If you are a foreign national and want to reside permanently in the U.S., the first step you will need to take is to obtain a Green Card or what is called Lawful Permanent Residency, and then U.S. Citizenship. Many foreign nationals initially arrive in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas, such as a B-1/2 “Visitor” for pleasure or business or as an F-1/2 “student” or E-2 non-immigrant investor and dependent, and then become permanent residents and after several years are eligible to naturalize and become U.S. Citizens.
Typical avenues toward immigration
There are a variety of ways to immigrate to the United States.
Family-based immigration allows certain U.S. citizen family members and lawful permanent resident family members to sponsor immigrants from other nations for a Green Card. For example, immediate relatives can sponsor a relative immigrant for lawful permanent residency.
Employment immigration allows employers or entrepreneurs to sponsor an immigrant for permanent employment. Every fiscal year, the United States allows an estimated 140,000 immigrants to enter the United States on an employment-based visa.
Special immigrant immigration allows certain immigrants to enter the United States based on special categories. Special immigrants accounted for around 7% of all employment-based immigrant visas in the United States every year.
Adoption through a Hague or Non-Hague convention treaty country requires specialized knowledge of the countries adoption requirements and may allow U.S. citizen parents to adopt a child. Current Adoption rules under the Hague Convention treaty and non-treaty countries control the adoption process and requires a careful and thorough analysis of the country’s treaty relationship with the U.S. and internationally.
The U.S. Diversity Lottery program is still a viable way to immigrate to the U.S. and is an available path to obtaining permanent residency in the U.S. The Diversity Lottery program provides immigrant visa to a certain number of foreign nationals annually. The requirements include being from a country with a low rate of U.S. immigration.
Determining what requirements you must meet, to immigrate to the U.S. can be complex. Fortunately, an experienced legal professional can help you navigate the options that are available.