Helping Your Kids Settle in the US
How Will Your Children Settle in the US?
Yes, when we came to the US in 1999, we brought our three children from Northampton, England, aged 12, 10 and 5. Each of them went to different schools and they all had their own unique experiences and challenges adjusting to a new life in the US. Now they are grown, living the American Dream, with one working in our law firm, another studying for his Ph.D and another looking to go to college to learn game design.
So we have first hand experience raising our kids through elementary school, middle school, high school and university in the United States.
Are Your Children on Board With Your Move?
For most children under age 10, normally they are able to adapt well to a new home, as they have very little roots. However, when your children are around age 12 to 13, this is a really critical age. At the 12 to 13 age range children are already plotting their life ahead of them, anxiously looking to get that first part-time job, and then maybe a few years after that looking to learn to drive at age 15 or 16. Many of their American peers will be looking to do the same.
The first few months will to them feel like a holiday to them, but once school kicks in and it dawns on them that they are not going home, expect tensions to rise and then fall. So the more you discuss the move before you actually take the plunge, the better. In our case we came over December 17, 1999, but only stayed 90 days to get fully settled in before we took a trip back to wrap up some loose ends. We then came back to the U.S. with the knowledge of our home waiting for us California.
Why Is Getting Green Cards So Important?
Many of our clients come to the US on the E2 Investment Visa where they have bought or started their own business, while others have secured employment visas such as the H-1B, L-1A or O1 visas – all great visas but none of them are green cards. Without exception, none of these visas enable the children to work, even part-time. If you’re bringing children to the US you owe it to them to make sure you secure green card status for them at the time when they will need it the most, ages 14 to 21. After age 21 they will have to secure their own visas, which is very difficult as a parent, let alone as a young adult. Once you have green card status, you are a permanent resident of the US and become eligible to most of the benefits and privileges of any American citizen, with the notable exception of voting.
With regards to your children, they will have the same right to work as you do, and they will be able to live their American Dream without conditions skewing their future. As your children look to go to college they will be eligible for scholarships, too. Once your children have had green card status for 5 years they will also become eligible, like you, to apply for US citizenship, which will open up even more student scholarships for them.
Why Are Employment-Based Visas Insecure?
Don’t get me wrong – getting into the US on employment visas such as the H-1B, L-1A or O1 visas is great, but you must be clear in your mind that they are temporary visas. Even if your employer-sponsored visa has a 1- to 3-year expiry date, if prior to that time your employment is terminated, your visa is also automatically cancelled. The employer has a legal obligation to let US Immigration know that your employment has come to an end. You are then required by law to leave the US within 30 days. You have to literally leave the US and, if you do not, the chance of you being allowed back in on another visa will diminish each week you stay beyond the end of your employment.
How Do I Secure My Green Card?
There are many options open to you get on the green card path, in fact just being in the US on a visa puts you one step closer to getting your green card. Your best course of action is to contact us and a request a green card consultation. We’ll go over all of your options and show exactly how we may be able to secure a green card for you. So give us a call today and let’s see what we can do.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.
Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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