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Making a Living

Illegal aliens usually have to work “off the books,” unless they are able to forge identification papers or find understanding employers. As a result they are often underpaid and must work without unemployment insurance or social security benefits. Many illegal aliens work for members of their own ethnic groups under relatively secure conditions, though it …

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Types of Visas

To enter the United States you need either a temporary or immigrant visa. You can apply for either one at an American consulate or embassy outside the United States. The temporary visa allows you to visit the United States for a limited period of time, while the immigrant visa allows you to live in the …

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Undocumented Existence

Sometimes the Only Way. As should have become obvious by now to anyone reading the previous information about the preference system, those people not related to others legally in America or who don’t have the connections to obtain a job-related preference (or refugee or asylee status) have only one way to take up residence in …

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Preference System Strategies

Apply under all the categories that apply to you, not just one. Under some circumstances, you can also apply as a national of a country other than the one you were born in, since that country may have a shorter waiting list. You can use your spouse’s country of birth or either of your parents’. Get …

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Speeding Things Up

Filling out all paperwork carefully is rule number one. Dealing with bureaucrats is never easy. Since the INS bureaucrats have to deal with many people who don’t speak English and who are not familiar with American customs and procedures, they really appreciate proper paperwork. While it is often advisable to pay the money for a professional …

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Refugees and Asylees

Outside the Preference System. Refugees and asylees are not subject to the numerical limits of the preference system, though Congress often places separate limits on the number of refugees that may be admitted each year. Only a tiny percentage of all these applications are approved. An immigration lawyer is almost always essential to prove refugee status. You …

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The Preference System

Tries to Keep Families Together. The preference system for immigrant visas is mostly family oriented, with some preferences available due to employment or special legislation regarding specific countries. A quick way to become a member of someone’s family is through marriage. Don’t think this is an easy way, especially if the marriage is just a trick …

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Immigration Lawyers

Immigration lawyers can be extremely helpful, especially if the immigrant does not speak English well. An immigration lawyer should know the latest law, the fastest procedures, and be skilled in handling INS paperwork. To find a good immigration lawyer, check with the local bar association or any consumer-oriented social service or voluntary agency. If you …

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American Immigration and Citizenship

Waves of Immigrants. More people immigrate to the United States than to all other countries combined. Since America is so popular, the immigration apparatus is swamped from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to the local courts. The bureaucracy is complicated. To make matters worse, the law, and the administrative regulations that implement the law, …

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History of Immigration Laws

Freedom, Controls then More Freedom. For much of its history the United States allowed unrestricted immigration. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, various restrictions were placed, most notably on Asian immigrants. The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, also known as the Permanent National Origins Quota Act, began a quota system that lasted for 40 years. Simply …

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