09 January, 2020
After receiving your final approval of asylum, you are now legally allowed to live in the U.S., seek U.S. employment, and travel freely with the proper documentation in and out of the U.S. As time passes, you will be able to secure greater rights. As an asylee or refugee who has been recently granted asylum, you will become eligible to apply for certain governmental services and benefits. It is important to act quickly when applying for these benefits and services considering some are only available for a limited time. The purpose of receiving these benefits and services to help you and your family become acclimated to living in the United States. The first step in securing these governmental benefits and services will be to contact your local Refugee Resettlement Agency (“RRA”). The RRA has the capacity to help you and your family obtain cash, housing, and/or living-expense assistance. Additionally, the RRA may help you apply health care and food stamps. It is critical that you use the RRA’s assistance in applying for a Social Security card. Most RRA’s actively seek to enroll asylees or refugees in English as a Second Language (“ESL”) classes to help diminish the language barrier many of these individuals face when English is not their native language. As mentioned beforehand, in order to benefit from these services and benefits, you must contact your local RRA as soon as possible. After obtaining your Social Security number, you will then be eligible to apply for a driver’s license or other form of state identification. It is critical to have either a driver’s license or official identification card as an asylee or refugee considering most of what you do will require some form of identification. Especially, if you plan on traveling outside the U.S. after having been granted asylum. Keep in mind that before traveling, you must obtain the proper documentation that will grant you re-entry into the United States. This documentation may in fact take several months to receive. Some of the greater rights that become available to you as time accrues, will be the ability to apply for a green card and/or U.S. citizenship. Before applying for a green card, you must have lived in the United States for over one year after being granted asylum. A successful application would essentially change your status to a “lawfully permanent resident.” After having your green card for a minimum of four years, you will generally have the option to take it a step further and submit your application for U.S. citizenship. The process of applying for a green card and/or U.S. citizenship may seem tedious and will require attention to detail in order to receive a successful outcome. The experience of well-seasoned Immigration Attorneys at Theus Law Offices may help you obtain such results. Theus Law Offices specializes in a complete range of estate planning and elder law services, including wills, trusts, probate, successions, estate administration and probate litigation. If you need a Louisiana wills and trusts lawyer or succession attorney in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe, or elsewhere in Central Louisiana, let our certified estate planning specialist and probate lawyers help you.
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