Immigration is the act of entering a country with the intention of living or working there on a permanent basis, although US immigration laws also cover entry into the country with almost any target, including the anticipated stay is temporary beyond a certain amount of time. The following provides a general description of the processes of immigration in the United States.
The main objective of the immigration system in the United States is to grant immigration status based on factors such as family reunification, skills, labour demand and capital investment. The immigration system also covers refugees and asylum seekers, and provides a “lottery” for immigration status to people who don’t have a need so urgent. The procedure for obtaining a legal status of an immigrant will depend on, among other things, the steps that you can take appropriate action based on your employment, level of education and marital status, among other factors.
If an individual is seeking an immigrant status because one has a family member who is a US citizen or a permanent legal resident, the following requirements apply:
- The individual must be eligible for the legal permanent residence based on a family relationship that is recognized by the law US immigration. Not all family members are eligible immediately, and some immediate family members (spouses and children) take precedence over others.
- The family of the individual (called the “sponsor”) must submit the form I-130, Petition for alien relative, along with evidence that proves the family relationship, and the government (the United States Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Service) must approve the request.
If an individual is seeking immigrant status because one has a permanent job opportunity, the following requirements apply.
- The individual must be eligible under one of five categories of immigration in function of the job recognized by US law.
- The employer of the individual must complete and submit a petition for labor certification (see form ETA 750A and the form ETA 750B [should be sent to double-sided]) to the Administration of Employment and Training, Department of Labour.
- The employer of the individual must file an immigrant visa application (usually the form I-140, Application for foreign worker) and the government must approve it.
Although it is relatively uncommon, if an individual makes a capital investment in the United States, this may be eligible to obtain the immigrant status, as long as:
- the investment complies with a minimum amount given the benefit the U.S. economy and create or preserve a specific amount of jobs;
- is this the form I-526, immigrant Petition by alien entrepreneur, and the government approves.
To be eligible to access the refugee status, an individual must have been in the past (or fear to be in the future) a victim of persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular group. An individual who is eligible for refugee status must meet certain medical criteria, and security to be eligible to enter the United States. In some cases, political pressure makes it difficult to test the condition of refugee.
Through the Diversity Lottery Visa program (Diversity Visa Lottery), immigrant visas are offered annually to persons whose countries of origin have low rates of immigration to the United States. Each year, The State Department selects 110,000 applicants from all entrants who meet the requirements. However, once you are issued 50,000 immigrant visas or who completes the fiscal year, the lottery is closed. Immigrant visas are not available to persons whose countries of origin sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States during the past five years.
Legal assistance with the Immigration Process
You need to know the steps that involves meticulous preparation for each stage of the immigration process. If you or a loved one are considering to live in the United States or become a citizen should contact an experienced immigration lawyer who can guide you at every stage of the process and protect your rights.