The West Coast state of Oregon has a large and diverse population of immigrants from all over the world. Approximately 9.9 percent of the state’s population were foreign-born in 2014 data from the Migration Policy Institute shows. Below are additional facts about immigration in Oregon
Oregon counties with the largest foreign-born population:
- Multnomah County- 109,000 foreign nationals
- Washington County- 94,000 foreign nationals
- Marion County- 42,000 foreign nationals
The immigrant makeup of Oregon:
- 45.1 percent are from Latin America.
- 26.5 percent are from Asia.
- 3.7 percent are from Africa
- 40.6 percent of Oregon’s immigrants are naturalized citizens.
Getting legal authorization to immigrate to Oregon
All immigrants who enter the U.S. to work or live must get legal authorization either through a visa or asylum status. Some immigrants are tempted to enter the U.S. without authorization. That is not a good idea because there are consequences for being an undocumented immigrant including deportation.
Immigrant can get authorization through:
Immigrant Visa: This visa is granted to immigrants who want to become legal permanent residents (green card holders) or U.S. citizens. With an immigrant visa and individual can work and live in the U.S. for an indefinitely as long as they remember to renew their visa.
Nonimmigrant visas: A nonimmigrant visa is issued for temporary work or travel in Oregon and usually expire within 90 days. One their nonimmigrant visa has expired; the holder must exit the U.S., or they will be considered undocumented.
Asylum- This status is reserved for refugees who are in personal danger and are fleeing war or persecution. Refugees must be vetted but once are approved they will be relocated and given work authorization, so they can begin rebuilding their life.
Below are the most commonly requested immigrant and nonimmigrant visas as outlined by the U.S. State Department:
- IR1 and CR1- Spouse of U.S. citizen
- K-1 Fiancé of U.S. citizen
- R- Religious workers
- DV- Diversity Visa
- H-2B – Temporary work visa for the agricultural and hospitality industries.
- H-3B- Trainee or special education visitor
- B-1- Nanny or domestic help
- H-1B- Issued to highly-skilled workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Applying for a visa or other immigration status
Applying for a visa, refugee status or legal permanent residency is a complicated process that is also time-consuming. Congress imposes caps on the number of immigrants are allowed to enter the U.S., so time is of the essence. If you want to apply for a visa or need a deportation defense, you should speak with an immigration lawyer in Oregon. They can assist you with an employment visa, a family-based visa or any other immigration need you might have.