What Is the Standard Legal Process for Immigration Into the U.S.?


Quick Answer

A person seeking to immigrate to the United States must be eligible and approved for an immigration visa, according to the American Immigration Council. There are several types of visas a candidate can apply for, including family or employment-based. Under certain conditions, visas are also granted to refugees and asylees.

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Full Answer

Immigrants applying for a family visa must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, states the American Immigration Council. The petitioner submits proof of the familial relationship, financial income documents and an affidavit stating that the petitioner agrees to and is capable of providing financial support. As of 2015, there are no limits on the number of available visas for immediate relatives, which include spouses, minor children and parents.

Employment-based immigration may be temporary or permanent, and are divided into several categories depending on the trade or profession of the immigrant, explains the American Immigration Council. Most temporary employment visas are sponsored by an employer, and there are yearly limits on the number of visas granted. Limits are divided into categories of preference, level of skill and country of origin.

Other types of immigration include refugee or asylee visas, according to the American Immigration Council. A refugee or asylee may be granted lawful entry and eventual permanent residency if he is unable to return to his home country out of fear of persecution. Admission is based on the degree of risk the immigrant faces and any U.S.-based family ties he has.

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