Moving and living in a new country is a big step and can be a whole new experience for an individual. There are many people who dream of living and settling in another country. The United States is a popular destination for many people wishing to immigrate from their home country.
Immigration is not a simple process and has various eligibility criteria. You will have to fulfill eligibility requirements before a visa application is approved. Additionally, there are several other things that you ought to keep in mind. In the following paragraphs, we have listed common things that an individual must consider before moving to the U.S.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer to avoid legal obstacles that hinder or delay the immigration process. Choose an experienced attorney who has extensive experience handling similar cases. A knowledgeable attorney can help you throughout the process and fight for you.
Who can move to the U.S.?
If you wish to live permanently in the U.S., you will have to understand and meet the eligibility criteria. You may be able to obtain a Green Card through a sponsoring family member or through other means, depending on your personal circumstances. Here are some of the ways in which you can avail yourself of a green card by submitting a visa application:
- Applying for a Green card via family members – Family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can become lawful permanent residents (e.g. get a Green Card) based on specific family relationships. A spouse, minor child or parent of a U.S. citizen can apply for a Green Card through a special process specifically designed for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Other family members eligible to apply for a Green Card are prioritized by the following categories:
- Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens;
- Spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents; or unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents;
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
- Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).
- Getting a green card through your employment – There are also a variety of ways to get a Green Card through employment in the United States. These employment-based “preference immigrant” categories include:
- Priority workers, people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; or certain multinational managers and executives.
- Members of professions holding advanced degrees or who have exceptional abilities (including requests for national interest waivers).
- Skilled workers, professionals, or other workers.
- Applying for a green card as a special immigrant – The following special immigrant statuses may be eligible for a visa:
- Religious workers;
- Special Immigrant Juveniles;
- Certain broadcasters;
- Certain retired officers or employees of a G-4 international organization or NATO-6 civilian employees and their family members;
- Certain employees of the U.S. government who are abroad and their family members;
- Members of the U.S. armed forces;
- Panama Canal company or Canal Zone government employees;
- Certain physicians licensed and practicing medicine in a U.S. state as of Jan. 9, 1978;
- Afghan or Iraqi translators or interpreters;
- Iraqis who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government;
- Afghans who were employed by the U.S. government or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
- Green card for Human Trafficking and Crime victims – There are three forms of immigration relief available to victims of human trafficking – Continued Presence, T visas, and U visas. Each has its own criteria to be eligible for a green card, defined by the U.S. government. In addition, you can apply for a Green card through Refugee or Asylee status. U.S. immigration law allows asylees to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status after they have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year since being granted asylum.
- Green card for victims of abuse – Special immigrant juveniles and abused children are also considered for green cards. You can read the specific criteria and initiate the process of filing for immigration on your own. Or, if you have any doubts, you can contact a Family Immigration Lawyer who understands the process of applying. He will review your application and help you determine if you meet the criteria or not.
There are several other categories, including the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, Cuban Adjustment Act, and Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) program. There are specific eligibility criteria that must be met depending on the type of immigration status you are applying for in order to obtain a green card.
Paperwork required for immigration
You must keep in mind that you will have to complete a lot of paperwork in order for the green card application to be approved. The authorities will deny your application if documents are missing or information is incorrect. Here is a checklist of documents that may be required for a Green Card application. You should collect these documents and keep them handy before beginning the immigration application process:
- Visa documents
- Education and qualification documents
- Signed work documents
- Marriage certificate and/or divorce certificates
- Child birth certificate(s), if applicable
- Medical insurance policies
- Medical certificates and history
- Religious certificates
- Bank statements
- Investment documents
- Vaccination records
- Driving license, if you own an international driving permit
It is helpful to have all these documents ready before beginning the application for a smooth and seamless process. You may have to present some specific documents related to the specific category of green card you are applying for.
For instance, if you are a family member of a U.S. citizen, you will be required to provide documents proving that you are related to them. If you wish to move to the U.S. for work purposes, you will have to submit certain other documents. Therefore, you should consider these things before applying and filing the immigration application.
U.S. laws vary from state to state
The federal government has sovereign jurisdiction over foreign immigration eligibility and issuance of visas, Green Cards, and citizenship. States, however, also have laws for certain state activities related to immigration. Typically, state laws are related to employment, education, licensing, and state benefits.
Therefore, it is ideal to consider the laws and regulations of the state where you wish to move. For a seamless and easy immigration process, you can consult an experienced Philadelphia Immigration Attorney to assist you throughout the process.