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Boulder Immigration And Naturalization Law Blog

How to not mess up your immigration interview

There are any number of reasons immigration officials may request your presence at an interview. Since you arrived in Colorado to live (whether that was last week or 10 years ago), you've likely been putting forth every effort to acclimate yourself to a new lifestyle, as well as all the customs and traditions in the United States. If you emigrated from a country of origin where there is much poverty, violence and danger, life here may have come as a bit of a culture shock to you.

It's only natural for you to feel overwhelmed and face many challenges as you build a new life in a new place. You didn't come all this way, however, just for someone to say you cannot stay. Therefore, if you have to appear at an immigration interview, you'll want to make sure you know what to expect and how to act (and not act) ahead of time.

As a victim of crime, you might be able to avoid removal

The last thing you expected when you were walking through the parking lot at a Colorado shopping center was that you would become victim to a crime. Although you may have been grateful that you survived and your injuries were non-life threatening, you may have suffered economic loss as well if the person who assaulted you got away with your wallet. Do you hesitate to tell police about the incident because you're worried about your legal status? You may want to learn more about the U Visa process.

A U Visa provides temporary protected status to people in your situation. As with most government programs, there are eligibility requirements you must satisfy before you can apply. This visa is not permanent; so, you'd have to apply for renewal when it expires.

Does a notice to appear have you on edge?

Living as an undocumented immigrant in Colorado may make your life stressful at times. If you're like many other immigrants without legal residency papers, you probably do your best to keep your head low, go to work, obey the law and take care of your family as best you can. You probably get nervous in situations that would seem relatively minor to the average citizen, such as if a police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop.

There's another document that may literally raise the hairs on the back of your neck that is known as a notice to appear (NTA). In fact, if an official serves you with these papers, you can consider the removal process already begun and in progress.

Do you have a green light to get a green card?

Did you enter the country on a visa? Now that you are living in Colorado, do you want to remain in the United States? You may be able to do so if you receive permanent residency, also referred to as an adjustment of status or applying for a green card.

You may qualify for a green card, but first you must meet certain criteria to begin the application process. Generally, you must have entered the country legally, reside here and have a current visa. Additional requirements apply, and in order to know what those may be, you must determine under what category you will be applying.

Breaking free from the world of human trafficking

As a person travels through life, he or she may experience many emotions. Joy, sorrow, anger, excitement and others are all part of living a full life. However, if the emotion you have experienced most in life is fear, you may realize it is time to seek help, especially if the fear is because you are caught up in the horrors of human trafficking.

While each victim of this crime is different, many share similar qualities. Someone may have kidnapped you from your home, a family member may have sold you or someone tricked into leaving. Without question, you have spent much time afraid of what will happen to you and doing things you despise.

Obtaining temporary protected status

Escaping your native country may be the most difficult and dangerous decision of your life. Perhaps you desired to protect your family, and you worried for their safety every minute of the day. While you may want to return home, war, famine, an epidemic or some other extraordinary situation may make life there dangerous and difficult or make it impossible for you to even try to return. You may be eligible to remain in Colorado a little longer.

A federal humanitarian program allows provisional status to people like you from certain countries that are experiencing temporarily unsafe conditions. If you qualify for this program, you may be able to stay here in safety until circumstances improve in your country.

Can my sibling come to Colorado?

After fulfilling all of the requirements for naturalization, you finally reached your goal of becoming a citizen of the United States. Now, you want to bring your sibling to Colorado to live. For whatever reason, your sibling remained in your country of origin when you emigrated but has now decided to join you in the United States.

Your brother or sister dreams of becoming a U.S. citizen, and now that you are one, you may be able to make that dream come true. You had to wait until you took your oath of allegiance before beginning the process because, as a permanent resident, you could not file the necessary petition. Now, you feel that the time is right.

Is mandatory detention adversely affecting your life?

Immigration advocates have called for an end to a process they say is especially egregious toward certain groups of people living in the United States. Perhaps you're already familiar with mandatory immigrant detention, either because it was experienced by you yourself or one of your close family members. Mandatory detention has been legally occurring since 1988. Do you know that at least 70 percent of immigrants currently incarcerated are behind bars due to mandatory detention laws?

If you have a pending immigration case, you may be one of many immigrants in Colorado who are in jail without a long-term without bond. If you find the mandatory detention laws unfair and particularly harmful to the nation's immigrants, you are definitely not alone.

Living on the edge: Immigration and aggravated felonies

Since your arrival in the United States, you may have seen the attitudes toward immigration change with each new presidential administration. If a foreign national performs a heroic act, the press may tout all immigrants as heroes. However, if a foreign national commits a crime, suddenly all immigrants are criminals. You may sometimes feel that there is a great deal of uncertainty because of your immigration status.

Whether you have legal permanent residency or have no legal status in the country, if police accuse you of a crime, your biggest fear may be deportation. No matter how long you have been in the United States, the threat of removal is always over your head.

Getting the green light on a green card renewal

Renewing a green card that is either already expired or about to expire can be a complex process, and it may not go as smoothly as you would hope. Even if you have already walked through the complicated paperwork before, every immigrant may benefit from the assistance of an attorney who can help them navigate the bureaucratic process. 

You would be wise to take the necessary precautions to protect your right to live and work in the United States, and one of the ways you can do this is to secure legal guidance for the green card renewal process. An experienced Colorado lawyer may be able to help you avoid problems and deal with unexpected complications. 

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