US Immigration -

The US Immigration System

In this article

The US immigration system is the US government's method of monitoring who enters the US and on what terms, with the priority of ensuring the country’s security and protecting the working opportunities for US citizens. There are many different elements of the immigration system, with the visa requirements and acceptance criteria forming the basis of restricting who enters the US based on the purpose of their visit.
The US government's Customs and Border Protection department is responsible for developing and maintaining the rules around border control and that includes the requirements under each visa, such as working visas, ESTA (VWP) countries and lots of other visa restrictions and eligibility rules. The sections below provide more details on how the system works.
Immigration, Customs and Boarding for International Travel to USA
The Benefits of the US Immigration Visa
US Immigration for Family Members


How Hard Is It To Get US Citizenship?

Getting US citizenship is not quick and it is not easy. Not everybody is eligible to apply for US citizenship and it can be a very long process to get US citizenship, regardless of how you qualify.

Read More..


Retiring to USA from UK

Many UK citizens have dreams to retire in another country, some choosing to retire to warmer areas of Europe and others want to retire further away, such as in the US.

Read More..

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Close family members of US citizens and highly skilled workers are the most likely to obtain a US Green Card to immigrate to the US. Other possible routes include the Green Card Lottery and making a large enough investment to meet the investor immigrant criteria.
The US has strict immigration criteria that people must meet in order to be able to live in the US. For example, you would need to have a close family member who is a US citizen, or you would need to marry a US citizen. Some highly skilled workers may also be able to immigrate to the USA.
The process for US immigration can vary but is usually around 6 months to a year from start to finish. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put many applications on hold and travel restrictions and closed offices led to backlogs and longer waiting times.
The 4 types of immigrants in the US are:
  • Citizens
  • Residents
  • Non-immigrants
  • Undocumented immigrants
When applying for a green card, you must wait for your priority date to be current. The waiting list varies depending on the green card category that you are applying for.
To apply for an immigrant visa, non-US citizens must be sponsored by a US citizen or a prospective US employer. Generally, you would need to have a close family relative who is a US citizen or you would need to be a highly skilled worker.
Mexican is the nationality that accounts for the highest nationality of the US immigration population. The next largest is China and India.
No, an immigrant visa and a green card are not the same as they have different rights and privileges. An immigrant visa is applied for when someone wants to enter the US with the wish to permanently live in the US. A green card is a higher level of status and can be applied for when. You are already living in the US.
If you are found to be ineligible to enter the US as an immigrant, you may be able to apply for a waiver using the Form I-601. To qualify you must be physically present in the US, at least 17 years old and have an immigrant visa case pending. You should check the I-601 instructions to see which grounds of admissibility can be waived for your visa category.