An Immigrant Attorney Shares Tips To Maintain Legal Status

By Published On: June 25, 2024Categories: Blog, Immigration

Imagine uprooting your life and moving to a new country, only to tangle in a web of legalities and paperwork. For many families looking to immigrate to the United States, this is a harsh reality. However, searching for an “Immigrant Attorney Near Me” to guide you is a sensible move. They serve as a lifeline in your uphill battle toward achieving legal status in the United States.

When navigating immigration, securing a Green Card is just the beginning. In this article, you’ll discover the common immigration pitfalls to avoid, jeopardizing your immigration standing. Moreover, learn practical tips to continue flourishing as a family unit in the United States.

Austin Immigrant Attorney Near Me: Legal Status Tips

An Immigrant Attorney Near Me Helps Families Keep Their Legal Status

Immigration is more than just paperwork. It’s about individuals seeking better opportunities. An immigrant lawyer understands the emotional and practical challenges involved in permanent residency. They can guide you and your family through every step, ensuring you know your rights and obligations.

Unexpected issues like changes in family circumstances or employment status can arise. An immigration attorney can provide solutions to ensure your legal protection. They employ effective defense strategies in various cases, especially those involving deportation. Their skills are invaluable in emergencies and provide a sense of security and direction.

For many, an attorney’s support means the difference between success and setback. They can advocate for your family to immigration officials and help you stay updated on the latest immigration policies and procedures. Moreover, they mitigate the stress common immigration pitfalls impose on families striving to thrive on American soil.

Family-Based Immigration Pitfalls & Their Consequences

Some believe that obtaining a Green Card or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status marks the end of the immigration journey. However, it’s a privilege that can be revoked at any time. Remaining vigilant is crucial to sidestepping these common pitfalls:

Extended Absences From The U.S.

Lengthy absences from the U.S. can jeopardize your status. Staying outside the country for more than six months straight can raise questions about your intent to reside permanently in the U.S. If your absence exceeds one year without a re-entry permit, you might be presumed to have abandoned your residency.

Failure To Update Personal Information

You must keep your information with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) up-to-date. It includes reporting address change within 10 days of moving and updating employment information if required. Failure to do so leads to complications, including missing important correspondence from USCIS, which could affect your legal status.

Lying To Get Immigration Benefits

Misrepresentation or providing false information on immigration applications can lead to severe consequences. The USCIS takes fraud seriously, and those caught lying may face severe effects. These include revocation of previously granted benefits, permanent ineligibility for future immigration benefits, and deportation.

Unauthorized Employment

Engaging in work unauthorized by your immigration status can lead to severe consequences. You should ensure that any employment aligns with your residency terms to avoid jeopardizing your status and leading to legal action. 

Not Renewing Green Card

Green Cards are typically valid for ten years, after which they must be renewed. However, many individuals need to remember to renew theirs before they expire. An invalid Green Card can cause issues with employment, travel, and even re-entry into the U.S. It’s essential to apply for renewal at least six months before the expiration date to avoid disruptions.

Criminal Activities

Engaging in criminal activities can have severe consequences. Certain crimes, such as aggravated felonies, murder, rape, and crimes of moral turpitude, can lead to deportation and loss of permanent residency. It is vital to understand U.S. laws and refrain from engaging in actions that may lead to criminal charges. 

Failure To Support Dependents

Immigrants who fail to support their children or other dependent family members can face legal and immigration consequences. Failing to help them may cause you to face legal actions from family court and potential deportation if deemed to be an unfit parent or guardian.

Faking Documents To Receive Public Benefits

Using fake documents to obtain public benefits such as welfare, healthcare, or housing assistance is both a criminal and immigration offense. Providing accurate and truthful information in all applications and interactions with government agencies is essential. Such illicit actions may lead to criminal charges, denial of immigration benefits, and possible deportation.

Understanding and avoiding these common pitfalls can facilitate a smoother immigration experience. One of the best ways to mitigate these risks is to work with seasoned family-based petition lawyers. They can devise particular strategies and provide tips for achieving your immigration goals.

Tips From An Immigrant Attorney Near Me To Maintain Status

Preserving lawful residency in the United States means upholding your responsibilities as a Green Card holder. Immigrant lawyers provide invaluable advice to help you and your family avoid common pitfalls and secure legal immigration standing.

Keep Up With Immigration Laws

Immigration laws and policies can change frequently. You must stay informed about changes affecting your status by following reliable news sources and attending legal seminars or workshops. You can also consider subscribing to updates from a trusted, local law firm.

Maintain Continuous Physical Presence

You must live in the United States and avoid long absences to prevent questions about abandoning your residency. Plan trips carefully and maintain evidence of your ties to the country, such as owning or renting property and having family ties or employment.

Apply For A Re-Entry Permit Or SB-1

If you need to be outside the U.S. for over a year, apply for a re-entry permit before leaving. It shows your intention to return and protects your Green Card status. Re-entry permits are valid for up to two years and can be obtained at your local USCIS office.

If you face events that extend your stay abroad, you can apply for a returning resident visa (SB-1) at a U.S. consulate.

File U.S. Tax Returns

As a Green Card holder or lawful permanent resident (LPR), you must file U.S. tax returns on your worldwide income. It shows your commitment to U.S. residency and helps avoid issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that could affect your immigration status. Keep detailed records of your income, expenses, and taxes paid in the U.S. and abroad.

Prepare For Status Changes

If you intend to undergo naturalization, the process that allows immigrants to become U.S. citizens, you have to start early. Similar to family petitions, naturalization requires intense preparation and proper guidance. Seek professional advice to ensure all paperwork is correctly filed and to avoid unnecessary delays.

Understand LPR Requirements

Green Cards come in many categories with different sets of requirements. It’s essential to understand the specific conditions attached to your status. For instance, if you were granted a conditional permanent resident status, your Green Card is valid for two years. To remove these conditions, you must file a petition within 90 days before it expires.

Register With The Selective Service (If Applicable)

Male Green Card holders between 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service. It is a legal requirement and helps demonstrate your commitment to fulfilling civic duties in the United States. Failing to register can cause issues with naturalization applications later on.

Comply With Laws & Regulations

Avoid any criminal activities or legal issues. Even minor offenses can lead to deportation or affect your ability to maintain or renew your Green Card. Always seek legal advice if you’re in trouble, and inform your immigration attorney immediately.

Keep Detailed & Valid Records

Maintain records of all trips outside the U.S., including dates and purposes of travel, re-entry permits, tax filings, and other essential documents. Keeping copies of your visa and Green Card handy is equally important. Be proactive in renewing vital documents like your visa and passport before they expire.

Consult An Immigration Lawyer Regularly

Schedule regular check-ins with an immigrant attorney near me to review your status and potential issues. They can provide personalized advice, help you understand complex legal requirements, and assist in preparing any necessary documentation or applications.

By following these tips, you can better handle the complexities of the immigration system and maintain your legal status in the country. A reputable law firm’s guidance is invaluable in ensuring compliance with all regulations and avoiding common pitfalls.

Immigrant Attorney Near Me: Tips To Maintain Legal Status In Texas

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Empowers Immigrant Families

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law’s focus on immigration has been a lifeline for many families. Our team of dedicated attorneys offers compassionate and comprehensive support. We understand your emotional and practical challenges and work diligently to guide you in keeping your Green Card status.

We offer comprehensive services, from visa applications to citizenship processes, to provide a seamless experience. Our holistic approach addresses the technical aspects and offers emotional support. We believe in empowering immigrant families like yours, providing you with the tools and knowledge to navigate the immigration system confidently.


Preserving a Green Card status demands ongoing responsibility as an immigrant. The journey has potential pitfalls, but an experienced lawyer can provide invaluable guidance. Their insightful advice on maintaining permanent residence helps families avoid common mistakes. 

Adequate legal guidance can also offer you practical tips. An immigrant attorney near me can help you stay informed, keep your records valid, follow residency requirements, and report updates on personal information. Lincoln-Goldfinch Law demonstrates how dedicated legal support can empower families to maintain residency status. You can confidently pursue the American dream with our strong advocacy.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as green cards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job.

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