Helpful Resources on Ways to Immigrate to the United States

As a companion to our June Facebook Live, this post collects several helpful resources for those who want to learn more about the various ways to immigrate to the United States.

The post is broken-up into the following categories: (1) Immigrant, (2) Non-Immigrant, (3) Special Immigrant and Non-Immigrant, and (4) Other.

Immigrant

Family Immigration

Family Immigration is reserved for individuals who are immediate and close relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. There are several family immigration categories relatives can be classified under.

For more information regarding Family Immigration, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS pages on Family Immigration here, here, and here
>Department of State page on Family Immigration

Employment Immigration

Employment immigration is used by those individuals who wish to move to the U.S. for the purposes of becoming a permanent worker.

Permanent workers can encompass those individuals who specifically apply under employment-based visas or who apply as temporary workers (such as H-1B and L-1A visas) and then adjust underneath PERM.

For more information regarding Employment Immigration, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS pages on Permanent Workers here and here
>Department of State page on Employment-Based Immigration
>USCIS pages on EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4 Visas.
>Department of Labor page on the Permanent Labor Certification

Investment Immigration

Investment immigration is a subset of Employment immigration, where those individuals who invest a certain amount of capital in a commercial enterprise are allowed to immigrate to the U.S.

For more information on Investment Immigration, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on the EB-5 Visa Program
>Department of State page on the EB-5 Visa

Non-Immigrant

Visitor Visas

Visitor visas are reserved for those non-immigrants who need to temporarily travel to the United States for business, tourism, or a combo of both. Those who obtain these visas have the full intention of returning to their home country once their business or tourism is completed.

For more information regarding Visitor Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on Visiting the U.S.
>USCIS page on the B-1 Visa
>Department of State page on Visitor Visas

Student Visas

Student visas are reserved for those non-immigrants who wish to participate in some form of study or schooling program in the United States for a specified period of time.

For more information regarding Student Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS pages on Student Visas here and here
>Department of State page on Student Visas

Temporary Worker Visas

Temporary worker visas are reserved for those non-immigrants who wish to work in the United States for a specified period of time.

There are several different types of worker visas, including but not limited to, H Visas, L Visas, O Visas, and P Visas.

Regardless of the classification, non-immigrants in the United States on a temporary worker visa are expected to leave the U.S. once the specified time for their employment has ended, unless they apply to extend their stay or for an adjustment of status.

For more information regarding Temporary Worker Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on Working in the U.S.
>USCIS page on Temporary Worker Visas
>Department of State page on Temporary Worker Visas
>USCIS pages on the H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H2-B, and H-3 Visas
>USCIS pages on the L-1A and L-1B Visas
>USCIS page on the O-1 Visa
>USCIS pages on the P-1A, P-1B, P-2, and P-3 Visas

Temporary Business Visas

Temporary business visas are reserved for those non-immigrants who are from a country that has a commerce treaty with the U.S., so they may enter the U.S. for a specified period of time in order to participate in international trade or business.

For more information regarding Temporary Business Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on Working in the U.S.
>Department of State page on Temporary Business Visas
>USCIS page on E-1 Visas
>USCIS page on E-2 Visas

Visa Waivers

Visa Waivers allow some non-immigrants from certain countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business without a visa for no more than 90 days.

For more information regarding Visa Waivers, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on the Visa Waiver Program
>Department of State page on the Visa Waiver Program

J-1 Visas

J-1 Visas are reserved for those non-immigrants who wish to participate in some type of exchange program in the U.S. Such programs could include: “teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.”

As with other non-immigrant classifications, individuals who participate in these programs are expected to return to their home country once the program is completed.

For more information regarding J Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on J-1 Visas
>Department of State page on J-1 Visas

Special Immigrant & Non-Immigrant

Religious Worker

Religious Worker Visas are reserved for those non-immigrants who travel to the U.S. to work in a religious capacity for a specified period of time.

For more information on Religious Worker Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on R-1 Visas
>Department of State page on R-1 Visas

Special Immigrant Juvenile

The Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) category is reserved for those juveniles who “need the protection of a juvenile court because [they] have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent.” Being classified under SIJ may allow for the juvenile to eventually apply for a green card and become a legal permanent resident.

For more information about the Special Immigrant Juvenile category, visit the follow web page.

>USCIS page on the Special Immigrant Juvenile category

Other

Refugee/Asylum

Individuals who are fleeing persecution or the fear of persecution in their home country based on their “race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion” are classified as refugees and asylees.

The refugee system is used for those individuals who are outside the U.S. and the asylum system is used for those individuals who are already within the U.S.

For more information regarding the Refugee and Asylum system, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS pages on the Refugee and Asylum system here, here, and here
>Department of State page on Refugee Admissions

VAWA: Violence Against Women Act

VAWA cases are reserved for those individuals who are classified as a battered spouse, child, or parent underneath the Violence Against Women Act.

For more information about the VAWA category, visit the following web page.

>USCIS page on the VAWA category

Diversity Visas

Diversity Visas are reserved for those individuals who participate in the annual Diversity Visa Lottery, which earmarks 50,000 visas for participants who are randomly selected from a pool.

For more information regarding Diversity Visas, visit the following web pages.

>USCIS page on Diversity Visas
>Department of State page on the Diversity Visa Lottery

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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.