Entering the U.S. with authorization
Before an immigrant can enter the U.S. to work or live, they need to get authorization by applying for a visa, asylum or being granted immigration parole. Below are common means of gaining lawful entry:
- Non-immigrant visas: for temporary work or travel.
- Immigrant visas: for individuals who hope to become legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens.
- Asylum- for immigrants fleeing physical danger or persecution in their native country.
Visas available to immigrants
There are approximately 20 different types of visas issued by the State Department. Some visas are awarded to immigrants who want to visit or work in the U.S. or who plan to marry a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Those visas fall into two main categories: nonimmigrant (temporary) or immigrant (permanent). Commonly requested visas include:
- Travel visas
- Temporary work visas
- Family-based visas
- Fiancée/ Fiancé visas
- Immigrant work visas
- H-1B visas
- Diversity lottery visa
Congress sets yearly limits on how many of each visa can be issued to immigrants. For example, immigration authorities are only allowed to grant 65,000 H-1B visas every year. Unfortunately, the caps imposed on immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are met quickly, so immigrants must act and apply as soon as they can.
Applying for a visa
Applying for a visa can be a complicated process and mistakes made at any stage could jeopardize an immigrant’s chances of getting the visa they want. We recommend you enlist an immigration attorney to assist you with your visa application.
Green card or legal permanent resident status
Data from the Migration Policy Institute shows that the USCIS issued 990,553 green cards in 2014. Green cards or legal permanent residency status has several benefits including the right to travel in and out of the U.S. freely, as well as work and live in the U.S. indefinitely. Also, a green card holder is can sponsor a spouse or family member for immigration.
In 2014, the USCIS granted U.S. citizenship to 645, 949 immigrants. Each went through the arduous process of naturalization, which takes dedication and perseverance. To be granted citizenship, an immigrant must first establish residency, then they must submit to biometrics and pass a civics test. Immigrants who strive to become a U.S. citizens should have the assistance of a lawyer to better assure their success.
Georgia’s special immigration law
Under Georgia’s immigration laws, police officers are required to ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop who is unable to produce identification or proof of immigration status. Whether it was a traffic stop or an arrest, police must take steps to determine if a detainee is documented or undocumented. However, witnesses to a crime or a victim of a crime are excluded from the requirement.
If you have an immigration issue or want to sponsored a loved one with a visa or green card, USAttorneys.com recommends you speak with an immigration lawyer in Georgia. Our team of immigration lawyers can assist you with a visa or green card application, citizenship, deportation defense or other immigration issue.