It is a well known fact that the United States is the most preferred destination in terms of immigration. The process and procedures to enter the US differ depending on the intention of one’s visit. Visas and green cards are the most commonly preferred entities that will help you move to the US. To get a visa or green card, specific forms have to be filed at the American Consulate in the immigrant’s home country or with the USCIS, depending on the classification one applies for.
There are two types of visas, namely Immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visa classification is for temporary visits such as for tourism or studies and the immigrant visa classification is for Permanent Residence. Visitor visas, Work Visas, Student visas are some of the visa classifications that are issued based on the immigrant’s intention of visit.
Four most common ways to get a visa are :
If one of your relatives is a US citizen or a legal permanent resident (green card holder), he/she can sponsor you for immigration. There are difference procedures depending on the closeness of your relationship with the sponsor and waiting periods for getting such visas differ too. Processing times are pretty lengthy due to the restrictions in the number of visas allotted each year.
If you want to work in the US, you require a qualified US employer to sponsor you for immigration. If you qualify under the extraordinarily-qualified foreign nationals category, you can immigrate without being sponsored by an employer. Your sponsoring employer has to establish the fact that there are no sufficient number of qualified workers available in the US to satisfy their need. Since the number of visas are limited, processing time can last for years.
Through Asylum and Refugee Status:
You can also get a visa if you are not able to or not willing to return to your home country because of persecution or fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Asylee status is granted in the United States and refugee status is granted abroad.
Through the Diversity Lottery Program:
If you wish to migrate to the US but do not have a family member or employer to petition you, there is the Diversity Lottery Program through which you can apply. 50,000 winners from across the globe are issued visas every year through this program. It is important to note that not all countries are eligible to participate in this program. Promoting immigration from underrepresented countries is the main idea behind this program. Every year, the State Department issues the list of countries that do not qualify.