If you are relocating to the US, you must be aware of the country’s immigration law. This will help you understand the benefits you can avail of under the present residing status. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services department, a bureau within the US State Department, manages its immigration application.
The US immigration law is a bit complicated, and there is a lot of confusion on how it operates.
This article will highlight the US immigration status and a few immigration terms that everyone needs to know.
The people who are born in the United States of America obtain the status of “United States Citizens.” After residing for a stipulated period, the citizens who achieve a permanent residence status become naturalized citizens through the US immigration process. It is also possible that a person born outside the USA and has one parent as a US citizen during the time of birth.
Once a person receives US citizenship, he/she cannot be deported elsewhere. The immigration laws are complicated, and one needs to consult an attorney in such matters.
The USA’s permanent residents are the alien individual who gets the green card to reside and work in the US. It is more formally termed as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), and the card grants a status that has to be renewed after every ten years.
Though green cardholders enjoy several benefits, they don’t have voting rights, serve juries, hold public offices, and even civil rights exclusive to citizenship. The most common ways to become a permanent resident are:
- Employer Sponsorship
- Family Sponsorship
- Visa Lottery
- Refugee or Asylee Status
- Conditional Resident
A qualifying marriage to a United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) will enable alien spouses and children for Conditional Resident. The status is typically conditional because the applicant has to prove their marriage was not intended to obtain permanent residence status.
In a period of two years, the applicant and spouse must establish a bona fide marriage through the testimony of friends, joint ownership of property, and the birth of a child. During this time, they must joint file to remove the condition; otherwise, the card may be revoked, and the applicant might be deported.
US state government visaNon-immigrants, also known as temporary visitors, have gotten authorization through a US state government visa. This provides permission to them so that they can reside in the US for a certain period and a specific purpose.
The most common examples of non-immigrant visas include:
- Work (H visa)
- Student (F visa, J visa)
- Fiancee (K visa)
- Tourism (B visa)
- Visiting Families (B visa)
The foreign nationals who enter the USA without seeking legal permission or overstay their visas are listed as undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens. Most of them don’t get authorization from the US government to live, work, and access other country benefits. They are at a high risk of getting deported if authorities came to know about them.
Some undocumented immigrants have the quasi status:
- DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)- permits some US students to work and study in public colleges.
- TPS (Temporary Protected Status)- permits specific individuals to work and reside.
These are some of the immigration laws that everyone should be aware of before shifting to the USA. If the process becomes a little overwhelming, then one can seek advice from immigrant lawyers.