farhad Sethna, 2020
Yes. That’s right. 78 pages and $1760. That is how much it would take in terms of the application forms alone and the filing fees for an immediate relative petition. Let’s say, spouse of a US citizen; the application forms together would be a total of 78 pages. The instructions to those application forms would be almost double, weighing in at 135 pages! And the filing fee for an immigrant petition and adjustment of status (green card) would range from $1420-$1760.
In addition, if you file any standalone applications for continuation of benefits for any immigrant visa category beneficiary who is presently in the United States, there would be a separate application fee ranging from $495 for an employment authorization document, to $660 for someone seeking an advance parole document to return to the USA after temporary foreign travel.
Are you, as the consumer, willing to wade through 135 pages of instructions and try to make sense of the USCIS’s convoluted process? Are you, as the consumer, willing to fill in 78 pages of forms, and risk making one mistake on one page, or one omission on a page, which would have the entire set of documents returned to you, for you to start all over again, wasting your time and possibly causing your alien relative to fall out of status in the USA?
Are you willing to file applications that cost $1760 without properly preparing those applications and supporting them, thus risking a denial and the loss of all your filing fee?
So when prospective clients ask me – “Do I really need a lawyer to do these things?” – my answer would be “Most certainly yes!”. Not only are the laws complex and difficult to follow, but the amount of work needed to properly fill out and submit a completed application is huge!.
Protecting yourself as the US citizen sponsor and more importantly – protecting your immigrant relative, are most critical. When you look at having to fill out 78 pages of documentation, and imagining that you could make one small mistake on one page which would end up delaying the application or even worse a denial, it makes sense to hire a competent and professional attorney who will give you good service.
© Farhad Sethna, Attorney, 2020
Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 25 years. He was awarded his JD in 1990 and his MBA in 1991, both from the University of Akron. Since 1996, he has also been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio, where he wrote and used his own immigration textbook. Attorney Sethna is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. He has won awards for excellence in teaching and for pro-bono service. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and New Philadelphia, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases before federal agencies and the immigration courts nationwide. A private pilot, it is Farhad’s goal to fly to each of Ohio’s 88 county airports. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.