Moving to the USA: Entry Rules and Legal Ways to Immigrate to America
The USA is a dream country for the life of many foreigners. When moving here, immigrants usually aim to live there for many years. However, there must be legal grounds for this. Learn more about the rules for legal entry and stay in the USA in 2023
A foreigner must have legal grounds to move to the United States. It is worth noting that immigration begins with legal entry into the territory of the country. According to statistics, illegal crossing of the American border has decreased by about 90% since 2000.
We have collected the most common legal ways to enter the US and ways to obtain a permanent residence permit.
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Rules for legal entry to the USA in 2023
Ground for entry
A foreigner must have an entry permit, a visa, or submit an online application for visa-free entry in the ESTA system to legally cross the US border. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a simplified procedure for issuing electronic entry permits, which is available to citizens of 39 countries: most European countries, Chile, Brunei, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, etc.
List of documents for crossing the border
- valid foreign passport;
- entry permit, visa or ESTA;
Also, depending on the purpose of the trip, certain additional documents may be required: proof of financial availability, return ticket, medical certificates, documents confirming the purpose of entry (employment contracts, student enrollment certificate, etc.).
Requirements for foreigners
When passing customs and border control, the service employees usually check whether the foreigner does not threaten the security of the United States and whether he has the right to enter the country on legal grounds.
Traveling with children
A child must have a foreign passport and visa or an ESTA permit to enter the United States. In addition, a person traveling with a child must prove that he has the right to do so, an approximate list of documents: birth certificate, notarized power of attorney from guardians, copies of passports and contact information of all guardians, consent of the child to travel.
Certain control authorities, such as the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), CBP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may request a number of additional data from a foreigner: date of birth, gender, passport data, address of first stay in the US. There are also cases when it is necessary to fill out a customs declaration when crossing the border.
Traveling with pets
For a foreigner to enter the USA with a dog, cat or any other domestic animal, it is necessary to have a certain list of documents for it: medical certificates, vaccination data, blood test, microchip and special permits.
Goods whose importation to the USA is restricted
Before traveling, we advise you to familiarize yourself with the rules for importing the following groups of goods: cultural objects, firearms, food, alcoholic beverages, wild animals, medicines, cash and valuable gifts.
When can a foreigner be denied entry?
There is a certain list of reasons when a foreigner may be refused entry:
- presence of a criminal record;
- cases of illegal work in the USA;
- health problems that may pose a danger to American society;
- lack of vaccines;
- false information is provided when filling out the ESTA;
- an expired visa;
- lack of certain documents;
- suspicious or strange behavior.
Would you like to receive an answer from an experienced lawyer? Order legal advice from a local specialist in visa and migration issues. To receive the service, select the country you are interested in and your citizenship.
Features of the first entry on the basis of a green card
Grounds for legal residence in the USA
Who is prohibited from receiving a residence permit in the USA?
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.
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