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How US Immigration Works
Immigration law is a branch of law in charge of the movement of a person. If you plan on being a temporary or permanent resident, you will need to pass through the immigration process. The immigration policy is complex and strict. It takes into consideration the national rules and international agreements other countries have with the US.
The United States is deemed as a free democratic country that gives fair immigrant rights, treatment, and laws for immigrants along with equal opportunities for every citizen. The immigration population reaches hundreds of thousands and foreigners with different nationalities across the globe migrate to the United States.
Lawful Ways of Acquiring US citizenships
Marrying a US citizen
One of the fastest and lawful ways to acquire US citizenship is by marriage. By marrying a US citizen, the bride or groom will acquire a K1 visa to enter the state followed by the registration of the marriage within 3 months from arrival. America is very strict about fake and fictitious marriages. Violations of this kind will result in being deported in addition to huge fines and a ban to enter the country.
Participating in the DV lottery program
There is a green card lottery in America that grants visas to a random person that wants to be an immigrant for as long as he or she has a certificate of secondary education or at least 2 years of work experience. Once he or she is chosen to receive the green card, the spouse and unmarried children below 21 years old are also given the right to receive such a visa.
Obtaining working visas (H-1B)
This is an immigrant visa for high-level professionals or skilled workers. Those with diplomas of higher education in accordance with US standards may apply for this kind of visa. America also counts 3 years of work experience in specialized work which is equal to 1 year at university, in the absence of higher education. Consulting with an H-1B lawyer and your employer is important because you cannot get an H-1B visa on your own. The employer hiring a foreign employee plays a big part in the processing of the visa.
Investing in the US economy (EB-5)
To obtain an EB-5 green card is the most expensive type of immigration because it involves investment in the economy. With this visa, it is required that the business is managed within the United States. There are 2 requirements in applying for the EB-5 program:
- Investing $500,000 to $1 million in the business
- Creating 10 or more full-time jobs for Americans. You cannot hire immediate family (wife or children) but you can employ distant relatives.
Having a Refugee status
If there is strong proof that there is persecution in your home country, a request for refugee status may be filed in the US Embassy. It will be to your advantage if you already have relatives in the United States. The type of persecution may vary but some may include:
- Political reasons
- Religious beliefs
- Military actions
Reuniting with family (I-130)
Among the different ways to immigrate, this is the most far-fetched way doing so. Close family members such as parents, spouses, and children below 21 years old are the most likely to be admitted. The process may take up to 10 years especially if siblings, aunts, cousins, etc. are the ones involved. US citizen family members that are permanent residents must file this type of visa (I-130) and provide documents proving that you are, in fact, related.
There are other means to enter the USA. It can be through any of the following:
J-1 Temporary Exchange Visitor visa
This is a non immigrant visa allowed to a foreign national for cultural exchange purposes. The visa holders must be fluent in English and capable of financially sustaining themselves while they are in the US. Professors, teachers, students, etc. can enter in this kind of exchange.
L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Work visa
This allows alien nationals that are employed in international companies to be transferred to the branches stationed in the US. Only people who possess managerial positions or special occupations can apply for this visa.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Work visa
This is also known as a nonimmigrant visa for aliens with extraordinary ability. To qualify for this kind of visa, they must possess extraordinary talent in arts, athletics, business, education, television industry, and science. They need to provide evidence of international or national documents including awards recognizing their specialty in their fields.
R-1 Religious Work visa
This is a temporary visa available to foreigners who want to work as ministers or in other religious occupations in non-profit organizations in the US.
Are you planning to get a green card?
Immigration laws are very complex and sorting it out on your own may be very tricky and confusing. We, at Diener Law, will be more than happy to assist you on your way to becoming a US citizen and getting a permanent residency. Our immigration attorneys in North Carolina will help you go through the tedious immigration system, handle the issues of immigration, legal representation, naturalization, as well as open all the options available to you and your family. Contact us now for a free consultation.