What if I Travel Somewhere and I Want to Stay Indefinitely?
Have you recently taken a vacation to some foreign destination and fallen in love with the location?
Are you on vacation right now and finding yourself thinking repeatedly about how you would like to simply stay where you are vacationing rather than return to your home country? Have you decided your vacation destination is somewhere you would like to live permanently?
This is a huge change to make in your life, and one which should not be taken lightly. If you’re absolutely committed to the plan, then you should seek the professional help of an immigration attorney to make it happen. Immigration is a tricky process, and can be very difficult to navigate. An attorney can make the process much easier on you by helping you avoid potential surprises, and giving you the proper guidance on what steps to take, and which order you should take them in.
For example, let’s suppose that you’re considering a move to America. There are dozens and dozens of laws, regulations, statutes, and legal codes that govern how the United States handles immigrants who wish to gain citizenship or legal residency status here in America. Thousands and thousands of pages of complicated legal documents govern this process. An immigration attorney is specifically educated and experienced in dealing with these laws.
It is their job to help you, the prospective immigrant, to gain citizenship through the appropriate legal channels.
Another reason for hiring an immigration attorney is that American immigration policy has become much more complicated and restrictive in recent years. Executive Order 13780 has completely banned immigration from 7 specific countries around the world, and made it more complicated for people from other countries to immigrate as well.
This has been done in an attempt to make the vetting procedures required for visa issuance more thorough and more effective. It is the immigration attorney who will help you through this process.
To actually initiate your immigration, you need to contact the government of your desired country to state your intentions. The process is simpler for those here in America who wish to stay. You need to file for a Permanent Resident Green Card by submitting paperwork for an official adjustment of status. This paperwork is complicated, and full of legalese, so take care to fill out all sections correctly and accurately.
This allows you to complete the process while remaining here, rather than returning back to your home country. If you are in your own country, the process is a bit different. You must start by visiting either an American Embassy in your country’s capital, or a U.S. Department of State Consulate.
In either case, you have to complete several important and often complicated steps, which is where an immigration attorney really comes in handy.
You also you need to receive sponsorship. One of the most common methods for this is to have a family or friend here in America file paperwork stating that they will sponsor you through the immigration process. Since originally publishing this article, Bellingham immigration attorney Andrew Scott informed us that even if you don’t have relationships like this, your immigration lawyer can help you find a sponsor. There are over 40 organizations that offer sponsorship to new immigrants; your attorney will facilitate that relationship for you.
Once you have been officially sponsored, you need to wait until that sponsorship petition is approved by the government. There must also be a visa available for your specific immigrant category. When these conditions are met, you can apply for either a visa or a green card.
The next steps after this involve a medical screening and an in-person interview with a Department of Homeland Security representative. The medical screening is to ensure you aren’t harboring foreign infectious diseases. The interview is to get a real, personal assessment of you and your intent for immigration, and this is yet another area where an immigration attorney is a valuable resource to have at your disposal.
Once all of these steps have been completed, you must wait to hear whether your petition has been approved. As you can see, the process is complicated indeed.
However, if you have an effective guide to help you through it, you will stand a better chance than most others who apply.