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Facing the threat of deportation can be terrifying, especially if you have family and other important commitments to look after. As laws tighten on immigration, numbers of deportations are on the rise. Regardless of your reasons for being deported – or whether you plan to fight the system or not – it’s important to plan for all eventualities. Here are some of things you should start sorting out now.
If you haven’t been in the country long, gathering written records shouldn’t be a priority. However, if you’ve lived here a while – getting your paperwork organised is important so that if the deportation does go ahead, things can go smoothly. Having bank statements and employer contracts will ensure that you get paid any outstanding wages. Having records of any child benefit applications and birth certificates will ensure that your children (if you have any) are looked after. Even if you’re determined not to be deported, you should keep this as a backup.
Consider setting up funds for any family members or friends that may be left behind, who cannot cope on their own. Talk to a bank about giving them access to these funds if you are deported. Keep this money in your name for the time being – you may still be able to stay in the country if legal action is successful or if the government revokes their order.
You may wish to consult an immigration lawyer, even if you don’t plan to protest against your deportation. They will be able to run through options with you that could include claiming asylum, applying for a u visa, adjusting immigration status or applying for cancellation. There are many factors that may be specific to your situation (if you’ve committed a crime, if you’re the victim of a crime, if your home country is unsafe to return to etc.) that may be best handled by a lawyer. Dealing with all these legalities can take some time – lawyers will hopefully be able to buy you this time, and in the best-case scenario allow you to stay in the country.
Make sure you communicate with all friends and relatives so that they are aware of your circumstances. Talk with them about what you will all do if deportation takes place. As already discussed, you may need to give them access to funds – however there may also property or belongings that you wish to give them to keep hold of. This could be something big from a house to something small like a piece of sentimental jewellery. In the country you are being deported to, you may be able to contact people and make precautionary plans – staying with someone whilst you sort out your situation and reorganise future plans. Do all this and you are sure to lessen the blow if your deportation follows through.