Immigration law in the United States is complicated, and there are many misconceptions about how it works. The immigration laws of the United States are based on the following principles: Family reunification, admitting immigrants with important talent for the U.S. economy, protecting refugees, and promoting diversity. These 8 fastest and cheapest ways explain how the immigration system works in the United States.
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs current immigration policy. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the U.S. to issue up to 675,000 permanent immigrant visas in various categories each year.
A person becomes an LPR after obtaining an immigrant visa and entering the United States. Tourists, international students, and temporary workers are issued “nonimmigrant visas” that allow them to stay in the United States for several years. While many employment-based visas have annual caps, other nonimmigrant visas (such as tourist and student visas) have no such limits, so they can be issued to anyone who meets the requirements.
8 Fastest and Cheapest Ways to Immigrate to the United States
Immigration based on employment
The United States offers a variety of options for immigrants with important talents to come to the nation permanently or temporarily.
Immigration based on family
Immigration policy is guided by the idea of family reunification. U.S. citizens and LPRs can bring certain family members to the United States under the family-based immigration category. Immigrants with familial ties to the United States are accepted as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or under the family preference system.
Immediate relations applicants must satisfy specific age and financial requirements, while petitioners must fulfill certain age and financial requirements. Immediate relatives are:
- Spouses of citizens of the United States
- Minor children (under 21 years old) of US citizens who are not married; and
- Parents of citizens of the United States (petitioner must be at least 21-years-old to petition for a parent).
The family preference system makes a limited number of visas available each year, but applicants must satisfy regular qualifying standards, and petitioners must meet specific age and financial conditions.
Congress created a sophisticated method for determining the available number of family preference visas for any given year in order to balance the overall number of immigrants entering based on family connections. The number of visas available for allocation under the preferred method is then multiplied by any unused employment preference immigrant numbers from the previous year.
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) sponsor must petition for an individual relative, establish the legitimacy of the relationship, meet minimum income requirements, and sign an affidavit of support stating that the sponsor will be financially responsible for the family members upon arrival in the United States or sign an affidavit of support stating that the sponsor will be financially responsible for the family member(s) upon arrival in the United States in order to be admitted through the family-based immigration system.
Individual relatives must also meet certain eligibility requirements, such as undergoing a medical examination and receiving required vaccinations, providing an analysis of any immigration or criminal history, and demonstrating that they will not become solely reliant on the government for their survival.
Derivative immigrants are wives and children who accompany or follow the primary immigrant (the one sponsored by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) under the family-preference category).
Classifications for Temporary Visas
There are about 20 different types of visas available for non-immigrant employees on a temporary basis. However, depending on the permanent immigration category sought and the foreign national’s existing nonimmigrant status, the foreign national may be able to complete the processes to become an LPR while still living and working in the United States.
In addition to the numerical restrictions imposed on specific immigration preferences, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) also limits the number of immigrants allowed to enter the United States from a single nation. Currently, no one group of permanent immigrants (including family and employment-based) from a single nation can account for more than 7% of total immigrants to the US in a single fiscal year. This is not a quota to ensure that particular nationalities account for 7% of all immigrants, but rather a cap to prevent any immigrant group from dominating immigration trends to the US.
Permanent US Immigration
The total number of permanent employment-based immigrants is capped at 140,000 each year. This figure comprises immigrants, eligible spouses, and minor unmarried children, implying that the real number of employment-based immigrants per year is fewer than 140,000. The foreign national’s application for an immigrant visa in the United States. the consulate is the final stage. The immigrant visa application cannot be filed until USCIS authorizes the immigrant petition for consular processing. The time it takes to file an adjustment of status application is determined by whether a visa number is regarded as instantly accessible.
The Visa Diversity Program
The Immigration Act of 1990 established the Diversity Visa lottery as a specialized conduit for immigrants from countries having low immigration rates to the United States. Every year, 55,000 visas are distributed at random to citizens of countries who have sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the previous five years. Despite being designed to promote Irish immigration (at least 40% of visas were solely granted to Irish immigrants during the first three years of the program), the Diversity Visa program has become one of the few ways for people from certain parts of the world to obtain a green card.
To be eligible for a diversity visa, an applicant must have completed high school (or its equivalent) or have worked for at least two years in a vocation that requires at least two years of training or experience during the previous five years. The visas are allocated among six geographic zones, with more visas going to regions with lower immigration rates and no visas going to residents of countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the past five years.
Citizenship in the United States
An individual must have had lawful permanent resident (LPR) status (a green card) for at least five years in order to qualify for U.S. citizenship through naturalisation. Other exclusions include personnel of the United States military serving in a time of war or declared hostilities, among others. Applicants seeking citizenship in the United States must be at least 18 years old, have lived in the country continuously, have “excellent moral character,” pass English and U.S. history and civics examinations (with certain exceptions), and pay an application fee, among other criteria.
Humanitarian Aid in Other Forms
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) does not always lead to LPR status or any other type of immigration status. Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) does not automatically result in legal permanent resident (LPR) status or any other type of immigration status.
Even if they do not satisfy the criteria of a refugee and are not eligible to immigrate via other channels, certain persons may be allowed to enter the United States under parole.