Legal News

ql  Immigration In The USA: A Legal Side
Author: Jomathews Verosilove on Sep 28,2022

The Complete Guide To Immigration In The USA: A Legal Side


The United States continues to draw immigrants from across the globe, with nearly 20 million legal foreign-born residents now living in America. The latest census data shows that there has been a decline in the number of immigrants coming into the U.S. However, even though fewer people are moving here than before, it doesn’t change the fact that the U.S. is still an extremely popular destination for people looking to make a new life for themselves abroad. There are many reasons why people decide to make the move, from wanting to experience a new culture to looking for better work opportunities. No matter your reason for moving to the U.S., there are a few things you will need to do before you can officially call yourself a resident. If you’re considering moving to the United States to live and work here legally, this article will serve as your complete guide to immigration in the US from a legal perspective. We’ll cover everything you need to know about immigrating to America and what kind of visa or green card you should apply for based on your circumstances and type of employment offer.


The Basics of Immigration in the US

There are two ways to become a permanent resident in the U.S. – through employment or the family. When you’re looking at the system, you’ll find that the first two employment options are for professionals and skilled workers. If you’re not in those two categories, then you’ll be looking at family-based visas. The United States issues two types of visas – the H-1B visa for skilled workers and the H-2B visa for seasonal non-skilled workers. Technically, these are not green cards or any other form of permanent residency, which is why we call them visas. When people talk about a green card, they’re usually talking about the I-485, which is the form you fill out if you’re already in the U.S. on a temporary visa and want to stay permanently. Visa holders who already have a job offer in the U.S. can apply for a green card directly without first having to return to their home country.


Visa Options for Immigrants

The H-1B visa is the most common visa for skilled workers, particularly those in computer-related fields. The H-1B visa is issued to foreign nationals who are coming to the United States for a temporary period of up to 3 years. H-1B visa holders must have a job offer from an American company to receive this visa. These are the most common occupations for H-1B visas: computer systems analysts, software engineers, computer programmers, and other computer occupations. You will need to have an employer willing to sponsor you, though you do not have to be hired directly. The H-2B visa is used for non-skilled seasonal workers, such as those employed as landscapers or farm workers. There is a strict cap on the number of these visas each year, so they are not easy to obtain. There are many other visa options for immigrants, including the O-1 visa for experts, the E-2 visa for investors, and the EB-5 visa for entrepreneurs. The rules and requirements for these visas can vary a great deal depending on what type of work you do, where you are currently located, and if you have any family members in the U.S.


Green Cards for Permanent Residence

The key difference between a visa and a green card is that one is valid for a specific amount of time and can be revoked at any time, and the other is a permanent status for which you will need to meet certain criteria. You can apply for a green card directly from the U.S. if you’re already here on a temporary visa, but it’s not an easy process. In many cases, you will be required to leave the country for some time and then re-enter on your new green card, which is a lengthy process. The best way to become a permanent resident is to obtain a job offer that qualifies you for an employment-based green card. Many jobs are eligible for green cards, including those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as certain types of executives, managers, and professionals. If you are interested in working in the U.S. with a green card, you must first find a company that is interested in hiring you and has received a green card category for which you are qualified. As soon as you receive a job offer, you may begin the green card process. The process takes several months or even a few years, depending on the category, so it is important to start as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to visit the Immigrant Resource Center at your university to find out more about green cards and the process of receiving one.


Citizenship and Naturalization

If you’re granted a green card, you become a lawful permanent resident (LPR), which is the first step toward becoming a naturalized citizen. Once you have your green card, you have up to two years to apply for citizenship. During this time, you have all the rights and privileges of a U.S. resident, but you are not yet a citizen. As a green card holder, you will need to maintain a clean criminal record, keep up with your taxes, and continue to meet the requirements for maintaining your green card status. You can apply for citizenship any time after you’ve been an LPR for five years, though you may be able to reduce this period based on particular circumstances. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, and your spouse completes the process of filing for a marriage-based green card for you, you can apply for citizenship immediately without having to wait the full five years. The same is true for those who are granted asylum in the U.S.



Immigration to the U.S. is a long and complicated process that’s entirely dependent on your circumstances. However, there are certain steps you can take to make the process easier and speed up the timeline. Knowing which visa or permit is best for your situation will help you start the process correctly and avoid any unnecessary delays. Once you have the correct paperwork, submitting it on time is critical. Keep in mind that different embassies have different processing times and deadlines. Even if you’re applying for an immigrant visa, you may be required to first apply for a non-immigrant visa. This is dependent on your country of origin. Stay in contact with the consulate or embassy you applied to, and make sure you meet all the requirements, deadlines, and submission dates. If you have a particular type of skill or expertise that is in demand here, you may be able to move to America relatively easily. If you don’t, you may have a very long wait ahead of you. Although the number of immigrants entering the U.S. has decreased overall in the past decade, the demand for skilled workers has remained high. It’s important to understand that the immigration process is a two-way street. Once you’re granted citizenship, you have the right to return to the U.S. at any time and can visit other countries as much as you like without applying for visas or other permits.

Subscribe Your Email for Newsletter