According to the US immigration policy, any individual looking to get permanent resident status in America has two options. The choices are dependent on the location of the person.
- If the person is already in the country, then they need not apply for an immigrant visa. A Permanent Resident Card also called Green card is implemented for an adjustment of status. The benefit is that one doesn’t have to return to the home country to complete visa process
- If the individual is outside the U.S., then an immigrant visa has to be applied for via the U.S. Department of State embassy or consulate abroad.
Immigration rules USA say that any foreign citizen aiming to immigrate to the country needs to be sponsored by:
- U.S. citizen
- lawful permanent resident immediate relative(s)
- prospective U.S. employer
Furthermore, they need to have an approved petition only then can an immigrant visa be applied.
Necessary Steps Of Immigrant Visa Application
- Someone either files an immigration petition or sponsors the individual.
- If the request is approved, then the correct category of immigrant visa can be submitted for or an application for Green Card.
- A medical examination has to be conducted from an approved panel of physicians.
- An interview has to be scheduled and attended.
- The final decision on the visa application is received.
Popular Immigrant Visas
There are two types of visas that are most opted for immigration to the USA. They are also the most approved ones.
- An employment-based visa is one that needs a US company to apply for your visa because they offered you a job.
- A family-based visa is one where a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident sponsors the application because of a familial relationship.
The third type of category has gained popularity – the Diversity Visa Lottery program. This visa is available for foreign citizens who come from countries that have low level of immigration to US. Every year, random names are drawn from a pool and awarded an immigrant visa.
What Happens After Grant of Visa?
Once an individual gets an Immigrant Visa to US, they are required to pay an immigrant fee to the USCIS. The appropriate time for the payment is right before one is leaving for the United States and right after the visa stamped passport has been picked from the embassy or consulate. With the immigrant visa, an individual also gets a packet of documents that are sealed. These are to be handed over to the officials once you enter U.S. Every person is inspected at the port of entry. Admittance is given only if you pass the inspection. If approved, you can enter the country as an immigrant.
Other Ways Of Immigration
Besides the preferred visa categories listed above, there are different ways to immigrate to the United States. Some of them are:
- Intercountry Adoption Visas where orphans from other countries can be adopted by US citizens. These children get an immigrant status
- Special Immigrant Visas can be applied by specific categories which include:
o former U.S. government employees
o Iraqi or Afghan translators/interpreters
o Iraqis/ Afghans who were employed by/on behalf of the U.S. government
o religious workers
o other special immigrants