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Immigrating to Minnesota
There is an endless list of reasons why immigrants from all over the world flock to the U.S. It attracts millions of immigrants from every continent who are seeking religious freedom, economic opportunities, and better education. Immigrating to America through the proper legal channels is not easy, but the rewards are well worth the work.
Getting authorization to immigrate to Michigan
In 2014 about 7.8 percent of Minnesota’s population was foreign-born. That equates to approximately 428,057 foreign-born residents of the state according to data from the Migration Policy Institute. Just over 50 percent are naturalized citizens.
It is unclear how much of Minnesota’s foreign-born population is undocumented, but nationwide it is a large problem. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are between 11 million and 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
Most immigrants enter with a visa, which we’ll cover in more detail below, but some immigrants get authorization to immigrate because they are refugees or the victims of natural disaster. Other means of authorized include:
Asylum- Asylum is granted to immigrants who are facing personal danger because their native country is devastated by war or they face persecution for their religion or lifestyle. In the 2016 fiscal year, which ended in September, the U.S. took in 85,000 refugees, according to the Pew Research Center. Visit the USCIS website to learn more about applying for refugee status.)
Humanitarian parole- This is a temporary status that is granted to immigrants who must flee their native country because of a natural disaster or violence. Humanitarian parole is only granted temporarily until conditions in an immigrant’s homeland improve.
Visas for immigration to Minnesota
Most immigrants enter the U.S. with a visa since asylum and humanitarian parole only apply to a select few. The State Department offers close to two dozen immigrant and nonimmigrant visas with different requirements. USAttorneys recommends you allow an immigrant attorney to help you decide which visa is appropriate for you.
There are two main categories of visas:
Nonimmigrant visas- These visas are awarded for temporary travel or work in the U.S. and usually expire within 90 days. Common nonimmigrant visas include:
H-1B- Reserved for highly-skilled workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
H-2B – Reserved for temporary work in the agricultural and hospitality industries.
H-3B- Trainee or special education visitor
Immigrant visas- These visas are issued to individuals who want long-term residency and top eventually obtain legal permanent resident status and citizenship. Common immigrant visas include:
H-1B- Highly-skilled worker
IR1 and CR1- Spouse of U.S. citizen
K-1 Fiancé of U.S. citizen
DV- Diversity Visa
In regards to H-1B visas, it is important to note this category of visa is considered a dual-intent visa. The H-1B visa is the most requested work visa, but only 65,000 are issued each year. It is a temporary work visa, but the holder can apply for a green card and eventual citizenship if they choose.
Green cards and citizenship
Applying for a visa, refugee status, legal permanent residency or citizenship takes time and tenacity. An immigrant must be patient and diligent, and most importantly, their applications must be accurate. Mistakes or missed deadlines can cost an immigrant a visa and delay their chances of immigrating to America for months, maybe even years, depending on the visa they were seeking.
If you need help with a visa or want to sponsor a family member for a visa or green card, we recommend you speak with an immigration lawyer in Minnesota. Our knowledgeable and dedicated team of attorneys will work hard your case.