If you wish to pursue full-time academic or vocational studies in the United States, you may be eligible for one of two non-immigrant student categories. The "F" category is for academic students and the "M" category is for vocational students.
For more information, see the USCIS Information for Foreign Students and the Students and Exchange Visitors in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Website
If you are not eligible to change your nonimmigrant status to F-1 or M-1, you may apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa at a consular post abroad.
For information about consular processing, please visit the Department of State’s website information on U.S. Visas.
If you are a B-1 or B-2 Visitor who wants to enrol in school, you must apply to change status from B-1/B-2 to F-1 or M-1.
For more information, see the USCIS Special Instructions to Visitors.
The United States welcomes thousands of foreign workers in multiple occupations or employment categories every year. All foreign workers must obtain permission to work legally in the United States. Each employment category for admission has different requirements, conditions and authorized periods of stay.
Learn about the most common non-immigrant worker classifications below:
Start the first step towards getting an Investor Visa.
The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa are for citizens of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation who wishes to travel to the U.S. to establish substantial trade principally between the U.S. and the treaty country or set up a business in the U.S.
The qualifications for a Treaty Trader (E-1) are:
· Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
· The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
· The applicant intends to depart the United States when the E-1 status terminates.
· The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
· The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U. S. must have the nationality of the treaty country.
· The international trade must be “substantial” in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
· More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality.
The qualifications of a Treaty Investor (E-2) are:
· The investment must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
· The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
· The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
· The applicant is in a position to "develop and direct" the enterprise.
· The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
· The applicant has invested or is in the process of investing investment must be substantial.
· The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
· The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 can receive derivative E visas to accompany the employee to the U.S.
For more information about participating countries, see State Department’s list of Treaty Countries.
The E-1 and E-2 visas are non-immigrant visas which allow the investor to temporarily work and live in the U.S. for so long as they are running the business.
But an investment may also entitle the investor to permanent residency. Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers, are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence).
For more information about Permanent Residency through Investment, see the USCIS Information page on E-B-5 Investments.
Unless you are eligible to petition for yourself), most employment petitions require a job offer and require that the employer petition for the worker.
Carmen Villamor has assisted clients in a full range of employment-based immigration categories, including:
· EB-1: For individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives
· EB-2: For members of advanced degrees, individuals of exceptional ability, athletes, entertainers and academics seeking national interest waivers
· EB-3: For skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers
· EB-4: For special immigrants
· EB-5: For immigrant investors and entrepreneurs
To bring your family together when you live in America, you would need a Family Visa.
You may be eligible to get a Green Card and become a permanent resident of the United States through a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident relative.
You may be eligible to get a Green Card as:
· Immediate Relative of a U.S. citizen: this includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older
· Family Member of a U.S. citizen fitting into a preference category :this includes unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21, married children of any age, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older
· Family Member of a Permanent Resident: this includes spouses and unmarried children of the sponsoring green card holder
If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth.
To become a citizen at birth, you must:
· Have been born in the United States or certain territories of the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;
· Had a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of your birth (if you were born outside the U.S.) and met other requirements
To become a citizen after birth, you must:
· Apply for "derived" or "acquired" citizenship through your parents;
· Apply for naturalization
For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual
The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrant from all parts of the world. America values the contributions of immigrants who continue to enrich this country and preserve its legacy as a land of freedom and opportunity.
Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most important decisions in an individual's life. If you decide to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the United States and your loyalty is to its Constitution. In return, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship.