The United States has a series of strict immigration rules that require a good level of understanding by anyone looking to live or work in the country. The law covering immigration is known as The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) and provides for an annual limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants, though if you have close family members there are specific exceptions to this rule.

There is an array of official visas available to immigrants depending on their status and their reasons for wishing to stay in the United States. For example, family visas have categories for immediate relatives of US citizens and family members who fall into a separate category known as the family preference system. Immediate family would include the spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 and the parents of US citizens. Under the family preference system, this would include adult children and the brothers and sisters of US citizens. The immigration rules also cater for legal permanent residents to petition for their spouse, minor children, and unmarried adult children to stay in the country under the family preference system.

In addition to family visas, there are also separate employment visas for those who wish to work in the country. Immigration rules provide for temporary employment visas and permanent employment visas. A temporary visa allows employers to petition and hire foreign nationals for a limited time to undertake a specific job. The worker that enters the country on a visa to do the job must stay with that employer and their ability to change jobs is limited. Permanent employment visas have various subcategories. These categories include visas for those who will be investing specific amounts in the United States or for those who have exceptional skills.

Participating in the green card lottery is a way of bypassing some of the stringent green card immigration rules to create a new life in the United States. A green card will give you official immigration status in the country and provide you with a raft of rights that comes with this status.

Each year, people that were born in eligible countries can enter the green card lottery or diversity visa lottery as it is formally known. The process involves filling in an online form for inclusion in the lottery. It is important that the form is filled in correctly and we would advise that you seek help to do this.

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