7 Things your US Immigration Lawyer won’t tell you
Take a look at some of the things that your immigration lawyer will never tell you!
Did you know that there are some facts about US Immigration that your lawyer can’t, or won’t let you know? Well, below are some things that you need to know before you make the life-changing decision to relocate to the United States.
- Your immigration status is not the same as your visa type
- Whereas a visa gives you permission to be in the United States, it does not influence your status in any way. Examples of immigration statuses include alien, immigrant and lawful permanent resident status. If your status reaches its expiration date, therefore, you must leave the country regardless of whether your visa has expired or not. Anyone intending to apply for a US work visa must, therefore, note that both the status and visa must be valid.
- Anyone applying for entry into the United States is inadmissible on criminal grounds. You will be refused entry if you have a conviction for a crime involving controlled substances, money laundering, human trafficking, or prostitution. Having multiple criminal convictions is also sufficient grounds for denial.
- Getting a visa doesn’t guarantee entry into the United States
- After you get your visa and travel to the United States, you will still have to go through US Immigration at the port of entry. At this point, an inspector from the Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection will determine whether or not you can enter the country.
- If you are found guilty of a criminal offence while in the United States, your visa will be revoked and you will face expulsion from the country. Convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT) and aggravated felonies (rape, murder) are common reasons for removal. Note that in some cases, individuals are sent home because of smaller crimes like shoplifting.
- Bars to readmission
- Anyone who departs from the United States after being there unlawfully is barred from re-entering until a given period has elapsed. For example, an individual who overstays for more than 180 days and less than six months will not be allowed to re-enter the country for three years.
- Public Benefits
- Both authorized and unauthorized immigrants do not qualify for federal benefits. In addition, Lawful Permanent Residents need to wait for at least five years before they can apply to receive federal benefits. The US Immigration Department has put this policy in place to protect their citizens and resources.
- Avenues to obtain legal status are limited
- Immigration to the United States is not that simple. There are only four ways available for potential immigrants to enter the country. These are through family ties, employment, the diversity lottery and refugee processing. For each of these routes, there are intentional obstacles and limitations put in place to make the process fair to everybody.
There you have them – seven things that your lawyer would not have told you about US Immigration. Now that you have the information, use it wisely.