Quick Guide to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the US

The US designates some foreign countries for TPS because certain conditions in those countries prevent their nationals from returning home safely. TPS can also be granted in some circumstances i.e., when a country can't handle returning nationals adequately.

The USCIS is the agency responsible for granting TPS to eligible nations or parts of nations already in America. Eligible persons who are stateless and last resided in a designated country can also be given temporary protected status.

When is TPS designated?

A country can be given a Temporary Protected Status is there is ongoing war (civil war), environmental disaster (such as an earthquake or epidemic), or other extraordinary conditions that may be temporary or permanent.

Individuals With Temporary Protected Status

Individuals who qualify as TPS beneficiaries or found eligible for TPS when their cases are reviewed initially enjoy certain benefits for a designated time period. The benefits include, but aren't limited to; being protected from removal from the US, getting travel authorization, and getting employment authorization documentation (EAD).

If you have TPS, you can't be detained on basis of your immigration status in America. TPS is a temporary immigration benefit that doesn't automatically result in lawful permanent residency status or any other related status. However, you can't be prevented from applying for immigration benefits or protection you are eligible for. Also, you seek an adjustment of status using an immigration petition.

TPS Eligibility Requirements

For an immigrant to enjoy Temporary Protected Status in America, they must;

1. Be a citizen of a country that is designated for TPS or be a person who is stateless (without nationality) who resided habitually in a TPS-designated country.

2. File for TPS within applicable periods (initial or re-registration periods). Late filing is also acceptable; however, it must be within the extension period.

3. Have been physically present in the US continuously from the date of most recent designation of their country.

4. Have maintained continuous residence in America since the date applicable for their country.

Important: There are exceptions to the above rules in special cases. It's important to seek advice from an immigration attorney regarding your case. Immigration attorneys can offer guidance on everything, including timelines that are unique depending on factors like country of origin and the countries designated for Temporary Protected Status at any given time.

Who Isn't Eligible for TPS?

Individuals with a criminal record (any felony conviction or more than one misdemeanor committed in America aren't eligible for Temporary Protected Status.

The same applies to persons who don't qualify as immigrants under INA sec: 212(a).

Also, if you have taken part in persecuting another person, inciting terrorism, or face other scenarios that bar you from asylum, you can't enjoy Temporary Protected Status.

Other individuals who don't qualify include those who don't meet continuous residence, initial TPS registration, and physical presence requirements in the US.

Gaining Temporary Protected Status comes with unique benefits for individuals from designated countries. Talk to a seasoned immigration attorney in Texas for FREE for further inquiries.

SENTENCES


Visa Consultant - CRP

P1 Visas for Athletes & Entertainers

The U.S. designed a special non-immigrant visa for people who are involved in entertainment, sports, and culture. These "P-Visas" are there to encourage international acclaimed athletes, performers, groups, and cultural coaches to visit the U.S. Applicants for these visas need to provide a U.S. sponsor to ensure their performances.

The P1 Visa

There are two varieties of the P1 visa. The first is the P1A visa which is designed for internationally recognized solo athletes or teams. The second is the P1B visa which is for solo performers or groups of performers that are internationally recognized.

There are conditions attached to this visa, the first condition is that a team or group is applying, there must be at least two members.. in the case of performers, a musical band may have one solo performer and other supporting musicians.

The group must have been formed over one year. A team must have 75% of members that have been part of the team for one year. If it is a new team, it becomes increasingly difficult to prove that they are recognized.

All athletes and performers must have been internationally or nationally recognized to qualify for a P1A or P1B visa. If they qualify, then they can go to the U.S. and compete for awards and prize money in athletic seasons, or specific entertainment events. It also covers tours and tournaments, together with other special events.

While in the U.S. it is permitted to undertake part-time study. They cannot, however, perform or compete individually/solo if they applied as part of a team/group.

Special Conditions for P1A Applicants

An Athlete must fulfil at least two of the following conditions:

  • Athletes must have taken part in a major U.S. sports league.
  • Athletes must have taken part in a College level sports league.
  • Athletes must have taken part in a competition or event at the national or international level.
  • Athletes must be Nationally or Internationally ranked at a higher level.
  • Athletes must have won a national or international award for excellence.

Special Conditions for P1B Applicants

  • The entertainer or group should have had a major success, as assessed by ratings, record sales, video sales, or box office receipts.
  • The entertainer or group should be the subject of coverage in trade journals or major media outlets.
  • Field experts, critics, and government agencies should testify to the excellence and achievements of the performers.
  • The solo entertainers, or groups, should have received high salaries reflecting their status.

Applying for a P1 Visa

It takes between 3 to 6 months to successfully apply for a P1 visa. Errors in completing forms and omission of required documents can cause delays. In view of the typical urgency of the application, it is advisable to employ an immigration attorney to assist the process.

For professional athletes, the length of validity of the visa will vary between one and five years, after which the employer can request a renewal. For teams of athletes, one year is normally the maximum validity, after which they can be extended for one-year increments.

For performers, they will also be given a maximum one-year validity, which can be extended annually until the performance is finished.

IMG

Visa Lawyer - CRP

SENTENCES


Law Firm - CRP

If you are aware that you need to obtain a green card if you wish to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, continue reading to discover some of the different types of visas that you may want to apply for.

Green Card Categories

  • Humanitarian

If you are afraid of facing serious persecution in your current county of residence, you'll be able to apply for a humanitarian residency visa as either a refugee or an asylum seeker. If you are currently in the United States, you will need to apply for a humanitarian visa as an asylum seeker, while if you are still located outside the US, you must file your application as a potential refugee.

  • Family-based

One of the best ways to apply for US residency is through a family-based visa. For example, if you are married to a US citizen or green cardholder, you will be able to apply for residency. If you have dependents, these children will also be eligible to apply for a residency visa. Even if you had your children with a previous spouse who is not a US resident or citizen.

You will also be able to apply for residency through another close family member such as a parent, step-parent, or sibling. If you apply for a card through a sibling, they must be at least 18 years of age to sponsor you.

If you are engaged to a US resident or citizen, the road to residency will be a little longer, first, you'll need to apply for what's known as a K1 fiancé. With a K1 visa, you will have 90 days from the date that you enter the country, to host your wedding. After which time you'll need to wait a full year until you can apply for a green card interview. If your interview goes smoothly, you will then be able to swap your K1 visa for a full green card.

  • Employment-based

There are a few ways that you can obtain an employment-based visa. For example, if you are a qualified physician you may want to consider applying for an EB-2 visa. However, there are stipulations when it comes to applying for a visa as a physician. As you have to be willing to work in a designated area, that you are assigned for a set period of time. You can also apply to move to the US through an EB-1 visa. To be eligible for the EB-1 visa you should apply for a job in the arts, sciences, education, or business industries.

  • Diversity Lottery

Citizens of select countries are able to enter the annual diversity lottery which has been reinstated after it was canceled by former president Donald Trump. If you are not eligible for a family-sponsored visa or a humanitarian visa and are having difficulty finding a job offer from a US employer, you have nothing to lose by entering the annual diversity lottery. All you'll need to submit your application online is a photo that meets the lottery's guidelines.

So, if you can't wait to live and work in the United States and are keen to apply for a green card, it's well worth learning about the eligibility requirements of all of the visas which are listed above.

IMG

Green Card Lawyer - CRP

SENTENCES


Immigration & Naturalization Service

If you have been counting down the years in order to be eligible to become a full US citizen, as a green card holder, and are finally eligible to apply for US citizen, you've come to the right place. Simply continue reading to discover how to submit an application to become a US citizen, through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services which is more commonly known as the USCIS.

How To File An N-400 Form To Apply For US Citizenship

  • Either Create Or Log Onto An USCIS Online Account

If you already have a USCIS account, which is likely if you are a current green card holder, there is no need to create a whole new account, simply sign in to your pre-established account. However, if you don't have a USCIS online account, you'll need to create one if you want to expedite the process of applying for US citizenship or want the option of tracking the progress of your application online. Keep in mind that if you wish to apply for a fee waiver or reduction, you will only be able to file your application through the post.

  • Fill Out Your N-400 Form

One of the easiest parts of applying for US citizenship is filling out your N-400 as the questions on it are straightforward and are designed to test your eligibility to apply for US citizenship and your key motivation behind applying for citizenship.

  • Attach Your Supporting Evidence To Your Application

You'll have the opportunity to attach supporting evidence to your application such as a copy of both sides of your green card. If you are applying for citizenship as the spouse of a US citizen you'll also need to supply a copy of your spouse's birth certificate if they were a US citizen at birth or a copy of their naturalization certificate if they obtained US citizenship at a later date. You'll also need to provide a copy of the inside cover of your spouse's passport, which shows their signature.

  • Pay For Your Filing Fee Online

It's important to pay your filing fee when you're ready to submit your application as the USCIS will not process your application until you have paid the mandatory filing fee in full. If you can't pay this fee, you can apply for citizenship through the post by attaching a waiver form to your application. However, be aware that your request for a waiver can be denied and if you are caught asking for your fee to be waived and you have the ability to pay for your fee, you will get into serious trouble.

Conclusion

So, if you want to start the process of applying for US citizenship, your first task should be to acquire an N-400 form to fill out. Which you'll have access to online through the USCIS' online platform and can submit online or through the mail. If you require further assistance with navigating the path from green card holder to US citizen, it's also well worth getting in touch with an immigration attorney who will be able to guide you through each step of the process.

IMG

Citizenship Attorney - CRP

SENTENCES


General Practice Attorney - CRP

An Affirmative Asylum Application

An Affirmative Asylum Application is for a person who is not in removal proceedings and who wants to file an asylum application. If possible, it is always wise to consult an immigration attorney to assist with this application process. You should be in the U.S. to make this application and not detained.

First, file form I-589 with the USCIS. Currently, there is no fee for filing this form, but there are plans to introduce a $50 fee at some point (at the time of writing it is on hold). The information given on this form is confidential and only the government may access it.

When completing the I-589 asylum application it is essential that you answer the questions truthfully and in full. Include the information you remember, but if you cannot remember, say so. This form has to be submitted in the first year of being in the U.S. If you entered the U.S. without inspection (for example if you illegally crossed the border), it can sometimes be difficult to prove when you entered. If you had a valid visa for your entire stay in the U.S. then there is more leeway regarding when you can file.

If you have missed the deadline, it would be wise to consult an attorney as there may be an exception that could apply. These are not common and you need advice on this.

It is important to realize that until you submit your asylum application, the fact you entered the county illegally or overstayed a visa, means that you are liable to be arrested at any point, so it is wise to get that application in as soon as possible.

Completing Form I-589

Before you begin to complete this asylum application you must read the instructions provided by USCIS. USCIS are quite strict and making mistakes will cause the whole form to be returned to you. It must then be put right and then resubmitted. Do not leave any answers without a response. If the question does not apply to you or there is no answer, then write N/A in the answer space.

It is important to be very clear about your answers regarding race, nationality, and ethnicity. These questions, together with one about your religion, clan membership, and political leanings, are very important. This is even more important if you are going to cite one of those factors as why you face persecution.

Be sure to list all your children on the application form. This includes your biological children and those you have adopted. Even if they are over 21 and/or married, this is still important. If at a later stage you try to bring them to the U.S., the fact they were not listed here will be a problem.

Remembering dates can sometimes be hard. If you cannot remember a date, at least try to enter the month and year. If you must estimate dates, then cover yourself by writing "est" in front of the date. Your aim is to make all information as accurate as possible when completing the form.

When you have finished filling out the form, make a copy and keep it for your own records, before submitting the original.

IMG

Asylum Attorney - CRP

SENTENCES


Legal Services - CRP

If you are troubled by the possibility of being deported from the United States, you may be curious about your options, if you are issued a deportation order at the end of your immigration hearing. As you have several options to seriously consider.

Available Options When Facing Deportation

Voluntary Removal

If you lose your immigration hearing and are presented with a formal deportation notice, you may choose to accept the terms of your deportation notice. In this scenario, you can choose to leave the country on your own accord. If you opt for this option, you will need to be able to pay for your flights to your country of citizenship. Some individuals opt for voluntary removal, in the hope of shortening the amount of time which they will be banned from reentering the country.

Acceptance Of Your Deportation Order

However, if you can't pay for your plane ticket out of the United States, if you turn up at the location which is listed on your deportation notice, on the date of your scheduled deportation, in order to receive a free flight out of the US. Do keep in mind that if you fail to turn up to the specified location on your deportation date, ICE will be given the authority to track you down and forcibly deport you from the country. So, it's a wise decision to turn up at your deportation location, in order to avoid being forcibly removed from the US. As if you are forcibly removed from the United States, you will incur a lengthier ban than if you adhered to the rules of your deportation order.

Filing An Appeal

Within 30 days of receiving a deportation order you will be able to file an appeal with the BIA, the Board of Immigration Appeals. Just remember that the BIA must receive your appeal request within 30 days. If you send your application to the BIA, 26 days after you receive your deportation order but it doesn't arrive at the Board of Immigration Appeals headquarters until 31 days after your deportation order was issued, your appeal will be instantly rejected.

It's well worth hiring an immigration lawyer to help you prepare your appeal as your lawyer will be able to identify specific laws or misunderstandings, which could convince the Board of Immigration Appeals to reverse your judge's verdict. For example, your lawyer may be able to cite a law change, which may prove that your judge made an incorrect decision. However, do keep in mind that you will not be able submit new evidence as part of your appeal.

If your appeal doesn't go as you expect and the Board of Immigration Appeals rejects your appeal, you will be able to appeal their decision to the Federal Circuit. Again, if you decide to go down this route, it's a great idea to have an experienced immigration lawyer help you prepare your appeal to the Federal Circuit.

Conclusion

So, if you were curious about your 3 main options if you are handed a deportation order at the end of your immigration hearing, hopefully you found the choices listed above informative. Remember that you can always contact an immigration attorney for more in depth information!

IMG

Deportation Lawyer - CRP

SENTENCES


Lawyer - CRP

What is the Function of the Board of Immigration Appeals?

Immigration law carries a great deal of significance in the U.S. It is this law that stipulates the governing of immigrants. The regulations that govern immigration into the U.S and deportation from the U.S require particular bodies to interpret and apply them in the best way possible. The Board of Immigration Appeals is one of the bodies that handle matters of immigration in the country.

What is the Role of the Board of Immigration Appeals?

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is an important body in the interpretation and application of immigration laws. It is the highest body tasked with the role of applying and interpreting immigration laws.

Reviewing the Decisions of Immigrant Judges

The board has the capacity to review the determinations of immigration judges and particular decisions pronounced by the Department of Homeland Security. Whenever a case comes before an immigration judge, the judge handling the case delivers the final decision. If a party involved in the court process sees the need to appeal the decision, the appeal can be filed to the BIA. For example, a decision can be appealed because a court overlooked a witness or evidence. In such circumstances, the BIA looks into the case again on that basis. The decisions of the BIA are binding on immigration judges unless revised or overruled by a federal court or the attorney general.

Offering Guidance Regarding the Interpretation and Application of the Law

Moreover, the board offers guidance to judges who deliver decisions in immigration cases, the Department of Homeland Security, and other immigration officials. The guidance comes in the form of published papers. The high administrative level of the BIA in immigration matters gives it the authority to provide guidance to different administrators of immigration law. The board is also obligated to offer guidance to the public on how to interpret and administer immigration laws properly. In the same vein, the BIA should provide guidance regarding implementation regulations.

Ensuring Timely, Impartial, and Consistent Application of Immigration Law

When handling the issues brought before the BIA, the board has to look into them in a timely and impartial manner. Also, the deliberations have to be consistent with immigration laws. This is in line with being the highest administrative organ in the interpretation and application of immigration law.

Appeals Handled by the BIA

Most of the appeals that reach the BIA have to do with orders of removal as well as request for reprieve from removal. Other cases that come before the BIA include:

· Motions for reopening and reconsidering decisions previously delivered

· Fines imposed for the breaking of immigration laws

· Barring of immigrants applying for admission to the U.S

It is worth noting that the BIA has the capacity to be independent as they deliver appeal judgments for the Attorney General.

Indeed, the BIA is an integral body in the application of immigration law. It serves a cardinal function in ensuring that the parties involved in immigration matters get the justice they deserve.

IMG

Appeals Lawyer - CRP

SENTENCES


Bankruptcy Attorney - CRP

Bankruptcy In Texas - Exemptions

When filing for bankruptcy in Texas, it is imperative that you know what all is included and what all is exempt under the type of Bankruptcy you are filing. Knowing your exemptions will help you a great deal in knowing what you have to actually pay for. Under Texas Law, the debtor is given considerable relief in the form or quite a lot of exemptions.

In this piece we will walk you through all the exemptions that you will get when filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, and Chapter 13.

Personal Property Exemptions

The bankruptcy law in the state of Texas is pretty flexible when comes to exemptions on personal property. While other states have an explicit list of categories such as vehicles, tools of trade, furniture etc. and then defines a dollar amount value limit for each category.

However, in Texas, personal property is simply grouped together and then a relatively generous amount of exemption limit is set to all the property that is grouped. For instance, for a single person family the limit is set at $30,000. And for a family consisting of just the two spouses it is set at $60,000. This grouping which we termed as broad includes clothing, furniture, jewellery, one vehicle for one person, tools of trade, firearms - 2 per person, household pets, and farm animals.

In case of vehicles though, the amounts are deducted from the amounts you owe and as such they help you in protect your equity. As such, this grouping and an exemption limit set for the whole lot means you can often get exempted from most of everything that you own.

Apart from the above exemptions that is beyond that limit, Texas also provides additional exemptions to all kind of wages earned (with the exception of child support), alimony received, prescribed medications and health aid, child or spousal support, insurance benefits, health savings accounts, and most type of retirement benefit accounts.

Homestead Exemption

Texas in one of the very few states in the United States, that provides you with an unlimited amount of homestead exemption. This means that no matter how much the property is worth for or what your equity in the property is like, the property is still exempted. In most of the other states there is a maximum amount limit till which you are protected after which your property can be sold to pay your creditors. But that is not the case in Texas.

Having said that with the Homestead Exemptions in Texas there are some maximums that you will need to take care of which are 10 acres in the city, town, or a village, 100 acres in the countryside for single person (200 acres for the entire family). As per the federal law you can protect a maximum of $146,450 of equity if your home in Texas was purchases 1215 days or 3 and a 1/3rd years from the date you filed for bankruptcy.

So you get an option to select the Texas law or the Federal law and undoubtedly going for the Texas law is the best option.

Other Exemptions

Some other exemptions that you can be eligible for under the Texas law when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are:

  • Food and Daily Consumables
  • Bible or any other literature of book that contains sacred writing.
  • Sports Equipment
  • Unpaid Commissions others owe to you for personal services.
  • IRAs and 401(k)s
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Veteran's Benefits
  • Social Security Benefits

Final Thoughts

To conclude and to summarize, the State of Texas is very generous in terms of the various exemptions that you can get when filing for bankruptcy. Go through all the exemptions you can get to have an idea of how it will be to file for bankruptcy. Speak to your lawyer for everything else and more.

IMG

SENTENCES


Barrister - CRP

Causes of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you ever find yourself filing for Chapter-7 bankruptcy, any one or more of the causes discussed below is probably to blame. In 2020 alone, over 460,000 bankruptcies were filed, most of which were Chapter 7. While bankruptcy is linked to debt problems, those debt problems have underlying causes. Those are the causes we are interested in here.

Common Causes of Chapter-7 Bankruptcy

Medical Debt

Whether you are filing for Chapter 7 in Texas or any other state, studies have shown that approximately 66% of all bankruptcies in America are linked to medical debt. Most people are unable to settle high medical bills due to factors such as being away from work, job loss, high deductibles, etc. choose to file for bankruptcy to discharge such debt.

This problem affects even those people who have health insurance. Chronic ailments, rare diseases, and injuries can result in astronomical medical debt that can wipe out savings and other emergency sources of income like retirement accounts, home equity, and college education funds. When the worst happens, you can be left with Chapter 7 bankruptcy as your only choice.

Unemployment or Loss of Income

If you are fired from your job unexpectedly, and you have debt, bankruptcy is usually an option. The same applies to loss of income for individuals who run businesses. While some employees have significant severance packages that can pay off their existing debts, some aren't so lucky.

If you rely on your job 100% for income and you don't have a significant emergency fund, unemployment or loss of income can force you into bankruptcy if you have pressing debt. Considering 30% of Americans don't have emergency savings, it's easy to see why unemployment and loss of income are a leading cause of bankruptcy.

Overreliance and/or Poor Use of Debt

If you have a spending problem, your chances of filing for Chapter 7 are also high. Some people can't help but exhaust all credit avenues availed to them even when they don't need them. If you buy something just because you have a line of credit, you will plunge yourself into debt problems. Borrowing excessively is a leading cause of bankruptcy, especially when such credit is misused.

Separation/Divorce

Marriage dissolution creates financial strain more often than not. The constraints emanate from factors like expensive legal fees to alimony payments, child support, division of assets, and costs associated with living separately. Wage garnishment to pay for mandatory support coupled with legal fees alone forces most people to file for Chapter 7.

Emergencies & Natural Disasters

Unexpected medical bills qualify as emergency expenses. However, many other emergencies can force a person into bankruptcy. For instance, an earthquake or other natural disasters like tornadoes and floods that aren't covered by insurance can plunge someone into financial constraints that make it impossible for them to repay their debt.

The above bankruptcy causes stand out in the US. If you are on your way to filing, you can talk to a bankruptcy attorney to advise you. If filing is your only option, a seasoned bankruptcy attorney can also help you.

IMG

Chapter 7 Attorney - CRP

SENTENCES


Civil Law Attorney - CRP

Filing For Chapter 13 Without a Bankruptcy Attorney

Overview

You can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer (filing pro se). However, it isn't advisable to do so. Whether you are filing in Texas or any other state, Chapter 13 bankruptcy has serious effects on your financial future. Bankruptcy also affects many other things. The importance of consulting a seasoned bankruptcy attorney can't, therefore, be overlooked.

You can misinterpret the law (US Bankruptcy Code) or make mistakes when filing that affects your negatively. Remember, bankruptcy judges and bankruptcy court employees aren't allowed to offer you any legal advice. Generally, no one will help you once you decide to go it alone.

How Will a Bankruptcy Attorney Help?

Bankruptcy attorneys have many roles that are largely advisory. For instance, your bankruptcy lawyer can help you decide if it's a good idea to file for Chapter 13. Your lawyer may also suggest other alternatives to bankruptcy, advise you on whether you will meet your debt objectives by filing, and even let you know what you may be able to keep. If you wish to keep your car and your home after bankruptcy, your lawyer can make that happen.

Most importantly, your bankruptcy attorney will explain to you on all applicable Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws and applicable procedures you must follow. You are also bound to get advice on the consequences of filing, such as taxation and if you should stop or continue paying creditors. The best Texas bankruptcy attorney can even help you complete and file Chapter-13 bankruptcy forms and any other aspects of your case.

Filing Without an Attorney

You must follow all Chapter-13 filing rules and procedures as per the bankruptcy code and federal rules if you file alone. You should also consider state rules applicable to Texas. Bankruptcy courts in Texas may have local rules that must be followed.

Filing for Chapter 13 also requires submission of useful information. Luckily, you can find this information on a bankruptcy court's website. Local courts also have the information present at the intake counter. Chapter-13 bankruptcy forms are also available for free.

However, you must differentiate different forms. For instance, married couples should file different forms from single individuals. Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships also have different forms. Some courts may also have preference for local forms. Check a bankruptcy court's site first before filing any Chapter-13 documents.

Filing With a Non-attorney Preparer

It's worth noting that individuals filing for Chapter 13 alone (non-attorney petition preparers) can be offered filing services by other individuals who aren't attorneys. By law, such individuals (non-attorney preparers) can only fill bankruptcy forms. They aren't prohibited from offering legal advice, answering legal questions, or assisting you in court.

What's more, the law requires them to sign every document they help you prepare. They should also include their full names, social security, and address information and offer you copies of every document. While non-attorney preparers can help, you are better off with a seasoned bankruptcy lawyer who isn't restricted by law in many ways.

IMG

Chapter 13 Lawyer - CRP

SENTENCES


San Marcos TX In Brief

San Marcos is a town founded on the banks of the San Marcos River, though the Blanco River also flows through the city limits. The San Marcos Springs feed Spring Lake and the namesake river itself. This is why the city is home to the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, the A. E. Wood Texas Fish Hatchery, and the San Marcos National Fish Hatchery and Aquatic Resource Center.

The town is the county seat of Hays County. That's why the Hays County Courthouse is located at the center of town. However, the city has grown until it extended into Caldwell County and Guadalupe County. The town is large enough to be one of the three hubs in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Metropolitan Area. All three are along the Interstate 35 corridor. And it is about thirty miles southwest of Austin. It is roughly fifty miles northeast of San Antonio. Like many towns on I-35, the city sits on the Balcones Fault. This is the boundary between the blacklands or the rich soil of East Texas and the rough rocky karst formations of Hill Country.

San Marcos is a rather large Texas town. It is large enough to have almost ten exits on I-35. It was home to a little over forty thousand people in 2010. In 2020, the population was close to seventy thousand. This is why it was named the fastest growing city in the United States in 2013 and 2014. It was named one of the best places to raise your kids in a 2010 Business Week survey. Thrillest called the city the coolest small town in Texas and a better Austin.

The city is the home of Texas State University or TSU. It is a public research university and part of the Texas State University System. It should not be confused with the Texas A&M system where the flagship campus is in College Station, Texas. The Texas State University System is the fifth largest university system in the state of Texas. It consists of ten different colleges scattered across the state. One of the largest satellite campuses is in Round Rock. That's known as the RRC campus. The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State is the largest forensic research facility in the world. It is one of only four "body farms' in the United States.

Students K-12 are served by the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. The ISD has only one high school: San Marcos High School. The town is large enough for a private high school named the San Marcos Academy. There are two middle schools in the city. There are half a dozen elementary schools.

The city is served by the Amtrak Texas Eagle Line. It has a municipal airport, and it is part of the Capital Area Rural Transportation Network or CART. And the city is located along I-35. This gives residents easy access to San Antonio and Austin. This is why Amazon set up a distribution center here. The Central Texas Medical Center is another major employer.

However, it has grown because it offers affordable housing and retains a lot of its historic Texas Hill Country charm. The average home in Austin is around 450K, though it is more than 550K if you include the most expensive homes. The average home here costs less than 300K. Furthermore, the city has awesome recreational opportunities. It isn't just the nightlife around the university or the cultural institutions like the Centro Cultural Hispano. The city is home to the Calaboose African American Heritage Museum and an exhibit dedicated to the Central Texas Wing. The Central Texas Wing is a collection of airworthy historic military planes, many dating back to World War 2. There is also a museum dedicated to LBJ, since he lived here while earning a degree from TSU.

Locals and visitors may go tubing on the river or swimming in local lakes, if they don't want to visit the historic downtown. People come here from Austin and San Antonio to shop at the largest outlet shopping center in the United States. It has roughly 240 stores and more than a million square feet of retail space. The city holds arts festivals and concerts regularly in addition to performances by the Texas State fine arts program.