Today, immigrants make up 13.7% of the United States population. This means there are over 44 million immigrants in the US and this number only seems to be growing.
By 2065, immigrants and their descendants will make up 88% of the United States population growth.
But, it’s worth noting that immigrants cannot be grouped into the same category. In reality, there are four separate immigration statuses that you can apply under when attempting to migrate to the United States.
What’s the difference between these immigration statuses, and how does immigration law differentiate between them? Read on to find out! 1) United States Citizen
It’s possible to hold United States citizenship despite never having lived there. This could be true if you have dual citizenship in the United States or if one of your parents is a US citizen.
If you already have United States citizenship and are immigrating to the United States, you’ll still need to fill out an application to verify that your status is valid.
This process will likely include submitting documents to verify your identity. After this process is complete, you’ll be able to vote, work, and do everything a US citizen can. 2) Lawful Permanent Resident
Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) apply to immigrate to the US under green cards.
LPRs are not US citizens but can work, pay taxes, and even vote. After several years of residence, LPRs can then apply for citizenship.
Within the US immigration status of LPR, various types of green cards can be issued. There are family-based green cards for relatives of citizens, employment-based green cards for workers sponsored by US companies, and even lottery green cards for underrepresented immigrant populations. 3) Temporary Visitor
While an LPR likely intends to stay in the United States for several years, if not permanently, a temporary visitor is not intended to stay in the country for an extended time.
Temporary visitors may be tourists visiting America, people visiting family, or workers coming to America for a business trip.
Visas offered to temporary visitors may vary from several months to 10 years. However, the critical item to note is that visitors must have no intentions to reside permanently in the United States or to obtain citizenship. 4) Undocumented Immigrant
An undocumented immigrant is a person who illegally lives in the United States. They may have entered the United States illegally or stayed after their authorized visa expired.
Undocumented immigrants are at risk of deportation or other legal action. They cannot legally work in the United States and do not have other rights, such as healthcare or voting rights. Know Your Immigration Law
If you’re planning on immigrating to the United States, it’s critical that you’re aware of the immigration law that is currently in place. This will help you apply under the correct status and move your application along more quickly.
Having an immigration guide or immigration lawyer to walk you through the process of obtaining a visa or citizenship will help make the process much smoother and more accessible.
If you need an NYC immigration lawyer to help you with your immigration application, contact us today! We’ll evaluate your situation and help you proceed in the easiest way possible.