Pathways To Immigration: What You Need to Know


There’s a lot of bad information broadcast on the news and social media about immigrating to the U.S. The current administration would like you to believe that our Southern border is locked down and travel bans are so ironclad that no one can immigrate here. That’s simply not true. Although immigrating to the U.S. is difficult, it is not impossible to navigate. 

Here are the actual pathways to immigration:

Family-Based Immigration

This immigration stream is primarily designed for the reunification of family members, which is the focus of our law practice. This can contribute to the person immigrating becoming more established and successful once admitted into the States. The two types of visas available under this category are:

  • Immediate Relative
  • Family Preference (for specific, more distant, family relationships)

To be eligible, a family member that is a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident will need to sponsor the relative that is intending to immigrate.

Work Visas

A work permit or employment-based visa is authorization to allow you to legally work within the U.S. for an employer in the U.S. open (anywhere for anyone doing anything) versus closed (linked to that employer, location, and occupation). Work visa subcategories are:

  • Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability
  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
  • Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
  • Certain Special Immigrants
  • Immigrant Investors

A work visa is an official document that gives you legal authorization to perform the task stated on your application.

Student Visas

If you are planning to study at a school that is certified in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), then you can pursue a student visa. Within the student visa category, two primary options are available:

  • F-1 Visa Classification: for a full-time international student pursuing academic studies
  • M-1 Visa Classification: for a full-time international student pursuing vocational studies 

Visa Lottery

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program allows for up to 50,000 immigrant visas that are drawn annually from a random selection of people from countries with rates of low immigration to the U.S. If you are selected, you still have to go through the document verification process, interviews, and testing.

Immigrant Investor

As an immigrant investor, you are required to make a positive impact on the U.S. economy. Without borrowing, you must invest $1,000,000 or $500,000 into rural areas or communities with low employment. Per The Department of State, within two years, you are required to create full-time jobs for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to work in the U.S., not including the investor and the investor’s spouse, sons or daughters.

Asylum Seekers

The process to enter the U.S. as a refugee under asylum is carried out in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The basis of the application falls under humanitarian rights and is an option available to foreign nationals that are escaping prejudice or conflict in war-torn areas, the threat of danger or death to the applicant and/or their families. In addition, those seeking asylum may be entitled to work authorization after a certain time frame, once their applications are properly filed. 

A Legal Solution

Regardless of your particular pathway to immigration into the U.S, we are here to help. With years of experience and a dedication to staying up to date with law and policies, we strive to keep families together. For a Free Case Evaluation, call our team at (866) 641-7517. 

Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.


latest Articles

Skip to content