Green Card Immigration US immigration laws

US immigration laws

Immigration laws in the US

Immigration law is a category of law governing the movement of a person. It refers to constant and temporary (tourist, business, and other trips) residence. Immigration policy occupies an independent place in a complex system of domestic and foreign politics of any state. In the US, it is controlled by President and federal courts.

They take into account national rules and international agreements, for example, United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which came into force in 1976.

Immigration laws in the US

The following key documents and programs were developed for the regulation of immigration policy in the United States:

Legal ways to become a US citizen

Over the years, the USA is associated with the world’s leading economy. Despite the significant success of China, America is still ahead of the whole planet in terms of technological development, especially in the fields of IT, pharmaceuticals, medicine, aerospace and military engineering.

Inflation rate is about 2.1%, unemployment – 4.1%. The sphere of social security and services is also in high positions in the US. For example, healthcare expenditure exceeds 18% of GDP, which is the highest indicator in the world.

The US always positioned itself as a free democratic country that provides equal opportunities and conditions for all citizens, fair laws for immigrants. Every year, more than 325 million people population is replenished by hundreds of thousands of foreigners from different countries.

America is happy to host the best minds in the world and creates comfortable living conditions for them. Find out the best ways of moving to the US without violating the acting laws on immigration.

Marriage with a US citizen

This is one of the fastest options provided by the immigration laws in the United States. Let’s consider the situation when bride obtains an immigrant visa. Accordingly, the groom will be a US citizen. The conditions will not differ for the opposite case.

The status of the bride will allow you to obtain a K1 visa for the entry into the United States and subsequent registration of the marriage within three months from the date of arrival.

What is needed for this according to immigration laws in US?

  1. A US citizen must file a petition under Form I-129F at the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is done at the applicant’s place of residence in the United States. After consideration, the application is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) which processes it and sends the documents to the US Embassy at the location of the bride. As a rule, this process takes 1-1.5 months.
  2. After this, the Consular Section at the US Embassy sends a letter to the bride with further instructions and a list of documents necessary for obtaining a visa. When all documents are collected, the date of the interview with the Embassy is agreed. It is necessary to have a passport and original documents with you.
  3. As prescribed by US laws on immigration, after obtaining a visa and leaving the native country, it is necessary to marry before the expiration of 90 days. Then, in the future, a bride will be able to apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services for obtaining the status of a conditional permanent resident of the United States. Otherwise, she will have to leave the country.

It is especially worth noting that the Americans are very strict about the fictitious marriages and oppose them in any possible way. The violators of the immigration laws in the United States are threatened with huge fines and a ban on entry into the country.

Therefore, even before the petition is filed and the procedure for issuing a visa is started, it is necessary to take care of evidence of serious intentions on marriage and sincerity of relations.

You may use joint photos, postcards, bills from restaurants, hotels, checks of telephone conversations and so on. All this may be needed at the stage of visa registration at the Embassy and while obtaining a Green Card (right to live and work in the country) already in the United States.

Participation in the DV lottery program

American immigration law provides a rather interesting type of acquisition of citizenship. Anyone can receive a Green Card if he has a certificate of secondary education or more than two years of work experience. To do this, you need to leave an application on the official website

The lottery was created at the State Department of the United States and aims to attract immigrants from the countries that are least represented in America. As a rule, for the participation of the country in the program, the indicator of migrants to the US should be less than 50 thousand people for the last 5 years.

The most exciting moment is the random computer selection of applicants. The choice of the winner is not connected with social status, possession of English language or professional skills. In addition, along with the participant, the right to obtain a visa is granted to a spouse and unmarried children less than 21 years old.

The lottery is held annually, usually at the same time. In 2017, applications for DV-2019 were accepted from October 18 to November 22. The results should be published in May. As a rule, the winning percentage does not exceed 1.5% regardless of the country. Therefore, if there are no other options to immigrate to the US on the horizon, you can use this method.

Obtaining a working visa H-1B

It is a kind of working immigration to the United States for high-level professionals. The diploma from educational institution passes procedure of acknowledgment on conformity to the USA standards. In the absence of higher education, 3 years of work experience in the specialty are equivalent to 1 year at the university.

It is impossible to get H-1B visa on your own. The process of registration entirely depends on the employer. He should file an application at the Federal Labor Service for hiring a foreign employee. This is usually done starting from April, six months before the beginning of the fiscal year in the US (October 1).

Acting laws about immigration prescribe several obligatory conditions:

  • an absence of applicants for a position in the domestic market;
  • compliance of the salary level of a foreign employee with the current legislation;
  • hiring an foreigner does not entail negative consequences for the US labor market.

The validity of the visa is not more than 6 years. All costs for extending it are borne by the employer. During this time, the employee can apply for a Green Card. Otherwise, he will be forced to leave the country. The US government annually sets quotas for the issuance of working visas H-1B at a level slightly over than 60 thousand.

Investments in the US economy or EB-5 visa

The most expensive form of immigration to the US is an investment in the economy of the country.

Laws about immigration in the United States prescribe two main conditions for obtaining EB-5 visa:

  1. Capital investments in the national business equivalent to $1 million. In rare cases, the threshold may drop to $500,000 if you’re going to set up an enterprise in the rural area (target zone) or the unemployment rate is 50% higher than the national average indicator.
  2. Creating at least 10 full-time jobs for Americans. Close relatives (wife, children) can’t enter this list, but distant ones (brother, uncle) are welcome.

To obtain a visa, it is necessary to file I-526 form and submit the documents confirming compliance with the conditions mentioned above at the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). With a positive decision, a conditional Green Card will be issued. After two years, you can apply with the I-829 form for a permanent Green Card.

It is necessary to manage a business in the USA staying directly in the country. Laws for immigration prohibit just investing the resource and leaving for home.

Refugee status in the USA

This is a real way of moving to the United States if there is a strong evidence of persecution in your home country. The reasons can be different:

  • political motives;
  • religious beliefs;
  • race;
  • military actions and others.

A request for refugee status can be submitted to the US Embassy in your country (refugees) and in the American territory (asylees). If the application is satisfied, according to American immigration laws, you can receive a permanent Green Card within a year. The big advantage is the presence of relatives living in the United States.

Immigration to the United States through family reunification

This is the longest way. Close relatives (spouses, parents, and children under 21 years old) have the most advantages. Immigration law in the US provides no quotas for visas of this category. The procedure lasts for several years. In the case of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and so on, the immigration process is carried out in the order of the quota queue and can stretch out for 8-10 years.

For immigration through family reunification, a US citizen submits an application form I-130 and documents confirming kinship to the Citizenship and Immigration Services. An important factor is the financial security of the applicant. It guarantees the coverage of relocation costs and the reduction of the burden on the US budget. A separate petition is made for each relative.


Everyone decides for himself when and how to immigrate to the United States, which way to choose. But before making the final decision on moving, it would be reasonable to visit the country in advance, to experience the local culture and rhythm of life, to communicate with people and to improve the language.

To do this, you can take part in many special programs designed specifically for students and young professionals. For example, WORK and TRAVEL USA and Career Training USA.

We hope that the information provided in this article was useful and your immigration attempt will be successful. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to write them in the comments.

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