Immigration is the act of entering a country with the intention of permanently living and/or working there, although U.S. immigration laws also cover entry into the country for almost any purpose, including temporary stays beyond a certain length of time. Below is an overview of immigration processes in the United States.
The immigration system in the U.S. is set up primarily to grant immigration status based on factors such as family reunification, in-demand work skills, and capital investment. The immigration system also covers refugees and asylum seekers, and provides a "lottery" for immigration status to people who have less pressing immigration needs. The procedure for gaining legal immigrant status will depend upon, among other factors, which path you are eligible to pursue based on your employment, education, and family situation.
If an individual is seeking immigrant status based on the fact that they have a relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, the following is required:
If an individual is seeking immigrant status based on a permanent employment opportunity, the following is required.
Although relatively rare, if an individual makes a qualifying capital investment in the United States, he or she may be eligible for immigrant status, provided that:
To be eligible for refugee status, an individual must have suffered past (or be in fear of future) persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political view, or membership in a certain group. An individual who is found eligible for refugee status must then satisfy certain medical and security criteria in order to be eligible for entry into the U.S. Political pressures make refugee status difficult to prove in some cases.
Through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, immigrant visas are made available annually to people whose country of origin has low immigration rates to the United States. Each year, the State Department selects 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. However, once 50,000 immigrant visas are issued, or the fiscal year ends, the lottery is closed. Immigrant visas are not available for people whose country of origin sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years.
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Whether you want to win the Diversity Lottery, make a capital investment, or get a work visa, now is the time to learn about U.S. immigration laws and regulations. Before you begin down that road, why not make the prudent decision and get a legal expert to help map your course? A good immigration attorney will help navigate through the red tape and help you attain the result you are hoping for. Start now with a free attorney match at no obligation.
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