Types of U.S. Immigration Visas

People who want to reside permanently in the United States, whether they intend to work there or not, must obtain an immigration visa. To obtain a long-term card of a resident (also known as a Green Card), you must fill in a petition for an immigration visa. A person with an immigration visa who has successfully entered the United States will receive a permanent resident card within the first year. In most cases, an immigration visa can only be obtained if someone completes the petition on behalf of the person who wants to immigrate. It is not possible to fill in the petition for yourself. The U.S. immigration law defines four categories of immigration visas: Family-Based Immigration; Fiancé Visa; Employment-Based Immigration; Immigrant visa lottery (Green Card).

Family-Based Immigration

Under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Act, these types are the described as a close family member: spouses, unmarried children, or grandchildren under the age of 21; parents or stepfathers, widows, children adopted in a foreign country or yet to be adopted in America.

The citizens of the USA must complete a petition (Form I-130) at their nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) residence. A list of the units of this service is given in the instructions on Form I-130. When the petition is approved, the Citizenship and Immigration Service sends a notification, Form I-797, that the petition has been approved. At the same time, the case is forwarded to the National Visa Center, which contacts the relative of the American citizen and handles the further handling of the case. When the National Visa Center finishes processing the documents and sets a date for the interview, the case is forwarded to the American Embassy where the person live at the moment. Then, a relative of an American citizen arrives for an interview to obtain an immigration visa.

Employment-Based Immigration

Under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Act, a certain number of immigration visas are issued each year. These visas are divided into five categories. To obtain a visa of any category, you usually need to have a work permit issued by the U.S. Department of Labor and complete a petition with the U.S. Office of Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS).

Employment-Based Immigration
Employment-Based Immigration

A person who requires a work permit based on their qualifications must already have a job offer in the United States. The prospective employer must submit appropriate forms with their prospective employee to the U.S. Department of Labor. The employer can then file a petition (Form I-140) for the appropriate category of visa with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the petition is approved, the case is sent to the National Visa Center, which contacts the person wishing to immigrate and provides him with further instructions.

The decision as to whether a person qualifies for an immigrant work visa is made by the United States Office of Citizenship and Immigration. All questions regarding eligibility for this category and filing a petition should be directed to the appropriate section of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.