How easy is it to immigrate legally to the United States?

Under U.S. immigration laws enacted in 1965 and afterward, no more than 270,000 visas permitting immigration can be issued in any given year.

No more than 20,000 visas can be issued to any single country per year. Some categories are exempt from this limitation, such as children of U.S. citizens and political refugees.

Even so, the number of visas available is utterly out of proportion to the demand, considering that one million people are caught trying to cross the Mexican border every year.

A preference system governs who will get the coveted immigration visas. Close relatives, children, spouses, parents, siblings, of U.S. citizens and residents are preferred, as are professional and skilled workers.

Would-be immigrants may wait years for their turn to come up. Unskilled laborers who are not related to an American have almost no chance at all.

A green card is not really green, but pink. This document, which proves that someone is a legal permanent resident of the United States, is commonly known as a green card because it was once aqua-colored.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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