America Immigration — 3 Options for Staying in the U.S. Legally

If you’re confused by the America immigration system, don’t be. Living and working in the U.S. legally is as easy as choosing one of these three options:

1. Getting your United States citizenship
If you have no plans of leaving America — and you want all of the perks that citizens here have — why not make the full commitment and get your United States citizenship?
This is the lengthiest of the America immigration options. In fact, completing your USA citizenship application takes years. However, once you’ve got your United States citizenship, there’s no feeling quite like it. You’ll be able to know what it really feels like to be an American — and do things like vote, run for office, get a U.S. passport, and even take advantage of perks like Social Security and Medicare.
What does the USA citizenship application process entail?
You’ll have to start by getting a Green Card. After five years (or three, if you’re married to a U.S. citizen), you can formally apply for United States citizenship. Then, you’ll have to fill out more forms, take a test, and sit down for a one-on-one interview.

2. Maintaining your Green Card status
Lots of people aren’t willing to cut all ties with their former country — which is why they opt to stick with their Green Cards, instead of becoming full-fledged U.S. citizens. You can stay in the U.S. as long as you want with a Green Card. Just remember that it is your “ticket” to being here legally. If anything happens to your Green Card (like if it were to get lost, stolen, or damaged), you are responsible for replacing it.
That’s where Form I90 comes in.
Form I90 is what you fill out if anything ever happens to your Green Card. It’s also what you need to fill out if the information on your Green Card ever changes — like your name. If you don’t fill out Form I90 and you don’t have a Green Card to prove that you’re here legally, you may not get to stay!

3. Getting the right Visa
If you’re only staying for a short time and you don’t need a Green Card, the America immigration system gives you one other option — a Visa. Visas are perfect for people who come to the U.S. for temporary job opportunities, or for people who need temporary access while they work on getting a Green Card.
There are lots of different Visa options to choose from, so make sure you get the right one. And, make sure you follow all of the rules! Different Visas come with different end dates, so you don’t want to inadvertently stay past your “due date”!

Want help deciding which option is best for you? The American Immigration Center, Inc. can help you do it!

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