What Are Your Options For U.S. Immigration?
Thousands of people come to the United States each year to visit, work, and live. After all, America is known as the Land of Opportunity. However, in order to visit or eventually move to the U.S., an individual will need to obtain a valid visa or Green Card. This can be done through a number of pathways, some leading to temporary residence and others to permanent residence. As of 2018, the following are the main ways to move to the USA.
U.S. immigration is divided into two main categories:
U.S. Temporary Visa Options
People from around the world are applying for U.S. work visas in record numbers. While the job market in the U.S. is under pressure, foreign nationals are still finding great opportunities to work and live in the U.S. Countries like Canada provide a solid talent pool for the U.S. economy and immigrants have always been a steady source of U.S. employment.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), USA visa procedures have been made easier for Canadians and Mexicans to work in the United States. Large corporations, small businesses and professionals are seizing new opportunities to work in the United States. Here are some of the most common U.S. work visa applications we file:
- TN Visa: fast track for Canadians and Mexicans who can get approved at a U.S. Port of Entry
- L-1 Visa: for foreign workers and owners wishing to transfer to a new or existing U.S. business
- E-2 and E-1 Visas: for investors and traders
- H-1B Visas: for specialty occupations
- H-2B Visas: for non-agricultural workers
U.S. Permanent Residence Options
There are a number of ways to obtain U.S. Permanent Residence, but the most common 3 are:
- Family Based Petitions: Are you interested in investing in the U.S., as well as moving to the country?
- Employment-Based Petitions: If you have a temporary job in the U.S. and your employer is willing to petition you for permanent residence, you may be eligible to get a U.S. Green Card.
- Investor EB-5 Applications: Are you interested in investing in the U.S., as well as moving to the country
Each type of application for U.S. permanent residence has its own special procedures and requirements as well as processing times.
US Immigration Options
I Want to Visit the US
The B2 Visa or known as the US Tourist Visitor Visa is for citizens of a foreign country who wish to enter the U.S. temporarily for the purposes of tourism, pleasure, medical treatment, or visiting. You must fulfil or prove all the requirements below in order to qualify for a B2 visa.
- Prove your visit will be temporary
- Prove your intention to depart the U.S. at end of your stay (or any extension)
- Hold a valid foreign passport
- Maintain a residence abroad to which you intend to return
- You are able to support yourself financially while in the country
For more information, visit our page on US Visitor Visas.
I Want to Work in the US
To work in the United States, you must obtain a work visa to be employed in the country legally. There are several different types of work visas available for foreigners who are interested in working in the United States. There are a few categories that these permits are listed under such as, temporary work visas, exchange worker visas, and seasonal work visas. U.S. work visa options include:
- L-1 visa: for foreign workers and owners wishing to transfer to a new or existing U.S. business
- E-2 and E-1 visa permit: for investors and traders.
- H-1B visa permit: for specialty occupations
- H-2B visa permit: for non-agricultural workers
- EB-1 Green Card: Outstanding Researcher or Professor immigrant visa classification
- EB-2 Green Card Permit: Based on Exceptional Ability.
- EB-3 Green Card Permit: Professionals, Skilled and Other Worker
- EB-4 Green Card Permit: Special immigrants including religious workers
For more information, visit our page on US Work Visa.
I Want to Study in the US
The United States has come to be known for its exceptional universities and high levels of education. For this reason, many international students apply each year to study abroad in the US. To become a full-time international student, you will need either the F-1 or M-1 student visa. Each of these student is a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to study in the US provided you meet a set of requirements.
To qualify for an F-1 or M-1 visa, USCIS states that you must:
- Be enrolled as a full-time student in an "academic" educational program, a language training program, or a vocational program
- Be accepted into a school that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement
- Be proficient in English or be enrolled in classes that will lead to English proficiency
- Have sufficient funds to support yourself during the entire proposed course of study
- Maintain residence abroad and have no intention of giving it up
For more information, visit our page on US Study Permits.
I Want to Live in the US
Immigrating to America as a newcomer can be confusing to learn the day to day activities in a new country. The US may be very different from your home country, which means there is a great deal to learn about and explore before you arrive here. Here are some things to think about learning about before moving so that you can adapt to the American lifestyle as fast and easy as possible
- Government Laws
- Banks and Financing (Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Bank Accounts, Checks, etc.)
- Health Care, Hospitals, Doctor Offices
- Cars, Public Transportation
- Education, School Systems
- Grocery Stores, Restaurants
For more information, visit our page on Life in the US as an Immigrant.
Top Questions about U.S. Immigration
Below is not an exhaustive list of FAQs, but it includes of some of the most common questions we get asked.
1. Is the immigration lottery real?
Yes, absolutely. It is NOT a ruse to locate those who are here illegally.
2. Does marriage to a U.S. citizen automatically get you a Green Card?
No. It may take from three months to two years to complete the Green Card process.
3. Can my employee's spouse work?
L-2 visa holders (spouses of L-1 visa holders) and spouses of E visa holders have recently been allowed to apply for employment authorization.
4. Can a visa be obtained in the United States?
As of 2004, all foreign nationals requiring new visas must apply for their visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States of America.
5. Can a visa be obtained in Canada for the U.S.?
6. Does a Canadian citizen need a visa to visit the U.S.?
No. However you do now require a passport or appropriate I.D. to cross the border from Canada to the U.S. (and vice versa).
Why Seeking Legal Help to Immigrate is Important
The immigration application process can be very difficult. These days, the rules and regulations make it increasingly difficult to qualify for a US visa. Whether you are applying for US permanent residence or temporary residence, it is essential that your application is handled properly from start to finish. This is why it can be crucial to hire an immigration lawyer. The last thing you want is a refused case. Knowing where to file, what documents are needed, and how to respond to government requests is a key part of the application process. The biggest mistake we see causing refused applications is the lack of experience in handling immigration cases.
Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?
Wondering if it makes sense to hire an immigration lawyer? Here are some of the top benefits of hiring us to help you:
- Know the best path to immigration - Our firm will help you determine which way to meet your immigration needs.
- Profile accuracy - We can help you avoid common mistakes that can lead to visa denials.
- Speed - Our professional staff will work with you to collect all the required documentation and information as quickly as possible.
- Personalized service - Dedicated experts will work closely with you throughout the process and will be available to answer any questions.
- No missed opportunities - We monitor the many different programs and visas for updates to make sure you are best positioned for success.
Why Hire VisaPlace for your US Immigration Needs
Many of our clients are happy to relieve themselves of the frustrations of preparing paperwork and having to deal with government red-tape by hiring our professional team of immigration experts. We have literally helped thousands and thousands of people successfully immigrate to the US, so they can visit, work, study or live, and we certainly can help you too! While no one can give you any guarantees, we are sure our years of experience can help increase your chances at receiving a positive outcome.
"VisaPlace helped us navigate the immigration landscape and they directed us to a great law firm and great lawyers. All I can say is "thank you" for getting my visa quickly. VisaPlace knew exactly what kind of legal team could help where other's couldn't. The fees were reasonable and everything went smoothly. I would highly recommend VisaPlace and the immigration attorneys they work with to anyone wishing to move to Canada or to the US."
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