Immigration Services FAQs

How can I get lawful immigration status?

There are many ways to obtain lawful immigration status.  Each one depends on the facts of your case.  Lawful immigration status can sometimes mean just a work permit and other times it means a green card.

Why should I talk to an attorney about immigration relief options?

It’s important to talk to a qualified attorney or accredited representative and not just seek advice online or from family members or other consultants in the community (like notaries) because the immigration laws are very complicated and not everyone knows all of the laws and legal options.  Also, some people are dishonest and want to trick you into paying them more money than you should.  If you file an application and are not eligible or if you give false information to immigration, your application can be rejected and you can be placed into removal proceedings and deported.

None of my family has legal status/papers – am I still eligible for relief?

It’s important to talk to an attorney who can tell you what your legal options might be.  Some kinds of immigration benefits depend on your age or how long it has been since you came to the U.S., so it is best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible, even if you are young and still being supported by your parents and don’t really need a work permit right now.

What happens when a child is detained by immigration authorities without a parent or legal guardian?

Children are detained by immigration authorities in different ways, including
– crossing the border
– through raids on workplaces or homes
– after being arrested

When a child is apprehended by themselves (not with their parent or legal guardian) they are usually considered unaccompanied. Unaccompanied immigrant children under age 18 must be placed in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the Department Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours of their apprehension by immigration officials. They will also be placed in removal proceedings, which means they will need to appear before an immigration judge who will decide if they can stay in the U.S.

I’m undocumented, can I still go to school? What should I do if the school won’t let me attend?

All undocumented children have the right to go to public school in the U.S.  For help enrolling in school, click here for a list of school district offices.

If your school won’t let you attend specifically because you are an undocumented immigrant, please contact:

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, San Francisco
131 Steuart Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-543-9444