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Lawrenceville Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

How should I talk with an airport immigration officer?

It can be terrifying to arrive in the United States at an airport and be subjected to an interview with an immigration officer -- especially if your spoken English skills are a little rusty. If you already have a visa to enter the United States, you shouldn't have any cause for concern, but that doesn't make this interview any easier.

To help you feel a little more secure and calm during the airport immigration officer interview process, we've included a short little script that you can practice beforehand with your friends and family:

Am I already a United States citizen?

It seems like everyone in the world wants to be a United States citizen, and it can be a long and difficult process for some to gain this status. However, it never ceases to surprise us on the occasions when someone comes into our immigration law office asking for help with citizenship and we discover that the individual is already a citizen.

Yes, these individuals tend to be just as surprised as we are -- and overjoyed -- to discover that they're already citizens. It also tends to make our job as immigration attorneys a great deal easier. When this happens, the individual usually falls under one of the following three circumstances:

Does it matter what you wear to an immigration interview?

If you've recently arrived in Georgia as an immigrant from another country of origin, you may still be settling in and learning your way around your new community. Even if you've been here for some time now, perhaps since your wedding day a year or more ago, you may still be encountering various challenges in adapting your new lifestyle.

There are many issues that can arise that would prompt immigration officials to notify you by mail that the U.S. government is requesting your presence at an interview. Just the thought of it may be enough to cause a significant rise in your blood pressure from anxiety. In addition to gathering all the documents you may need during your interview, you may also want to think about the clothing you will wear.

You can help your child obtain citizenship

Normally, children in American gain citizenship at birth. However, if your child was not born in America, then natural citizenship is not how they will obtain it unless one of their parents is a citizen of the United States.

If your child is not from the United States but you are, then you have an opportunity to help them obtain citizenship without having to wait for adulthood. As a U.S. parent or the spouse of a U.S. parent, there are special naturalization provisions that you can use to help your child obtain citizenship.

Are you eligible for the green card lottery?

The government of the United States offers several ways for you to apply for permanent resident status, or a green card. If getting a green card is a goal of yours, you are probably eager to get started, but you should know that the process is long and complicated.

Some of the quickest ways to obtain a green card involve having special qualifications. For example, you may have immediate relatives who are already lawful residents in the U.S. You may have an employer in Georgia who is holding job for you. You may have skills that are in demand in the U.S or have considerable money to invest in a business. If none of these apply to you, you may be able to enter the green card lottery.

A criminal conviction can put your immigration status in jeopardy

Many individuals tend to forget that being admitted to a foreign country is a privilege, not a right. This misconception leads many to engage in to engage in negligent or criminal behavior thinking there will be no consequence for them doing so. The truth is there are penalties though. Deportation is one of them.

Presenting falsified documents to obtain a visa or failing to register with the United States Department of Homeland Security is just one offense that gets you deported.

Adapting to life as a Georgia immigrant

You may be one of many people in Georgia who thrive on change. Then again, you might be the type of person who gets comfortable in his or her surroundings and wants things to remain as much the same as possible for as long as possible. Most people would describe themselves as falling somewhere in between.  

If you recently arrived in Georgia as an immigrant from another country, you are no doubt going to experience many changes whether or not you want to. For one thing, you are now living in an entirely new place, which is likely quite different in many ways from your original homeland. You may be learning a new language and must adapt to a new legal system.  

Is resisting arrest a crime of moral turpitude?

These days, it can be difficult to know exactly how to avoid trouble with the law, especially when you are in the middle of an interaction with law enforcement officers. In some cases, reacting the wrong way can make matters much worse and result in criminal charges or deportation.

Some actions may even qualify as "crimes of moral turpitude," which is not clearly defined in the law. In fact, the definition of law is flexible. While no statute outlines what a crime of moral turpitude is, prior case law notes that it is "an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man."

Coming to the USA: Form I-140

To work in the United States, you will need an immigration visa. Getting a labor certification necessary before you can get a job in the country.

There are three subcategories for Employment First preference in America. These include persons with extraordinary abilities, multinational executives or managers and outstanding professors and researchers. If you fall under one of these subcategories, it will be easier for you to come to America with a visa to work in the country.

The immigrant vote could determine Georgia's governor

If you're wondering who is going to become the next governor of Georgia in November, you may be interested to know that a deciding factor could be the way immigrants vote. The race is close so far, slightly favoring Republican Brian Kemp over Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams.

Why are immigrants, in particular, such an important group? One reason is that their numbers have been swelling in Georgia. When looking at Latino immigrants, studies show that the community in Georgia has increased at a faster rate than it has anywhere else in the United States.

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