Federal law governs most immigration issues. Michigan has also passed laws to help ensure only legal residents can get certain benefits. A lawyer can help you understand which laws apply to you.
United States Immigration Rules
To legally come to the United States, you need a visa. The United States issues many different types of visas. Many people who come here to stay get one based on family or work.
- Family visas: U.S. citizens and legal residents may sponsor family members to come live in the United States.
- Work visas: Employers may sponsor people to come work in certain fields where they cannot find enough workers.
Other immigrant visas are for:
- People who fear torture in their home countries
- Battered spouses or children of a U.S. citizen or legal resident
After entering the country, you become a permanent resident and get a green card. This allows you to live and work here as long as you want to. After five years, you can apply to be a citizen.
For a short visit, you can get a temporary visa. This allows you to do things such as visit family, take seasonal jobs or go to school. Temporary visas expire. You must leave before this happens, or you will be in the country illegally. You cannot get a green card with a temporary visa.
Michigan's Immigration Laws
Michigan limits most benefits to citizens and legal residents.
- Driver's licenses: You must prove your legal status to get one. As of February 2013, those approved for temporary legal status under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals qualify.
- Public Benefits: The state checks the immigration status of anyone applying for public aid.
- Education: Only those who can prove legal residence qualify for in-state tuition at state schools.
Michigan also requires you show a photo ID or sign an affidavit before you can vote.
Locate a Local Michigan Immigration Lawyer Today
Immigration law is complicated, and it changes often. For any immigration question, it is important you find qualified legal help. Call now to speak with an immigration attorney in Michigan at 877-913-7222.