Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants

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Becoming a US Citizen

At the end of your immigrant visa interview at the U. Embassy or Consulate, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa application is approved or denied. Note: Some refused visa applications may require further administrative processing. When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

Please review the printed information right away to make sure there are no errors. If there are any spelling errors, contact the embassy or consulate promptly. You must not open the sealed packet. A diversity visa is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which may make your visa valid for less than six months. Only children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents SB-1s , and those issued K visas are exempt from this fee.

Therefore, it is recommended that your child have complete vaccination records before immigrating.

When traveling to the United States, the primary or principal applicant must enter before or at the same time as family members with visas. With your diversity visa before it expires , and your sealed packet, you will travel to a U. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U. If you are admitted, you will enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident, also called a green card holder, and will be permitted to work and live permanently in the United States.

In some situations the consular officer does not have sufficient information needed to process your application to conclusion, or you may be missing some supporting documentation. The consular officer will inform you if information or documents are missing and how to provide it. The consular officer will inform you if additional administrative processing is necessary.

Welcome to the U.S.: A Guide for New Immigrants

Based on U. Under U. In some instances, the law might allow you to apply for a waiver for the ineligibility. If you are able to apply for such a waiver, the consular officer will advise you on the steps to take. The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition published a Welcoming Schools Toolkit to provide information about the student services available to schools, communities and families.

For those with a higher education education beyond the secondary level degree moving to Pennsylvania, you can get a credential evaluation or other assistance in finding a job online with the World Education Services WES or Upwardly Global.


If you are a health care provider, use this guide from the National Immigration Law Center to learn more about the rights of health care providers and their patients. Visit Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania to find free or charitable health clinics in your area. These health centers provide comprehensive primary and preventive care for all ages, regardless of your ability to pay or health insurance status. Fees for services are on a sliding scale based on your income. The Health Insurance Marketplace helps people find affordable health insurance.

Depending on your immigration status, you may be eligible for coverage. Visit HealthCare.

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Use this checklist to learn about your financial rights and how to protect your financial security and property if you are concerned that you may have to leave the country quickly. Consulates promote commercial, cultural, educational, medical and governmental relationships between our state and their respective countries and serve the diplomatic needs of foreign citizens and visiting dignitaries in Pennsylvania. All persons, including non-citizens, have rights. If you are interested in applying for citizenship or other immigration services, learn more at the U.

Citizenship and Immigration Services website and access forms you potentially may need. Note: You can check the status of your citizen application by calling the U. You can also contact your local Representative or Senator for Pennsylvania. A privacy waiver may be required in order to receive assistance. Search Site. Notice: JavaScript is required for this content.

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  7. Resources for Immigrants. By this measure, Asian men are successfully integrating with the non-Hispanic white population, and Hispanic men are making gains once their lower education is taken into account. However, second generation blacks appear to be integrating with the general black native-born population, where higher education does not translate into higher employment rates. Among women the pattern is reversed, with a substantially lower employment rate for immigrants than for the native-born, but employment rates for second and higher generation women moving toward parity with the general native-born population, regardless of race.

    These overall patterns, however, are still shaped by racial and ethnic stratification. Earnings assimilation is considerably slower for Hispanic predominantly Mexican immigrants than for other immigrants. And although Asian immigrants and their descendants appear to do just as well as native-born whites, these comparisons become less favorable after controlling for education.

    The occupational distributions of the first and second generations reveal a picture of intergenerational improvement similar to that for education and earnings. Second generation children of immigrants from Mexico and Central America have made large leaps in occupational terms: 22 percent of second generation Mexican men and 31 percent of second generation. Like their foreign-born fathers, second generation men were overrepresented in service jobs, although they have largely left agricultural work.

    Second generation Mexican men were also less likely than their immigrant parents to take jobs in the informal sector and were more likely to receive health and retirement benefits through their employment. The occupational leap for second generation women for this period was even greater, and the gap separating them from later generation women narrowed greatly.

    The robust representation of the first and second generations across the occupational spectrum in these analyses implies that the U. This pattern of workforce integration appears likely to continue as the baby boom cohorts complete their retirement over the next two decades. Immigrants are more likely to be poor than the native-born, even though their labor force participation rates are higher and they work longer hours on average. The poverty rate for foreign-born persons was However, the poverty rate declined over generations, from over 18 percent for first generation adults immigrants to Overall, first generation Hispanics have the highest poverty rates, but there is much progress from the first to the second generation.

    Over time most immigrants and their descendants gradually become less segregated from the general population of native-born whites and more dispersed across regions, cities, communities, and neighborhoods. Earnings and occupation explain some but not all of the high levels of foreign-born segregation from other native-born residents.

    Length of residence also matters: recently arrived immigrants often choose to live in areas with other immigrants and thus have higher levels of residential segregation from native-born whites than immigrants who have been in the country for years. Race plays an independent role—Asians are the least segregated.

    New research also points to an independent effect of legal status, with the undocumented being more segregated than other immigrants.

    Language diversity in the United States has grown as the immigrant population has increased and become more varied. Today, about 85 percent of the foreign-born population speaks a language other than English at home. The most prevalent language other than English is by far Spanish: 62 percent of all immigrants speak Spanish at home.

    However, a more accurate measure of language integration is English-language proficiency, or how well people say they speak English. There is evidence that integration is happening as rapidly or faster now than it did for the earlier waves of mainly European immigrants in the 20th century. Today, many immigrants arrive already speaking English as a first or second language.

    Spanish speakers and their descendants, however, appear to be acquiring English and losing Spanish more slowly than other immigrant groups.

    Diversity Visa Program - After the Interview

    Despite the positive outlook for linguistic integration, the barriers to English proficiency, particularly for low-skilled, poorly educated, residentially segregated, and undocumented immigrant populations, are cause for concern. Funding for English-as a second-language classes has declined even as the population of English-language learners ELL has grown.

    The number of children who are ELL has grown substantially in recent decades, presenting challenges for many school systems. Since , the school-age ELL population has grown at a much faster rate than the school-age population overall. Today, 9 percent of all students in the K system are ELL. Their relative concentration varies widely by state and district. Foreign-born immigrants have better infant, child, and adult health outcomes than the U. In comparison with native-born Americans, the foreign-born are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and all cancers combined; they experience fewer chronic health conditions, lower infant mortality rates, lower rates of obesity, and fewer functional limitations.

    Immigrants also have a lower prevalence of depression and of alcohol abuse. Foreign-born immigrants live longer, too. They have a life expectancy of Over time and generations, these advantages decline as their health status converges with the native-born. Even though immigrants generally have better health than native-born Americans, they are disadvantaged when it comes to receiving health care to meet their preventive and medical health needs.

    The Affordable Care Act ACA seems likely to improve this situation for many poor immigrants, but undocumented immigrants are specifically excluded from all coverage under the ACA and are not entitled to any nonemergency care in U.

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    Increased prevalence of immigrants is associated with lower crime rates—the opposite of what many Americans fear. Among men ages , the foreign-born are incarcerated at a rate that is one-fourth the rate for the native-born. Cities and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have much lower rates of crime and violence than comparable nonimmigrant neighborhoods. This phenomenon is reflected not only across space but also over time.

    There is, however, evidence that crime rates for the second and third generation rise to more closely match the general population of native-born Americans. If this trend is confirmed, it may be an unwelcome aspect of integration. Immigrant divorce rates and out-of-wedlock birth rates start out much lower than the rates for native-born Americans generally,.

    Thus immigrant children are much more likely to live in families with two parents than are third generation children. This is true overall and within all of the major ethnic and racial groups. Two-parent families provide children with a number of important advantages: they are associated with lower risks of poverty, more effective parenting practices, and lower levels of stress than are households with only one or no parents. The prevalence of two-parent families continues to be high for second generation children, but the percentage of children in two-parent families declines substantially between the second and third generations, converging toward the percentage for other native-born families.

    Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants
    Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants
    Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants
    Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants
    Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants Welcome to the United States - A Guide for New Immigrants

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