It is the hope of most legal immigrants to become lawful permanent residents—also called green card holders—and eventually naturalise as U.S. citizens. Achieving lawful permanent resident status, however, is not an easy task; it requires applying for a visa at an American embassy or consulate abroad, being selected in the annual visa lottery, or being sponsored by a close family member who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder. This fact sheet is intended for readers who are interested in learning about the U.S. legal immigration system, and covers principles and concepts underlying U.S. immigration law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information, data, and policy statements are accurate as of the date of publication, it may not reflect recent changes in legislation or law that have been instituted since its preparation or future legislation or policy to be enacted. If a problem relating to immigration is related to one or more of these four basic principles, we believe it can be solved. In all circumstances, however, the issue is an incredibly complicated one that needs thorough research prior to arriving at any solution. Finding a solution will depend on how well informed the American public is about the causes of the current problems and how they came about.
The United States is one of the most popular countries in the world for immigration. There are many reasons why this is, but a big part of it comes down to family unification. Relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can move here with fairly minimal hassle, and under certain conditions can even become citizens themselves over time. By easing the path to citizenship, America has created a very strong incentive for people all over the world to come here legally.
In the United States, there’s a law that permits U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor relatives to come live permanently in the United States – this law is known as “family reunification.” To achieve this goal, family members must meet certain requirements imposed by U.S. law. If you are already a U.S legal permanent resident, you may petition for your spouse or unmarried children (under age 21) to enter the U.S. as permanent residents. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may file a petition for your spouse, children and parents to enter the U.S.
There are several reasons why family based immigration is still an important topic of discussion in the U.S., despite the restrictive nature of legislation passed in recent decades. There are a number of government and non-government entities who feel that the current policies in place do not meet the ideals set forth in the earlier legislation. The United States Department of State, USCIS, and civil rights organisations continue to discuss ways to make family reunification a more viable policy.
Family reunification is one of the cornerstones of the U.S. immigration system and its purpose is to unite families. It is considered a humanitarian policy and serves to promote family cohesion. For people who qualify for immigrant visas under the family reunification provisions, there is no limit on the number of persons who can be sponsored by one immediate relative, such as a parent or spouse.
A person who has accumulated 5 years of qualifying work experience may apply to adjust his or her status, with the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen in as little as three years. If any criminal convictions, including traffic violations, are listed on the naturalisation application, the applicant may be denied citizenship and/or deported. Applicants should consult an experienced immigration attorney when preparing and submitting their applications. Overall, obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalisation is a long and rigorous process. However, if you are willing to work hard and find a way to meet the requirements, it may lead to the fulfilment of your dreams of becoming an American citizen.