The Law Offices of Michael L. Work represents foreign nationals and companies to plan, petition, and gain entry to the US for a multitude of purposes on a temporary or permanent basis.
Those that wish to enter the US temporarily must utilize a “nonimmigrant visa”. The types of visas are for various defined temporary purposes identified by letters “A” to “V”. Temporary may be as short a time as one day, or for a number of years depending on the particular category. A visa must be obtained from a US Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S., although the visa requirement is waived for certain persons entering as a Visitor from stated countries, and for Canadians under certain circumstances.
Using a visa stamped in a valid passport, a person may request admission at a Port of Entry and through this inspection process may be admitted for a temporary period of time consistent with the rules of that particular visa category. Dependents, including a spouse and minor unmarried child, are usually permitted to accompany the principal visa applicant, as are co-habitating partners and household servants in certain situations.
Those that wish to remain in the United States permanently must apply for an “immigrant Visa”, which is to gain entry in Permanent Resident Alien status (commonly referred to as a “green card”). This is the right to permanently reside in the United States without affecting the foreign citizenship. A Permanent Resident Alien does not have the right to vote in the U.S., nor assume certain government positions but most other benefits and obligations apply.
Citizenship is either acquired at birth, through the naturalization of parents, through an Act of Congress, or through the naturalization process. An individual that wishes to naturalize, must have been a Permanent Resident Alien for a certain number of years and meet certain requirements and testing prior to a swearing-in process. A Citizen has the right to vote, hold certain public offices, and enjoy all the rights and benefits as native born citizens.