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What if I Forget One Form for Immigration?

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What if I forget to submit one form? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in San Diego, California and St. Louis, Missouri. Today's question comes from Ellen, one of our intake team specialists. Ellen has been getting a lot of questions from people calling the office wondering what happens if I submitted my green card application without all the forms. Specifically, she said, usually this question comes up with the I-944 petition for self-sufficiency and I can understand the confusion.

The petition for self-sufficiency was something that was created by the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS under the Trump administration and it was really designed to make life difficult for immigrants. There's this big multifactor test, all this data and information that you had to demonstrate that you're not going to become a public charge, that you're going to be able to support yourself in the United States and it asks things all the way from your ability to speak English, your education level, your earning potential, all of these kinds of things. It's confusing, extra confusing, because the rule has been enjoined, which means that a federal judge has said it needs to go forward or that people don't need to follow it and then that's gone up on appeal and back and different courts across the country have said different things. So there are different rules related to the I-944 depending on where you live.

So I can understand why people are confused about that question, but getting to the broader question, what happens if you don't turn in a particular form, a couple of different things can happen. Number one, they could reject your packet. They could close it all up and send it back. Number two, they could issue you a receipt and cash your checks, and then deny the case for not submitting the proper forms. They could also at that point, instead of just closing it and denying it, they could send you a request for evidence and ask you for the missing form.

So in any event, for right now, if you haven't submitted an I-944, and you have a pending green card application, you at least want to be ready to do it if they ask. You might lose your filing fee, but I doubt it just because there's been so much confusion. I think the much more likely outcome is that they're going to send you a request for evidence and so you want to start gathering all that stuff. We have people here in the office that handle all of our I-944s. It's a lot of work and it's confusing and it's a headache. We really don't like doing it. It's added a ton of work to the process, but of course that's all by design. The Trump team wanted to make life hard for immigrants and wanted to make life hard for immigration lawyers.

So if you haven't submitted your I-944 and your green card case is still pending, you're going to need to get that ready unless and until the rule is rescinded by the Biden administration and they're going to have to go through notice and comment to do that, or if they enter into some kind of a consent decree with judicial oversight saying that they don't have to do that anymore. So for now you need to be working on it. You need to be gathering the information you need to get the forms ready and more importantly, you need to get all the documentation ready.

If you have questions about missing forms or about the I-944, give us a call, (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one.

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