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“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” – U.S. National Anthem

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“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” – President Jimmy Carter


“…with liberty and justice for all.”

Immigration can be a tricky process. Unless you are educated about the different laws and regulations surrounding it, you might end up getting very frustrated and disappointed. It can be in your best interest to hire an immigration attorney to help you sort through paperwork and filing. One of the first things you should try to understand, however, is the different types of immigrant petitions.

The basic process of filing a petition includes an individual trying to gain residency for him or herself or for family members. In order to reduce anxiety and frustration when filing a petition, there are a few things that you should know. First, you must have a strong foundation for your cause before you file it. This means that you should have collected all of the important documents and have met all of the specific requirements. If you are not a citizen you will have to have it filed by someone who is.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the waiting period on an immigration petition will depend on the status of the person that is doing the petitioning. If you are trying to get a beneficiary or alien relative into the US and you are a citizen, then you will usually have to wait anywhere from six months to a year. A legal permanent resident might actually have to wait upwards of 5 years in order for the visa to be processed. Knowing these factors ahead of time can give you reasonable expectations of what to expect.

While there are many different reasons that people apply for an immigration petition for residency in the United States, here are some of the most common types of immigration: First, would be the immigration through a family member. This is one of the most common types of immigration and examples of it can be seen every single day. The second type is that of immigration through employment. Many people are seeking better wages and quality of life and want to come here to work. Next, there is immigration through investment, which can be done if you plan to invest in a business in the United States that costs over $50,000.

Other types of immigration include doing it through the diversity lottery, immigrating through “the Registry” (which has direct reference to the Immigration and Nationality Act), Immigration through asylum or refugee status, and last of all there is immigration that has been granted permission by Central Intelligence.

All of these are going to have different quotas and eligibility and you should not file for a visa alone. Having an immigration attorney will be very helpful and it can ensure that all paper work and petitions are properly completed.

About the Author: Attorney Rizvi is a Houston immigration lawyer. She provides legal assistance in a variety a fields, including immigration & nationality law, wills & estate planning and business transactions. For more information please visit