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What Are the Four Different Types of Immigration in the US?

What Are the Four Different Types of Immigration in the US?

The United States is a great country in which to live. There are four different types of immigration statuses in the US, each of which can accommodate a particular need, whether one wishes to live, work, or study in the country or simply visit. Learn more about each status below.


Individuals who were born in the country are automatically US citizens. Eligible residents can also apply to become a citizen, usually after living in the US as a permanent resident for three to five years. Any citizen can legally work and receive public aid or benefits.


US residents have Green Cards, which are valid for various terms, depending on the situation. For instance, a conditional resident is someone who has received their Green Card through marriage; their Green Card will be valid for 2 years. On the other hand, permanent residents have Green Cards that are usually valid for 10 years. One may also renew their Green Card as many times as necessary.

Permanent resident status isn’t necessarily contingent on marriage status, but someone who wishes to obtain this immigration status can benefit greatly from someone sponsoring their Green Card application.


Nonimmigrants are people who visit the US for a period of time but don’t intend to live here. This usually involves students or tourists who stay for extended periods. The process of obtaining nonimmigrant status involves applying for an F-1 (Academic Student), K-1 (Fiancé), B-1 (Temporary Business Visitor), or B-2 (Visitor) visa. All of these visas allow someone to stay in the country temporarily.


If an individual is within the United States without a visa or Green Card, they’re considered undocumented. They are not allowed to join the US workforce or live in government housing. Additionally, they won’t be able to obtain a driver’s license, insurance, and other benefits.

The US offers these four different types of immigration to help people achieve their goals, whether they want to live in the country permanently, temporarily work or study there, or visit as a tourist. Depending on individual’s situation, pursuing the right type of status via a visa or Green Card is wise.

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