Ask an Immigration Attorney for Legal Advice
Immigration refers to the rules and boundaries surrounding people attempting to move or temporarily stay in the United States. This area of law can be extremely complex and nearly impossible to successfully navigate without help, so if you or a loved one are considering immigration, it’s a good idea to reach out to an immigration attorney who can walk you through the proper steps to take.
Common Reasons People Visit the United States.
Like most countries, foreigners are not allowed to move to or stay in the United States beyond a certain length of time without meeting some qualifying factors. However, this does not stop many people from visiting the United States for other reasons.
Common motivating factors for visiting the United States as recorded by USA Facts in a 2015 study included:
- 8.5 million visits for business or tourism
- 1.2 million visits for work purposes
- 1 million visits to be with family
- 990,000 visits for academic purposes
- 250,000 visits for safety
- 47,000 visits for reasons of diversity
- 27,000 visits for miscellaneous or unknown reasons
Who Can Immigrate to the United States?
In order to be eligible for immigration based on United States law, there must generally be an element of family reunification or a relevant career situation to justify a long-term stay or permanent move. Sponsorship by an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., or a prospective U.S. employer are all common avenues by which people can move to the United States. Some other qualifying factors for potential immigrants are as follows:
- Familial relation to a U.S. resident
- Familial relation to a lawful permanent resident
- Adoption by a U.S. resident
- Employment with a U.S. employer
- U.S. government work status
- Diversity status from a country with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
- Spouse of a U.S. citizen
- Fiancè(e) of a U.S. citizen
- Religious workers
- Returning residents
How to Immigrate to the United States
In order to become a U.S. citizen, several steps must be taken. In order to begin the process, eligibility requirements such as legal age, ability to read, write, and speak basic English, and proof of good moral character must be met. General steps toward becoming a United States citizen include:
- Apply for a Permanent Resident (Green) Card. Most applicants will be required to fill out at least two forms, including an immigrant petition and a Green Card application (Form I-485). In most cases a sponsor will have to file the petition on your behalf.
- Retain a Permanent Resident (Green) Card for at least five years. Those applying for U.S. citizenship must have a Green Card for at least five years, or three years if they are filing as the spouse of a citizen. If the card will expire within six months of applying or if the card has already expired, it will need to be renewed before an application can be put through.
- Go through the 10-step naturalization process. This includes preparing and submitting form N-400, taking a U.S. naturalization test, and having a personal interview.
Immigration Often Requires Assistance From an Attorney
There are a variety of factors that can complicate the already complex process of immigration. When these occur, it can be immeasurably helpful to bring on an immigration attorney to help with your situation if you have not already. Some of the issues which often require assistance from an experienced immigration attorney include:
- Denied visas
- Deportation order
- Adjusting immigration status
- Rights of children
- Establishing a valid marriage
- Providing translations of all pertinent documents
- Missing signatures or improperly completed applications
After all steps have been successfully completed and any potential issues with the application process thoroughly addressed, you can receive a certificate of citizenship that proves your immigration to the United States is official and complete. For helpful resources and study tips, visit the United States’ immigration and citizenship help page here.
If you are experiencing difficulties in the immigration process or otherwise need assistance, contact an immigration attorney to see how they can help you navigate immigration law.