All non-citizens legally admitted to the US fall into one of three categories:

  1. Nonimmigrants - persons who seek admission for a limited period of time and usually for a limited purpose;
  2. Immigrants - persons who want to become permanent residents of the US; and
  3. Refugee. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines these categories and provides classification by which foreign citizens may be admitted into US. In addition, INA provides grounds of "inadmissibility"  which bar admission and grounds for "removal" which usually results in deportation of a non-citizen back to the country of citizenship. 

All non-citizens and non-permanent residents seeking admission to the US are presumed to be potential immigrants - seeking permanent residents and therefore must demonstrate that they either qualify for one of the immigrant categories or that they are not immigrants. INA 101(a)(15). Majority of people are granted immigrant status under family-sponsored, employment-based, diversity immigrants, or refugee category. Only immediate-relatives (spouses, parents, children) of US citizens are not subject to numerical limitation as to how many people can immigrate. All other classifications are subject to numerical limitation which, as a result, led to a huge backlog developing, in some cases lasting a decade or more, for some of the immigrant classifications.

Prior to qualifying for permanent residents, non-citizens must demonstrate that have an intent to live indefinitely in the US. Aliens who fall under numerically limited classifications, must apply and obtain a Visa from the State Department.

Attorney Igor Litvak is intimately familiar with the immigration process to the United States having undergone it himself. He can ensure that every important procedure or exception is pursued in relation to your immigration matter.

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