A handwriting words related to immigration.

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The pathway to legally immigrate to the United States is filled with difficulties and obstacles. There are several complicated steps, lots of paperwork that must be filed correctly, and many other hurdles to jump. Here are the methods for legally immigrating to the United States, along with their many difficulties:

Family Pathway

One of the routes an immigrant looking to move to the United States can potentially take is through family ties. Those who have a family member in the United States already have a better chance of successfully immigrating than those who don’t.

If an immigrant is an unmarried child (under 21) or a spouse of a United States citizen, the immigrant is considered the immediate relative of a United States citizen and is eligible for a green card with no wait time.

If they are the sibling of the citizen, or they are the unmarried child who is at least 21 years of age, then they are eligible to get a green card but have to wait to receive a visa number. This process of receiving a visa number can last anywhere from one year to two decades.

If a hopeful immigrant’s family member does not fit into any of the two above conditions, then their family member has to be either a spouse or a child that is already holding a green card. If this is the case, the immigrant will be eligible for a green card but they will have to wait for their visa number to obtain it.

If a person’s family member fits none of the listed requirements, then they are not eligible for a green card and have reached a dead end; they will have to try another route to gain legal entry into the United States.

Work Pathway

Another path an immigrant might be able to take when trying to move to the United States is pursuing a job visa. Job visas are given to candidates who have a job offer or potential job offer from an employer in the United States. If an employer wants to apply their candidate for a work visa, they must be able to do the following:

  • Prove that this candidate will not displace an American for the job
  • Be willing to sponsor the candidate
  • Be able to take financial responsibility for the candidate
  • Be willing to wait – in some cases, years – for their potential candidate to receive their visa number.

If the employer is unwilling to do any of the above, the candidate will have reached a roadblock.

The Diversity Lottery

If a person comes from a country with a low immigration rate to the United States, they may be able to apply for the diversity lottery. This lottery is a long shot though, as millions of people enter the lottery every year in hopes of having their number chosen. Only 50,000 of the people entering the lottery are chosen every year.

Seeking Asylum

A final pathway an immigrant can take to gain legal access to the United States is through applying for Asylum. Out of all the migration pathways, this one is the trickiest since there is a lot of red tape to cut through. An asylum seeker must be able to prove that the situation in their home country is a threat to their lives. They must also be able to prove that their persecution is based on one of the following:

  • Their nationality
  • Their race
  • Their religion
  • Their political stances
  • Their participation in a political or social group

If the asylum seeker cannot prove any of these, then their application will likely be denied.

If you or a loved one is looking to navigate the winding pathways of immigration, you are going to need a strong team of attorneys to help you follow the proper steps and file the paperwork correctly. At Hernandez Law Group, we’re dedicated to helping hard-working individuals make a better life for themselves in the United States. You shouldn’t have to make this journey alone; contact the immigration attorneys at Juan Hernandez today.