What are the Most Common Immigration Requirements?

Laura M. Sands

Immigration requirements vary according to the country a person will be emigrating to, as well as the country she or he is moving from. For many countries, however, a travel visa, an immigration interview and all necessary immigration paperwork must be completed before travel is approved. Immigration requirements also sometimes include a clean bill of health. In some cases, immigration law may further require that certain foreigners be immunized against specific communicable diseases before entry into another country is permitted.

In many cases, the immigration process begins with the submission of an application along with documentation supporting the applicant's request.
In many cases, the immigration process begins with the submission of an application along with documentation supporting the applicant's request.

In countries where a travel visa is required, an immigrant must define why she or he wishes to move to a specific country and must show that a support system is already in place once entry is allowed. For instance, immigration requirements for foreign individuals intending to enter the United States from certain countries include having a sponsor before travel is allowed. A sponsor may be a relative who is already a U.S. citizen or may be a relative who has legally become a permanent resident of the United States. In the absence of a relative’s sponsorship, a person may also enter the United States on an immigrant visa sponsored by a future employer. After a sponsor has been identified, a petition can then be filed with the American government’s immigration services in order to proceed with additional immigration steps, such as an interview and any other necessary immigration paperwork.

Under very narrow immigration requirements, the United States’ immigration law may permit individuals emigrating from another country to submit a petition to begin the immigration process without having a sponsor in place. Such exceptions to the usual immigration requirements, however, are usually only given to individuals with exceptional abilities deemed useful by a country, such as scientists and doctors. Select individuals who invest in a country and commit to providing jobs for native citizens may also begin the immigration steps without a sponsor. Even without a sponsor, however, a visa is still likely to be among the most common immigration requirements before entry to the United States is allowed.

Immigration requirements are merely a first step in becoming a permanent resident in a certain country. For instance, in the United States, after an immigration visa has been granted, a foreign individual may eventually apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or may apply to become a citizen of the United States. Generally, an immigration center or an immigration lawyer can help with these processes.

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