What are the Main Challenges Faced by Immigrants?

People from other countries choose to come to the United States for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for a better way of life, while others are trying to escape persecution in their own country. Whatever the reason, the experts at immigration law firm Graham Adair (you can visit their website here) tell us that navigating immigration law is just one of the challenges these individuals face. Just getting to a foreign country can be a massive challenge for some of them. And it can be even worse trying to adapt to a completely different way of life. Below are some of the more common challenges that face immigrants arriving in the United States.

Not Speaking the Language

The national language in the United States is English. All government agencies operate in English and those immigrants that arrive without a command of the language may struggle to adapt. Not having the ability to communicate with others can make it difficult to buy things in the grocery store, complete necessary forms, apply for jobs, and even make new friends. The good news is that there are ways to learn the basics, with courses available both online and in local schools and colleges. The sooner foreign nationals learn to speak English, the quicker they can adapt to life in this country.

Accessing Healthcare

If you are living in the United States legally, you should be able to access healthcare but this can often be a problem for those classed as immigrants. It can be difficult to get insurance if you are not in a job where it is provided as a benefit. Moreover, without insurance, the price of healthcare can be unaffordable. Nevertheless, there are some hospitals and medical centers that provide care for those with no insurance and where translators are present to help immigrants communicate with care providers.

Getting Credit

Even those foreign nationals living in the United States legally will face the challenge of building up their credit history. Without credit, it can be hard to build a credit score, and without a credit score it can be nigh on impossible to get credit. It is a vicious cycle that prevents immigrants from getting everything from a mortgage to a credit card.

Getting a Job

There is still quite a lot of discrimination towards immigrants, and this can prevent them from getting jobs. They are often overlooked for positions or promotions even when they have the skills to perform the job. The language barrier may be the biggest obstacle when it comes to getting employment, particularly in customer facing roles. Furthermore, some employers do not recognize a foreign national’s credentials, especially if it is in a different language and awarded from an organization they do not recognize. The employer may therefore not take them into account, which can prevent the foreign national from getting the job.

Seeing Their Children Struggle in School

Although children do pick up new languages more quickly than adults do, it can take some time before they are fluent enough to learn other subjects, which means they often fall behind native students of the same age. Additionally, some foreign children are targeted by bullies because they cannot speak the language, or they have a different culture.


Making the choice to move to a new country is a major one, and everyone who does it has their own reasons. Regardless of these reasons, foreigners tend to all face some common challenges when trying to settle into a new country, with the language barrier being the biggest. This can prevent them from getting suitable employment, accessing healthcare, and advancing in school.