By Ileana Arias Tovar
The intention of many people who are Temporary Residents in the United States is to become Permanent Residents in a short term. If this
is the case, people should focus on this objective from the very first day they make the decision to process some kind of temporary visa.
Nevertheless, focusing on the wrong direction is dangerous.
It is important to understand some basic terms and processes on immigration. People not only waste time, money and opportunities, but also, they risk losing our legal status, something that is very valuable and necessary to reach the goal.
One of the most frequent questions we get when we speak about this topic is: “What is the visa that can quickly become a Residency? Or, “What is the visa that takes people to the Residency?” There is only one answer to this question: There is no visa that turns into, or that takes people to, a Residency. They are simply different processes, autonomous and independent. It is necessary to analyze each case separately and design a specific plan.
• Do you know what is the difference between a Visa and a Residency?
• Do you know which are the different ways to obtain a Residency?
Did you know that it is possible…
• to have “any type of visa” and simultaneously apply to the Residency through any of the applicable ways?
• to apply to a Residency without having a visa before?
• to request a Residency from any country and without living in the USA?
When these processes are not clear, it is not possible to design an effective strategy towards the Residency. Among the many mistakes, there are:
• Having a visa for which the person does not qualify base on future plans, obviously imaginary or frivolous plans;
• Having a visa that although it was initially obtained, it cannot be renewed;
• Having a visa that does not last long enough while obtaining the Residency;
• Having a visa that is not needed, because the person can apply directly to the Residency.
One of the most common ways to obtain the Permanent Residency is through a future job offer from a company in the United States. This process is commonly known as PERM or Labor Certification and it can begin at any time, while being in the country (with any status) or abroad. In addition, the latest Visa Bulletin from the State Department gave us excellent news, because the easiest category of access to the Residency (that is, EB-3) only has a waiting time of seven months and it may be the perfect opportunity that you were waiting for. In any case, check with your lawyer because this is a complex process and not every person or company qualifies for it.
Arias Tovar & Associates, P.A. regularly publishes relevant information for the immigrant through its newsletter. For more information, visit www.ariastovar.com