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Immigrating to Michigan

The U.S. attracts millions of tourist and immigrants each year for a long list of reasons. Immigrants come to America in droves seeking out new opportunities and freedoms they don’t have in their native countries. If an immigrant chooses to come to the U.S. for travel, for work or to be reunited with a family member, they must get the permission of U.S. immigration agencies either by applying for a visa, asylum or another immigration status.

Facts about immigration in Michigan

About 6.4 percent of Michigan’s population was foreign-born in 2014, data from the Migration Policy Institute shows. Following are some additional facts about 2014 immigration in Michigan:

51.6 percent of foreign-born nationals are naturalized citizens.

17.7 percent of foreign-born nationals were Latino.

31.6 percent if foreign-born nationals were Asian.

Authorized entry

The whole process of immigration can be time-consuming, and there is a high rate of denial. The difficulties associated with legal immigration discourage many immigrants, and they choose to enter the U.S. without authorization. There may be some rewards of illegal entry, but they don’t outweigh the risks which can include detention, deportation and being banned from the U.S. for years, maybe indefinitely. If you are an immigrant and are thinking about unauthorized entry, USAttorneys recommends you speak with an immigration lawyer first. Also, if you are undocumented, there may be a way to adjust your status and get legal authorization.

Being an undocumented immigrant is even more difficult in Michigan because the state participates in a program called Secure Communities. It is a federal immigration program that instructs law enforcement officers to check the fingerprints of the anyone they arrest with a federal database to determine if the arrestee is an undocumented immigrant.

Visas

The overwhelming majority of immigrants enter the U.S. with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa depending on the reason for their visit and how long they plan to stay. There are nearly two dozen immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for

Nonimmigrant visas, which are reserved for temporary travel or work in Michigan, include:

Travel visa

H-1B- Issued to highly-skilled workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

H-2B – Issued for temporary work in the agricultural and hospitality industries.

H-3B- Trainee or special education visitor

Immigrant visas, which are granted to individuals who plan to live in the U.S., include:

IR1 and CR1- Spouse of U.S. citizen

K-1 Fiancé of U.S. citizen

DV- Diversity Visa

The State Department issued 617,752 immigrant visas in 2015.

You can learn more about the different U.S. visas the State Department offers by visiting their website.

Green cards and citizenship

The goal of many immigrants is to become a legal permanent resident (green card holder) or a U.S. citizens.

In 2014, the USCIS gave legal permanent residency to 990,553 immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. An LPR or green card holder can live in U.S. as long as the choose and travel freely to other countries. They can also sponsor a family member for immigration and are granted work authorization.

Fewer immigrants become U.S. citizens than legal permanent residents. Only to 645, 949 immigrants who went through the arduous process of naturalization. Becoming a U.S. takes dedication and perseverance because an immigrant must first establish residency, submit to biometrics and pass a civics test. Immigrants who strive to become a U.S. citizens should have the assistance of a lawyer.

If you have questions about immigrating to Michigan, USAttorneys recommends you get the advice of a legal expert. Set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer in Michigan.