Millions of people travel to the U.S. for business, to be with family or to take in the many sights and natural wonders. America is a big country with a lot to offer immigrants from all walks of life. Any immigrant who wants to travel to Ohio one of the other fifty states is urged to go through the proper legal process.
Immigration to Ohio
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) shows that there were approximately 42.4 million immigrants in the U.S. (MIP) which is 13.3 percent of the overall population.
Ohio, part of the Rust Belt, has a relatively small immigrant population at just 4.2 percent according to the Migration Policy Institute.
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
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:
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
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.