Permanent Immigration to the United States

Immigrant visas are for people who are pursuing legal permanent resident status in the United States.  Persons who have this type of legal status are commonly referred to as green card holders.

 In general, in order to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative(s) or by a prospective employer.  Unlike most other immigrant categories, Immediate Relative family members are not subject to numerical limits under immigration law, although every family member may not qualify as an Immediate Relative.  Additionally the Diversity Visa Program provides a certain number of permanent resident visas annually.  These visas are drawn from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.  Major immigrant categories are:

Employment-Based Cases
Family-Based Cases
Diversity Visa Program

Temporary Statuses in the United States

Nonimmigrant statuses are for people who wish to come to the United States on a temporary basis – for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, study, or training.  In certain cases, persons in nonimmigrant statuses may also be able to pursue permanent immigration to the United States.

Visa Waiver Program