Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Reasons Why You Should Never Rely on This Website (or Any Website) for Making Important Decisions
There are numerous reasons why you must never rely on this website (or any other website) for making important decisions about what to do or not to do in your particular case. Here are some of the most important ones:
Immigration law changes frequently
There are tremendous political pressures on immigration law from every direction, so the law is always changing. Sometimes even relatively recent news is already out-of-date and inaccurate.
Immigration law is very complex, so the "answer" is not always clear.
Because they change so frequently, immigration laws have become so intertwined that even if the law were to stop changing so frequently, the law would still be very complex.
There is a lot at stake – positively and negatively
You are reading this website and this page because immigration is very important to you, your spouse, your child, your parent, your brother, your sister, another relative, or someone else you care about or are responsible for, such as a student at your school or an employee at your company. A tremendous amount of good can flow from having your case go right. On the other hand, a tremendous amount of bad can flow from having your case go wrong. With so much at stake, you don't want to be making important decisions based on general website information that may be out-dated or erroneous.
What may seem perfectly normal and acceptable in your home country may be illegal in the United States. For example, in many countries around the world, government officials expect money, jewelry, or other valuable things before they will do something for you, such as issue you a passport or a license for your car. In the United States, such activity is illegal. Such cultural differences increase the likelihood of misunderstanding something you read on a website.
If English is not your native language, there is an increased chance of misunderstanding something you read on a website.
Immigration law is multi-layered, and the layers are frequently inconsistent with each other
There are many layers of immigration law – from formal statutes passed by Congress to much less formal internal memos that governmental supervisors give to adjudicators in their office. There is almost always at least a tiny bit of inconsistency. Sometimes, there is a lot of inconsistency. For example, a law passed by Congress may be ambiguous on its face or may be inconsistent with a different law passed by Congress. It may also be inconsistent with the interpretation of that law by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (CIS) or the Department of State. These inconsistencies are almost certainly not apparent from reading bits and pieces of the law from official or unofficial websites. Even relatively specialized websites are still very general and therefore cannot possibly explain all of these inconsistencies and how they could be applied favorably or unfavorably in your particular case. The serious risk of relying on websites to make important decisions is that these inconsistencies in the law – although difficult to detect – can make the difference between night and day in the outcome of your case.
The administrative structure is multi-layered
Immigration law is federal law and is supposed to be administered the same way throughout the United States (and generally the same throughout the world). The adjudicating agencies (CIS, Department of Labor, Department of State, etc.), however, have many levels of executives, managers, supervisors, and adjudicators. It is impossible that every single person within this many different levels reads all of the complex, multilayered, and rapidly changing rules in the same way. Almost all levels give instructions to other layers from time to time (sometimes publicly, sometimes internally), and what they say should happen in a particular case may not be what actually happens in that case.
The adjudication process is usually multi-layered
The overall process of "getting your case through the system" can be as simple as a one-time-only chance to win or it may be as complex as try-and-try-again effort that lasts years and years. It is difficult to rely on a website to know all of the kinds of opportunities you have to win, how many of chances you get, and -- very important -- what can you do after you lost at one level and are hoping to win at the next one. These are some of the things that are difficult to determine solely from reading websites (but can be critical to you, your family, your friends, your employee, or others you care about:
Immigration law is administered by humans
Even if immigration law never changed, the outcome in a particular case might still be uncertain because the laws are administered by humans, each with his or her own likes, dislikes, prejudices (positive and negative), personal, family, and health issues, and so on. This means that even if immigration law itself never changed, the variability inherent in the nature of humans and their interactions can cause substantial differences in case outcomes. Relying on a website to try to determine the outcome of a particular case is difficult enough, but in working so hard just to try to figure out what to do, it may be very easy to lose sight of the fact that what seems possible or impossible may turn out to be just the opposite when the case is actually adjudicated by the humans in charge.
There could be a problem with the information on a website
There are many reasons, the information on a particular website (including this one and the "official" websites of the CIS, the Department of Labor, the Department of State, etc.). Some of these include:
You get what you pay for.
The bottom line is that websites (publicly operated and privately operated) are generally written to help the broadest range of people with the least amount of work. Publicly operated sites, such as the websites of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State, are trying to make it easier for people to look up information online, so the agencies do not have to spend thousands of hours answering the same questions over and over. Privately operated sites, such as the Peng & Weber site you are now reading, are primarily advertisements with an additional amount of public service. At the end of the day, whether the website is publicly or privately operated, the primary focus of the people who operate the website is to serve its own customers or clients. The website is simply to make it easier to serve those customers or clients. We certainly welcome and encourage you to use our website and others to gather basic information, but (for the reasons explained above and many others) it is critical that you never rely on this website (or any other website) for making important decisions about what to do or not to do in your particular case.