What are the Major Challenges During the Immigration Process?

Many U.S. citizens are under the mistaken impression that the immigration process is simple and straightforward, and that if people simply fill out the correct forms, dot their I’s, cross their T’s, and wait their turn, they will eventually attain their goal. The truth is that there are major challenges to citizenship. Even individuals who have everything going for them – those who are either married to citizens or who are the parent or child of a citizen — will take five years before they are eligible for naturalization, and the best-case scenario is that the process will take six to seven years. If they are adult children or siblings of a citizen, the process will be dependent upon their country of origin and marital status and will likely take between 12 and 28 years.

Remarkably, the immigrants described in the above scenarios are the lucky ones. Despite the tremendous amount of time required, their path is fairly straightforward. Others face even greater challenges:

  • Those who are the spouse or minor child of individuals who are lawful permanent residents rather than citizens will find their wait time depends on their country of origin and can expect the process to take between 11 and 13 years. Other types of relatives will not be able to leverage their familial relationship, and that includes married adult children. Single adult children will take 14 to 20 years to achieve citizenship.
  • Those who come to the country as skilled laborers will be able to gain citizenship, but only if they have a job offer and an employer willing to file the appropriate paperwork. In that case, they can expect the process to take 11 to 16 years if all goes well. Without a job offer and an employer willing to go through the required process, the chances are slim. Those who are classified as geniuses or in some other way gifted will have a much better chance of gaining citizenship.
  • Those who come to the country as unskilled laborers and without relations in the United States will find it very difficult to gain legal entry/citizenship in the United States.

As you can see, the path to citizenship is extremely challenging. The best way to navigate the process is with the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Contact us today to learn how we can be of assistance.