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Immigration Basics

Statue of Liberty 

What is the “The New Colossus?”

It is a poem by Emma Lazarus that is engraved on a tablet within the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stands. The vast majority of people in the United States are classified as U.S. citizens. That’s because if you are born in the U.S., you are automatically a citizen. If you are born overseas, you will also be a U.S. citizen if one or both of your parents are U.S. citizens. In addition, some people who come to the U.S. from abroad may also be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through the process of “naturalization.” If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are generally referred to as a “foreign national” or “alien.”a) Permanent Resident

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries sheWith silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What are Immigration Classifications?


What Are The Primary Immigration Categories Held by Foreign Nationals in the U.S.?


A permanent resident also is called an immigrant and is someone who possesses a green card. A permanent resident can remain permanently in the U.S. and maintain his or her own citizenship. Permanent residence can be lost, however. For example, you can lose permanent residence if you live overseas for a certain period of time after becoming a permanent resident or if you are convicted of a crime. 

b) Nonimmigrant

A nonimmigrant is a foreign national who has been admitted into the U.S. temporarily for a specific purpose. Examples include admission to study, visit, or work in a particular job. Generally, a nonimmigrant is not expected to remain in the U.S. permanently, although this is not always a requirement. Most nonimmigrants are admitted into the United States only for a limited period of time. Nonimmigrants are designated by letters of the alphabet.

The following is an overview of the most common nonimmigrants:

A-1, A-2, A-3 Foreign government employees and their families and servants including diplomats and visiting officials.

B-1, B-2 Business visitors, not engaged in productive employment in the U.S. and visitors for pleasure. B-2 is the basic tourist classification. You should note that a Visa Waiver Pilot Program has been in effect for several years, which waives the requirement of a visa for visitors for business or pleasure from a growing number of countries. These include most European and many Pacific Rim countries. Individuals who enter the United States on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program are typically granted three months in the United States and are specifically barred from extending or changing their status in the United States.

C-1, C-2, C-3 Aliens in transit through the United States or en route to the United Nations.

D-1, D-2 Foreign crewmembers of ships and aircraft.

E-1, E-2 Aliens entering the United States to engage in trade or investment pursuant to a bilateral treaty between the United States and their country of nationality. This classification authorizes employment in the United States to manage the trade or investment enterprise. Family members are accorded the same classification but are not authorized to work.

F-1, F-2 Foreign students authorized to study in the United States. Limited work authorization is available during and after completion of the course of study for purposes of practical training in the field of study. Family members are accorded F-2 status and are not authorized to work.

G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5 Employees of international organizations & their families and servants (including diplomats, visiting officials).

H-1A, H-1B, B-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4 Certain qualified temporary workers, trainees and their families. The H-1B category is accorded to individuals employed in a Specialty Occupation and is one of the most important nonimmigrant categories for employers wishing to hire a foreign national in a professional or highly technical position. I Media representatives.

J-1, J-2 Exchange visitors and their families. J-1 nonimmigrants may come to the U.S. to engage in lecturing, research, study, observation or training. Graduates of foreign medical schools often complete medical residency programs in the U.S. in J-1 status. Most individuals in J status are subject to a requirement that they return to their home country for at least two years upon completion of the J program. Waivers of this requirement are available in some circumstances.

K-1, K-2 Fiance of a U.S. citizen (and any minor children).

L-1A, L-1B, L-2 Intracompany transferees and their families. This status allows the transfer to the U.S. of qualifying managers, executives and employees of international corporations with specialized knowledge.

M-1, M-2 Vocational students and their families. N Family members of G-4 special immigrants.

O-1, O-2, O-3 Aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics and accompanying assistants and family members.

P-1, P-2, P-3 Athletes and entertainers who are recognized internationally; they may be part of a reciprocal exchange program or culturally unique.

Q International cultural exchange aliens.

R-1, R-2 Ministers, religious workers and their families.

TN Mexican and Canadian citizens qualified as temporary workers under NAFTA.

Are There Other Kinds of Immigration Categories that Foreign Nationals May Hold?

1. Asylee

An asylee is an individual who has been granted political asylum. Political asylum is based upon an individual’s fear of persecution on account of his or her race, religion, political opinion or membership in a social group or nationality. Typically, an asylee can apply for permanent resident status one year after the grant of political asylum.

2. Temporary Resident

This category is for individuals who applied for the legalization or amnesty program instituted under the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986. Most participants in this program have already obtained permanent resident status.

3. Temporary Protected Status

This category permits persons from countries designated by the U.S. Attorney General to remain in the U.S. with work authorization during a specified period of time. Countries may be designated to have Temporary Protected Status if they are subject to armed conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary circumstances of a temporary duration.

4. Out of Status

Any foreign national who violates the terms of his or her admission is considered “out of status”. This typically occurs when a nonimmigrant remains in the United States after the date in which he is required to leave the country or who works in the U.S. when not authorized to.

5. Undocumented Alien

An undocumented alien is an individual who enters the U.S. illegally, without proper documentation.

The use of this weblog does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor should anything written in this log be construed as legal advice or a solicitation. This weblog is provided as a public service and designed for general information only. The commentator does not make any guarantees about the accuracy of the information posted on this blog.



1. Bindu - January 18, 2007

My brother is a hotel management graduate planning to come to US in J1 visa.May I know is it possible for him to change his status to hib visa before finishing his training.

2. Vasya - March 29, 2007

preved ot slesarya Vasi

3. Dimple Shah - April 24, 2007

Pls tell me where can i see online status of my F4 file.

4. Krunal Patel - September 27, 2007


Please tell me what is the procedure to get the BMB number if its not there (i have burn my BMB and DSL paper) now i want that.
if you can tell me what is the procedure then i will be very thankful to you. you can mail me on my email id — krunpatel@gmail.com

5. Martin - October 29, 2007

hello sir/madam,
i have my BMB number but i don’t know where i have to write.so please can u tell me where i have to write. & send it to my e-mail id martin_ptl@yahoo.com

6. ravneet kaur bhindar - December 17, 2007


please tell me where can i see my online status of my f4 file or from where i know about the recent f4 file status to know about which year is going on ??


7. tushar patel - April 21, 2008

where can i see online status for f-4 categories files for u.s

8. sunita chauhan - May 19, 2008

where can i see online status for f-4catogries file for u.s

9. UTSAV PATEL - August 13, 2008

Hiii…my name is utsav patel..
where can i see online status for f-4catogries file for u.s..
MY num is:: LIN-0316752111 in Aug -2003
i want my file deatils..above i mention my number..send me my details on my e-mail id…
Thank you….
my id is::uspatel535@gmail.com

10. Ysrael A. Tolentino - September 17, 2008

Please tell me online my file F4 from 23 Dec 1998.

11. utsav - September 29, 2008

this ,essage for utsav patel…………….
Receipt Number: LIN0316752111


Current Status: This case is now pending at the office to which it was transferred.

The I130 IMMIGRANT PETITION FOR RELATIVE, FIANCE(E), OR ORPHAN was transferred and is now pending standard processing at a USCIS office. You will be notified by mail when a decision is made, or if the office needs something from you. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address. We process cases in the order we receive them. You can use our processing dates to estimate when this case will be done, counting from when USCIS received it. Follow the link below to check processing dates. You can also receive automatic e-mail updates as we process your case. To receive e-mail updates, follow the link below to register.

12. Irinea L. Cura - October 6, 2008

Please tell me what date are being process for F4 Category Priority date May 1995

13. SANJAY SHAH - December 21, 2008

Hiii…my name is shah sanjay..
where can i see online status for f-4catogries file for u.s..
MY num is:: EAC-0017551338 in MAY -2000
i want my file deatils..above i mention my number..send me my details on my e-mail id…


14. Danandeh,Iraj Kaseb - February 16, 2009

Hi dear sir/madam
My case number is ANK2005722017
My Priority date is 19AUG1999
My Category is F4 of U.S
Does our priority date is now on process?
When shall we get visa?
I would like to know my file details.
My email is:idanandeh@yahoo.com
Thank you

15. Carol Angella Campbell - February 17, 2009

Dear Sir/Madam
My Case Number is KNG2006595075
My Priority Date is 26NOV2004
My Category is F1 of U.S.
Please I would like to know my file details
when do i get the visa

16. Carol Angella Campbell - February 17, 2009

Dear Sir/MadaM
My Case Number is KNG2006595075
My Priority Date is 26NOV2004
My Category is F1 of U.S.
Please I would like to know my file details
When do i get the visa?
My email is carmichangel@hotmail.com
Thank You

17. Carol Angella Campbell - February 17, 2009

Dear Sir/Madam,
My Case Number is KNG2006595075
My Priority Date is 26NOV2004
My Category is F1 of U.S.
Please I would like to know my file details
When do i get the visa?
My email is carmichangel@hotmail.com
Thank You

18. Daxa R Darji - July 22, 2009


19. Ravi - August 20, 2009

how can check my status of F4 catagory imigrant date.i have just 1 year remain

20. Stinky76 - October 10, 2009

However, I find it much more offensive that people from my own country have forgotten horrible things done to people here. ,

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