Immigration Law

The U.S. has several mechanisms by which a foreign national may visit or remain permanently in the United States.

An individual may obtain a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) that grants temporary visit to the U.S. for a fixed period of time or an Immigrant Visa (IV) that allows indefinite residence.

Non-Immigrant Visas require the holder to maintain a residence in his or her country of origin and may be obtained through a U.S. consular post or Embassy, while an Immigrant Visa requires the holder to give up all other foreign domiciles and make the United States his or her permanent home. An individual may lose an Immigrant Visa or permanent residency if they remain outside the United States for longer than 6 months during each departure or if they violate certain criminal or immigration laws of the United States

The common ways to obtain permanent residency status (i.e. a Green Card) in the United States are through:

Newly Approved Permanent Residents can get useful information about being a permanent resident in the U.S. by reading A Guide for New Immigrants.

Citizenship is obtained either by birth in the United States, through birth abroad to two U.S. citizen parents or through naturalization (Guide to Naturalization) or derivation. A permanent resident must demonstrate that (s)he

For more information including the forms and fees necessary to obtain Non-Immigrant or Immigrant Visa contact the local Immigration Office, U.S.C.I.S. website at, the U.S. State Department Consular Affairs Office or consult an Immigration Attorney.

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