Immigrating to the U.S. is challenging, costly, and time-consuming. There is also a chance an immigrant’s application will be rejected, and they must start over or give up their dream of immigrating to the U.S. Some immigrants don’t give up if their application is rejected or don’t even try the legal route and enter illegally. Illegal immigration is never a good idea because it makes an immigrant’s life very difficult. Undocumented immigration also has legal consequences including incarceration and deportation.
If you are arrested and are undocumented, you are more likely to be deported because of Ohio’s participation in Secure Communities, a federal immigration enforcement program. Law enforcement agencies who participate in the program are asked to fingerprint any arrestees they suspect are undocumented. The fingerprints are put into a federal database to check their immigration status. If an immigrant is undocumented, police can hold them until ICE agents come to pick them up.
Visas, asylum, and other legal statuses
- Typically, foreign-nationals
Types of visas
There are dozens of visas available to immigrants who want to study at an American University, work for a tech company or spend quality time with family. U.S. visas fall into the following categories:
- Travel visa
- Employment visa
- Family-based visa
What type of visa an immigrant applies for depends on how long they plan to stay in the U.S. Immigrant or permanent visas are issued for immigration to the U.S. and permanent employment. It is the visa immigrants should apply for if they want to become legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens. Nonimmigrants visas are for short-term travel or work that generally expire within 90 days.
You can see a complete list of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas on the State Department website.
Other immigration statuses
- Asylum for refugees
- Deferred Action/ DACA
- Immigration parole
The above immigration statuses are limited to specific immigrants and have strict criteria. If you aren’t sure what immigration status you qualify for, speak with an immigration attorney in Ohio.
Legal permanent residency in Ohio and U.S. citizenship
Getting legal permanent resident status is a goal that many immigrants who come to Ohio have even though they know will be hard. There is a long list of benefits associated with becoming a green card holder or a naturalized U.S. citizen, but the process to achieving either of those statuses is hard work. No matter what visa or status you are seeking, you will have a greater chance of success if you have an immigration attorney on your side.
For more information on green cards or U.S. citizenship visit the USCIS website.