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Immigration Status Types: Understanding the Differences

Immigration law in the United States is infamous for being unclear. Both criteria and numerous complex procedures must be fulfilled. Immigration status itself is complicated. In reality, there are four different general categories of immigration status. 

Regardless of your situation or where you are in the immigration process, the skilled Dallas EB1 visa attorney can assist you.

What you need to know is as follows.

Citizenship

Your citizenship determines your legal standing as a citizen of the United States of America. There are several methods to become a citizen. Depending on your circumstance, you might be qualified to apply for citizenship if:

  • You have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years.
  • Getting married to a US citizen qualifies you for citizenship if you’ve lived in the country for at least three years with your spouse.
  • In many cases, military service serves as a pathway to US citizenship, whether you are currently in the military or closely related to someone who is.
  • You are a US citizen’s child: If one or both of your parents are citizens, you might also be able to apply for citizenship.

Residents

Permanent or conditional residents are included in the second category of immigration status. If you fall under this category, you are permitted to reside in the country permanently without obtaining full citizenship.

Two categories of residents exist:

  • LPRs: Legal Permanent Residents are also referred to as “green card holders.”
  • Typically, conditional residents are the spouses of US citizens who came to the country with their partners but have been wed for less than two years.

Non-Immigrants

There is a third category of immigration status available for visitors who wish to stay temporarily but not long-term. If you are in the country on a visitor’s visa, a student visa, a fiancée visa, a business visa, or a tourist visa, or if you have been given temporary protected status, you can be regarded as a non-immigrant.

Non-immigrants have a variety of options and ways to reside in the US legally temporarily.

Aliens without documentation

The fourth classification of immigrants is undocumented. If you arrived in the country illegally or with a visa that has already expired, you might be regarded as an undocumented immigrant.

Undocumented individuals face difficulties obtaining services like healthcare and driver’s licenses since they lack legal authorization to reside and work in this country.

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