Immigration policies have long been a point of debate in America. Many disagree over what rights immigrants should have in the nation, and when they should be eligible for permanent residency -- if at all. Meanwhile, countless Kentucky families have been torn apart and forced back to native countries. The dangers of some of these countries were the sole reason why many families fled in the first place. What are America's current immigration laws, and what are common obstacles of the process?
Going through a divorce is hard enough, but if you live in Kentucky and have a green card you may be worried you would lose it once the marriage is over. The good news is that if your marriage was entered in good faith, and not as a reason to gain residence, you are able to keep your green card. It just takes some extra steps and paperwork.
Despite the varying and often heated opinions over immigration policies in America, immigrants are a crucial part of today's culture and economy. However, with recent changes to immigration laws in the U.S., many immigrants feel overwhelmed at processes involving green cards and citizenship; some even fear or are already threatened with deportation. Kentucky, like most states, holds an important place for immigrants in a number of regards. Nevertheless, today's political climate and strict policies can make permanent residence a confusing topic.
If you are an immigrant living in Kentucky and are working toward legal citizenship, you may fall under the category of a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Many would-be citizens have this status so they can live and work in the States as they wait for citizenship. If you plan to return to your homeland for an extended period of time, having a reentry permit ensures you can return to the U.S. without losing your status as a permanent resident.
Since it is a random drawing, whether you, residing in Kentucky, can secure a visa through this program will depend on more than just your diversity. The application process requires some planning and document gathering, as well as adhering to a deadline for the year in question.
Those who live in Kentucky as an asylee, or a person who has been granted asylum in the United States, can eventually apply for permanent residency in the form of a green card after a year of living in the country. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you must properly fill out and file the I-485 form to get the process started. This is the application to change your status and it can only be filed at a time in which you are physically in the country. That is not the only requirement you will need to meet, though. For starters, you must have been physically present for an entire year -- one or more -- in the time since you were granted asylum.
As you think about the process that prepared you to come to Louisville from your country of origin, you likely remember that one of the criteria to qualify for your visa was to have the intention of one day returning home. Yet like many of those that we here at the Vickerstaff Law Office, PSC have worked with, you may have come to view the U.S. as your new home. Now, as you get ready apply for an adjustment of status, one of the elements that you must consider is whether there is a visa available in your immigrant category.
The United States has long been the preferred destination of millions from around the world seeking opportunities to better theirs and their families' circumstances. However, the immigration history of the U.S. has long been influenced by different policies and trends that have contributed to cultural makeup both in Louisville and the rest of the country. The federal government took significant steps to curb those influences by signing the Immigration and Nationality Act into law in 1965.
As immigrants living in Kentucky are well aware, any change to one's immigration status can be time-consuming and complex. Under the current administration, all signs point to the process becoming even longer.
People who come to the United States may do so under many different types of visas and for many different types of reasons. Some foreign nationals in Kentucky are here to pursue specific educational or occupational opportunities. Others have come to the United States to join family members. Still others have fled their countries due to unpleasant circumstances they experienced at home.