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New Hampshire Immigration
The United States issues many types of visas. Some allow you to move here, while others only let you visit for specific reasons. Five years after moving here, you can also apply for citizenship. A New Hampshire immigration lawyer can help you get the paperwork right at each step.
Temporary Visa vs. Immigrant Visa
Each of these allows you to do different things while in the United States. When you arrive with a temporary visa, you get a card from the Border and Customs Patrol agent. It has either a date or a "duration of status" (D/S) notation on it. This lets you know how long you may stay:
- A date means you must leave before then.
- D/S means you may stay as long as you maintain your status, such as student.
With a temporary visa, you must also limit your activities to those that apply to your visa type. For example, with a tourist visa, you may not take a job.
An immigrant visa allows you to move here forever. Shortly after arriving you get a green card, which allows you to live, work, and go to school without restrictions. It expires every 10 years, but you do not need to leave the country before it does. Just renew it.
Permanent Resident vs. Citizen
Once you have lived here for five years, you can apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Why would you want to upgrade your status from permanent resident to citizen? Here are some reasons:
- No more green card renewals—citizenship is permanent.
- Immigrant visas for immediate family members of citizens are always available. The wait can be years for family of green card holders.
- Citizens can vote in federal elections.
Green card holders can also lose their residency rights for things such as:
- Leaving the United States for too long
- Failing to notify USCIS of a new address
Naturalized U.S. citizens have all the same rights as natural-born citizens. The U.S. government's ability to revoke naturalization is very limited.
Locate a Local New Hampshire Immigration Lawyer Today
If you have questions about any step in the immigration process, a lawyer can get you answers. Call now to speak with an immigration attorney in New Hampshire at 877-913-7222.