Immigration is a hot topic in today’s America, making it all the more important that you understand the process and abide by the rules surrounding it while seeking citizenship. There are also a number of things that can affect your immigration. Some for the better, and others for the worse. Here’s what you need to know.
Family and Employer Sponsorship
If you’re looking to reunite with family already living within the U.S., you stand an excellent chance of gaining citizenship. The family member needs to be an immediate relative for prioritized entry, though. Even then, wait times for a green card are astronomical. Still, it’s one thing that can aid in the process.
Employer sponsorship is also an excellent option. Any job offers in the U.S. could come with the employer sponsoring your green card, which includes paying the fees and petitioning for your visa. Every year, 65,000 foreign workers with advanced degrees make their way to America through an employer.
Health and Money
To enter the U.S., you need to meet a set of physical and mental health requirements. The exam also looks for signs of violent behavior or tendencies, which includes substance abuse. If you pass, the next step is checking for up-to-date vaccinations. With everything in check, your chances of entering increase.
Outside of good health, you also need to support yourself financially. That could mean the ability to get a job and housing or having someone sponsor you. Each state has different poverty guidelines, as well. If you can’t provide for yourself and your family above a state’s poverty line, you probably won’t get in.
Mistakes After Entering
There are various ways to lose your green card, severely impacting your immigration status, as well. Committing any criminal acts is a fast track to deportation, which can range from robbery to claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. So, stay out of trouble to keep your status intact.
Country of Origin
Did you know that the U.S. caps the number of immigrants for each country? Out of every visa issued in a given year, each country can only obtain 7%. However, the diversity lottery does allow those from countries with historically low populations in the U.S. slightly more, such as Africa and South America.
Getting a Divorce
Another aspect that could affect your immigration status is if you entered the country through marriage. This is known as a K visa, and it lets you become an immigrant to a U.S. citizen who is your fiancé. Should the two of you need a divorce attorney before you’re fully a citizen, however, you’re likely to be deported.
If there is a chance that you may be deported, you might be able to switch your status to asylum seeker if there is a credible fear of returning to your home country. Credible fear can include:
- Domestic violence
- Gang violence
- And civil wars
While it takes time to be admitted into the refugee system, America will not end your immigration status if it puts you or your family’s life in danger. That credible fear will have to be proven in order for you to stay, though.