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Who is considered an immigrant?

An immigrant desires to enter the U.S. permanently and gain lawful permanent resident status, i.e. receive a green card.

what are the main ways of seeking permanent residence?

The main ways to immigrate are through family-based sponsorship, employment-based sponsorship,  the diversity visa program, and as a refugee. 

is there an annual limit to how many persons can immigrate? 

Immediate relatives (spouses, parents, children), of U.S. citizens are not subject to a numerical cap. Other immigrants must obtain a visa number to wait in line--sometimes a very long line--for a visa.

what are the preference categories for numerically-limited family-sponsored petitions? 

First Preference: Unmarried sons, daughters of U.S. citizens

Second Preference: Spouses, children, unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents 

Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens 

Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens at least 21 years-old

what are the preference categories for limited employment-based petitions? 

First Preference: Priority Workers including persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics; outstanding professors/researchers; multi-national executives

 

Second Preference: Advanced degree holders, or exceptional ability in arts, business 

Third Preference: Skilled (i.e. a job requiring at least 2 years of experience/training) workers in short supply, professionals  (i.e. physicians; lawyers; teachers; engineers) with Bachelor's degrees 

Fourth Preference: Religious workers; juveniles dependent on a U.S. court, or agency; former employees of the U.S. government

Fifth Preference: Investors who will create jobs in the U.S.

who qualifies for the diversity visa program (visa lottery)?

People with high school education, or equivalent, and two years work experience in a government approved occupation. Click here for more information. 

do i need an actual job offer to work in the U.S.? 

Most employment-based petitions require that the employer file on behalf of the immigrant. Extraordinary ability persons, fourth and fifth preference categories, and qualifying national interest waiver exceptional ability persons can self-petition. 

what is the p.e.r.m. process?

An employer must apply for labor certification proving that there aren't similarly qualified U.S. workers available where the immigrant will work, and that hiring the immigrant will not negatively affect wages, or working conditions of other U.S. workers. 

Contact The Firm today for more information on immigrating to the U.S.