This App Will Show You How to Apply for Immigration to the USA
Immigration to the United States is governed by the federal Immigration and Naturalization Act, which limits annual immigration to 675,000 permanent immigrants from around the world. Immigrants are divided into categories based on their reasons for wanting to move to the U.S. permanently, each with separate limits for the number of immigrants admitted each year. Applying for immigration to the U.S. is a complex process that can take as long as a year to complete after your petition is accepted.
Submitting a Petition
1 Consider hiring an attorney. The immigration application process is complex, and many of the forms can be confusing. An experienced immigration attorney in the U.S. can facilitate the process for you and make sure all documents are correctly filled out and filed.
Look for an attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, a professional organization for experienced attorneys who specialize in immigration law.
You also should make sure you check the record of any attorney you're considering hiring with the state bar association in the state where he or she is licensed. Make sure the attorney is reputable and has no significant complaints or disciplinary records.
You should be able to have a free consultation with several attorneys so you can find out what they can do for you and observe their demeanor and the way they treat their clients.
All immigration cases are different, so you also should make sure the lawyer has experience handling your type of application. For example, if you plan to immigrate to the U.S. because you have a job offer, you probably don't want to use an attorney who specializes in fianc immigration applications.
If you're concerned about your ability to afford an attorney, you may be able to find free or reduced-cost representation through a nonprofit immigration organization or other legal aid society. The Immigration Advocates Network has a nationwide list of these organizations available at http://www.immigrationlawhelp.org.
2 Choose a sponsor. Typically your sponsor will be a U.S. citizen who is your spouse, parent, child, or sibling.
Lawful permanent residents also can serve as sponsors for their spouses or unmarried children.
Your sponsor also may be your employer, if you are applying for immigration because you have a job in the U.S.
All sponsors must be over the age of 18 and live in the U.S. or in any of the U.S. territories or possessions, either as a citizen, a U.S. national, or a lawful permanent resident.
3 Have your sponsor complete the appropriate form. Relative sponsors must complete Form I-130, while employer sponsors must complete Form I-140.
Your sponsor can download Form I-130 and instructions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at http://www.uscis.gov/i-130.
Employer sponsors can download Form I-140 and instructions from the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/i-140.
4 File the petition with the USCIS. Your sponsor must file the petition on your behalf at the appropriate USCIS processing location by mailing it using the U.S. Postal Service.
The USCIS has two Lockbox facilities for filing Form I-130. Whether your sponsor must file the petition at the Phoenix location or the Chicago location depends on the state in which he or she lives.
Form I-130 must be accompanied by a $420 filing fee.
Where your sponsor files Form I-140 depends on whether he or she is filing the form by itself, or with other forms.
Form I-140 must be accompanied by a $580 filing fee.