US Permanent Residency Visas
United States immigration law is complex, and there is understandable confusion as to how it works.
US immigration policy is built loosely around the following goals: family reunification, boosting the US economy, and promoting America's famously diverse society.
Here you discover more about US immigration options, complete our quick free assessment, or click through to the visa category you wish to learn more about.
How to Emigrate to the United States
Family reunification is an important goal governing US immigration policy, with more than 480,000 family-based visas issued every year.
Family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to sponsor family members, either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, or through the family preference system.
But be careful: there can be long wait times involved, and heading in the wrong direction can costly. We can help find the best option for you, particularly in finding options you might have overlooked.
2. Employment and Investment visas
The United States provides various ways for immigrants with valuable skills -- and resources to invest -- to come to the United States on either a permanent or a temporary basis.
There are more than 20 types of visa for temporary non-immigrant workers. Many of the temporary worker categories are for highly skilled workers, immigrants with a temporary work visa are normally sponsored by a specific employer for a specific job offer.
Capsule summary of employment-based visa categories:
“Persons of extraordinary ability” in the arts, science, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers, some multinational executives.
Members of the professions holding advanced degrees, or persons of exceptional abilities in the arts, science, or business.
Skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience, professionals with college degrees, or “other” workers for unskilled labour that is not temporary or seasonal.
Certain “special immigrants” including religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, former U.S. government employees and other classes of aliens.
Persons who will invest $500,000 to $1 million in a job-creating enterprise via entrepreneurship or investment. More than 95% of migrants in this category enter the US with green cards on the basis of the Regional Center invesment scheme, detailed here.
In addition to the numerical limits placed upon the various immigration preferences, the USCIS also places a limit on how many immigrants can come to the United States from any one country.
Currently, no group of permanent immigrants (family-based and employment-based) from a single country can exceed 7% of the total amount of people immigrating to the United States in a single year.
3. Humanitarian visa programs
There are several categories of legal admission available to people who are fleeing persecution or who are unable to return to their homeland due to life-threatening, or extraordinary conditions.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is granted to people who are in the US and cannot return to their home country because of “natural disaster,” “extraordinary temporary conditions,” or “ongoing armed conflict.” By contrast, refugees are admitted to the United States based upon an inability to return to their home countries because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to their race, membership in a social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin.
4. The Diversity Visa Program
The Diversity Visa lottery was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 as a dedicated channel for immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
Each year 55,000 visas are allocated randomly to nationals from countries that have sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous 5 years. The Diversity Visa program has become one of the only avenues for individuals from certain regions in the world to secure a green card.
While supporters of the Diversity Visa system underscore the system’s value as the only equal opportunity provider opponents tend to emphasize the irrationality of a system that allocates immigrant visas randomly.
In order to qualify for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, an individual must have had LPR status (a green card) for at least 5 years (or 3 years if he or she obtained the green card through a U.S.-citizen spouse or through the Violence Against Women Act, VAWA).
There are other exceptions for members of the U.S. military who serve in a time of war or declared hostilities.
Applicants for U.S. citizenship must be at least 18 years old, demonstrate continuous residency, demonstrate “good moral character,” pass English and U.S. history and civics exams and pay an application fee, among other requirements.
US Immigration control
Name: USA immigration review
Description: From visiting the USA for the first time to securing permanent residency or a green card there are several options available for entering the USA. USA boarder control remains one of the toughest immigration systems in the world and is long overdue an overhaul to bring it into line with other countries like the UK, Canada and Australia.