Pitfalls Immigrants Can Avoid in 2024

Mistakes and Pitfalls Immigrants Can Avoid in 2024

Immigration law is ever-changing. A law that applies today might hurt your case later due to a change. With the new year, there are new changes to immigration law. Additionally, while you can stay updated through the media, it is always best to speak to an immigration lawyer. The biggest mistake in 2024 is choosing the wrong law firm.

You want to work with a firm that will communicate with you about your case and the law changes. The team at Odunlami Law communicates with our clients to ensure they understand what is happening with their cases and new laws. We are immigrants helping fellow immigrants get legal status.

5 Pitfalls Immigrants Can Avoid in 2024

Not Seeking Professional Guidance

Seeking professional help is one step, but you should also ensure the person guiding you has the qualifications and experience. What often happens is immigrants find assistance, file paperwork, and receive a denial. Then, they speak to a New Jersey family immigration lawyer and find out the denial was because the person who filed the paperwork was not an immigration professional. Another pitfall is trying to do the paperwork yourself. Regardless of who fills out the form, you are responsible for the results.

It is also your responsibility to research the person filling out your form. When you work with a licensed attorney, if any errors are made, there are motions and other documentation that can explain why the errors occurred. One motion could be to inform the court you did not have adequate representation. You should ensure you are hiring an immigration attorney since this is the specific area of law you need. Your immigration attorney’s reputation is also essential since USCIS is familiar with most attorneys. They can use the attorney’s reputation against you when reviewing your application.

Fake Divorces

This is a unique situation as it applies in certain situations. This happens when one spouse moves to the United States and finds a new partner. They call their spouse back home to initiate a divorce so they can marry a U.S. citizen. USCIS will deny applications if the divorce was not done correctly at home. They will consider the marriage to a U.S. citizen void. While you could try to marry later, there will be additional scrutiny on anything you do.

To avoid this, you can file your divorce while in the United States. This gives you a U.S. divorce decree, which USCIS will have more difficulty denying. If you file for divorce in another country, you can take additional steps to validate the divorce. Fake documents to USCIS mean you may not be able to get your green card without a waiver.  A waiver is discretionary and thus, fake documents may mean that you cannot get a green card. Fake divorces have become such a problem that USCIS will fight about a minor error or put an additional spotlight on certain countries. Ensure your divorce is done correctly before you marry your new spouse. Review your divorce decree with an immigration attorney.


This year is an election year, which can benefit those looking for naturalization. The best advice is to move quickly and file soon. When you get naturalized, you also have the right to vote. So why do they run applications through faster during election years? They want more voters, and that means making more people permanent residents. This does not mean the agency will overlook errors or discrepancies on your record. You must still work with a New Jersey immigration attorney to ensure your application makes you an ideal candidate for naturalization.

In typical years, there are many backlogs, causing immigrants to wait much longer than they should. Hiring an immigration lawyer in New Jersey can sometimes expedite the process. However, even legal representation cannot help the extreme backlog. Election year is when much of these backlogs get caught up miraculously. Now is the time to file and push your immigration issues through.

Prosecutorial Discretion

2024 is also the time to ask for prosecutorial discretion on your deportation case. This option was removed during the Trump administration and became available in 2023. This is the time to do it as we may have a new president next year, and they will significantly impact deportation and immigration proceedings. A new president could take this option off the table again, leaving your life hanging in the balance. Do not wait to take action on any of your immigration needs. Stay alert of deadlines and ensure you reach out to immigration attorneys in New Jersey with sufficient time. These cases take time, and you don’t want to lose your case before you have a chance to fight.

Making Mistakes at the Interview

You can have done everything right on your documents and still receive a denial. Sometimes, clients are so nervous they make mistakes during the interview. The best way to avoid this pitfall is to prepare beforehand. First, ensure you have the proper documents and payment with you. Other times, it could be not knowing the answers to the officer’s questions. Conversely, you may have an answer different from what you wrote down.

The biggest mistake you can make with your interview is being late or not showing up. You should be early, ensure you have all of your documents, and you can even practice your answers. Be careful when practicing your answers, as you do not want to come off disingenuous. Another issue that can raise a red flag for applicants is arguing with the immigration officer. Working with Odunlami Law Firm, a New Jersey immigration attorney, will prepare you for your interview. We can be in the room during your interview.

Watch: Immigration Attorney Ifeoma Odunlami Explains Pitfalls Immigrants Have To Avoid in 2024

Speak to Odunlami Law Today

To avoid pitfalls in 2024, speak to a New Jersey immigration attorney representing clients nationwide. A consultation allows both parties to assess whether they want to work together. The attorney can review your case to determine if they are equipped to handle your case. It also allows you to see how comfortable you are with the attorney and law firm. This is the most important case of your life, and you should find the best attorney for you. Call our office at 973-993-1900 to schedule a consultation with Odunlami Law.

Areas of Immigration Law:

  • Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
  • Immigrant Relative Petitions
  • Fiancé Visa Applications
  • Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
  • Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Green Card Renewals
  • Temporary Work Visas
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Waivers
  • Deportation

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