Immigration to the US is a major political topic which causes much debate during election years. In 2008, political immigration issues stem from Illegal Immigration controls and voter eligibility to administrative backlogs. While securing a U.S. visa can get you into the US, the goal of most immigrants is to secure a green card signifying permanent residency status -- legal permission to remain in the United States.
An experienced Immigration Lawyer can help with you with the applications in order to become a permanent resident. You don't have to go through the process alone, contact an immigration attorney today.
In 2006, more than 1.2 million immigrants became legal permanent residents in the US, more than in any other country. Legal immigration to the United States is divided into four categories and reached nearly 800,000 per year.
Legal Immigration is considered:
- Lawful permanent residence can be achieved through the sponsorship of a family member. This family member must have an income which is 125% above the current United States poverty level. The sponsoring family member can include spouses, brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, children or parents.
- If you have invested money in a commercial enterprise and the enterprise benefits the United States economy in specific defined ways you may be able to gain permanent residency status under the current United States immigration laws. An immigration attorney can outline more specific information on investor petitions.
- It may be possible to gain Citizenship through an employment petition if you are a priority worker, a professional or a highly skilled worker. The labor department has outlined certain categories of qualifying employees and the need for these individuals may be determined by current labor shortage levels. Qualifying categories include: managers, executives or immigrants with higher academic degrees.
- Certain individuals who are in danger of being killed or injured based on their nationality, political affiliations or religion may seek asylum within the United States of America. The current laws for seeking asylum are outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- The United States holds a lottery each year through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. If you are an immigrant from a country who did not have many individuals immigrate to the United States in the last year you may qualify to enter this lottery program. Under the current Diversity Visa Lottery Program the State Department selects approximately 110,000 applications and closes the lottery after 50,000 immigration visas are processed or at the end of the year. If you meet the qualifications of the lottery and you are from an underrepresented country you may gain a visa through this program.
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If you are in the United States legally you should be able to get a Social Security card, although having a Social Security card does not necessarily guarantee you the right to work.
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