Planning on immigrating to Texas? Learn about the different types of immigration status

San Antonio, TX – If you’re dreaming of starting a new life in Texas, you may be thinking about the great economic opportunities awaiting you, maybe on one of those huge ranches you’ve seen in the movies or working on an oilfield. However, before you come here you must understand the complex US immigration process and weigh your options. Also, you may want to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer in San Antonio who can explain to you which immigration route you should choose. 

Types of immigration status

US Citizen

This is the most coveted type of immigration status. Most of those who come to Texas, legally or illegally, dream of the day when they will get the precious citizenship. There are several ways you can become a US citizen:

  • You marry a US citizen: After getting married and living in the US with your American spouse, you may be eligible for citizenship.
  • You are the child of a US citizen: If one or both of your parents have citizenship, getting citizenship shouldn’t be a problem
  • You’ve been a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) for at least 5 years: This is the most common path to citizenship. The important thing is that you get a Green Card first. This gives you LPR status and many legal rights. After 5 years you may apply for US citizenship. You’ll have to pass an English literacy test, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  
  • You’re serving in the US military: That’s a very good way of obtaining US citizenship as you’ve already proved that you’re ready to defend this country. Your family members may also be eligible to apply for US citizenship.

Legal Permanent Resident

That’s the next best thing to obtaining US citizenship. Once you get a Green Card you are a legal resident, so you don’t have to worry about deportation, and you can work legally.

Immigrants who marry a US citizen and move to the US will receive conditional resident status. Such a Green Card is valid only for 2 years. Next, they must apply for Removal of Conditions and they’ll get LPR status. 

As mentioned above, after 5 years since you got your Green Card you may apply for citizenship, but only if you avoid getting in trouble with the law. The most common causes your citizenship application may be denied are not paying your taxes, failing to pay child support, or getting arrested. Keep in mind that certain offenses can make you deportable even if you have LPR status. If you have this type of problem, a skilled San Antonio immigration lawyer can help you.


This category refers to people coming to the US on a tourist, student, or work visa. None of these types of visas open a path to immigration. However, if, for instance, you come to the US to study and get married to an American, you can apply for citizenship.

Undocumented Migrant

Many of the immigrants living in the US today have entered the country illegally. As a border state, Texas is a magnet for migrants. If you cross the border into Texas, you can seek asylum. You won’t be deported while your application is processed. Seasoned Texas immigration lawyers can help you gather evidence to prove you must be granted asylum. Or they may find other ways for you to get a Green Card. 

If you want to come to Texas and don’t know how, get in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, serving the San Antonio area. 

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

San Antonio, TX

206 East Locust Street

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