Basic Categories of Immigrants in the US
The immigration system in the US is quite intricate, and this is because of the rate at which foreign citizens troop into the USA annually. However, you would need a visa to enter the country except if you’re already a citizen of the country. The type of visa you get determines your immigrant status, the benefits you get, your stay, and some other basic details.
Below is a quick run-down of the possible immigration status of non-citizens in the US.
Permanent Resident Status
Immigrants with permanent resident status are also called Lawful Permanent Residents [LPR]. An LPR is an immigrant issued a green card while coming to the US. Over a million people obtain green cards every year, and they could be sponsored by employers and family members or upgrade from being a refugee.
With a permanent resident status, you can work and pay taxes just like an average US citizen. Also, a US LPR who has continuously stayed in the USA for three to four years is qualified to apply for American citizenship.
Short-Term Visitor Status
Short-term visa status is issued to immigrants who plan to stay in the US temporarily and leave when their visa elapses. However, they could decide to extend their visas to stay longer in the country, although it is still being determined.
Temporary visitor status is given to immigrants on business and visitor visas. Visitor visas, B-2, are issued to tourists, vacationers, and visitors for medical treatments. While business visas, B-1, to immigrants on a business mission. A temporary visa’s validity ranges between a month and ten years.
Student Status Immigrants in the US
A student visa is issued to foreign citizens who wish to study in the US. A student visa is of three types; F1 visa, J1 visa, and M1 visa. F1 visa is still the most issued student visa in the US. F1 visa is given to students attending an academic program in America. They are suitable to run the program part-time and also work on campus.
A J1 visa is issued to students who wish to get practical training in the US to complete their studies. This type of visa also has the same opportunities as an F1 visa. Lastly, the M1 visa is issued to foreigners who want a vocational program in the US. A student on an M1 visa is not allowed to work during the training.
Conditional Permanent Residents
These conditional permanent resident immigrants in the US are predominantly alien spouses and their children who apply for LPR based on a qualifying marriage to an LPR citizen. The conditional status usually expires after two years unless the alien and the spouse have already filed for LPR before the expiration.
Finally, it is best to know the immigrant status and be conversant with the current news. Things that were once allowed in the immigration system might no longer be acceptable. It’s advisable to gather some information before you apply for any visa of your choice.