In truth there are only five ways to immigrate. The two most common are 1) to have a close relative sponsor you or 2) to become sponsored through an employer. Both of these options require a qualified sponsor and the process may take years.
One of the most common misconceptions is that in order to lawfully immigrate to the United States one must simply reserve a place in line.
The three remaining categories are much more rare. One is an annual diversity visa lottery. Another is qualifying for one of the limited number of immigrant visas available for those with political asylum. Finally, there are visas for those with $500,000 to $1 million who create at least ten new jobs by investing in a business. There are other exceptional categories that may lead to permanent resident status, such as people who are victims of violent crime or human trafficking, or people whose deportation will result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to qualifying relatives.
A good immigration attorney will listen to the facts of your case and identify the best strategy for accomplishing your goals. Immigration may seem a simple matter of submitting forms and waiting for your green card to come in the mail, however, this is far from reality. It is critical to develop a strategy to reach your goals that consider the impact of all relevant laws, regulations, and policy memos from the agency. It is too easy to make a mistake because some fact in your case, or the impact of a regulation was not observed. There are times an immigration solution does not exist to meet the needs of a U.S. citizen or employer eager to sponsor a potential immigrant. While there are opportunities for creativity in some cases, we must be careful in dealing with governmental agencies attempting to meet the demand for immigration benefits.
My experience in immigration law tells me where there is a will there is not always a way. Nevertheless, the dream and promise of opportunity for a new life in America has not waned but continues to grow, and for that I am grateful — grateful for life in the United States, and grateful for the opportunity to meet new immigrants from every part of the world who seek to embrace a new life in the United States.