Resources for New Immigrants
If you are a new immigrant, you may feel nervous, excited, and even overwhelmed by the US immigration process. Luckily, there are many excellent resources that can help you adapt to your new country and navigate the immigration process easily:
- The USCIS guide for new immigrants (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a5479ddf801b3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=a5479ddf801b3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD). Whether you want to learn about the benefits available to you, or just want a basic primer on things you need to know, the USCIS makes a guide Ãš “”Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants”” Ãš available free of charge on the website. The guide covers the basics of arriving in the US and adapting to the country. It is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
- English-language classes for new immigrants. Many communities offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to new immigrants and these classes are excellent immigration resources if you are a new immigrant. To adapt to the country, you will need to master the language. As well, your instructor will be able to answer cultural questions, in many cases, and you will generally meet other new immigrants through class. These new friendships can help you get some support. You can learn more about English language classes in the USCIS Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants.
- Online. The Internet is filled with immigration resources, but you will want to be careful who you trust online. Only trust verifiable, legitimate sources. An excellent source is the USCIS website. Here, you will find immigration forms, instructions, and other immigration resources you will need as you navigate the immigration process as a new immigrant.
- Immigration and refugee organizations. There are special organizations Ãš including religious and community organizations Ãš that help new immigrants. You can find these resources in your own community through the yellow pages or through the USCIS. These organizations can help you adapt to your new home, can help you find English language classes and can help you with basic tasks such as looking for work or a place to live. In many cases, the services these organizations provide are free or very low-cost.
- The Library. Your local library is free to use and contains many useful immigration resources, including recent books about immigration, newspapers which can help you find jobs or a place to stay, and more. If you are having trouble finding the information you need, a librarian can often help.