Unless you are 100% sure that you were born in the US, this information is for you! Why?
If you were not born in the US, you may not be a US citizen. And if you are not a US citizen or do not have lawful immigration status (like a Green Card), you will not be able to work legally, get public housing or food stamps or other kinds of public assistance, apply for federal financial aid for college, or travel out of the US and come back. Also, you may be at the risk of being stopped and detained by the immigration authorities such as Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
How do I find out my immigration status?
You should talk to an immigration attorney. Your immigration attorney will be able to find out your immigration status in a way that does not put you at risk.
What can an immigration attorney do for me?
A lot! Only an immigration attorney can explain to you what your immigration status is, give you legal immigration advice, work on your behalf to make sure you have lawful immigration status, and help you stay safe if you come in contact with immigration authorities.
I already have an immigration attorney.
Great! Make sure to always have their contact info on you, keep in regular touch with them, and follow their advice.
I’m not sure I have an immigration attorney.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist! Our program is called Immigration Services for Youth in Care (ISYC), and we are here to make sure that all children and youth in foster care get the immigration help they need. We will work with your foster care agency to connect you with an immigration attorney.
Your immigration status is a private matter, you have a right to confidentiality!
Your immigration attorney will keep everything you talk about confidential and won’t share it with anyone without your permission. Your foster care agency and ACS are on the same team with your immigration attorney and will be supporting you throughout the process of getting lawful immigration status (for example, they will be covering the cost of your immigration application). Other than with your immigration attorney and your foster care agency, be careful with whom you discuss your immigration situation!
Try to stay out of trouble! These days, even a minor offense, like jumping a turnstile, can put your immigration status in jeopardy. If you do get in trouble with the law, notify your immigration attorney immediately!
Do not attempt to travel outside of the state, and certainly not outside of the US without first consulting with your immigration attorney.
If you are ever approached by ICE or CBP, or if you receive a call, email, or mail about your immigration status from anyone, let your immigration attorney know immediately! No communication with immigration authorities should happen without your immigration attorney. Never go to appointments in US government offices without your immigration attorney’s knowledge.
If you have further questions, write to us at email@example.com and we will do our best to help!