Dear visitors of the Immigrationboards.com :
Answering numerous questions regarding visiting or immigrating to the United States, we find many of them unnecessarily repetitive. Generally, we expect the Board visitors to browse through existing topics and see if the information is already available. At the same time, we recognize that the wealth of information contained in the many topics may be too difficult to quickly sift through, especially if one has a truly urgent question. We hope establishing a FAQ topic will help all of us.
Please read through this FAQ topic before posting your question, and you may save yourself some time.
Best of luck with your endeavors!
This is a live document, which will be updated continually: we thought to post it right away and grow from here, as opposed to taking the indefinite time to put it together and shape it up. You may want to check it periodically, and keep in mind that the "Last Post" date/time stamp on the main page doesn't reflect the updates of the same post, so it's best to simply take a look at the FAQ list itself.
1. It is important to understand that the U.S. immigration system is one of the most complex in the world, with a large body of rules, which may be interpreted differently by different courts and other government entities, and which also undergo dynamic changes caused by evolving regulations within the Department of Justice, by decisions of immigration courts, federal Courts of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and by new laws enacted in Congress. Your seemingly simple question or concern might turn out to be a complex matter requiring a top-notch lawyer, and vice versa. Except in straight-forward cases this Board will not be a substitute for help of a licensed professional.
So, what is the best thing to do, generally speaking?
We suggest the following steps:
1. Please get the basic understanding of the rules concerning your case by visiting either or both of these sites: U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
and U.S. Department of State
2. If you still have questions, please post them here - most of the time you'll get an answer or at least an understanding of the situation;
3. If the matter is too complex to be resolved here, it's probably time to speak to a lawyer -- for most of us it's not worth trying to sift through the complexities of the system alone with legal stakes on the line.
4. See also Visa Denials
Recently moderators have been receiving an excessive number of private messages, many of them with absolutely generic questions. Please do not misuse the Private Message feature of this Board: i) moderators are not paid employees engaged in private consultations, we are volunteers contributing to the wealth of public information available on this Board; ii) this Board is specifically hosted to facilitate accumulation and exchange of publicly available information for everyone's benefit, and this is best achieved by bringing all questions and discussions into the open; iii) please do use private messaging in order to communicate your personal details or circumstances relevant to the publicly posted question, especially if those details are asked for. Thanks for your cooperation.