There are a lot of things that you have to take into consideration when you are an immigrant seeking healthcare. You need to make sure that you can afford the services. You also have to ensure that you are able to get treatment without having to worry about the healthcare providers reporting you.
You do have the right to healthcare as an immigrant. However, there are still challenges that you have to face.
You shouldn’t generally need to worry about healthcare providers reporting you to ICE. There are HIPAA laws in place that can protect you and ensure you have the right to get the healthcare services that you need. The Network for Public Health Law talks about this in this article.
Unfortunately, there are still going to be obstacles when you are seeking healthcare services as an immigrant. This is especially true for immigrants seeking healthcare.
Why Is it Harder to Get Healthcare as an Immigrant with a Criminal Record?
There are a couple of reasons that you will have a harder time getting healthcare as an immigrant with a criminal record:
- You will have a harder time getting a green card, which will protect you from deportation if other people choose to report you.
- Healthcare providers may be justified in reporting you for crimes other than being in the country illegally. It can be a challenge to navigate encounters with the police as an immigrant seeking healthcare.
Therefore, you are going to face some challenges if you are in the country illegally and also have a criminal record.
Navigating the Process of Getting a Green Card While Being in the Country Illegally with a Criminal Record
When stepping on the path to obtaining a green card in Houston, applicants tread carefully through a thorough process. Annually, 810,558 immigrants, commonly known as green card holders, start their struggle to become permanent residents in the US through familial ties or other means. While the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) approves approximately 88%, a 12% denial rate exists. However, even with a relatively low rejection percentage, individuals with a criminal record encounter formidable hurdles in submitting a green card application.
Why Is A Green Card Important?
A green card holds profound significance for individuals seeking a permanent life in the United States. More than just a legal document, it is the gateway to stability and many opportunities. The importance of a green card lies in its ability to confer permanent residency, allowing individuals to reside and work in the US without the constraints of a temporary visa. This permanence fosters a sense of security and belonging, enabling immigrants to contribute to their communities, build careers, and establish roots in American society.
Moreover, it grants holders the freedom to pursue employment across various sectors, providing access to a wide range of job opportunities without the restrictions imposed on non-immigrant visa holders. This unrestricted access to the job market empowers individuals to explore their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the US economy.
How Much Effort Does It Take To Apply For A Green Card?
The process is characterized by a meticulous and comprehensive set of requirements, demanding the careful assembly of documentation. Prospective applicants must gather many documents, including personal identification, proof of family relationships or employment, financial records, and evidence of legal status in the US. The effort begins with the meticulous compilation of these documents, ensuring that each piece meets the stringent standards set by the USCIS.
Visits to various government offices and agencies become routine in the application process. Applicants must attend appointments, interviews, and biometric screenings, adding a layer of effort to the undertaking. Guiding these bureaucratic channels requires time and a keen understanding of the procedural intricacies involved. The effort intensifies as individuals strive to ensure all interactions with government authorities align with the established guidelines and timelines.
Financial considerations also contribute significantly to the overall effort required. The application process involves various fees, including filing fees, biometrics fees, and any costs associated with obtaining necessary supporting documents. For many applicants, managing these financial aspects demands careful planning and budgeting, adding another layer of complexity to the overall effort.
Ways Criminal Record Affect Your Green Card Application in Houston
The process in Houston becomes particularly challenging when a criminal record is part of the equation. The USCIS conducts thorough background checks on the beneficiary and the sponsor, categorizing criminal offenses into distinct types. Understanding how a criminal record can impact a green card is crucial for individuals facing these challenges.
Categories of Criminal Offenses
The USCIS assesses criminal records based on two primary categories: crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies. Crimes of moral turpitude encompass acts contrary to justice, honesty, or good morals, such as fraud or vileness. Individuals convicted or admitting to such crimes may face inadmissibility. Aggravated felonies, on the other hand, involve serious offenses like murder, rape, drug offenses, and violent crimes with a minimum one-year prison term.
Increased Scrutiny and Delays
Having a criminal record inevitably triggers heightened scrutiny during the application process. USCIS meticulously reviews the details of the offense, leading to extended processing times. The increased scrutiny and thorough examination can result in delays as officials assess the potential risk posed by the individual with a criminal history.
Potential Denial of Green Card
Perhaps the most significant consequence of a criminal record is the risk of outright denial of the application. USCIS holds the authority to deny applications based on criminal history, especially if the offenses fall within the categories of crimes of moral turpitude or aggravated felonies. The severity of the offense and its alignment with immigration law standards can determine the likelihood of denial.
Impact on Waivers and Legal Strategies
Individuals with a record may explore waivers or legal strategies to mitigate the impact on their application. Waivers offer a pathway to request forgiveness for certain offenses, but their availability and success depend on various factors. Seeking help from a qualified immigration attorney becomes imperative to navigate this complex terrain, as attorneys can guide individuals through the waiver application process and explore potential legal strategies.
A criminal record undeniably introduces complexities into the application journey. From increased scrutiny and processing delays to the potential outright denial of the application, understanding how criminal records affect the process is essential.