USA IMMIGRATION AND THE PATHWAYS TO AMERICA FOR STUDY, WORK, AND SETTLEMENT
Move to the USA to work on your ambition to excel in advanced studies, build a dream career, or become a permanent resident in the USA. USA immigration gives you the opportunity to benefit from the pro-skill approach of companies in the US who are looking for the best foreign workers who can contribute their valuable skills.
What are the salient features of USA immigration? What are the visa pathways and procedures assigned for those visas under the USA immigration system? What are the features and advantages of a USA study visa and a USA PR visa? We will answer these questions and give you a head start in the process of USA immigration.
About the USA
The fourth largest country in the world, the USA is the epitome of ambitions. The country nurtures anyone who’s ambitious, talented, and skilled. USA immigration is a sure-shot way to make your American dream come true.
The USA is where world-famous enterprises in various industries have taken birth and grown to become global companies. For talented foreigners, a USA study visa is a pathway to reach out for the best education in the world to become matchless professionals. For skilled foreigners, USA immigration opens a pathway to settle in the USA to work and contribute to the multicultural progressive areas of the country.
The success stories of immigrants in the USA prove that the country is a haven of opportunities if you have the will to succeed in life in whatever area you are active in. A USA PR visa is the aim of many qualified individuals who are looking to settle for a high-quality life.
Why settle in the USA?
Here are the reasons the USA immigration is a highly recommended move. You must settle in the US because:
- The US has a diverse culture, thanks to the immigrant population that bring their own cultural elements to enrich the cultural scene.
- The job opportunities offered by the country are many.
- Americans are generally friendly people.
Prominent cities in the USA
If you are choosing USA immigration, try to live and work in these most prominent cities in the USA.
- New York
- Las Vegas
- Orlando, Florida
- Washington, D.C.
- San Francisco
- Louisville, Kentucky
Settling in the USA – Main USA immigration pathways
If you want to settle in the USA, you have to get a Green Card. It’s the USA PR visa that allows you to live and work in the US permanently.
Eligibility for the Green Card
USA immigration culminates in obtaining the Green Card. Here are the eligibility criteria to apply for the same.
If you are applying for the Green Card through employment as an immigrant worker, you are eligible if you are:
- A first preference immigrant worker, which means you:
- Possess extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, business, or education, or
- Have the stature of an outstanding professor/researcher, or
- Are a multinational manager or executive who satisfies certain criteria
- A second preference immigrant worker, which means you:
- Are a member of a profession that needs an advanced degree, or
- Possess exceptional ability in the business, arts, or sciences, or
- Are trying for a national interest waiver
- A third preference immigrant worker, which means you:
- Are a skilled worker (which means your job needs a minimum of 2 years training/work experience), or
- Are a professional (which means your job requires a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent and you are into the profession), or
- An unskilled worker (which means you will do unskilled labor that needs less than 2 years of experience or training)
If you are a physician applying for Green Card, you are eligible if you agree to undertake full-time clinical practice in an underserved area for a certain period of time. You must meet other eligibility requirements too.
You are eligible to apply if you are applying for the Green Card through family as:
- An immediate relative of a US citizen where you are the
- Spouse of a US citizen
- Unmarried child of a US citizen aged under 21 years
- Parent of a US citizen who’s aged at least 21 years
- Other relative of a US citizen or relative of a permanent resident deemed lawful under the family-based preference categories where you are the
- A family member of a U.S. citizen, meaning you happen to be the:
- Unmarried daughter/son of a US citizen and are aged 21 or more
- Married daughter or son of a US citizen
- Brother or sister of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old
- A family member of a permanent resident deemed lawful, meaning you happen to be the:
- A lawful permanent resident’s spouse
- Unmarried child of a permanent resident deemed lawful, aged under 21 years
- Unmarried daughter/son of a permanent resident deemed lawful, 21 years old or older
- Fiancé(e) of a US citizen or the child of fiancé(e)
- A person allowed into the US as a fiancé(e) of a US citizen (K-1 nonimmigrant)
- A person allowed into the US as a US citizen’s (K-2 nonimmigrant) fiancé(e)’s child
- Widow(er) of a US citizen
- Widow or widower of a US citizen and you were married to your US citizen spouse at the time your spouse died
- A family member of a U.S. citizen, meaning you happen to be the:
USA Immigration process
Here’s the general process for applying for a Green Card, the USA PR visa:
- A petitioner will usually file an immigrant petition for you (sponsor). In certain cases, you may have the eligibility to file for yourself.
- Once USCIS approves the petition of an immigrant, and there’s a visa you could procure in your category, you file either an application for a Green Card with USCIS or a visa application with the US Department of State.
- You keep an appointment to provide photos, fingerprints, and a signature (biometrics).
- You attend an interview.
- You get a decision made on your application.
How Y-Axis can help you
Y-Axis guides/counsels you for USA immigration.
What is USCIS?
USCIS is the abbreviation for US Citizenship and Immigration Services. It’s a part of the US DHS (Department of Homeland Security). It’s an agency of the US government that oversees legal USA immigration. The agency is primarily responsible for the approval of work permits, Green Cards, travel permits, naturalization, and other matters related to USA immigration.
How much validity should my passport have to apply for a US visa?
Your passport must be valid for travel to the USA with a validity date that extends at least 6 months post your intended stay period in the US.
Is it possible for me to work in the United States while I wait for my Green card?
Anyone with a valid work visa (such as an H-1B or L-1 visa) can normally continue working in the United States while applying for a green card in the United States. Green card candidates cannot begin working in the United States until they have obtained a work permit by filing Form I-765.
What is the meaning of a green card?
A “Green card” is granted by the USCIS, is proof of permanent resident status that’s lawfully so. It allows the holder to live and work anywhere in the country. The majority of green cards have to be renewed every 10 years, although those issued on the basis of marriage/investment have to be replaced after the initial 2 years.
What is conditional permanent residence? How does it work?
The designation “CR1” on the physical card stands for “conditional resident,” and a conditional green card is only valid for 2 years. To “remove the conditions” and receive a permanent green card, the cardholder must file Form I-751. A conditional green card is usually granted to a spouse with a married status of under 2 years at the time of application.
Can I work in the USA while I wait for my Green Card?
Anyone with a valid work visa (such as an H1B visa or an L1 visa) can normally continue working in the US while applying for a Green Card in the US. Green Card candidates can’t begin working in the USA until they have obtained a work permit by filing Form I-765.
How can I immigrate to the USA as a skilled worker?
If you want to be considered for an immigrant visa to work in the USA, you have to immigrate under one of the visa categories based on employment (check section below). Your prospective US employer/agent may have to first procure a labor certification approval issued by the Department of Labor.
After receiving it, the employer files a Form-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) with the USCIS for the employment-based preference category that’s appropriate in your case.
After USCIS gives approval to the petition, it’s sent to NVC (National Visa Center) where it gets a number. When your priority date meets the nearest qualifying date, an instruction is issued by the NVC to you, the applicant. That instruction is for you to complete Form DS-261, Choice of Address & Agent.
NVC starts the pre-processing. You have to pay the appropriate fee and submit the necessary documents. Once NVC finds your application file completed, it schedules an interview. After the consular officer interviews you and finds you eligible, you advance to the stage where you will be issued your immigrant visa.
Employment-based US visas are divided into different categories. You have to determine which category applies to you. The categories are:
Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1
This category is for individuals with extraordinary ability and priority workers. The sub-categories of this category are as follows:
- Individuals having extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, education, or business.
- Professors and researchers are considered outstanding if they possess a minimum of 3 years of experience in teaching/research. They are professionals who have earned international recognition.
- Multinational managers/executives who were employees of the overseas affiliate, subsidiary, parent, or branch of the US employer. They must have been employed with the US employer for a minimum of 1 of the 2 preceding years.
Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2
This category is meant for professionals who are individuals with exceptional abilities and possess advanced degrees. The sub-categories of this category are:
- with an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or
- a baccalaureate degree along with a minimum of 4 years of progressive professional experience
- Individuals with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. This means that they have a degree of expertise much above what’s ordinarily found in the arts, sciences, or business.
Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3
This category is for professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers. There are 3 sub-categories for this category.
- Professionals: These are individuals who are doing jobs that need at the minimum a baccalaureate degree earned from a US university/college or a foreign degree that’s equivalent to it.
- Skilled workers: These are individuals doing jobs that require at least 2 years of training or work experience that aren’t seasonal or temporary.
- Unskilled workers: These are individuals who can fill positions that need under 2 years of training/experience that are not classified as seasonal or temporary.
Employment-Based Immigration: Fourth Preference EB-4
This category is for special immigrants including:
- Broadcasters in the US
- A former employee of the US government abroad
- Ministers of religion
- Certain employees/former employees of the US government abroad
Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference EB-5
This category is for immigrant investors investing in new commercial enterprises in the US that created jobs in the country.
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