I wanted to start a thread to not only garner information from immigrants that might be reading here and general information about immigration, but to (without judgement) toss back and forth theories about immigration , immigrants, failures in our immigration services, and the effects of immigration on our economy, quality of life, etc. I searched and there were a couple of threads authored by those seeking to immigrate and information on how to do it, which was educational and started me off exploring some other opinion websites and the US immigration services website (which is very lame--they reference other documents, supposedly on their website, constantly, but do not hyperlink and these documents are often very hard to locate even for an English-speaking US native!). Here's some of what I know already: To immigrate into the U.S., you either need a visa (varying types from tourist visa, fiancee visa, employer visa, small business visa, to student visa), or a green card (permanent residency). To be guaranteed a permanent residency card, and successfully immigrate, assuming no other snafus, it would seem that a person would need one or more of the following: - a marriage to a US citizen - a parent that is a US citizen (assuming you are a minor) - a child that is a US citizen and at least 21 years of age All of these other "family" green card types have a limited annual number: - unmarried children of US citizens that are at least 21 years of age - a spouse or a parent that is a lawful permanent resident (what exactly is the difference between a "citizen" and a "lawful permanent resident"?) - unmarried children of lawful permanent residents that are at least 21 years of age - married children of US citizens (no age restriction?) - brothers and sisters of US ciitizens that "are adults" (does this mean at least 21?) Then there are the similarly amount-limited "employer" green cards: - "Priority workers," or "persons with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or outstanding professors and researchers" - "Professionals holding advanced degrees (Ph.D., master's degree, or at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience) or persons of exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business" - "Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers" - "Certain special immigrants: ministers, religious workers, current or former US government workers, etc." - Investors Then there are the "political asylum" and "refugee" green cards, which I need to research more to understand the difference and when they would apply (but I don't think there are enough of those--despite the unlimited availability--to make a huge difference, and I also don't think these visa types are the ones that are currently being posed as a societal issue with immigration... but what do I know about Mexico anyway?). Finally, there is the "Diversity Immigrant" type green card, which is based on the "green card lottery" that I had heard of (and I'm sure most have), which makes green cards easily available to countries that have the lowest numbers of immigration to the US (I'm assuming to balance things out). There are also some per-country limitations on numbers of immigrants (not a surprise, they're China, India, Mexico, and the Phillippines) receiving permanent residency... but I'm having trouble finding out if these quotas apply to all types of green cards or just specific ones. Anyway, I'll have to abridge my first post for now (time for lunch!), but anyone with informatin, please do respond and add to this. Thanks!