Many people have been patiently awaiting comprehensive immigration reform for many years. They have been lulled to sleep by legislative inactivity, politicians’ broken promises, political posturing, and constant baseless rumors of change that have given rise to hopes that come crashing down time and time again when nothing comes to fruition.
To those that have been lulled to sleep, it is time to wake up! I know you have been duped into thinking things would change in the past, but now, more than ever, there is real reason to believe that reform is coming! Don’t be caught sleeping when the laws change. Be prepared.
There are several key things that you can do to prepare for changes to come. Though nobody really knows what exactly reform will look like, there are several common-sense things that you can do to get ready:
Meet with a reputable immigration attorney NOW. When you consult with us, we will take down your information on our intake sheets. We will get all pertinent information, and once the law changes, we will be able to review our notes and tell you exactly how the change in law affects you. Schedule a consultation!
Review any criminal convictions. There are many criminal convictions that will more than likely make a person ineligible to take advantage of immigration reform. Some of these convictions are counterintuitive. You need to speak with an immigration attorney, and review your dispositions with them to determine whether you should see a criminal attorney to fix any criminal convictions. Please note that it does not necessarily matter that you may have paid all fines, served probations, or had convictions expunged. If you have ever been convicted of any crime, review this with your attorney.
·Gather your documents. You will likely be required to prove the amount of time you have in the United States, and any familial ties to this country. Gather documents such as: tax returns; birth certificates; rental agreements; receipts; bank statements; school records; and medical records. This will put you ahead of the game if you have already taken the time to get this information together.
Get a tax identification number (TIN). If you have not already done so, contact the IRS and get your TIN so that you can file your taxes every year. The government will likely require at least some proof of tax filing to take advantage of any changes in immigration law. Everyone can and should do this.
Save your money. The government is no doubt going to charge high filing fees for whatever applications are required. You might also be charged a fine for unlawful presence as part of the process. Start saving now so that you don’t have to delay your filing when the time comes.
Get started now. If you wait, the line will be very long by the time you apply to take advantage of whatever reform is headed your way. Finally, a word of caution: Beware of notarios, neighbors, and inexperienced attorneys. As reform is revealed, there will be many unauthorized and inexperienced people, some with ill intentions, who will come out of the woodwork with offers to help. Trust only experienced immigration attorneys, like the attorneys at Shabani & Associates with your future.