What stops immigrants from filling out the application for citizenship? Such a misguided suggestion fails to account for how no available regular channel exists for prospective immigrants, and you don’t have a channel whatsoever for unauthorized immigrants. You have unauthorized immigrants who have worked and lived in the United States for over 15 years. Many of them never apply for legal residency because of the difficulty of it.
Limited Routes for Legal Residency
The biggest barrier comes from the restricted routes to apply for legal residency. You have three choices:
- Humanitarian protection
- Family reunification
No matter what route you choose, each gets highly regulated with a specific set of criteria that will have eligibility requirements and numerical restrictions. Humanitarian protection means that you promote safety, meaningful rights, dignity, empowerment and accountability to immigration. You normally get residency from this after a crisis through applying as a refugee or for asylum. Unfortunately, the number of restrictions bar immigrants from reaching legal status. They have no path to it. Without an immigration lawyer Pasadena law firm, it becomes even trickier.
Unless Congress opens more channels to legal status, they will remain unauthorized in the country. They might pay their taxes, contribute positive things to the community and work hard, but they don’t have a path to legal status.
Can’t Get Green Card in the Country
You have some immigrants who entered the country illegally, and they can’t get their green card while still in the country. Even if they have an available visa, they’d have to board a flight back to their home country first. Meanwhile, exiting the country to get this visa lands you in hot water. Individuals out of status for over six months can’t access legal immigration for three years. They will have to stay in their home country for three years, which could be war torn, suffer gang violence or famine. That number rises to a steep 10 years for anyone out of status for more than one year. You’d have to spend 10 years away from family to enter legally. Without a Pasadena naturalization attorney, you could have your rights stepped on.
Long Backlogs and Waits
Let’s say that you do have a path to getting a visa. Many still have to wait for years to get it because of a long line. The demand for immigration to the United States exceeds the number of available immigration slots, which means that you could wait for years to get your visa. The backlog for immigration rests at an ever-increasing 1,000,000 in August 2019. That should paint a picture of the wait time ahead of you.
If you reside in a country with a high wait-time, you can expect a longer wait. The countries with the longer wait times includes:
Limited Lottery of Some Countries
In some countries, they use a lottery system that only dispenses a limited number of visas per year. The people from certain countries won’t qualify for it. To qualify, you also need a high school education, and you must have two years of job experience. As you can see, the limited options restrict and stir up difficulties with getting the visa.
To sum it up, you can’t just saunter into immigration and request citizenship. It doesn’t work like that. In some cases, you may have to hire a Pasadena citizenship lawyer who knows how to navigate these complex waters. A naturalization lawyer Pasadena firm gives you the best chances, and they understand your plight. They can look at your options to advise you on the easiest route possible. Until the laws change, many immigrants will most likely remain in the country illegally.