We’ve All Got that One Friend

Murali Bashyam

Having been in the immigration industry for almost twenty years, I’ve met so many interesting people from all over the world – professionals, refugees, tradesmen, senior citizens, college students, toddlers, Asians, Europeans, South Americans.

Do you want to know who I HAVEN’T met?  This “friend” so many of my clients talk about.

I wish I could meet him or her. I’d like to explain how difficult they’ve made my job! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “Three YEARS?? My ‘friend’ said he got his Green Card in six months”!

I try to explain that maybe this “friend” was in a higher employment preference category, or the State Department’s visa numbers were current at that time. Or maybe they immigrated through family instead of employment – that makes a huge difference. They say the devil is in the details, and when it comes to immigration law it is!

What else have we heard from these invisible friends? They “didn’t have to pay that fee” or “didn’t have to file that form” or “don’t think the employer has to advertise for the job”.

I often wonder where their friend got this information. Perhaps this is all a plot by USCIS to torture the staff of immigration law firms. Think about it – approve a case in 10 days that should normally take 10 years. That information spreads like wild-fire in our Internet age and bingo! It eventually gets around to our client who then informs us that 10 day processing is the norm.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but think about it.

I am all for friends and friendship but when it comes to your immigration case, your best friends are the folks you work with in the immigration law firm that you hired. Trust them.