No matter what prompts foreign nationals to move to the Miami-Dade area from another country, if they plan to become a permanent resident, they need to file the right forms and meet the requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Identifying these may be challenging, as each must first determine which status will best suit the individual circumstances for remaining legally in the country. Many people turn to a professional such as an attorney for help with the process.
As one family found out, the wrong assistance may have disastrous consequences for plans to get a green card and take advantages of the opportunities this provides. For those who are able to become a permanent resident, many doors open, such as the ability to receive financial assistance for attending college. Florida is one of the states that offers in-state tuition for students who attend high school there, regardless of their immigration status.
Although this option is less expensive for many, one young man from Florida who was born in Haiti chose to attend Boston college because he received a scholarship that covered the costs. Unfortunately, the family discovered that the person who they hired to file their immigration forms was dishonest, and that mistake meant that they could not get their son a green card. In addition to the loss of the scholarship, he is now facing uncertainty about his ability to remain in the United States, where he was raised.
The USCIS provides the forms and information about the necessary documentation, but navigating the system may be difficult for those who are unsure where to begin. An immigration attorney may be able to provide the assistance immigrants need to achieve their goals.
Source: Miami Herald, “College dreams dashed by a 17-year-old immigration paperwork mistake,” Kyra Gurney, Sept. 2, 2016