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Old 04-11-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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Suppose you lived in Mexico or Guatemala and you wanted to legally immigrate to the US. What would you have to do?

Is there a long waiting period? Do you have to pay something? Are you more likely to be allowed to leave, if you are in certain walks of life?

One of the main defenses of illigal immigration is that it's too hard or expensive to come legally.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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For starters, you must meet certain qualifying requirements in order to apply for legal residency. You can't just "want" to and follow through. USCIS provides a variety of categories that qualify people. The categories are VERY narrowly defined and exclude MOST people.

1.) If you qualify for an IMMEDIATE immigrant visa number.
2.) If your spouse or child is in the US.
3.) You are the fiancee of a US citizen.
4.) You have asylum in the US.
5.) You are a refugee.
6.) You are Cuban.

You can also be sponsored by an employer if he/she can prove that your job can not be done by an American.

Please note that these categories have MANY exceptions. Thus, simply having a child in the US generally has a LOT of restrictions - which is often overlooked when arguing about anchor children. You can't just have a kid here and become an immigrant. Instead, you'll have to wait about 18 years before you can apply (or, more precisely, before your child can file a petition on your behalf).

You can't also just come here and apply once you are in the country (there are some exceptions to this) because doing so is generally seen as immigration fraud because you entered as a tourist but had the intent to immigrate.

Depending on the qualifying category and country of birth, wait time can be several years - sometimes five or seven - or it an be immediate (your spouse is a US citizen and thus, an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you).

If a person qualifies, he or she must file an application and submit a whole lot of evidence, dependent on the category under which they qualify. You pay $1000 for the application. You also pay more for certain other forms. Overall, I'd say you are looking at around $2000.

Next, you will also need to submit a "physical" from a US approved Civil Surgeon - that will cost you, too. If you don't pass the examination, you can NOT come to the US.

You will have a few interviews, have your evidence questioned, pay for a background check, etc.

If there are ANY red flags (let's say, you once missed your flight and overstayed by one day) - and if you can't convincingly explain them "away" WITH evidence - you will be rejected.

Many people find the process very confusing (and it IS confusing a quite complex) and prefer to hire a lawyer. Cost can easily exceed $3000 for the lawyer alone - plus the cost of the application and associated forms.

So, you are potentially looking at roughly $5000 and have no guarantee that you will be allowed to come to the US. At an average monthly wage that can be less than $400 that supports an entire family, you do the math. It is simply prohibitive. Your wait time can be very long, too.

You also need to take into account the lack of education, lack of knowledge, and lack of access. A poor farmer from rural Guatemala will basically be completely overwhelmed by the prospect - and he most certainly won't have the ability to fill out the necessary forms. Never mind come up with the money. Even for people form the developed world, the immigration process is extremely daunting, frustrating, expensive, and anxiety-provoking. If you look around, you will find quite a few forums dedicated to nothing other than providing support during the process.

Neither Mexico nor Guatemala prevent their citizens from "leaving."

Here are the official instructions pertaining to the application that outline who qualifies. This is just ONE form of many...

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-485instr.pdf

Last edited by Fuselage; 04-11-2013 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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Also, how many people per year legally immigrate to the US from Mexico?
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Suppose you lived in Mexico or Guatemala and you wanted to legally immigrate to the US. What would you have to do?
If you go the first "sticky" on this forum and click onto the USCIS website you will easily find out all you need to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Also, how many people per year legally immigrate to the US from Mexico?
Statistics are easy enough to find on a google search.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
939 posts, read 1,351,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Suppose you lived in Mexico or Guatemala and you wanted to legally immigrate to the US. What would you have to do?
If the Mexican or Guatemalan has relatives who are U.S. citizens, it is simply a matter of paying fees and waiting from several months to 20 years depending on the type of relationship.

However, if said Mexican or Guatemalan does NOT have U.S. citizen relatives, then it is virtually impossible to legally immigrate to the U.S. For them it's either enter illegally or not enter at all.

The exception is if they are in a highly skilled highly sought after occupation where an employer is willing to shell out big $$$ to sponsor them and prove to the U.S. government that it could not find any American workers to fill their position. For the vast majority of illegal immigrants, this has never been an option.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Jacurutu
5,302 posts, read 4,367,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Also, how many people per year legally immigrate to the US from Mexico?
Latest (2011) report from USCIS for statistics of those becoming Legal Permanent Residents in 2011, 2010, and 2009, it has the information you are looking for: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s...pr_fr_2011.pdf
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Out in the Badlands
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Why? Obummer and the Demoncats will take care of you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usuario View Post
If the Mexican or Guatemalan has relatives who are U.S. citizens, it is simply a matter of paying fees and waiting from several months to 20 years depending on the type of relationship.

However, if said Mexican or Guatemalan does NOT have U.S. citizen relatives, then it is virtually impossible to legally immigrate to the U.S. For them it's either enter illegally or not enter at all.

The exception is if they are in a highly skilled highly sought after occupation where an employer is willing to shell out big $$$ to sponsor them and prove to the U.S. government that it could not find any American workers to fill their position. For the vast majority of illegal immigrants, this has never been an option.

More specifically, those relatives MUST be immediate relatives:

Family Based

Some relatives of U.S. citizens, known as immediate relatives, do not have to wait for a visa to become available. There is no limit to the number of visas that can be utilized in this category in a particular year. Immediate relatives include:

Parents of a U.S. citizen
Spouses of a U.S. citizen
Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
Note: U.S. citizens must be at least 21 years old to apply for their parents.

The qualified relatives of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in the remaining family-based categories may have to wait for a visa to become available before they can apply for permanent residency. These categories include:

First Preference: Unmarried, adult (21 years of age or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

Second Preference A: Spouses of permanent residents and the unmarried children (under the age of 21)) of permanent residents

Second Preference B: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or age or older) of permanent residents

Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children

Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,082,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzelogik View Post
Why? Obummer and the Demoncats will take care of you.
It may well be asking a lot but, if you plan on contributing to this forum, it may behoove you to garner an understanding of USICS rulings, the basics of which were formulated way before any current administration took office.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:10 AM
 
47,531 posts, read 63,674,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Suppose you lived in Mexico or Guatemala and you wanted to legally immigrate to the US. What would you have to do?

Is there a long waiting period? Do you have to pay something? Are you more likely to be allowed to leave, if you are in certain walks of life?

One of the main defenses of illigal immigration is that it's too hard or expensive to come legally.
Compared with all other countries, immigration to the USA is quite easy. Just about every country has immigration laws, there seems to be a lot of people who condemn the USA for having any laws.
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