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Different Types Of Immigration Status

Travel into a country for the purpose of permanent residence there

Different Types Of Immigration Status

In the US, everyone falls under one of the four immigration statuses listed below. Continue further to find out under which category you fall and read our guide on how you can apply for a visa to get entry into the United States. 

US Citizen

If you were born in America you’re a US citizen. This status applies even if you were raised in another country. As a citizen of the United States, you may vote and work in the US. You also qualify for the many US. federal benefits such as social services or educational loans. No US. citizens may be forced to be deported out of the country. 

Temporary Visitor

The government has given a temporary visitor in the United States permission to visit and live in the US. for a limited time. Visitors typically receive visas in order to enter the United States. All temporary visitor visas are valid for a certain time. A temporary visitor may not exceed their stay past the visa’s expiry date. 


Visas are generally given to students, tourists, next of kin (to visit families), or people wanting to work in the United States. A temporary visitor will become an undocumented immigrant after the visa expires. 

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

A Lawful Permanent Resident is someone that has a Green Card. A person in the possession of a Green Card has permission from the government to work and live in the United States. However, they don’t qualify for federal benefits and are not allowed to vote. 


An LPR can travel outside the United States for a short time and return to the US An LPR will only be deported if convicted of a crime or if they violate any US immigration laws.

Undocumented Immigrant

You don’t have permission to reside in the United States, you’re an undocumented immigrant. All undocumented immigrants stand the risk of being deported back to their country of origin. A person is categorized as undocumented if he or she doesn’t have a valid visitor visa or a Green Card.

Guide: Applying For a US Visa

All people that intend to travel to the United States must apply through US Embassies or Consulates. Exceptions are given to individuals that want to vacation or attend business meetings and reside in any of the 39 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.


First and foremost, you must find out if you need a visa to enter the United States. The type of visa you’ll need is determined by your reason for wanting to travel to the United States (More information can be found on the Official Website of the United States Government:


  • Immigration visa – For individuals who want to apply for permanent residency.
  • Visitor visa – For individuals who want to travel or do business.
  • Fiancé visa – For individuals who intend to marry a US citizen and live and work in the US.
  • Student visa For individuals that want to complete studies.
  • Professional or business visa for Canadian and Mexican citizens.
  • Transit visa – For individuals traveling through the US. (in transit to another country).



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