Immigration Law Top 10

US immigration law controls when and how citizens of other countries may enter the US to visit, live and work here permanently (get a "green card"), or become a naturalized US citizen. If you want to do any of these things, here's a list of what to do, not to do, and keep in mind to help you reach your goal.

  • Play by the rules
    • Anyone who enters the US illegally will be deported, and it usually can't be stopped
    • Here legally? A criminal conviction may lead to deportation, too
  • Don't sign any immigration papers, like visa applications, you don't understand
  • Be truthful with immigration officials. Lying may bar you from entering the US
  • Make certain your employer E-Verifies you when you get a new job
  • Don't overstay the time limit on your student, special work or other temporary visa
  • A visa is the first step to becoming a permanent lawful resident ("green card" holder), so get it right
  • Fill out your application for the visa Diversity Lottery Program as soon as possible, and do it carefully
  • With a green card and five years of living in the US, you can start the process to become a US citizen
  • You may qualify for asylum in the US if you're in danger or persecuted in your home country
  • Contact an immigration lawyer immediately if you have any difficulties with US immigration laws

The immigration process can be long and complicated. No matter what your goal is - a brief visit or a permanent move - any mistake along the pushes you farther away from that goal. Take some time to get it right and you'll see first-hand why so many people from other countries want to come to the US.

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