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Ways to immigrate to the United States

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2022 | Immigration Law |

The United States has confusing immigration laws. So one of the best places to start wading through this web is to learn about how people can immigrate.

Traditionally, the United States government limited immigration to reunifying families, introducing skills beneficial to the economy and protecting refugees. The Immigration and Naturalization Act is the current law that allows for 675,000 permanent immigrants per year. The president and Congress determine the number of refugees and asylees.

Family-based immigration

Family immigration allows United States citizens and legal residents to bring their close family to the country. There are 480,000 of these visas given each year. That said, there is no limit on how many immediate family members, meaning children and spouses, can enter the country each year.

Employment-based immigration

There are plenty of ways for people to immigrate to the United States for work, either temporarily or permanently. Temporary workers can receive a variety of types of visas. Some of the most common include:

  • Intra-company transfers
  • Performers
  • Religious workers
  • Diplomats
  • Special occupation workers

Additionally, there are 140,000 visas set aside for people seeking to live and work in the United States permanently.


The final most common method of entry into the United States is coming over as a refugee. The government admits these people based on their inability to return to their homes due to persecution. Officials give preference to refugees who have families in the United States and face the most risk.

These are the various ways people can immigrate to the United States. Knowing these is the first step people must take to achieve legal residence. In addition, this information allows them to identify the best way to obtain a visa.