Types of Immigration Statuses in the United States

United States Immigration

So, have you decided to immigrate to the United States? Congratulations! This could be your first step to achieving your American Dream.

The United States of America is a melting pot of culture, and thousands of people visit the country to study, work, or find better opportunities. In this Land of Opportunity, you can turn your life around for the better. To know all the different benefits this country offers, you can visit BenefitsFinder.com.

But if you want to visit or move to the US, you must get a valid visa and navigate the different immigration statuses. Since there’s no single immigration status, it is essential to have all the necessary information. Continue reading.

Immigration Status: What is it?

Everyone living in the US has an immigration status, and this refers to their type of presence in the country. According to the residence level and whether an individual has citizenship, there are different immigrant and non-immigrant status types.

Non-immigrants and immigrants can change their status by going through different government agencies and taking the right steps. These agencies include USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) under the DHS, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DOS (the Department of State), DOJ (Department of Justice), and HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services).

The US government allows immigrants and non-immigrants to modify their status under specific circumstances when the necessary forms are completed, including Application to Register Permanent Residence, Form I-485, or Adjust Status. But individuals need to meet specific qualification requirements for different immigration statuses.

If you have immigration questions, you can get in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer.

Types of US Immigration Statuses

  • US Citizens

US citizens are individuals born in the US or who became citizens after the naturalization process following a period of 3 to 5 years as a resident in the US. If you are a US citizen, you will not be deported except in cases where citizenship has been gained by fraud.

If born outside the US, you can hold American citizenship after entering the borders. You will not have to go through the naturalization process if one of your parents is a US citizen by naturalization or birth. Therefore, even if you have lived and worked outside the US, you can apply for US citizenship and obtain it. You must go through an application and verification process to prove your parents are Americans. You must submit their birth records, ID cards, state-issued driver’s licenses, etc. Also, you must prove that you are their child by submitting the CRBA record.

After gaining citizenship, immigrants can legally work in the US and receive public benefits. Also, they can help their spouses, parents, siblings, children, or other family members become citizens and legal residents.

  • Permanent Resident

Permanent residents have the right to live and work in the US indefinitely. However, this is not the same as citizenship. In addition, permanent residents are not allowed to vote and are subject to deportation.

A permanent residency card, also known as a green card, and the USCIS issues this.

  • Undocumented

Individuals in the US illegally or without permission are known as undocumented immigrants. This is because they cannot live in the United States permanently or temporarily. Also, they cannot legally work in the USA or access the benefits available to residents like health insurance and driver’s license.

Undocumented immigrants face deportation, and they can be deported at any time. In addition, people are considered undocumented if they enter the US illegally or overstay a temporary legal visa.

  • Non-Immigrant

Non-immigrants are individuals who reside in the US temporarily. This includes individuals who go to the US to visit, study or have temporary protection. This even includes individuals seeking a K-1 visa from their partner.

If you have non-immigrant status, you will be subject to your status being switched to undocumented if you violate your visa or US rules.

Which Immigration Status is Correct for You?

You cannot decide the immigration status that is right for you. The USCIS determines the type of immigration status you are eligible for according to your qualifications. You must apply for the right visa type and let the process pan out.

However, it would be best if you determined your intentions for coming to the US to apply for the correct visa. For example, if you are visiting a member of your family, you must apply for a B1 temporary visa. You can claim your US citizenship by applying for a Certificate of Citizenship if you are a US citizen.


It is essential to know and comprehend the different types of immigration statuses to determine which one you must apply for to avoid becoming undocumented or facing deportation. You can contact an immigration attorney if you have doubts.


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