ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement)
What Is The ICE?
The ICE is Homeland Security's most prominent investigative arm. The agency is responsible for promoting homeland security and overall public safety by enforcing border control, trade, customs, and immigration laws.
Brief History of the ICE
The agency was created after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Initially, the US government wanted to restructure how it was handling immigration and related activities globally. The ICE was established to help the US protect itself better from terrorism and other immigration-related security threats. The DHS was established to lead this reorganization.
Currently (since 2016), the ICE's role has been concentrated on conducting immigration-related raids, arresting undocumented individuals in the US, and managing immigration detention centers.
The ICE has two main operational divisions. They include;
Enforcement & Removal
As the name suggests, this ICE division handles primary enforcement issues related to immigrants in the US. The issues include apprehending individuals who are illegally in the US. The division also arrests immigrants who violate US laws with emphasis on criminals and gangs made up of immigrants. The division is also focused on individuals who have unlawfully gained entry back into the US after being deported.
The division has also been granted powers to detain illegal immigrants in some instances. For instance, the Enforcement & Removal division can execute immigration court orders for deportation or detain non-citizens from prison after criminal convictions. If you get into trouble with immigration requiring your arrest and/or deportation, the issue will most probably be handled by the Enforcement & Removal division.
Homeland Security Investigations
The Homeland Security Investigations division is an investigative arm with presence in many US cities and globally. The division is charged with investigating transnational crime with focus on protecting American national security.
The division apprehends and punishes individuals and criminal organizations that exploit US customs & immigration procedures and laws. The division has extensive investigative powers and scope that covers a wide range of criminal activity ranging from child exploitation to sex tourism, cybercrime, financial crime, illegal trade, export/import violations, human trafficking, intellectual property theft, drug smuggling & trafficking, identity theft, human rights violations, visa security, transnational gang operations, and counterterrorism.
If a loved one or friend has been detained for immigration-related issues, they can be found using a special detainee locator tool. Family members of non-citizens arrested by the ICE are held in special facilities. However, you may not find information on detainees that are under 18 years using the detainee locator tool.
You can seek help from an immigration attorney on all ICE-related issues, from finding a detainee to reporting violations. The best immigration attorney in Texas will give you a free initial consultation, so you don't have to worry about the initial cost before you have a solution.
What's more, immigration attorneys have other immigration-related expertise, from seeking avenues like asylum and refugee status to temporary protected status and challenging immigration decisions.
If the ICE arrests, detains, and deports a loved one, you may have a chance of getting them back to the US if you hire a seasoned immigration lawyer.
Visa Consultant - CRP
Visa Waiver Program
When traveling to the USA. for tourist purposes, or for business, you may avoid the visa process by using the VWP. This is possible for citizens of an eligible countries. Here is a list of the current eligible countries.
When intending to use the VWP to visit the U.S. it is required that you obtain an approved travel authorization before you travel. You will need to use ESTA to decide if you are eligible.
ESTA was introduced to add an extra level of security. One which provides the ability to assess in advance whether travel to the U.S. is possible, and allowing border staff to concentrate on those likely to be a risk to security.
The ESTA application will gather biographic information and will also collect your answers to eligibility questions. You must have an electronic passport to use ESTA. You can carry out the ESTA application at any convenient time prior to your travel, but it is wise to apply as soon as you start your travel plans, and before you purchase tickets. The ESTA application is completed online and at the time of writing costs $4. Should the application be approved, there is a further $10 fee. An ESTA is not the same as a visa, and if you have a valid visa, you may not have to apply for an ESTA.
Eligibility to Enter
Those visitors who are eligible to use the VWP are able to stay for under 90 days with no visa, for tourism purposes or business meetings, or conferences. the ESTA. It is important to note that an ESTA is not the final factor in deciding whether a visitor can enter the U.S. A Custom & Borders Protection Officer may still refuse entry.
Are you a citizen from a VWP eligible country? Have you traveled to Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Libyan Republic, or North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Somalia since March 1st, 2011? With a few exceptions if you have visited these countries you will not be to enter the U.S. on a Visa Waiver.
Not to be Confused with Entry Waiver
An "Entry Waiver" is not the same as a "Visa Waiver", which we have discussed already. An Entry Waiver is a request to be allowed entry when permission has been denied because of a criminal background.
Applying for an Entry Waiver can be a complicated process and it would be wise to employ an immigration lawyer to assist in this task. It can often take six months to complete this process. One important task would be to obtain a copy of the applicants criminal record. This is known to take around 120 days. There are then several other documents to collect.
Once you have gathered all the information and completed the paperwork, the application has to be processed by the Department of Homeland security. This processing is likely to take 12 to 18 months to complete, so you can see this is not a quick process that can be done just prior to travel.
Visa Lawyer - CRP
Law Firm - CRP
If you are interested in alternative types of green cards such as investor residency visas and long-time resident visas as well as more common visas such as family-based visas, simply continue reading. In order to learn about the key types of green cards which are currently available.
A Comprehensive List Of Green Cards
If you entered the United States prior to January the 1st, 1972 you may be able to gain a green card by applying for a long-time resident visa. Even if you entered the country illegally you will be eligible to apply for residency. As long as you did not leave the country, since your arrival prior to the 1st of January 1972 and you have not committed a deportable crime. Some crimes that would make you deportable include drug abuse and marriage fraud.
There are two ways to apply for a residency visa as an investor. You can invest $1 million USD in a US business or investment or you can invest $500,000 in what's known as a high unemployment area or a rural area.
If you are fully qualified to work in an in-demand industry such as the arts, sciences, education, or business sector, you'll be able to apply for jobs in the United States. As your employer should be able to sponsor a visa for you. You will also be able to apply for an employment-based visa if you are an experienced medical professional as there is currently a shortage of medical practitioners in the United States. Especially in regions that have struggling economies. If you are willing to work in any city in the United States and are willing to be posted, where your skills are needed, you should have no issue obtaining a green card.
You can apply for a family visa while you're in the United States or are outside of the country. However, keep in mind that if the USCIS processes your application and you will be required to attend an interview at the nearest overseas embassy or consulate to your city of origin. So you will need to leave the United States to complete your visa process. Also keep in mind that you can only apply for a family visa if your fiancé, spouse, sibling, parent, or child is a fully-fledged US citizen or resident.
There are a few reasons you may be eligible for types of visas that you can apply for. For example, if you believe that your life is in grave danger in your country of origin, you can apply for a humanitarian visa. You can also apply for a humanitarian visa if you are a victim of human trafficking or are a victim of domestic violence.
If you exhaust all of your options, you can apply for the annual diversity lottery which will give you a small chance to win a visa. Although you'll still have to go through an in-depth interview at your local US embassy or consulate.
So, if you are not able to apply for a family-based visa, there's no need to give up on your dreams of living and working in the US as there are a wide variety of cards that you may be eligible to apply for.
Green Card Lawyer - CRP
Immigration & Naturalization Service - CRP
Once you've gone through the process of signing up for an online account with the USCIS and have successfully submitted your application for citizenship, along with your filing fee and your supporting evidence, you may be curious about what to expect next. To prepare yourself for the rest of the citizenship process, simply continue reading for valuable information.
What Happens After You Submit An N-400 Form
- The USCIS Will Confirm They Have Received Your Application
Expect to receive a receipt from the USCIS which confirms that they have received your N-400 form.
- Prepare To Receive A Biometric Services Invitation
Usually, you will be asked to attend a scheduled biometric services appointment between 5-8 weeks after you have submitted your N-400 form to the USCIS. When you turn up to your biometric services appointment, you will have your photo taken, your fingerprints collected and your digital signature stored. This signature will attest to the fact that all the information that you provided online is true to your knowledge.
- Prepare For Your Interview
If you apply for citizenship through the process of naturalization, you will later receive an appointment to undergo a formal interview with a USCIS agent. The agent who is assigned to you will look over all of the information which you provided in your application kit and will ask you a series of questions to satisfy them that you are indeed eligible for US citizenship. Your assigned USCIS agent will also ascertain whether or not your English comprehension is satisfactory as all US citizens must demonstrate a basic level of English comprehension.
In order to increase your chances of having your request for US citizenship approved, ensure that the answers that you give match up to the answers on your N-400 form. Although you shouldn't memorize and quote the answers which you provided on your N-400 form, word for word, as this may raise red flags with your USCIS agent. Instead, simply answer all of the questions that you are asked openly and honestly and you should have no issue passing your interview.
If you are curious about some of the questions which you may be asked on the day of your interview, you may be asked when your children were born, if you are currently single, married, widowed, or divorced, and whether or not you have taken a trip abroad in the last 5 years that was over 12 months long. Thankfully none of the questions that will be asked at your interview are difficult.
- Oath Ceremony
If the USCIS decides to approve your application, your next move should be to prepare for your oath ceremony, during which you will become a full citizen. On this day you will swear your allegiance to the US and will be awarded with your naturalization certificate. Think of your oath ceremony as a celebration and invite your loved ones and supporters to witness your special occasion.
In conclusion, if you have submitted your N-400 form in order to apply for US citizenship and wondered what happens next, hopefully, you have all the crucial information that you were looking for.
Citizenship Attorney - CRP
General Practice Attorney - CRP
Defensive Asylum applications take place when an individual requests asylum because they are in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. The Defensive Asylum application is a defense against removal from the U.S.
Who May Need Defensive Asylum?
If you enter the U.S. at any port of entry, such as a seaport, land crossing, or airport and do not have the correct documents to be allowed entry into the country. You will be subject to fast-track removal from the U.S. (this involves being returned to your home country with no court hearing). To stop this from happening, the individual should apply for asylum, and undergo a "credible fear interview."
The same process would apply if you are apprehended by CBP officers within 100 miles of the border within the first two weeks of being in the country, or you are apprehended by officers from ICE anywhere in the U.S.
It is not possible to say how long the defensive asylum process will take, but there is every possibility that it may take several years to complete. At least some of that period will be in immigration detention facilities. This involves going through the immigration court process, and there is a massive backlog of cases.
You should request asylum when you meet the CBP or ICE officers for the first time. You should state that you have a fear of persecution or torture, should you be forced to go back to your home country. You must ask for a "Credible Fear" interview. If the English language is hard for you, then request an interpreter to ensure you get your point across. This is when you or your friends and relatives should attempt to get an immigration lawyer for you.
What Happens Next
You will initially have a short credible fear interview with an officer from CBP. This will take place while you are in custody at a detention centre, and is a screening process. You will not get access to an attorney during this interview and it may well take place when you are still recovering from a difficult journey to the U.S. so be careful what you say.
The purpose of the screening interview is to decide whether to refer you to an asylum officer for a formal credible fear interview. Make sure that you are open and honest in this initial interview. If you don't mention something in this interview and then later bring it up in subsequent Asylum questioning, it may be used to discredit you.
If you are referred to a formal credible fear interview do your best to consult with a lawyer before this formal interview takes place.
The Formal Credible Fear Interview
At this meeting, a trained asylum officer will ask you many questions that are designed to show whether you really have a credible fear of persecution or torture. Consistency is very important and if it is the case that you do not have documentation to prove your claims, then it is going to be what you say and how you say it that will have the most sway. At the end of the interview, the officer will summarize what you have said and will ask if there is anything more you want to add.
What Happens if You Fail the Interview?
The Interviewer should provide you with a decision in writing, together with a transcript of the interview. You will then have an order to remove you from the U.S. issued against you. You can appeal in front of an immigration judge. He will have the transcript and the decision in front of him and may not ask you much, other than whether the information is true. You really need the assistance of an immigration attorney to help you prepare for this interview.
What Happens if You Pass the Interview
Should you pass this interview the CBP officer will direct you to the immigration court. You may still have to remain in detention (sometimes for months) while you go through the asylum process which eventually will provide a route to a Green Card.
Asylum Attorney - CRP
Legal Services - CRP
Whether you have just been summoned to an immigration hearing for violating an immigration law or have been caught residing in the United States without a visa, simply continue reading in order to discover an invaluable guide to deportation in the United States.
Deportation In The United States
Why You May Have Received An NTA
An NTA, otherwise known as a Notice to Appear, is used to summon individuals to a mandatory court hearing. If you receive an NTA, it will outline the charges which have been laid against you as well as the date that your immigration hearing is scheduled for. There are numerous reasons why you may have received an NTA. As examples you may have committed a felony such as fraud or assault or you may have overstayed the duration of your temporary visa.
Your Immigration Case
Your immigration case will be spread out across two occasions. On the first occasion the judge who presides over your case will ensure that you understand the charges that you face and will then give you an opportunity to defend yourself. During this first hearing, you'll be able to provide evidence and facts which will help your case. Or you'll be able to have a lawyer defend you instead. Which is a smart idea as hiring an immigration lawyer will maximize your chances of having the charges against you dropped.
Between your first immigration hearing and your second and final immigration hearing, you will have a chance to collect more facts and evidence which will help your case. So be sure to have an immigration lawyer assist you in preparing a solid defense for your final hearing. As its during your final hearing that your immigration judge will decide to hand you a deportation notice or to formally drop the charges against you.
Reopening Your Immigration Case
If you become aware of critical evidence that may change the outcome of your immigration case, you do have the option of filing a motion to reopen your case. However, you will only have 30 days to file a motion to reopen your immigration case.
Appealing A Deportation Order
Every individual who receives an unfavorable deportation order, will have exactly 30 days to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. If you end up filing an appeal with the BIA, do keep in mind that you will be unable to present new evidence in your appeal. One of the key advantages of appealing a deportation order, is that you'll be able to have your deportation date pushed out, until you have received a final verdict from the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Do keep in mind that you will not be expected to turn up to another court hearing and that the BIA officer who handles your appeal will simply look through all of the evidence associated with your case.
So, if you have received a Notice to Appear and would love some support dealing with the deportation system, it's well worth hiring a lawyer who you will be able to trust to represent your best interests in court.
Deportation Lawyer - CRP
Lawyer - CRP
The Process of Appealing an Immigration Decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals
If you're not satisfied with the decision of an immigration judge, you have the right to request for an appeal. This means that you would like a higher authority to review the decision of the judge to see if there was a mistake in the ruling. If you're appealing to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), there is a process you have to follow.
Paperwork and Fees Involved In the Process
There is paperwork and fees you should commit to as you file for an appeal to the BIA. Usually, you make the appeal on Form EOIR-26. You can choose to accompany the form with supporting documents. You can also send a brief after filing the appeal. A brief carries a great deal of significance because it puts forth the arguments backing your application and the law that supports it. Without the brief, the BIA will most likely agree with the decision of the immigration judge. If the BIA will have a closer review of your case, it's necessary for you to send a brief.
As you submit the brief, you should also pay the required fee but if you're not able to pay the fee you can request for a fee waiver. Your attorney should also submit a notice for appearance as your representative in the appeal. For more details regarding the procedural requirements of filing for an appeal, you can check out the BIA's Practice Manual or hire an attorney to handle the complex process on your behalf.
Timing of the Appeal
The BIA has to receive the appeal notice within 30 days from the date of the judge's decision. If the BIA receives the appeal notice late, it will not accept it. Therefore, you should be very careful to send the appeal notice within the required 30 days. It's important to take note that the 30-day period includes weekends and holidays. If the 30th day fall on a weekend or official holiday, the deadline is pushed to following business day.
Response from the BIA
After the BIA receives your appeal, they usually send a receipt notice. The response should come within two weeks. If you don't receive a response from them within that time, you should contact them to inquire. The next thing is that you have to send your brief. You should do so within 30 days. The opposing counsel also has 30 days to file a response. There is a provision of extending the time to 90 days if there is a good reason to do so. Lastly, the BIA goes through submissions from both sides in order to make the final decision. It can take 6 months to 1 year for the BIA's decision to come forth. It can even take more than a year depending on the complexity of the case or the number of pending cases.
Waiting for the BIA Decision
You should stay in the U.S as you await the decision of the BIA. Your Appeals attorney should advice you accordingly during the whole process.
Appeals Lawyer - CRP
Bankruptcy Attorney - CRP
Once you decide and finalize on filing for bankruptcy, you must know that there are certain costs and fees associated in filing for bankruptcy as well. You may even want to represent yourself in your own case and file a bankruptcy case "pro se" that is self-represented, but given the fact that you may not have all the knowledge and the complexities involved, you may not be able to arrive at a swift resolution quickly.
As such, when filing for Chapter 7, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may have to hire an attorney and in most case must hire one for a concrete resolution without wasting time. So, to begin with there will be attorney fees along with other charges which we will go through one by one in this piece.
Various Fees for Filing for Bankruptcy
Since we know that filing for Bankruptcy under different Chapters will have different consequences, the costs will vary as well. Here is a list of costs that you will incur when you file for Bankruptcy in the state of Texas.
Filing Fees - In the state of Texas, there is a fixed filing fee for filing for bankruptcy. This is different in case of both Chapter 7, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The trustee may also charge you an addition $15 or $20 or may just waive it off.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Fees - $ 335
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing Fees - $ 310
Conversion Fees - Converting from Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy) to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (reorganization bankruptcy) does not cost anything but filing for Chapter 7 when you once filed for Chapter 13 has a conversion fee.
You may need to convert your file from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 and vice-versa if there is s sudden change in your financial position while you are preparing to file for bankruptcy or are in the process of doing it.
Conversion from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - $0
Conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - $25.
Attorney Fees - When you decide to hire a qualified bankruptcy attorney you will have to pay them for their time and expertise. They do all the hard work of getting all your documentation together and preparing your case file in the right way for quick resolution. Hence it is obvious that they will charge you for your services. This may even vary on the complexity of your case.
Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees - Range from $975 to $2000 with an Average Fee of $1487.50.
In the Southern District in Texas though the court has approved a fix fees of $4500 for individual consumer cases and $5600 for businesses that have more complicated filings. Some attorneys may also offer an hourly rate after discussion about the case.
Mandatory Credit Counseling - It is required by the Bankruptcy court for you to take a mandatory credit counseling and take a personal financial management course while your case is still in pendency. This is to help you recover fully from the consequences of bankruptcy and to ensure a bright future for you in terms of your finances.
Credit Counseling and Financial Management Training fee - $ 20 to $100.
Note: Thought the costs indicated above may vary based on your individual case file and whether you hire an attorney or self-represent or case or which attorney you hire; this is a good estimation of what the costs may look like.
To conclude and to summarize, filing for bankruptcy has some costs involved too. Given the financial constraints due to which you may have been forced to file for Bankruptcy, you may want to file your own case. Having said that it is always advisable to seek professional advice from a bankruptcy attorney for quick resolution. Use this piece to get an idea of the costs and proceed accordingly.
Barrister - CRP
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and 341 Meetings
Definition: 341 Meeting
During a Chapter-7 bankruptcy process, debtors and creditors are required to meet. The meeting is known as a 341 meeting whose name stems from the bankruptcy code - Sec 341. The meeting usually happens a month after you file for bankruptcy. For a 341 meeting to be deemed legally valid, it must meet certain requirements. For instance, it must be attended by the individual filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a bankruptcy trustee.
How 341 Meetings Work
A 341 meeting is part of the process of declaring bankruptcy in America. The main role is establishing the facts of the bankruptcy case and ensuring all the required paperwork is in order.
It's worth noting that there are mandatory attendants. As mentioned above, the person filing and a bank trustee must be present. Bankruptcy attorneys for both sides (for a debtor and creditor) should also be present. However, their presence isn't mandatory or legally required. However, given the repercussions of bankruptcy, it is important to have a seasoned bankruptcy attorney by you throughout.
Before a 341 Meeting
Bankruptcy trustees review bankruptcy paperwork and records submitted by debtors before a 341 meeting commences. The meeting's purpose is to allow trustees time to confirm the facts of the case as stated by a debtor. Trustees can also use the meeting to get additional paperwork. If you attempt bankruptcy fraud, such scenarios are detected before a 341 meeting happens. It can also happen afterward.
341 meetings usually take place in bankruptcy trustee offices. A debtor's obligations during a 341 meeting is providing documentation to prove that they have an authentic reason for pursuing bankruptcy. To do this, they must establish their liabilities, assets, income, and expenses. Debtors also need to identify other important financial circumstances that have led them to seek bankruptcy.
If creditors attend a 341 meeting, they can ask questions to clarify issues. Typical questions include whether a debtor is entitled to get any income from inheritance, tax rebates, or other sources (undisclosed assets) that can be used to settle his/her debt. Creditors are also interested in a debtor's ownership of overseas assets or businesses.
Creditors are simply interested in verifying the financial status of debtors. They want to establish their actual financial status and usually do this by questioning whatever is tabled. Debtors can seek additional disclosures if they find it necessary.
However, debtors are also in question in 341 meetings i.e., the meetings are avenues for confirming if their claims are accurate. If a debtor attempts fraud by seeking to recover more than they are supposed to get, such discrepancies will be detected in a 341 meeting where tabled debtor documents are checked. Lawyers from both sides (debtor and creditor/s) discuss the debtor's liabilities, assets, income, and other related matters in detail and may attempt to negotiate debt payment plans.
In summary, a 341 meeting is a critical part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The meeting is meant to establish facts surrounding bankruptcy and facilitate negotiations, if possible. While a debtor and a bankruptcy trustee are the only parties required by law to attend, the importance of having bankruptcy attorneys present can't be overlooked.
Chapter 7 Attorney - CRP
Civil Law Attorney - CRP
Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy helps to reduce or eliminate debt burden. If you have problems repaying existing debt partly or entirely, bankruptcy is a viable option to consider. While there are many types, our focus here is on two types of bankruptcies, namely Chapters 7 and 13. The differences and similarities between Chapters 7 and 13 can be best explored by looking at several factors ranging from the purpose for filing to who can file, timelines, income requirements, eligibility, and more.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps to reorganize debt, while Chapter 7 involves liquidation. In Chapter 7, assets are sold to settle debt. In Chapter-13, debt is reorganized to make repayment obligations more manageable. Individuals who file for Chapter 13 get to keep their assets/property if they present an approved repayment plan.
II. Who Can File?
The Chapter 7 is for business entities and individuals, while Chapter-13 is for individuals only. What's more, sole proprietors can file for Chapter 13.
III. Income Requirements
When filing for Chapter-7, you must be subjected to a means test meant to establish your income levels against your family size. When filing for Chapter-13, you must have secured and unsecured debt levels at $1,257,850 and $419,275, respectively.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is completed in months (usually 3-5 months). Chapter-13 takes longer (lasts the entire period of a payment plan which is 3-5 years.
V. Property Handling
In regards to property, a bankruptcy trustee can sell non-exempt assets/property to repay creditors in Chapter 7. In Chapter-11, a debtor is given a payment plan. He/she can keep property. However, they must finish paying unsecured creditors an amount that equals the value of the non-exempt property in question.
VI. Benefits of Both Types of Bankruptcies
Chapter 7 stands out for being fast. A debtor can also get rid of debt and start a fresh. Chapter 13 stands out for allowing a debtor to keep their assets. You won't lose notable assets like your home or car. The bankruptcy also gives room to restructure debt and get more favorable debt repayment plans.
Chapters 7 and 13 come with some disadvantages. First and foremost, you need to follow your repayment plan to the letter in Chapter 13 (for 3-5 years) or risk losing the assets. What's more, you can be required to pay a part of general unsecured debt.
While Chapter 7 discharges debt, not all property is protected. A bankruptcy trustee can still sell non-exempt assets. Also, there are no provisions for catching up on late repayments to avoid repossession or foreclosure.
The above information highlights the basic comparison between Chapters 13 and 7. Considering there's more to these types of bankruptcies, it's advisable to talk to the best bankruptcy attorney in Texas before deciding on which type to go for. Your unique case should dictate the type of bankruptcy you should consider. Bankruptcy lawyers are experts in selecting the best bankruptcy option or suggesting other alternatives if possible.
Chapter 13 Lawyer - CRP
Georgetown is roughly thirty miles north of downtown Austin. It is just north of Round Rock, Texas, a super suburb that the home of Dell Computers and other high tech employers. Georgetown was identified as having the most beautiful town square in Texas. The downtown area is notable for its Victorian commercial and residential architecture. The town passed ordinances to protect them in 1976. The city's historic town square is centered on the county courthouse because it is the county seat of Williamson Texas. That and at least 45 other buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This led to it being named a national Main Street City in 1997.
Interstate 35 runs through the middle of Georgetown. This gives residents easy access to Austin and San Antonio. Highway 29 runs east to west through downtown.
The city limits stretch west to encompass Lake Georgetown and the north Fork of the San Gabriel River. This puts Cedar Breaks Park, Jim Hogg Park, Walnut Spring Park and part of Sawyer Park inside of the city limits. On the other hand, the city limits have surrounded by don't include several suburban subdivisions. The Serenada neighborhood named for Serenada Drive is one example. It is directly west of Georgetown Municipal Airport. Another unincorporated area inside of the city limits is next to the Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex. There are a few unincorporated areas inside of Georgetown's city limits like the Davidson Ranch and the Eagle Trace area.
The city limits stretch along the creek passing through Berry Springs Park and Preserve, but more than half of the park is outside of the city limits. The middle fork of the San Gabriel River also runs through the city. Ronald Reagan Boulevard marks the northern city limit. The towns of Andice and Florence are several miles to the north. Round Rock is directly south. Leander sits to the southwest. There isn't much to the east.
Georgetown is known as the Red Poppy Capital of Texas. These wildflowers are planted throughout the city. The town has a Red Poppy Festival every spring. It attracts up to thirty thousand visitors every year. Inner Space Cavern is a large cave south of town. It is a major tourist attraction. Many seasonal visitors as well as full-time residents stay at Sun City.
Georgetown saw major growth when it became the site of the first Sun City development in Texas. It became known as Sun City Texas. The Sun City neighborhoods are deed restricted. At least one person buying the home must be over 55, and no permanent residents over 18 are allowed to live here. This age-restricted community covers 5300 acres. It is home to roughly twelve thousand people. Residents are allowed to drive golf carts instead of cars to get around as well as use Cowan Creek Golf Club. The presence of so many retirees has fueled expansion of St. David's Georgetown Hospital, a large medical industry, and several other age-restricted developments. This is why roughly a third of the city's population is over 65. And it has a median age of 46.6, roughly six years older than the state average. The median household income is 71K, three thousand dollars more than the national average.
Georgetown was home to roughly eighty thousand people in 2020. This made it the seventh fastest growing city in the United States with a population of more than fifty thousand, according to Census data.
Georgetown operates the Georgetown Independent School District. That runs Georgetown High School, East View High School and a number of elementary and middle schools. There are roughly twelve thousand students in the ISD. It gets points for having a 97 percent graduation rate. The high quality schools and the affordable housing are why SmartAsset named the city the second best place to buy an affordable home in 2020. The average home price is 330K, while the average house in Austin costs more than 450K.
Georgetown is notable for being the home of the oldest private four year liberal arts college in Texas, Southwestern University. This college is affiliated with the Methodist church. While it trains Methodist ministers, it offers forty more bachelor's degrees in everything from music to business to education. The university was named the fourth best small college in Texas by Niche.com in 2021.