Legal Immigration: Guide to Legally Immigrating to the United States

By May 11, 2023Immigration Law Blog
Legal Immigration

As one of the most desired destinations for individuals looking to start a new life, the United States has a complex immigration system that can be overwhelming for newcomers. However, with the right information and guidance, you can navigate the legal immigration process and achieve your goal of legally immigrating to the US. In this post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to legally immigrate to the United States.

This guide is backed by reputable sources like and to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information.

What is Legal Immigration?

Legal immigration is the process of entering and residing in a foreign country legally. In the case of the United States, legal immigration is the process by which foreign nationals become permanent residents of the US through employment, family sponsorship, or humanitarian programs. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for processing and approving applications for legal immigration to the United States.

Legal Immigration Guide

Requirements for Legal Immigration

The requirements for legal immigration to the United States vary depending on the specific visa or program you are applying for. However, some general requirements apply to all categories of legal immigration. These requirements include:

  • A valid passport
  • A clean criminal record
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Evidence of a genuine relationship with a US citizen or permanent resident (if applying for a family-based visa)
  • A job offer from a US employer or exceptional ability in a particular field (if applying for an employment-based visa)
  • Meeting the eligibility criteria for humanitarian programs (if applying for a humanitarian visa)

Types of Legal Immigration

There are several categories of legal immigration to the United States. The most common categories include:

Family-based immigration: This category allows US citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouses, parents, children, and siblings for permanent residency in the US.

Employment-based immigration: This category allows US employers to sponsor foreign workers for permanent residency based on their exceptional abilities, job offers, or investment in the US.

Humanitarian programs: These include asylum, refugee resettlement, and other programs designed to provide protection to individuals fleeing persecution or other dangers in their home countries.

How to Apply for Legal Immigration

To apply for legal immigration to the United States, you must follow a specific process depending on the category of your visa or program. Generally, the process involves the following steps:

  • Submitting an application to the USCIS
  • Providing supporting documentation to prove your eligibility for the visa or program
  • Paying the required application fees
  • Attending an interview (if required)
  • Waiting for a decision from the USCIS

Tips for a Successful Legal Immigration Application

  • Start the application process early to avoid delays and give yourself enough time to gather all the required documents.
  • Follow the instructions on the USCIS website carefully and provide accurate information.
  • Keep track of your application status through the USCIS website or by contacting the USCIS directly.
  • Seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the application process.

If you are looking to legally immigrate to the United States, the process can be complex and overwhelming. At Nelson Immigration Law, we specialize in helping individuals navigate the legal immigration process successfully. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards achieving your goal of legally immigrating to the United States.

United States Immigration Stats

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2019, there were approximately 44.9 million foreign-born individuals living in the United States, which is roughly 13.7% of the total U.S. population.

In 2018, the majority of immigrants in the United States were from Mexico, followed by China, India, and the Philippines. In terms of legal permanent residency, the top countries of origin were Mexico, China, and Cuba. Additionally, in 2019, the unemployment rate for foreign-born individuals in the United States was 3.9%, compared to 3.5% for native-born individuals.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the number of deportations of undocumented immigrants from the United States has varied in recent years.

For instance, in fiscal year 2020, 185,884 individuals were deported, while in fiscal year 2019, the number was 267,258. The average number of deportations per year between 2010 and 2019 was approximately 240,000 individuals.

It is worth noting that these numbers only account for individuals who were apprehended and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and do not include those who left the country voluntarily.


In conclusion, immigration to the United States requires patience, diligence, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking the advice of an experienced immigration attorney, you can increase your chances of success in the application process.

Remember to stay informed and up-to-date on changes to the US immigration system by checking reputable sources like and With determination and the right guidance, you can achieve your goal of legally immigrating to the United States and starting a new chapter in your life.

Call Nelson Immigration, we’re prepared to assist you in legally immigrating to the United States.