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Adapting to life in Texas as an immigrant

No matter what country you left behind when you traveled to Texas to start a new life, you may have felt excited yet worried or anxious at the same time. Perhaps, your main reason for coming to the United States to live was that you were marrying a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, maybe you are an entrepreneur who is launching a new business in this country.

Then again, perhaps you’re one of many immigrants whose entrance to the United States was prompted by urgent need, such as fleeing poverty or war in your home country or escaping domestic violence. Regardless of what brought you here, adapting to life in a new country may not only be challenging on a personal level but may become legally challenging as well, especially if your paperwork is not in good order.

It might get worse before it gets better

Many Texas immigrants find themselves navigating various stages of adjustment when they leave family, friends, jobs and other familiar things behind and start over in the United States. Perhaps, you can relate to feeling excited and jubilant when you first arrived only to feel depressed or stressed as the days and weeks passed by.

This is a common reaction for many people who have gone through a similar experience. When first you lay the groundwork for a new life in the U.S., you might go through a phase known as the “honeymoon stage.” Everything is new and exciting. In time, you may experience culture shock when faced with a new language, foods, customs and daily living routines.

Practical ideas to help you adjust

It is easier to resolve culture shock issues if you build a strong support network from the start. It’s especially helpful to connect with someone who also immigrated to Texas but who has been here for several years or more. As you integrate into your new community, you can tap into various local resources to help you address a particular need.

For instance, if your ultimate goal is to become a naturalized citizen, you may want to explore options for tutoring or help in studying for your exams. If you’re experiencing a severe language barrier, taking English classes might be helpful at this time.

If a legal status problem arises

Nothing can bring the joy of adapting to a new life in Texas to a screeching halt like suddenly facing an immigration-related legal problem. Maybe Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers took a loved one into custody and you’re unsure how to contact him or her. Perhaps, the U.S. government has called you to an interview to prove that your marriage is legitimate.

Such situations can be frightening and stressful. It’s best to try to remain calm and to learn as much as you can about your rights and legal obligations before attending any interviews or hearings.