inside immigration information about marriage green cards and work visas in America


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 marriage green card There are quite a few ways to legally live and work in America, either temporarily or permanently.  Many of them involve lengthy processing times, as well as financial costs.

Lawful Permanent Residence through Relatives

  • A relative who is either a green card holder or U.S. citizen may be able to file an I-130 petition for you to be on the green card (permanent resident) waiting list.  Wait times are from between 5 months and 25 years.  Foreign nationals are not allowed to wait inside the USA unless they obtain some other type of temporary visa.
  • If the relative is an “immediate relative” (one example is a U.S. citizen husband or wife) there is not a waiting list, but it may take 4-12 months for the process of getting a green card through an immediate relative such as a U.S. citizen husband or wife.

To find out who can be on the waiting list and how long it might take, make sure you check the Visa Bulletin, which is a free report that is issued monthly.

Lawful Permanent Residence through an American Employer

An American employer may file an I-140 petition for you to be on the green card (permanent resident) waiting list.  Wait times and processing of the employer sponsored green card range from 2 to 10 years. Foreign nationals are not allowed to wait inside the USA unless they obtain some other type of temporary visa. To find out how long it might take, check the Visa Bulletin.

Lawful Permanent Residence through Investment

  • A foreign national, if from an “E Treaty Country,” may invest a minimum of $120,000 USD to purchase an American business that employs three U.S. citizens.  The business should already be operating for some period of time before the request for a temporary E-2 Visa(which can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business is successfully operating). It is difficult to arrange to purchase an American business from outside the USA; many foreign nationals request to enter the USA with a B1 visa to make the arrangements).  However, the E-2 Visa normally does not lead to permanent residence (green card).
  • A foreign national may invest a minimum of $500,000 USD in an existing American business enterprise that employs ten U.S. citizens. The business must stay in operation for at least 5 years in order for the investor to obtain permanent residence (the EB-5 Investment Green Card).  There is a list of eligible American businesses, but they are not guaranteed risk free by the American government.

Temporary Work Visa

An American employer may file a request for a temporary Work Visa for you.  Most of the temporary American work visas allow foreign nationals to enter and work in America for time periods extending from 6 months to 7 years. Most work visas require a 4 year college degree:

Other work visas (J-1 Visa, M Visa, H-2B Visa, H-3 Visa) may not require a college degree (we do not handle these).

It would be good to figure out which work visas you may be eligible for before applying for a job with an American employer.  If you are having difficulty figuring out which work visa you might be eligible for, you may find it helpful to hire an immigration attorney to help you figure it out.

Temporary Student Visa

A foreign national may enroll in an American school while still living abroad and the school will help obtain an F-1 Student Visa to enter the USA and attend school.  American schools can be contacted directly through their websites.

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