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Immigrating to Virginia
For immigrants seeking a good education or better economic opportunity, America has a lot to offer. Each year millions of immigrants arrive in U.S. to live, work and spend time with loved ones. No matter why an immigrant wants to travel to Virginia, they need do it the right way and get authorization from U.S. immigration officials.
Immigration in Virginia
Virginia has a large immigrant population. According to statistics from the Migration Policy Institute, 12.1 percent of Virginia’s population was foreign-born in 2014.
The four Virginia Counties with the highest immigration population are:
Fairfax County- 338,200
Prince William County- 95,600
Loudon County- 81,800
Arlington County- 51,600
Unauthorized immigration in Virginia
Immigrating is difficult, so there are some individuals who decide to bypass the legal route of immigration and enter the U.S. illegally. There are ramifications to illegal immigration including deportation. Before you enter the U.S. illegally or overstay a visa, speak with an immigration lawyer in Virginia to see what options for legal immigration you may have.
Authorized entry with a visa
Millions of foreign nationals are awarded visas each year. An immigrant can choose to apply for an immigrant (permanent) visa or nonimmigrant (temporary) visa depending on how long they would like to be in Virginia and why they are immigrating.
Immigration through Employment
Employment visas are issued for temporary or long-term employment in Virginia
Temporary work visas include:
H-2A-Temporary Agricultural Worker
H-2B-Temporary Non-agricultural Worker
Immigrant work visas include:
EB-1- First preference workers
EB-2- Second preference workers who hold advanced degrees
SD, SR-Religious workers
Immigrant visas for family members include:
Fiancé(e) visa to marry U.S. citizen
Visa for spouse of a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident
Visa for relative of U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
Other immigration statuses in Virginia
Refugee status- Refugees from countries plagued with war or violent unrest can seek asylum in the U.S. In the 2016 fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security granted asylum to 85,000 refugees. When a person is granted asylum, they are allowed to move to the U.S. and are granted work authorization.
Legal permanent resident- A visa holder who is in good standing and has met their residency requirements can apply for legal permanent resident status. As a legal permanent resident of Virginia, an individual is granted work authorization and can enjoy some benefits they didn’t have as a visa holder. Legal permanent residents can sponsor a family member or spouse for a visa or a green card.
The USCIS has more information about green cards.
U.S. citizen- Many immigrants strive to become U.S. citizens, but it can be a challenge. If an immigrant wants a greater chance of being granted citizenship, they need to retain an immigration lawyer to work on their case.
Immigrants in Virginia who need help with a visa, a green card or a deportation defense, should speak with an immigration lawyer near them in Virginia. USAttorneys has a team of knowledgeable and devoted immigration lawyers in Virginia who will take whatever steps are necessary to get you the immigration status you want. When you need an employment or travel visa, an adjustment of status, or want to apply for a green card contact a lawyer today.