America may be seen as the "land of opportunity" and, for this reason, many people immigrate to our nation each year in hopes of obtaining a brighter, more prosperous future. In fact, the past 16 years has seen a great increase in immigrants coming to the United States. Louisville residents may be surprised to hear that, according to one report, the number of immigrants in our country has surpassed 43 million. Moreover, if you count children born in the United States to immigrants that number is greater than 60 million. To put it another way, almost one-fifth of America's population is made up of immigrants.
Before an immigrant in Kentucky or across the nation can become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, he or she must be issued a visa. However, the government limits how many visas are available and, as of right now, there are more prospective immigrants seeking U.S. permanent residency than there are visas available. This means that not every immigrant will obtain a visa right away. How long it will take for the immigrant to be issued a visa is dependent on the immigrant's priority date, his or her preference category and the nation he or she is coming from.
Moving to a new country can be an exciting experience. If you come to the United States on a visa, you may have a limited stay in the country. However, after some time, you may find yourself wanting to become a legal permanent resident due to the connections and life you have made for yourself here, or for other personal reasons.
Some people in Kentucky were brought to the country as young children by their undocumented parents. Known as "dreamers," they do not remember any home other than the United States, and many did not find out until adulthood that they were, in fact, undocumented. This situation was rectified by the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. However, the Trump administration is phasing out DACA, which could affect many.
Immigrants wishing to become permanent residents of the United States must first obtain a Green Card. While there are several ways an immigrant in Louisville can pursue a Green Card, sometimes a person seeks a Green Card as an immigrant worker. However, there are certain categories that one might fall under when seeking an employer-based Green Card.