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Adapting to life in Texas as an immigrant

Before arriving in Texas, you might have dreamed of that moment a thousand times as you prepared to leave your country of origin behind and start life afresh in the United States. Then again, you might be one of many immigrants whose entrance across a U.S. border was rather unexpected and hasty due to a high-risk situation in your life.

Either way, once you lay the groundwork for a new lifestyle, you may begin to worry about becoming acclimated in a new culture. If you traveled to Texas on a marriage-based visa, you may already be proficient in speaking, reading and writing English. That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t encounter language challenges, however, especially when people talk fast or use dialects with which you are not familiar. A key to success when adapting to life in America is building a strong support network from the start.

Phases to expect when adapting to life in Texas

Especially if you’ve never been to the United States before, you’ll likely see, hear and experience many things that seem strange to you. Most immigrants pass through various phases of adjustment as they do their best to become productive members of society in Texas or other states. The following list further explains some of these phases:

  • When you first arrive in the U.S., you might feel excited, happy and a bit nervous at the same time. This is known as the honeymoon phase because it’s similar to how people feel when they first get married.
  • No matter how prepared you might have been when you set out from your country of origin, you might experience culture shock after being here for a few weeks or months. During this phase of adjustment, it’s common to feel homesick, scared or even second-guess whether you made the right decision when you immigrated to the United States.
  • As you strive to overcome culture shock, you may feel relieved and happy when you enter the adjustment phase, which is when your surroundings and lifestyle begin to feel more comfortable. If you have young children in your family, you may find that they enter this phase a lot quicker than the adults in your family.
  • One of your ultimate goals may be to successfully navigate the final phase of a typical immigration journey, which is to fully integrate with your new community. If you wake up one day and realize that America feels like home, you can be sure that you have begun to accomplish your goals.

If legal problems arise during one of these phases

Perhaps, you or your loved one are at risk for legal status problems. Maybe everything was going great until your visa expired or immigration officers took you into custody. Any number of issues can arise that place you at risk for removal or impede your ability to successfully adapt to life in Texas.

This is why it’s so important to know where to seek support ahead of time so that you never feel like you have to try to handle these or other legal problems on your own.