The USA was founded by immigrants from European countries. For two hundred years, Americans brought here millions of African people as slaves, and in the 20th century, people immigrated here, fleeing world wars. Not surprisingly, US residents often call themselves the "nation of immigrants".

Although the land has long been inhabited, slavery abolished, and a new world-scale conflict did not happen, only in 2018 more than 533 thousand people received immigrant status in the United States[0]. People come here primarily for prosperity: the United States takes 6th place among the best countries for immigration[1].
Whether immigrants are welcome here or not is a controversial question. On the one hand, the US has no need to encourage immigration: they are already one of the world leaders in terms of the number of immigrants[2], 10 million of which are in the country illegally[3]. On the other hand, the USA has a simplified immigration regime for prominent figures in culture, science, sports, and business. Talented students can receive financial support for studying at the best universities in the country and the world, such as Harvard, MIT, Caltech. There is also a liberal family immigration policy in the United States: children, parents and even brothers and sisters of a US citizen can receive a green card. Same-sex marriages are also legalized in the country.
  • One of the best travel passports. With a US citizen passport, you can visit 184 countries without a visa, including Europe and almost all countries in America. A US passport is ranked 17th among the best travel passports in the world[4].
  • Diverse nature. Scientists identify 8 climate zones in the United States[5].
  • Political freedoms. The United States is among the world's leaders in terms of human rights and political freedoms[6].
  • Freedom of expression. Americans value personal freedom of expression[7]. They freely express views, create communities and respect an individual way of life.
  • Freedom of religion The principle of religious freedom is protected by the US Constitution[8]. Throughout the history of the United States, several dozen religions and churches arose, including Baptism, Scientology, and even the Church of Satan.
  • Good medical care. The US occupies the 37th (out of 191) place by the quality of medical care[9].
  • American cultural salad bowl. The peculiarity of American society is that it was formed as a multicultural one, therefore it is easier for visitors to adapt.
  • Expensive immigration. Bureaucratic red tape associated with immigration is accompanied by expensive fees for filing various applications and petitions.
  • Expensive higher education. In the USA there is no free higher education: a year of study on average will cost between 25000 to 35,000 USD per year - and this is without the cost of accommodation and travel. Even the US citizens cannot always afford to study at American universities.
  • Expensive medical care. The minimum cost of insurance is about 206 USD/month - and the prices can go even higher[10]. People without paid insurance often cannot use the whole spectrum of medical services - this problem today causes a lot of debate in American society.
  • The huge wealth gap. The difference in incomes between different social classes in the United States is twice as high as, for example, in France[11] - and continues to increase[12].
Immigration to the US is a costly process. And it is neither the high cost of plane tickets to fly to the other hemisphere nor the cost of education and life: already at the stage of applying for an immigrant visa, you will have to pay for almost every bureaucratic procedure that accompanies interactions with American departments. On the other hand, the United States does not have an official language requirement, so the only category that should confirm English proficiency for immigration is students. In addition, in the USA there is a unique free lottery that awards a green card (American residence permit).

Ways to immigrate to the United States

ImmigrationExamVisaCostConsiderationGreen card
StudentYesNonimmigrant60 USD3+ monthsNo
Lottery green cardNoImmigrant330 USD1+ yearsYes
LaborNoImmigrant345 USDIndividuallyYes
MarriageNoNonimmigrant160 USDIndividuallyYes
Family ReunionNoImmigrant345 USDIndividuallyYes
HumanitarianNo-FreeIndividuallyYes
You can apply for a US visa in a US Embassy in your home country. The complete list of embassies can be seen here.

General requirements for a visa


The collection of documents for a visa is a crucial stage that decides whether the candidate will be given permission to enter the country. While for each type of immigration and for each individual situation the set of documents is always unique, there are several general requirements for visa documents.

When applying for a visa, you must provide photographs that meet strict special requirements. Requirements may change - before making a photograph, it is necessary to check the current information.

Requirements for photographs for a US visa


  • Size 5x5 cm;
  • Photo not older than 6 months;
  • Matte;
  • Color;
  • On a white background;
  • Neutral facial expression;
  • The image of the eyes at the level of 28–35 mm from the bottom of the photo;
  • Without glasses and hats;
  • No retouching.
Photo sample, px
Candidates for immigrant visas are required to have a number of necessary vaccinations. Vaccination should be done as early as possible, as the process may take an indefinite amount of time depending on the individual situation and personal vaccination calendar. A statement of previous preventive vaccinations, certified by a doctor, and with the seal of a medical institution, must be brought for a medical examination.

The list of vaccines for an immigrant visa

  • Hepatitis A;
  • Hepatitis B;
  • Flu;
  • Haemophilius influenza type B (Hib);
  • Measles;
  • Meningococcal infection;
  • Mumps;
  • Pneumococcal vaccination;
  • Whooping cough;
  • Polio;
  • Rotavirus vaccination;
  • Rubella;
  • Diphtheria and tetanus;
  • Chickenpox.[13]

Student immigration to the USA

To immigrate to the USA, one option is to study with a student visa (F or M) and after graduation, find a job and stay there to live. Although higher education in the United States is expensive, they welcome the immigration of talented students and offer them scholarships at the best universities in the country and the all over world. As a result, many international students study at top-rated universities. For example, one in four students at the California Institute of Technology is a foreigner.
You can get a visa to the United States without applying for a scholarship, but in this case, you will need to prove that you have enough money for travel, accommodation and expensive training.
Preparation for immigration should begin at least a year prior in order to pass the language and entrance exams and receive confirmation of admission. It is recommended that you apply for a visa no later than 3 months before your intended departure.

Working while studying in the USA

Foreign students in the USA can work part-time on campus for no more than 20 hours a week. The source of additional income will make life easier, but will not be sufficient to cover living expenses and tuition. Students with an F-1 visa can also take a paid internship (up to 1 year) in the field of their educational program.

Briefly about education in the USA

Main article Education in the USA

The process of immigration to the USA through education

  1. Acquire at least intermediate level of English proficiency;
  2. Choose a university and program;
  3. Search for a source of funding / scholarship;
  4. Pass the required entrance and language exams;
  5. Translate education documents into English;
  6. Apply to a university and receive an invitation;
  7. Collect the documents for immigration and apply for a visa.
Read more about enrolling in US universities.
There are two main types of student visas, designed for a long-term student stay in the USA:
  • The F-1 visa is intended for the US college and university students or for students attending language courses;
  • The M-1 visa is intended for students traveling to the United States for a non-academic or professional education.

Visa costs for students (F, M visa)


ItemCost
Translation, notarization10+ USD/document
Consular fee160 USD
SEVIS I-901 fee200 USD

Requirements for obtaining a student visa in the United States


  • A formal confirmation of enrollment to an educational institution;
  • Language proficiency of at least intermediate depending on the level of training / requirements of the educational institution;
  • The intention to return home after completing the training.

Documents for the US student visa

  • The passport that is valid for another 6 months after arrival in the USA;
  • Completed online application DS-160;
  • Confirmation of payment of the consular fee for consideration of the application (160 USD);
  • Photos (digital for upload to DS-160, printed for interview);
  • Certificate of eligibility I-20 (is sent by the institution after entering the student's data in the SEVIS database. The form must be signed by the student and the representative of the institution);
  • Confirmation of payment of the SEVIS fee (200 USD);
  • Language certificate (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, MELAB) and entrance exams (GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, DAT);
  • Certificate of the previous education with notarized translation into English;
  • Documents proving the existence of close financial, social and family ties with the homeland (for example, a marriage or birth certificate);
  • Evidence of funds, sufficient for travel, accommodation, tuition (bank statements, scholarship grants, etc.);
  • Confirmation of previous trips abroad (old passports, copies of visas);
  • Invitation for an interview.

Process of obtaining the US student visa

  • Make an online application DS-160;
  • Print the application page with a barcode;
  • Pay the consular fee (160 USD);
  • Pay the SEVIS fee (I-901 fee) online;
  • Collect the documents;
  • Get an appointment for an interview in a country of citizenship (waiting period of 1 day depending on the location and the availability of places in the queue);
  • Pass an interview (bring originals and certified translations of documents);
  • In some cases, wait for additional administrative processing (up to 60 days)[15];
  • Get a visa.

Reasons for denial to issue US student visas

  • Lack of information about the applicant;
  • Not enough evidence of the ability to pay all expenses associated with study and living;
  • Providing fake documents (lifetime entry ban to the United States);
  • The applicant had previously expired a visa and was in the United States illegally (entry ban from 3 to 10 years).
Read more about the visa denials.

Marriage immigration to the USA

This is the easiest way to immigrate, which does not require huge sums of money in your accounts, education or professional experience. It will be possible to obtain citizenship after three years of living in the United States in marriage (for other categories - 5 years). For marriage immigration, you need to get a special visa for the Fiancé(e) - K. This visa is needed to enter the country and marry a citizen or resident of the country. After that, you can apply for a green card as the spouse of a US citizen or resident. Same-sex marriage is also legal.

Visa costs for fiancé(e) (Visa K)


ItemCost
Translation, notarization10 USD
Petition I-129F535 USD
Consular fee265 USD
Medical examination246 USD
Petition I-130535 USD
Petition I-4851,225 USD

Requirements for the visa of the fiancé(e)


  • Translation of all documents into English;
  • Evidence of genuine relationships.
Migration Service checks the conscientiousness of the spouses even after the marriage. For example, when an immigrant decides to change his status from conditional permanent to permanent. The punishment for fraud is strict:
  • Deportation from the USA;
  • Further denial of immigration benefits in the United States;
  • Punishment of 5 years in prison;
  • Up to 250,000 USD fine.

US immigration process through marriage

  • Send petition for Alien Fiancé(e) / Form I-129F to USCIS in Dallas (the petition must be sent by a citizen-partner or a holder of the US green card);
  • Wait for the petition to be approved and transferred at first to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing, then to the US mission to the country of the visa applicant;
  • Receive instructions from the US mission to prepare for the interview;
  • Prepare for the interview: collect the documents, study the information about legal rights;
  • Vaccination, medical examination;
  • Send the paperwork via email: scanned copies of the DS-160 confirmation page, passport (information page), birth certificate, police certificate, divorce certificates, name and military ID (information page) change certificates (minimum three business days before the interview);
  • Pass the interview at the US Embassy (bring originals and certified translations of documents);
  • Wait for the fiancé(e) K1 visa to be issued (terms are individual);
  • Obtain a visa and enter the United States;
  • Marry within 90 days of entry;
  • Submit the petition I-130 and obtain the conditional status of a permanent resident (a temporary green card is given for two years);
  • Obtain a permanent residence permit after two years;
  • Obtain citizenship after at least 3 years of residence in the United States and being married.

List of documents for the fiancé(e) visa

  • DS-160 online application, filled in English;
  • Printout of the confirmation page with a barcode;
  • Passport: original + photocopy of the information page. Passport must be valid for at least 60 extra days after the visa expires;
  • Birth certificate (original and copy);
  • Documents confirming the end of all previous marriages (if any): originals, copies, translations, if necessary;
  • Military ID (original, photocopies of all filled pages);
  • Police certificate for all names and surnames (including maiden) held prior, as well as dates of birth, if they changed, with information about each place where the applicant lived or lives (including studies) for more than 6 months, starting from the age of 16;
  • Police certificate from other countries of residence (more than a year);
  • Extracts from court decisions (originals, photocopies and translations): a certified copy of each court decision, regardless of the outcome of the court;
  • Results of medical examination and vaccination;
  • Results of photofluorography (must be on hand when entering the United States);
  • Seven (2 for a visa, 5 for medical examination) color matte photographs 5×5 cm;
  • Confirmation of relations with the future spouse;
  • Confirmation of payment of the consular fee (265 USD);
  • Financial documents of the future husband / wife from the USA.
  • Joint photos;
  • Letters;
  • Email correspondence.

The fiancé(e) must prepare paperwork, copies of which the partner must attach to the application.
  • A signed copy of tax transcripts from the IRS;
  • I-134 (Affidavit of Support) – a signed copy;
  • Bank statement.

Issuing an immigrant visa

An immigrant visa is issued to several categories of immigrants in the United States: workers, investors, family immigrants and the winners of the green card lottery. For this reason, both the main body of paperwork and additional documents are practically the same not depending on the purpose of the move for these categories.

Main documents for an immigrant visa

  • Passport, valid for at least 6 months at the time of the proposed date of entry into the United States;
  • 2 photographs for a visa, 5 for a medical examination;
  • DS-260 online application, (including for immigrant’s children and spouse);
  • Printout of the confirmation page of completing the DS-260 application (for an interview);
  • Confirmation of registration and approval of the petition I-130 for immigration of family members / I-140 for labor immigration / I-526 for investors (issued by the US Immigration Service);
  • Sponsorship application I-864 from the host;
  • Bank statement (if necessary);
  • Results of medical examination and vaccination;
  • Results of photofluorography (must be on hand when entering the United States);
  • Documents upon individual request of the National Visa Application Center (NVC) with a certified translation into English. This includes acts of civil status, police certificates, etc.

Employment-based immigration to the USA


A work visa to the USA is designed for five categories of candidates, which include remarkable people, professionals, contractors, entrepreneurs, investors, and others. A common feature of the US labor immigration process is that the prospective immigrant or his employer must first fill out an immigration petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An application for an immigrant visa will be possible only after the approval of the petition and reception of the invitation. A work visa to the USA is an immigration visa - not only it will open the entrance to the country but it will also give the right to receive a green card after entry.

The USA is the state with the highest GDP in the world[16]. It requires labor immigration due to the needs of the constantly growing economy. Simultaneously, they strive to bring together prominent figures of science, business and other fields from around the world, and therefore offer them streamlined immigration conditions, and professionals of various qualifications who will fill vacant jobs. For the same reason, the United States also offers immigration options for businessmen / investors - the state expects them to invest in the economy, which will create new jobs.

Categories of labor immigration

Preferred CategoriesFor whomPetitionFilling out a petition
1
  • The most remarkable figures in science, art, education, business, sports;
  • Prominent professionals and scientists;
  • Directors and managers of multinational corporations
I-140 Yourself / Employer
2
  • Professionals with degrees;
  • People with exceptional abilities in science, business, and art;
  • Professionals whose work is in US national interest
I-140 Yourself / Employer
3
  • Skilled workers;
  • Professionals;
  • Unskilled (other) employees
I-140Employer
4
  • Religious figures;
  • Retired employees of international organizations;
  • Some US government workers overseas;
  • Others
I-140Employer
5
  • Investors
  • I-526Yourself
    Immigration for certain categories requires a job offer from a US employer who, in this case, acts as a sponsor of an immigrant. In this role, he sends the immigration Petition I-140 to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Its registration and approval gives the candidate a green light for applying for a visa. The most prominent figures in various fields can file a petition themselves. The spouse of the candidate and his children under the age of 21 can also obtain immigrant visas on the basis of an approved petition.

    Labor immigration in the USA


    ItemCost
    Translation, notarization10+ USD
    Medical examination246 USD
    Petition I-140700 USD
    Petition I-130535 USD
    Petition I-5263,675 USD
    Application DS-260345 USD
    Application DS-260 (family member)325 USD
    Immigration fee220 USD
    Information about fees is updated on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Requirements for labor immigrants in the USA


    • Professionals with degrees - a degree higher than a bachelor’s, or a bachelor's degree and five years of experience working with professional growth in the relevant field;
    • People with exceptional abilities in science, art or business - achievements / experience demonstrating an extremely high level of expertise in their field;
    • Professionals whose work is in line with US national interests - to prove that the candidacy is important for US interests (for example, a scientist developing a new vaccine / weapon);
    • Skilled workers - at least 2 years of continuous experience or training in the profession;
    • Professionals - a bachelor's degree or equivalent;
    • Other employees - less than 2 years of continuous experience or training in the profession;
    • Investors are holders of investments in an American company.

    Documents for employees


    • The main package of documents for an immigrant visa;
    • Education certificates;
    • Employment history;
    • Invitation from the employer.

    The process of labor immigration

    • Finding an employer / investing in American business;
    • Filing a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by immigration sponsor: employer (I-140) or investor (I-526);
    • Approval of the petition, assignment of a number to it and referral to the National Visa Center (NVC);
    • Filling the DS-261: choosing an agent who will communicate with the National Visa Center (NVC) (you can specify yourself, a family member, a lawyer, etc.);
    • Payment of application review fee (345 USD);
    • Filling out the online form DS-260;
    • Collection of financial paperwork (sponsorship application I-864 from the host and bank statements);
    • Uploading the necessary documents online at the request of NVC and setting an interview date;
    • Passing a medical examination and vaccination;
    • Collection and translation into English of all the required documents;
    • Passing an interview (bring originals and notarized translations of documents);
    • Waiting for results (from 1 day);
    • In some cases, additional administrative processing (up to 60 days)[17];
    • Obtaining a passport with a visa and a sealed bag of documents (intended for border guards in the United States, it is forbidden to open it);
    • Payment of Immigration fee (220 USD);
    • Entering the United States with a package of documents for the border service and the results of photofluorography on hand;
    • Obtaining a permanent residence permit (green card) at the address of residence in the USA (waiting period of up to 120 days).
    Read more about immigration for investors on the website of the US State Department.

    Immigration for businessmen and investors

    Businessmen and investors can immigrate to the USA if they invest in the American economy. At the same time, these investments should create from 10 jobs (full time) for citizens, US residents or immigrants with the right to work, not counting the spouse and children of the investor. Minimum investment amount:
    • 1000000+ USD ;
    • 500000+ USD to a company located in rural areas or in areas with a high unemployment rate.
    An investor visa is a work visa, so the application process is the same as for other work visas.
    A detailed description of the requirements for investors is on the website of the Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Documents for investors

    • The main package of documents for an immigrant visa;
    • Documents confirming the presence of funds for investment and their effect on business development (financial reports, documents on the candidate’s participation in managing the business in the USA and other supporting documents).
    An investor must file a I-526 petition by themselves to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Its registration and approval give the candidate a green light for applying for an immigrant visa. Documents confirming investment activity must be attached to the petition - their description is on the USCIS Service website. The spouse of the candidate and his children under the age of 21 can also obtain immigrant visas on the basis of an approved petition.

    Family reunification in the United States

    Family immigration policy in the United States is quite liberal - not only close relatives (spouse, children) but also parents, brothers and sisters can immigrate to join a US citizen. The closest relatives of green card holders can also get the right to get an immigrant visa through the family line, which allows immigrants to invite their family to the United States. In either case, the immigrant or resident / citizen of the United States must file a petition with the Citizenship and Immigration Service for his loved one. You can apply for an immigrant visa only after its approval.

    Visa for the immediate family of a US citizen

    • Spouse;
    • Unmarried child up to 21 years old;
    • Parent of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old;
    • Brothers, sisters of a citizen.

    Immigrant visa for relatives of green card holders (residence permit)

    • Spouse;
    • Single child.

    Expenditure on family immigration to the United States


    ItemCost
    Translation, notarization10+ USD
    Medical Examination246 USD
    I-130 Petition535 USD
    DS-260345 USD
    DS-260 (family member)325 USD
    Immigration Fee220 USD
    Petition I-130 is filled by the hosting citizen or a resident in the United States. It is the first step to applying for a family immigration visa. When the petition is approved and registered, the candidate will receive a notice from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and will be able to apply for an immigrant visa. The spouse of the candidate and his children under the age of 21 can also obtain immigrant visas on the basis of an approved petition.

    Documents for family immigration

    • The main package of documents for an immigrant visa;
    • Documents on civil status confirming kinship (birth, marriage, adoption certificates, etc.).

    The process of family Immigration

    • Filing a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sponsor of immigration as a family member (spouse) in the United States (I-130);
    • Approval of the petition, assignment of a number to it and referral to the National Visa Center (NVC);
    • Filling out DS-261: choosing an agent who will communicate with the National Visa Center (NVC) (you can specify yourself, a family member, a lawyer, etc.);
    • Payment of application review fee (345 USD);
    • Filling DS-260 online;
    • Collection of financial paperwork (sponsorship application I-864 from the host and bank statements);
    • Uploading the necessary documents online at the request of NVC and setting an interview date;
    • Passing a medical examination and vaccination;
    • Collection and translation into English of all the required documents;
    • Passing an interview (bring originals and notarized translations of documents);
    • Waiting for results (from 1 day);
    • In some cases, additional administrative processing (up to 60 days)[18];
    • Obtaining a passport with a visa and a sealed bag of documents (intended for border guards in the United States, it is forbidden to open it);
    • Payment of Immigration fee (220 USD);
    • Entering the United States with a package of documents for the border service and the results of photofluorography on hand;
    • Obtaining a permanent residence permit (green card) at the address of residence in the USA (waiting period of up to 120 days).

    US Green Card lottery

    Main article US Green Card
    Each fall, the United States holds a Diversification Immigrant lottery, the winners of which can receive a permanent residence permit in the country - the green card. Every year 50 thousand people come to the United States to live with their families[19], with the help of this program. To participate, you must register online on the official website of the lottery. The winners apply for an immigrant visa with the same basic package of documents and in the same way as labor and family immigrants and receive a green card a few weeks after entering the United States.

    Humanitarian immigration to the United States

    People who have left their home country and cannot or do not want to return to it because of the fact or risk of persecution, can obtain asylum in the United States. In this case, the candidate must present evidence that will convince the United States to provide him protection.
    Humanitarian immigrants in the United States fall into two categories: refugees and asylum seekers. A refugee is not originally in the United States: he receives a referral to the refugee program through the United Nations, non-governmental human rights organizations, or the US Embassy. If the US mission approves the candidate’s application, they help him move to the country, and the United States covers the immigration expenses. An asylum seeker arrives in the United States and applies for asylum on his own, awaiting a decision in the United States.

    The status of refugee or asylum seeker gives the right to employment and social guarantees. Humanitarian immigrants take cultural integration courses and receive pocket money. Humanitarian immigrants receive a temporary visa, which can be replaced with a green card free of charge in a year.

    People who are persecuted in their home country on the grounds of:
    • Races;
    • Nationalities
    • Membership in a social group (including sexual minorities);
    • Religion;
    • Political views.
    It is necessary to provide as much evidence of the persecution as possible:
    • Inquiries from medical institutions;
    • Photo;
    • Received letters with threats;
    • News posts;
    • Evidence of engagement with human rights organizations.
    It must be reported if the refugee was subjected to torture, serious bodily harm was inflicted, or there is a threat of his death penalty at home due to persecution on the basis of the indicated signs.

    Requirements for asylum or refugee status in the USA


    • To locate outside the United States (in a third country) for refugees or in the United States for asylum;
    • To have no refugee or asylum status in another country;
    • To prove the fact or risk of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, political views or membership in a social group.

    Required documents

    • Identification including a passport and birth certificate (bring along all the available documents);
    • Evidence of harassment;
    • Form I-589 for an asylum seeker;
    • Form [%20https://www.uscis.gov/i-730 I-730] for refugee family members.

    The process of obtaining asylum yourself in the USA

    • Arrival in the USA. In case of illegal entry, the candidate is sent to an immigration prison. However, the exemption can be obtained by proving the existence of ties and financial support in the United States at the time of the hearing;
    • Filling out I-589 form no later than one year after arrival;
    • Submitting biometric data;
    • Interview;
    • Consideration (duration may vary on a case by case basis);
    • Applying for a green card with I-485 after 1+ years of residence in the USA.

    The process of obtaining refugee status from outside of the United States

    • Requesting help from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, US Embassy or a private at human rights organization;
    • Obtaining a referral to the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP);
    • Interviewing a USCIS employee abroad;
    • Passing a medical examination;
    • Making a decision (individual review time);
    • Departure to the USA;
    • Cultural orientation;
    • Applying for I-485 green card after 1+ years of residence in the USA.

    Obtaining US citizenship

    Citizenship gives an immigrant full political rights - for example, the right to elect and be elected. In addition, the holder of a US passport receives the right to a visa-free entry to almost any country in the world[20]. Citizenship can be obtained by the law of the soil, being born in the United States, even if the parents do not have American citizenship or a green card, or by naturalization, when the holder of the green card becomes a citizen[21].

    Conditions for obtaining citizenship at birth

    • Be born in the United States or in the United States overseas possessions (American Samoa and Swains Island);
    • Have at least one US citizen parent at the time of birth in another country and be under 18 years old.

    Requirements for obtaining citizenship by naturalization


    • The presence of a permanent residency (green card) in the United States;
    • Reside in the USA for a minimum of 5 years on a green card while being absent from the country for less than 6 months (3 years for spouses of US citizens);
    • Fluency in English;
    • Knowledge of the history and social structure of the United States.

    The process of obtaining citizenship

    • Taking English and citizenship tests (2 attempts) at the Citizenship and Immigration Service (the civics test in which the officer asks questions about the US in English);
    • Applying for citizenship with an N-400 form (725 USD);
    • Receiving an invitation to the ceremony of taking the oath of allegiance to the United States upon approval of the application;
    • Submission of a green card and obtaining a certificate of naturalization;
    • Applying for a US passport to the Department of State;
    • Obtaining a passport (this period may vary, so it is recommended not to plan any travel in the near future after applying).
    Read more about obtaining citizenship on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
    Quick Facts

    The percentage of immigrants13.6% [0]
    LanguageEnglish
    Language certificateTOEFL, IELTS, PTE, MELAB
    Citizenship after3+ years
    Dual citizenshipAllowed
    Alternatives
    Visa-free countries184[1]
    Currency US Dollar (USD)
    Bachelor’s/year30000 USD
    Master’s/year25000 USD
    Min.salary/month1,257 USD[2]
    Average salary/month4,417 USD[3]
    Unemployment rate3.5%[4]
    Contact

    US Embassyus.embembassy.gov
    Department of Statetravel.state.gov
    Immigration categories

    CategoriesApproved[5]
    Fiancé(e)69%
    Family member68%
    Labor92%
    Asylum15%
    Citizenship92%
    Student visa types

    VisaApproved[6]
    F165%
    M168%
    Location on map