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Brief Introduction
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America, with no doubt, is the most attractive developed country. Many aliens want to enter the U.S., be a permanent resident, or, more over, an American citizen. It may be not as difficult as you have imagined.
Temporary nonimmigrant visas
No matter what you are, a visitor, or a student, you can apply for a nonimmigrant visa to establish a foothold in the United States in a relatively short period of time if you meet the specific requirements.
There are a number of nonimmigrant visa options currently available to foreign nationals:
Nonimmigrant Visas
Foreign Government Officials
A-1 Ambassador, public minister, career, diplomatic or consular officer, and members of immediate family.
A-2 Other foreign government official or employee, and members of immediate family.
A-3 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of A-1 and A-2, and members of immediate family.
Visitors
B-1 Temporary visitor for business
B-2 Temporary visitor for pleasure
Visa Waiver Program
Aliens in Transit
C-1 Alien in transit directly through U.S.
C-1D Combined transit and crewman visa
C-2 Alien in transit to UN headquarters district under Section 11.(3), (4), or (5) of the Headquarters Agreement
C-3 Foreign government official, members of immediate family, attendant, servant, or personal employee, in transit
C-4 Transit without Visa, see TWOV
Crewmen
D-1 Crewmember departing on same vessel of arrival
D-2 Crewmember departing by means other than vessel of arrival
Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors
E-1 Treaty Trader, spouse and children
E-2 Treaty Investor, spouse and children

E-3 Treaty Professional Visa for Australian Nationals
Academic Students
F-1 Academic Student
F-2 Spouse or child of F-1

F-3 Border commuter students in academic institutions and language training programs
Foreign Government Officials to International Organizations
G-1 Principal resident representative of recognized foreign member government to international organization, and members of immediate family.
G-2 Other representative of recognized foreign member government to international organization, and members of immediate family.
G-3 Representative of non-recognized or nonmember government to international organization, and members of immediate family
G-4 International organization officer or employee, and members of immediate family
G-5 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, or members of immediate family
Temporary Workers
H-1B Specialty Occupations, DOD workers, fashion models
H-1C Nurses going to work for up to three years in health professional shortage areas
H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker
H-2B Temporary worker: skilled and unskilled
H-3 Trainee
H-4 Spouse or child of H-1, H-2, H-3
Foreign Media Representatives
I Visas for foreign media representatives
Exchange Visitors
J-1 Visas for exchange visitors
J-2 Spouse or child of J-1
Fiancé(e) of US Citizen
K-1 Fiancé(e)
K-2 Minor child of K-1
K-3 Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (LIFE Act)
K-4 Child of K-3 (LIFE Act)
Intracompany Transferee
L-1A Executive, managerial
L-1B Specialized knowledge
L-2 Spouse or child of L-1
Vocational and Language Students
M-1 Vocational student or other nonacademic student
M-2 Spouse or child of M-1
Special Immigrant
N-8 Parent of alien classified SK-3 "Special Immigrant"
N-9 Child of N-8, SK-1, SK-2, or SK-4 "Special Immigrant"
NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (see TN, below)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO-1 Principal Permanent Representative of Member State to NATO and resident members of official staff or immediate family
NATO-2 Other representatives of member State; Dependents of Member of a Force entering in accordance with the provisions of NATO Status-of-Forces agreement; Members of such a Force if issued visas
NATO-3 Official clerical staff accompanying Representative of Member State to NATO or immediate family
NATO-4 Official of NATO other than those qualified as NATO-1 and immediate family
NATO-5 Expert other than NATO officials qualified under NATO-4, employed on behalf of NATO and immediate family
NATO-6 Member of civilian component who is either accompanying a Force entering in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces agreement; attached to an Allied headquarters under the protocol on the Status of International Military headquarters set up pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty; and their dependents
NATO-7 Servant or personal employee of NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, NATO-6, or immediate family
Workers with Extraordinary Abilities
O-1 Extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business, or Athletics
O-2 Alien's (support) accompanying O-1
O-3 Spouse or child of O-1 or O-2
Athletes and Entertainers
P-1 Individual or team athletes
P-1 Entertainment groups
P-2 Artists and entertainers in reciprocal Exchange programs
P-3 Artists and entertainers in culturally unique programs
P-4 Spouse or child of P-1, 2, or 3
International Cultural Exchange Visitors
Q-1 International cultural exchange visitors
Q-2 Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program (Walsh Visas)
Q-3 Spouse or child of Q-2
Religious Workers
R-1 Religious workers
R-2 Spouse or child of R-1
Witness or Informant
S-5 Informant of criminal organization information
S-6 Informant of terrorism information
T Victims of a Severe Form of Trafficking in Persons
T-1 Victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons
T-2 Spouse of a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons
T-3 Child of victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons
T-4 Parent of victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons (if T-1 victim is under 21 years of age)
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
TN Trade visas for Canadians and Mexicans
TD Spouse or child accompanying TN-
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS Temporary Protected Status
Transit Without Visa
TWOV Passenger
TWOV Crew
U Victims of Certain Crimes
U-1 Victim of Certain Criminal Activity
U-2 Spouse of U-1
U-3 Child of U-1
U-4 Parent of U-1, if U-1 is under 21 years of age
Certain Second Preference Beneficiaries
V-1 Spouse of an LPR who is the principal beneficiary of a family-based petition which was filed prior to December 21, 2000, and has been pending for at least three years
V-2 Child of an LPR who is the principal beneficiary of a family-based visa petition that was filed prior to December 21, 2000, and has been pending for at least three years.
V-3 The derivative child of a V-1 or V-2
Immigrant Visas
Many people are interested in obtaining "green cards". However, compared with nonimmigrant ones, it is more difficult to obtain lawful permanent resident status unless an applicant falls within certain defined categories.
There are four main categories. The easiest and quickest way, is through a family relationship where the petitioner is either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Family-Based Immigration
IR1 Spouses of US citizens (USCs)
IR-2 Unmarried children under 21 years of age of USCs,
IR-3 Orphan adopted abroad
IR-4 Orphan will be adopted in the U.S.
IR-5 Parents of USCs
F-1 Unmarried sons or daughters over 21 years of age of USC
F-2A Spouses and children under 21 years of age of LPR)
F-2B Unmarried sons or daughters over 21 years of age of LPR
F-3 Third Preference (Married children of USC)
F-4 Fourth Preference (Siblings of adult USC)
Several immigrant visa options are available to qualifying applicants. Since certain family based categories have lengthy waiting periods, it may be advisable to precede with certain employment based options which can be processed fairly quickly.
Employment-Based Immigration
EB-1 Priority Workers
EB-2 Professionals with advanced degrees, and persons with exceptional ability
EB-3 Skilled workers, professional and other workers
EB-4 Certain special immigrants
EB-5 Employment creation (investors)
The other categories involve diversity immigrants and refugees & asylees.
Diversity Visa
Applicants need to have a high school diploma or equivalent or two years of work experience in an occupation, which requires at least two years training or experience. Initially, approximately 100,000 people will be randomly selected and notified. Thereafter, 50,000 people will qualify for visas.
Refugee & Asylee
A refugee is one who is unwilling or unable to return to their home country because of persecution or a "well founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular group or political opinion". A refugee is generally outside their home country and not within the U.S. Family members are also admitted as refugees even if they do not qualify as refugees in their own right. Asylees are refugees who are physically present in the U.S. and cannot return to their home country for the reasons set forth above. In addition, recent regulations require asylum applications to be filed within one year of entry into the U.S. unless circumstances in the applicant’s home country have substantially changed to adversely affect the applicant.
Naturalization
A person granted permanent residency is permitted to reside and work in the U.S. Depending on their classification an immigrant may be eligible to file for U.S. citizenship either three years or five years from date of acquiring permanent residency (providing they are not otherwise deemed ineligible). When the alien fulfills some requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act, he/she can be naturalized. After the naturalization, if he/she becomes an U.S. citizen, he/she can enjoy the benefits as all other U.S. citizens.
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