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The first step in coming to Montana—or any state—from another country is getting a visa. The type of visa you need depends on your reason for entering the country. If you want to move to the United States permanently, you will need an immigrant visa.
Getting an Immigrant Visa
You apply for immigrant status at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to your home. There are several categories of immigrant visa you may apply under:
- A family member is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Immediate family gets first preference. Your family member must petition on your behalf.
- You have a job offer. If you have certain in-demand job skills, a U.S. employer can petition for you.
- You are seeking asylum. You must show you are in danger in your home country.
- You are making a large capital investment in the United States. It must benefit the economy.
Another option might be the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. This program awards visas randomly to citizens of countries that send very few people to the United States each year.
As part of your application process, you will also need:
- A medical exam
- An interview
Getting an immigrant visa can take years, depending the the type you apply for.
Protecting Your Immigrant Status
Being a permanent resident of Montana is not the same as being a U.S. citizen. You can lose your rights to residency if you:
- Commit a crime
- Do anything that can be considered abandonment of your residency
In order to maintain your legal status, you should:
- Follow all federal and state laws.
- Pay your income taxes.
- Let the Department of Homeland Security know when you move.
- Get the appropriate reentry permit or returning resident visa if you leave the country.
If you are ever accused of a crime, you may need two lawyers: a criminal attorney and an immigration lawyer.
Locate a Local Montana Immigration Lawyer Today
Getting and maintaining legal resident status requires a lot of work. If you fail to file a needed form, you could be denied entry or even deported. Having a lawyer on your side can help make sure that does not happen. Call now to speak with an immigration attorney in Montana at 877-913-7222.