There are many immigrants living across the United States. However, Florida is known for its high population of immigrants. In Weston alone, 44.1% of the population is foreign-born. But becoming a resident of the U.S. is no easy task.
If you are interested in immigrating or helping someone immigrate, you could be in for a battle. There are many regulations in place that can make both visiting and staying in the country difficult. The Florida Immigration Law Counsel can advise you on your immigration needs and help you through the process.
What Should You Know About Immigration?
Immigration law is not a common topic. In fact, many citizens and foreigners alike have limited knowledge of what it takes to immigrate to the US. Here are some things you should know about immigration:
1. You Can Change Your Status
If you come to the country on one visa, you might not be tied to it. There are ways in which you can change your immigration status.
However, you need to choose the right way. For instance, you could visit the U.S. on a tourist visa. You also have a family member who is a citizen. If they petition for you, their request could grant you permanent residency.
2. Decisions Aren’t Always Final
You might be able to contest certain decisions regarding your immigration status. For example, the government could issue you a notice of removal proceedings. But an undocumented immigrant could fight the decision. With the cancellation of removal proceedings, the Attorney General could make them a permanent resident.
The same is true of denied appeals. If the government denies you of a visa or renewal, you can make an appeal. Although there is no guarantee your appeal will work, there’s a chance it could work. You need to submit the appeal to the proper authorities. Additionally, you need to complete the paperwork to their standards. This includes explaining why the initial decision was wrong.
3. Some Immigrants Can Rely on Asylum
In the US, people value freedom of speech. However, some other countries don’t share that value. They persecute people for their beliefs.
If you come from a country that persecutes people, you might be able to petition for asylum. Successful applicants can demonstrate that there is a real threat of prosecution in their native country. Additionally, they need to petition within one year of their last entry to the United States. They can only petition from the United States or a port of entry.
The government does deny petitions for asylum. Typically, they will deny individuals for specific criminal convictions. Lying on your application will have the same effect.
4. Citizenship is a Possibility
For many foreign-born individuals, citizenship is a possibility. But first, you need to check all of the boxes. When that’s done, you can go through the naturalization process.
You are only eligible for naturalization if you have been a U.S. resident for a certain time period. In that time, you must maintain a clean criminal record and good morals. During the naturalization process, you will need to show an ability to speak and read the English language. You’ll need in-depth knowledge of American history and government.
5. Family-Based Immigration Isn’t Immediate
The most common type of immigration is known as family-based immigration. It occurs when a permanent resident or citizen of the U.S. petitions for a family member to become a permanent resident.
The petitioner is limited in their abilities. For instance, a green card holder can only petition for certain family members. They cannot petition for siblings or married children. On the other hand, a citizen can petition for siblings and married children. They also must comply with waiting times and preference. Certain relatives might need to wait longer periods for residency.
6. Employers Can Petition for Workers
If you are an employer, you could benefit from hiring a foreign worker. But you need to be cautious about doing so. It’s critical that you go through the proper channels.
Before you hire a foreign worker, you need to get them residency. The first step you need to take is to get certification from the Department of Labor. To achieve certification, you must show that there are no qualified permanent residents. You need create a job advertisement and make it public. When qualified individuals apply, you must interview them. You can only petition your foreign worker if there are no qualified U.S. applicants.
7. You Have Rights
As a citizen or resident, you have some rights. Immigration Customs and Enforcement can only deport certain individuals. Specifically, they can only deport the following:
- People who enter the country with no documentation
- Individuals who have expired legal documentation, such as visas
- Permanent residents who committed crimes
If you are a naturalized citizen, deportation is not an option. The government cannot revoke your citizenship under any circumstances.
Regardless of your immigration status, you have rights to fair proceedings. Even undocumented immigrants could be entitled to a cancellation of removal proceedings. If you believe that you have been treated unfairly, you should contact a lawyer. You may be able to appeal a bad decision or fight a removal order.
Working with an Immigration Lawyer in Weston
In Weston, the median household income is $93,883. The high income and low cost of living is a draw for immigrants. And although making a life in Weston might be easy, becoming a legal resident isn’t.
There are many challenges that come with immigration. Because the law is fluid, immigration requirements are always changing. New policies are enacted which could hurt or help your hopes for coming to the country.
When you work with an experienced immigration attorney, you can learn all about the latest changes. You might learn about a new option for immigrating. Or, you could receive help with the process.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
There’s no reason to make the immigration process more difficult than necessary. Our experienced team can help you make it through. Contact us at The Florida Immigration Law Counsel to get started.