The American dream and way of life remains an attractive goal for many around the world. Over the last years, the immigration processes to the United States became more stringent, but surprisingly the immigration rate has actually increased.
In order to begin immigration to America the application process begins in your country of residence and continues in the United States. Several steps must be followed and specific documentation needs to be presented to enter the country.
First Steps to Apply for A Visa for The United States
The first step to enter the United States is to apply for a Visa. There are three different kinds of Visas. The application will depend on the characteristics of the visit.
- There is an Immigrant Visa for people who want to live permanently in the United States
- For those who need a Nonimmigrant Visa to visit the country temporarily
- Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver for eligible people from participating countries, who may apply to travel with a stay of 90 days.
All applications should be made in the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, except for the Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver, which must be submitted by the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. After the presentation of the documentation, the payment of fees and the interviews, you will be informed whether your application was approved or not.
Admission to The United States
If your Visa was approved, after you received your passport with the Visa and the sealed immigrant package, you must check all the information to make sure it is exact, and the Visa expiration date as well. You must travel to the United States and apply for admission before that date. You will usually have six months from the issue date. The documentation you will need to take with you when you travel, will depend on the country you are coming from. Arriving to the port-of-entry does not guarantee you will be authorized to stay in the United States. You must know that your stay will be subject to inspection, even if you completed the previous steps. Ineligibility could be related to health, criminal, security, labor, legal or documentation issues.
Working and Living in the United States
In order to live and work legally in the United States, you need to be a Green Card Holder. There are different categories of Green Cards. You can get the Green Card through family, a job, refugee or asylee status, among others. Current green cards are valid for ten years or two years for conditional residents. After you receive the Green Card, you can also apply for a Social Security Card and a Driver´s License. As a permanent resident, you will have rights and responsibilities, and in order to have all the benefits, your Green Card must be updated.
If you are coming from a Spanish speaking country, you will need all the documentation translated and certified in order to present it to different institutions. You should look for experts in the field as this is a very important step to work and study in the United States. Remember that you can always contact The Spanish Group to get quality Certified and Professional Spanish Translations.