News Americas, NEW YORK, Thurs. April 6, 2023: Immigration to the United States has been a long-standing way for many people to enter the country as permanent residents to start a new life. In fact, there were around 286,000 noncitizens who obtained lawful permanent residence in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, according to the Department of Homeland Security. For many people around the world, the American Dream is alive and well, and learning everything there is to know about immigrating to the United States can help them to start building a new life.
For those unfamiliar with the term, immigration refers to the action of coming from another country to live permanently in a foreign country. Generally, a person immigrates to a new country from their birth country, though they could be coming from a country that they were not originally born in. There are a variety of reasons for why a person may consider immigration, with the most notable being:
- Employment or educational opportunity
- Economic or societal conditions in their former country
- Reuniting with long-lost family
- Environmental factors
When a person immigrates to the United States, they either do so lawfully or illegally. When immigrating illegally and not taking the proper steps to be allowed in the country, a person can be deported. However, lawful immigration is quite possible and can be done with the use of a Visa.
All a U.S. Visa represents is permission to travel through a port of entry to the United States through some type of border crossing. However, there are two primary types of visas that could be given dependent upon your reason for visiting the country: immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
Non-immigrant visas are some of the most common, with a Visitor Visa B being the predominant type. This Visa is given to people who are staying for an extended period of time in the country for vacation, seeking family or friends, or for those who are seeking medical attention.
On the other hand, an immigrant Visa comes in a number of different forms, with the most notable being:
- Family Based Visas: For qualifying family members of U.S. citizens or lawful personal residents, a family-based Visa may be issued.
- Employment Visas: Those working for an extended time or permanently in the United States may be awarded an employment Visa.
- Adoption Visas: Those adopting children located outside the U.S. may be granted adoption Visas.
- Special Immigrant Visas: Former U.S. government employees or other special categories may be eligible for this type of Visa.
- Diversity Visas: An annual program offered by the United States in which a small number of Visas are awarded to qualifying individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
The process of entering the United States can be confusing for immigrants, but there are a few primary steps a person can follow:
- Apply for the applicable Visa based on your situation
- Show valid travel documents once you enter the country
- Present your passport from your country of origin as well as your approved Visa
- Enter the country, but leave before your Visa expires to avoid consequences
In some instances, it’s common for an individual to wish to remain in the United States permanently, which essentially completes the process of immigration. To do so, however, you will need to acquire a Green Card (permanent residency) and optional citizenship. Here is the general process to keep in mind:
- Determine if you qualify for a green card with the help of an accredited immigration attorney who can evaluate your case
- Hold onto your green card for five years (or three years if you have a U.S. citizen as a relative)
- Submit a formal application and pay fees
- Complete an interview that tests basic English and American history
- Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States
- Receive your proof of citizenship
While immigration may not be the right choice for everybody, it is for millions of people around the world. Immigrating to a new country is a daunting and challenging experience, but it is an experience that can also be extremely rewarding. After you have successfully become a permanent resident, consider taking the steps towards becoming a full-fledged citizen to earn more rights if you qualify for citizenship.