Immigration Attorney Pasadena Ca Shares the Four Immigration Statuses in the U.S.

By May 2, 2019Immigration Law Blog
immigration attorney pasadena ca

As a top immigration attorney Pasadena Ca residents can trust, Nelson Immigration Law is more than familiar with the four immigration statuses in the United States but if you’re not, it’s important that you become familiar with them particularly if you are currently seeking to become a legal resident in the United States.

Immigration Attorney Pasadena Ca Shares the Four Immigration Statuses in the U.S.

There are four classes of immigration status in the United States these include U.S. citizens, permanent residents or conditional residents, non-immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. What do they mean? Let’s take a look…

U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens are people who were born in the United States or people who have been naturalized as U.S. citizens after three or five years as permanent residents. When you are a U.S. citizen and that citizenship was obtained legally, you cannot be deported and you are allowed to receive any public benefits you qualify for, you can work legally, and you can petition for your spouse, child, sibling, or parent to receive legal status in the U.S.

Permanent Residents and Conditional Residents

A permanent resident in the U.S. is someone who has been issued a “green card” and may be referred to as a legal permanent resident. These people have been given permission to live and work in the U.S. permanently. Most often these individuals are sponsored by an employer or by family members to provide them with permanent residency. It is also possible to become a permanent resident through asylee, refugee status or through other humanitarian programs.

A conditional resident in the U.S. is someone who has been married for under two years before they were granted their green card. To obtain conditional residency both partners must file jointly to remove the conditional status on residency within two years of obtaining a green card. Conditional residents also have permission to live and work in the United States with few exceptions.

Both types of residents have permission to live and work permanently in the U.S. unless they are guilty of a serious criminal offense or some other immigration violation. If you are a resident, you can also petition for legal status for your spouse or child.

If you have been a lawful permanent resident in the United States, you are eligible to apply to become a naturalized citizen.


Non-immigrants are people who are living in the country legally but doing so on a temporary basis for example students, fiancees, and business visitors. Non-immigrants are almost always individuals who do not intend to stay or live in the United States permanently. Most frequently, non-immigrants fall into the class of students who are seeking an education at an American educational institution but who intend to return to their home country after obtaining that education. Another large portion of these non-immigrants is made up of business visitors who are either undergoing business training in the U.S. before returning to their home country or who are touring potential business locations for a future business before returning to their home country.

Undocumented Immigrants

People who come into the country without permission to do so or who are here under false pretenses (for example, they overstayed the length of a temporary visa) are considered undocumented immigrants. These immigrants do not have legal standing within the country and are not permitted to work, access public health benefits, or have a driving license. As an undocumented immigrant, there is always the chance of being deported based on your immigration status.

Many illegal immigrants come into the United States by crossing the border without permission to enter the country. The biggest factor in today’s immigration debate is over the illegal entry of immigrants at the border of Mexico, however, illegal immigrants can enter the country through other methods.

Are You Seeking to Become a U.S. Citizen or Gain Permanent Residency?

If you are seeking to become a U.S. citizen or gain permanent residency in the U.S. Nelson and Associates can help! Just pick up the phone and give us a call today at 626-683-3451 for your consultation! We’d be happy to help you get started on your way to realizing your dream!