People come to the US looking for job opportunities and a high standard of living. On an average, 1,032,400 people immigrate to the US every year. There are no major changes in the US immigration policy for newcomers right now except for the ban imposed on certain countries because of the terrorist activities prevalent there. However, the RAISE Act Bill, which the Trump administration has introduced just recently, can bring about major changes in the immigration policy if passed by the Senate.
Steps for entering the Unites States
- Visa Application- The immigration visa is available for family members of the US citizen, workers and businessmen. There are separate visas for each of the categories and specific documents need to be submitted along with the application.
- Entering the US- Once you are given the visa, you need to prepare all the documents, specially your passport, to get entry into the United States. The documents vary on the basis of the country you are coming from and your citizenship status.
The US immigration is based on four principles:
– Reuniting families
– Admitting skilled workers
– Protect Refugees
– Promoting diversity
Family based immigration
This policy allows US citizens and LPR’s or Lawful Permanent Residents to bring some of their family members to America. These newcomers must meet the eligibility criteria, age and financial requirements. These immigrants can be admitted in two ways:
– As immediate family members of a US citizen
– Through the family preference system
Immediate relatives include spouses, unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the US citizen, parents of the US citizen.
The family preference system includes married or unmarried adult children and brothers or sisters of the US citizen. Spouses or unmarried children of the Lawful Permanent Residents are also a part of this immigration system. This system provides limited number of visas.
All candidates for the visa must fulfill the eligibility criteria of the system they are applying through. The US citizen needs to submit the petition for the family member and prove the legitimacy of the relationship. He or she also has to sign an affidavit stating that the financial support for the newcomer will be provided by him or her. For this purpose, income details of the US citizen have to be submitted.
Employment based immigration
There are two options for skilled workers to immigrate to the US. The first option is the temporary visa which is employment based. The employer in America hires a foreign national for filling specific positions in a company because the foreigner meets the skill requirement for the job. This is a temporary job and does not allow the person to stay beyond the specified time limit.
However, permanent immigration is available for people who have outstanding ability in different fields like education, business or management. Skilled workers with work experience and qualifications are also included in this program. There is a limit on the number of immigrants who can get accepted through this system. The immigrants can bring along spouses and minor unmarried children too.
There are per country ceilings on the number of immigrants which do not allow any particular group to dominate the immigration pattern. There are separate immigration programs for refugees and asylees, immigrants from countries which have low rates of immigration to the US and people who are affected by natural disasters in their own countries.
What is Green Card?
A Green card is a permanent residency status given to immigrants who are approved to be in the United States of America for indefinite period. Green card holders get the permanent citizens status in the USA. It can take a long time and effort to obtain a Green card in the US, but it is one of the best ways to become an American citizen.
The citizenship of US is provided to people who hold the LPR status for at least five years. This process is called naturalization because the person gets automatically integrated into the system after 5 years.