Self-Help

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The best and safest advice is to always hire an attorney to represent you in your immigration case. This is true for every kind of immigration case, from a simple address change to high-level litigation. However, legal representation is expensive and talented immigration practitioners are hard to find! Use the resources on this page carefully to give yourself a better chance at success if you cannot find or afford an attorney.

Adjustment

Apply for your permanent resident card, work authorization, and travel permit from within the United States without leaving. You can generally apply for adjustment of status if you entered legally, even if you are now in unlawful status, if you have an immediate relative who is a United States citizen. Sometimes, you have to go to an interview at a government office. This section will help you decide if you qualify to apply, prepare your forms, and be ready for your interview.

Consular Processing

Apply for your immigrant visa from a United States consulate or embassy in your home country, and receive your permanent resident card as soon as you enter the United States. If you have an immediate relative who is a United States citizen, or an employer who wants to bring you to the United States for work, you can apply for consular processing. If you are in the United States unlawfully, a waiver that eliminates family separation time may be available to you. This section will help you understand if you qualify to apply for consular processing, if you need a waiver, and how to prepare for your consular interview.

Humanitarian Relief

The most powerful humanitarian benefits that exist for immigrants are asylum, the U visa (for immigrant crime victims), Parole in Place for military families, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is important to simply understand that each of these programs exist, that they are here to protect vulnerable immigrants and their families, and that they might help you!. This section contains specific information and resources for each benefit to understand if you qualify and how to apply.

Naturalization

This is the finish line. Apply to naturalize as a United States citizen. You must be a permanent resident first and live in the United States. In most cases, you must speak a conversational level of English and know basic civics and history of the United States. This section has multiple resources for learning what you need to know to fill out the form, pass the test, and prepare to take the oath as a new citizen and apply for your United States passport.

Removal Proceedings

If you get caught in the United States unlawfully, or if you do something that could make you lose your permanent resident card, you will end up in removal proceedings. Immigration courts exist all over the United States and Immigration Judges decide first whether an immigrant should be in custody, and second whether they should stay in the United States. This section contains samples that will allow you to make procedural motions while you buy time to get an attorney. In short – in removal proceedings, you must have representation!

Employment Based

Get your work visa, immigrant visa, or permanent resident card from a United States employer. If you have an employer who has decided to petition for you, various ways to qualify exist. Workers who have extraordinary ability obviously process most quickly, but in most cases, skilled and unskilled workers have opportunities too. Even part-time and seasonal work is sometimes enough to get into the United States. This section will help you understand what kind of employers and workers qualify for immigration benefits.

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