‘It was a process that was well worth it’: Legal ways of obtaining citizenship

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Harlingen woman said the process of getting her children U.S. citizenship was a long one, but “well worth it.”

Diana Padilla recently found out a family member was diagnosed with cancer. It was then Padilla and her husband decided to adopt that family member’s three children who are Mexican Nationals through the International Hague Convention Law. The law secures the effective rights of access to a child.

According to Padilla, the process was stressful. She and her husband had to pass every step.

Padilla said the steps they needed to pass included a psychological interview, a home evaluation, and a background check.

Brownsville immigration attorney Jaime Diez said Padilla’s journey in getting the children’s citizenship isn’t the only way.

“If a person wants to work for the United States temporarily, there are different types of work visas,” said Diez. “They’re called non-immigrant visas.”

There are four common non-immigrant visas in the United States. They are an L1-A, H-2A, E2, and EB-5.

The L1-A is for those who work in managerial or executive positions that is located outside the United States. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs.

An E2 visa is for those who have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business realm or for those who have an advanced degree with at least five years of professional experience. The EB-5 program is for those interested in making a large investment in the United States; the minimum is $1 million.

Either the consulate will give an expiration date on the visa or the visa will be active for as long your employment in the U.S. stands.

Diez encourages those interested in any of the above visas to secure a job first and then speak with that company’s immigration attorney about what the requirements are in obtaining legal status.

For the non-immigrant online application, visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

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