The word immigrant means someone who has moved from the country they were born into another. This could be someone from South Korea moving to the United Kingdom or someone from Canada moving to the United States. A person would still be considered an immigrant even after they had married someone in their non-native country or gained citizenship.
Immigration law is a very specific area that requires extensive knowledge and experience with the U.S. immigration policies. If you have questions about immigration status or what you can expect, contact our law office to set up a consultation.
What Are the Different Types of Immigrants?
There are four main status categories that immigrants can fall into: undocumented, non-immigrant, condition and permanent residents, and citizens. Undocumented immigrants are those who came into the country without following the legal process or didn’t adhere to the term lengths of those processes, such as overstaying a visa. Those with non-immigrant status are in the country legally but for a specific term, such as a work or student visa. Condition and permanent residents are able to work and live in the United States indefinitely. Immigrants with citizen status are considered legal U.S. citizens and are able to live, work, and vote, as well as receive government benefits. U.S. citizens may also be able to sponsor family members who also wish to come to the country.
What Are the Legal Requirements for Citizenship in the United States?
Becoming a citizen of the United States is also sometimes referred to as naturalization, and there are specific requirements immigrants must fulfill. You must be at least 18 years old and have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for the last 3 to 5 years. You must pass an assessment that tests for knowledge of the U.S. government, including the Constitution, and U.S. history. Naturalized citizens must also have basic English fluency and take the Oath of Allegiance.
What Is a Permanent Resident?
A permanent resident of the United States is an immigration status that is also referred to as “having a Green Card.” Permanent residents are given an ID card that has identifying information, such as birthdate, photo, and fingerprint. It’s called a green card because these ID cards were initially issued with a green color. Permanent residents are able to legally live and work in the United States indefinitely.
If you have questions about immigration status or are interested in applying to become a permanent resident or citizen of the United States, it’s important to talk with an immigration attorney. Contact our law office at 651-571-8547 to discuss your situation with an attorney at a consultation.