Visiting, Working and Living in the United States

Many people endlessly dream about becoming a United States citizen. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as buying a one-way plane ticket and settling down there for good. Most individuals are required to obtain a non-immigrant visa before they can even visit the United States. So, if you’re interested in becoming a US citizen, you need to know about the different immigration documents required to visit, work and live in the United States.

Visas

Citizens of most foreign countries require a visa to enter the United States. Visas are issued at US Embassies and Consulates abroad, and they need to be presented at any U.S. port of entry before you can enter U.S. territory.

Different kinds of US Visas are issued depending on your purpose of visit. In general, there are two main types of United States Visas: Immigrant Visas and Non-Immigrant Visas.

Immigrant visas are for foreign citizens who intend to live permanently in the United States. Non-Immigrant visas are for individuals who intended to travel in the United States, or live there on a temporary basis.

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Citizenship

Individuals bornin the territory of the United States are automatically granted US citizenship. While it is usually acquired by birth, a citizen of a foreign country can also become a US citizen through naturalization.

All U.S. citizens can live and work permanently in the United States, and cannot be deported or denied entry into the United States. Citizens also have the right to get a U.S. passport, which is required when traveling abroad.

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Passports

A United States passport is a government-issued document that allows any U.S. citizen to travel abroad and return to the United States. It is generally valid ten years from the date of issue, though for U.S. citizens aged 15 and younger, it is only valid for five years.

First-time applicants must apply for their US passport in person, while passport renewal can be processed though mail. Every US citizen has the right to apply for a U.S. passport, as it does not only serve as a travel document but as a valid proof of identification.

Green Cards

The Green Card serves as proof of a person's lawful permanent resident status in the United States. An individual with a Green Card has the right to live and work permanently in the United States. In addition, he or she has the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain amount of years as a Green Card holder.

There are various ways to qualify for a Green Card and a person may have several choices on how to apply. You can obtain a Green Card through the following:
1. Adoption
2. Employment
3. Investment
4. Marriage to a US Citizen
5. Marriage to a Green Card Holder
6. Relatives with Green Cards

Interested applicants are highly advised to learn about the different criteria of eligibility for Green Cards, so they can determine how they can best prepare for their application.

American Immigration