The Immigration Process: What Legal Requirements to Expect



Immigration refers to a non-resident’s intention of moving to a country from another country in order to settle or reside in the former permanently. American immigration refers to the international movement of non Americans to America in order to establish permanent residence. The people who come to live permanently in a foreign country are called immigrants.


The increasing immigration statistics in the United States is caused by the influx of both legal and illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants are aliens who migrated to the US and are given the same rights as citizens, with a few exceptions such as the right to receive government benefits, the right to vote or hold political positions.


Naturalization refers to the process by which legal immigrants gain citizenship. A legal immigrant is required to reside in the United States for five years before he can qualify for naturalization. In some cases, the acquisition of citizenship requires a legal immigrant to be proficient in the English language and to knowledgeable about American history and government. Legal immigrants can be refugees, individuals who are applying for amnesty, or green card holders. Read more resources from this site.


How to Legally Immigrate to the United States


Many people go to great lengths to acquire a US immigrant visa. Here are some of the ways to obtain one.


Family Preference – A given number of relatives of American citizens can be sponsored under this category so that they can be legal residents in the United States. This pertains to the adult children, spouses, and siblings of American citizens. Applications under this category are subject to review and American residency may still be denied.


Immediate Relatives of US Citizens – This category accounts for the largest number of legal immigrants in the United States. Under this category, an American citizen can sponsor an unlimited number of spouse, minor offspring, and parents so that they can be legal residents in the country.


Employment Based – Individuals who have a specific skill set that is in demand in the economy may be granted a legal immigrant status. However, the number of immigrants applying under this category will be limited and will depend on the skills that are in demand. The skills may change from time to time.


Refugees or Asylum Seekers – This category gives a limited number of people legal immigrant status based on political, humanitarian, or religious considerations. For one to qualify under this category, an applicant has to prove that his life is in immediate danger if he remains in his current country of residency.


Green Card – This category allows foreigners to temporarily stay in the United States for a period of up to ten years. It does not give one an immigrant American citizenship, but only gives him residency. Click here to get started.