Many immigration laws have to do with various documents associated with a person’s immigration status. Sometimes, an immigration document itself can provide proof of a person’s immigration status (such as a residency card). In other cases, an immigration document may be required for support or evidence in an application. 

Some of the more major immigration documents that you should know about can include:

  • U.S. Passports (required for international travel)
  • U.S. Visa- there are several different visa categories
  • U.S. Conditional Residency Cards
  • U.S Permanent Resident Cards (also known as “green cards”)
  • U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number, or “Tax ID”
  • U.S. Social Security Card (required for employment in the U.S.)
  • Arrival and Departure Record (“Form I-94”)
  • Re-entry Permits (may allow a non-citizen to leave and re-enter the U.S.)

Generally speaking documents that are associated with immigration laws are very important- they should be filled out as accurately as possible and submitted within the given deadlines. Also, you should follow instructions regarding when to carry documents and whether you a copy or original is being requested.

What Other Types of Immigration Documents are Requested in an Application?

Besides official immigration documents and records, you may be required to submit and/or fill out various other documents when dealing with an application. Some of these related documents usually include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Financial records such as bank account statements or tax records
  • Employment records and pay stubs
  • Family records, especially marriage certificates
  • Medical and health records

Depending on the type of application, you will usually have to submit both original copies and photocopies of the document. In addition to immigration applications, these types of documents may also be requested when applying for U.S. citizenship.  Important immigration documents may also be required in other areas, such as employment or housing applications.

What if I’ve Failed to Submit an Immigration Document, or Made an Error?

Failing to submit an immigration document when it is requested can have some serious consequences, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if the document is being requested for another immigration application, failing to submit the document could cause the application to be delayed or even rejected. 

A common example of this is where a birth certificate is being requested for a visa application.  Failing to submit the certificate could disqualify the applicant. Also, submitting the wrong document, or submitting a document with errors in it could have similar effects.

The danger in making an error in an immigration document is that it may raise the suspicion that you’re attempting to falsify the document or that you’re trying to deceive immigration officials. Fraudulent intent in an immigration application is a serious offense and may result in various consequences such as denial of the application, removal from the country, and/or prohibitions on future entry into the U.S.

Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Need Help With an Immigration Document?

Immigration documents are crucial to a person’s life in the United States. If you or a loved one of yours needs help with an immigration document, you may wish to speak with an immigration lawyer. Hiring an immigration attorney has many benefits, as your lawyer can help you fill out, review, and submit your documents to the appropriate agency. Also, in the event that you need legal representation, your lawyer can assist you during court hearings and proceedings.