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United States Immigration and Residency Status
Home Business Legal
By: Jonathan Scarborough Email Article
Word Count: 810 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


Immigration is a touchy subject for many people in the United States and the cause of much debate in both Federal and State government legislation and politics. United States is known as the melting pot of the world where everyone is welcome to make a better life for themselves and their family. The most frequent issue that comes up when referring to immigration is legal and illegal immigration. Very few Americans dispute legal immigration laws but the topic of illegal migrants has stirred up a hornet’s nest in recent politics.

Legal Residence: Being a legal immigrant and U.S. Citizen are two vastly different concepts. To live in the United States on a permanent visa means one has to get a Green Card. This allows permanent residency within the United States with some restrictions on voting and other federal regulated services. A person with a green card can still get a driver’s license, hold a job, go to school, and carry on with the normal day to day activities all Americans enjoy without fear of deportation.

U.S. Citizen: Becoming a United States Citizen is a difficult but worthwhile process for any migrants planning to stay in the U.S. First it is essential to determine if an individual meets the eligibility requirements to become a citizen. The federal government only offers a certain number of citizens per country per year. There is a "lotto" system that is very unreliable but some people get lucky using this option. For all others, eligibility requirements must be met followed by an application process to become a citizen.

An individual must take a test on U.S. History to complete their citizenship for the United States, which to most American born nationals may seem a bit challenging. In addition the applicant must be photographed, finger printed, interviewed, and a decision will be made on whether to allow the individual as a citizen. Once all of these steps have been completed an oath is used to swear in the new citizenship for the United States of America.

Illegal Immigrant: An illegal immigrant is someone who is in the US without a valid visa or permission to stay in the country. This term is commonly referred to on the news to describe individuals that have been smuggled or snuck into the country without crossing the proper border inspections. There is another group of individuals that can be considered illegal migrants that carry a much less negative connotation. It is possible for some students or employees to come to the US on a visa. Every visa has a set expiration date which typically needs renewal before it expires. In some cases an individual may have had a valid visa which has expired pending renewal. Technically these individuals are considered to be illegal immigrants as well however they are not typically stigmatized like individuals who have bypassed customs and border policies.

With such a vast group of individuals from varying backgrounds it is essential for Americans to exercise tolerance in their day to day lives. Although there are individuals that are upset about the political and social side effects of immigration it is after all the foundation of our modern country and society. It is important to remember that almost everyone that comes to the USA is here seeking a better quality of life for themselves and their family. In some instances migrants are fleeing from their native countries which they love but political strife has forced them to bring their family to a safer location.

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