Those looking for permanent residency in the United States would be wise to seek the advice of an immigration attorney on how to gain legal access and possibly obtain a green card.
According to the immigration experts at Graham Adair (visit their website here), it is not as difficult to gain permanent residency in the U.S. as some might initially think. Although many people assume that illegal immigration is still a massive problem, the numbers illegally entering the U.S. has decreased dramatically in the past two decades. Legal entry then is very possible, provided you go about it the right way and that you meet the required criteria.
Routes for Legal Entry to the United States
Perhaps the easiest way to gain entry to the U.S. is through a family member who is a citizen or a legal permanent resident. If you fall into one of these two categories, then you can apply to bring your spouse, fiancé, unmarried minor children (under the age of 21), or parents to live in this country. You can also apply for a visa for older children regardless of whether they are married or not as well as siblings.
It is also possible to gain entry to the U.S. on a work visa, on condition that you have specialist skills that would benefit the economy. When entering on a work visa, you would need to be sponsored by an employer who will need to certify that it has not been possible to find a suitable candidate in the United States to do the work.
Work visas, such as H-1B visas, are often provided to employees in industries where specialty occupations exist. A work visa might be provided on a temporary or permanent basis depending on the skills of the individual and only if they meet the specific criteria. A H-1B visa attorney is typically utilized to ensure the application is approved.
Individuals from countries that have low immigration numbers can participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Each year, 50,000 visas are randomly allocated to those who are eligible under this scheme.
The federal Government also issues visas to those seeking asylum. Those granted asylum must also meet specific criteria. For example, they will only be granted asylum status if it is deemed dangerous for them to return to their own home country and where there is a substantial risk to their safety. It is possible to seek asylum by showing up at a port of entry into the U.S. or if you are already within the U.S. illegally.
Can You Buy Entry into the United States?
While you cannot specifically ‘buy’ U.S. citizenship, there is a program available that allows you to gain citizenship through investment in the economy. To gain citizenship in this way, an individual will need to invest $900,000 in a company in the U.S. They will then be given a U.S. green card, which will be valid for ten years.
Green card holders have the same rights as U.S. citizens in that they can live and work freely and can fly to and from the States without a visa. The holder must live in the U.S. for at least 183 days per year, comply with all laws, and be classed as a U.S. tax resident. After five years, the holder can apply for permanent citizenship through naturalization.
Finally, the family members of the investor (spouse and children under 21) will also be given a green card and will hold the same rights as U.S. citizens, although they will be unable to vote and cannot get jobs within the civil service.