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Top Ten Immigration Tips for Los Angeles Residents

Providing Dedicated Representation to Immigrants in Los Angeles

Regardless of the reason or reasons you ventured toward America, nearly all immigrants can agree that adapting to life in America can be challenging. There are new customs and habits to learn – even basic tasks like traveling from one point to another can be confusing and intimidating. Add to these challenges the size of cities like Los Angeles, the difficulties posed by not being comfortable with the English and being unfamiliar with local, state, and federal laws, and it is no wonder that immigrants in Los Angeles can feel alone.

The Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein assists immigrants with the challenges posed by the immigration and naturalization process, including deportations, obtaining citizenship, and challenging detention in immigration facilities. However, having worked with many immigrants in the Los Angeles community we are able to offer several tips to new immigrants coming to the Los Angeles area.

Tips for Immigrants in the Los Angeles Area

Have you recently immigrated to the Los Angeles area? Consider following these tips designed to help you better acclimate to the United States:

  1. Find and become involved with the Latino community (or other immigrant communities). Los Angeles is a culturally- and ethnically-diverse city. Regardless of your country of origin, there is likely a community of immigrants with a similar background. Immerse yourself in these communities in order to learn about living in Los Angeles and how to succeed in the city.
  2. Save money where you can. Try to minimize your expenses, especially as you are starting out in Los Angeles. LA can be a very expensive city in which to live, and it can be even more costly to purchase a home or vehicle, maintain those things, and complete the naturalization process.
  3. Learn English. Obtaining employment in and around Los Angeles can be easier if you are able to learn English. Ask around, as there are many low-cost options for learning and practicing English.
  4. Build job skills. Just as there are places where you can learn to read and speak English, you should also take advantage of opportunities to learn other job-related skills such as computer skills or a construction trade. These skills can be helpful in obtaining higher-paying employment.
  5. Obtain a driver’s license. As of January 2015, immigrants who cannot establish that they are lawfully present in the United States may nonetheless apply for and receive a driver’s license (provided they meet certain minimum eligibility requirements). Obtaining a license can not only minimize expensive traffic tickets and harassment but can also help you travel safely on Los Angeles’ roadways.
  6. Start working to obtain legal status in the United States. You should begin working on obtaining legal status in the United States as soon as you can. The sooner you are able to obtain your green card, qualify for asylum, or obtain a visa, the sooner you will be able to worry less about deportation.
  7. Report criminal activity. Some immigrants refrain from reporting that they have been the victim of criminal activity for fear of being deported. However, if you are the victim of a violent crime, there may be options available to enable you to remain in the United States under an U Visa. Not only this, but many law enforcement agencies will investigate criminal activity without regard to the victim’s legal status.
  8. Build good credit. Credit can help you obtain a loan for a home or car in the future, so build good credit from the outset. Pay your bills on time every month and pay your bills in full. Obtain a secured credit card and/or become an authorized user on another person’s credit score (assuming the other person is responsible and pays his or her credit card bill on time).
  9. Avoid criminal activity. Current government policy toward deporting immigrants is to focus on deporting those immigrants who are unlawfully present in the United States and who commit dangerous and/or serious felonies like drug distribution, kidnapping, rape, etc. Avoid committing criminal acts and avoid associating with individuals who engage in criminal activities.
  10. Seek help from an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney. Many of these actions can be made easier if you are assisted by an experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer. The Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein can assist you in becoming acclimated to your new home in Los Angeles. Call our office at (213) 262-2000 or contact us online and let us help you make the transition to living in Los Angeles.