What to know about immigration if you’re 21 or older

Those who came to the United States when they were children, or were brought to the U.S. by their parents or other relatives, may have been fleeing violent and otherwise dangerous situations, seeking a better life and thinking of the future of their family. But once these immigrant children reach the age of 21, as the law currently stands, their legal status abruptly comes to an end. You should know what the options are moving forward if you find yourself in this type of situation in Pennsylvania.

In many cases, the visa types held by the parents in these immigrant families don’t leave much room for other members of the family, including their children, to use their parents’ status as leverage to obtain a green card and avoid deportation. Since this is one of the main ways that immigrants gain legal status in the U.S., these young adults are forced to look into other options.

Work visa or student visa

A temporary work visa is one way that young immigrants are managing to keep their legal status in the United States. While the fact that this isn’t a permanent fix is right in the name, it’s still a viable option for those who are gainfully employed.

Other times, the way forward to avoid being deported may be to apply for a student visa. If you are planning to go to school and obtain an advanced degree, this type of visa may be your ticket to retaining legal status.

It’s important to remember that not all immigrants turning 21 have the same options available to them. Protecting your legal status requires careful consideration of your unique circumstances to determine how they might be leveraged to your benefit.

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