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Minnesota Immigration



The federal government controls most immigration issues. But Minnesota, like other states, also has some state laws that help it comply with the federal laws. These laws can be complex. A lawyer can help you navigate the process.

Getting a Visa to Travel to Minnesota

Only the federal government can issue visas. You need to apply for one at your nearest U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy. You also need a valid reason.

If you want to move to Minnesota to live, you will need an immigrant visa. If you have family here, they can sponsor you for:

  • An immediate-family visa, if you are the spouse or minor child of a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizens over age 21 may also sponsor their parents.
  • A family preference visa. This category covers more distant family members of citizens. It is also for spouses and children of permanent residents. There are several preference categories.

U.S. citizens may also bring a foreign fiancé to the United States. A fiancé visa expires in 90 days. It cannot be renewed. If the marriage does not happen in that time, the fiancé has to leave.

Other types of immigrant visas include:

  • Employment
  • Refugee
  • Capital investment in U.S. business

Each type has its own requirements.

State Laws Related to Immigration

Minnesota has few laws of its own directly related to immigration. The state follows federal law for things such as:

  • Public benefits: Only legal residents can get anything more than emergency services.
  • Arrestee fingerprints: Under the federal "Secure Communities" program, the state sends all arrestees' fingerprints to the FBI. The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement check criminal history and immigration status.
  • Employment eligibility: Under federal law, employers must check all new hires' eligibility to work in the United States. Under state law, certain employers must use the E-Verify system to do this.

Minnesota requires proof of legal residency before you can get a state driver's license or ID card.

Locate a Local Minnesota Immigration Lawyer Today

Immigration laws can be confusing. It is not always easy to know which laws apply. A lawyer can answer any questions you have about your situation. Call now to speak with an immigration attorney in Minnesota at 877-913-7222.