< Back As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country? What kinds of visas are available? What is required to obtain these visas? Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work? What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them? Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away? What items should I avoid bringing into the country? Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally? As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country? Millions of foreigners travel to the U.S. every year. In most cases, to enter the United States you must obtain a visa. As a non-resident, you are a guest in the country and while here, you must adhere to the laws of your own country and most certainly to the laws of the United States. As a visa holder, you will have full access to most basic rights with the exception of the right to vote in elections, hold public office and other things of that nature. The U.S. visa policy does permit citizens from certain countries to enter without a visa. To find out whether or not you are required to have a visa for entry, please visit the Web site listed below or contact Crown Washington DC. ↑ Top What kinds of visas are available? There are numerous visas available. There are visas for visitors and visas for immigrants. Please review the lists below for the types of visas available in both categories. It is strongly recommended you contact an immigration attorney and/or the United States Citizenship and Immigration office (USCIS) for further details. You may also contact Crown Washington DC or visit the Web sites listed below to find out more information. Visa Types for Visitors: Business Tourist/visitor Border Crossing Card - Mexican travellers Diplomatic Inter-company transfer Exchange Visitors Students Media and Journalists Visa Renewals Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker Visa Types for Immigrants: Immediate relatives Special Immigrants Family sponsored Employer sponsored A foreigner can be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative(s) or by a prospective employer. Please contact your local US embassy or consulate to obtain more information. ↑ Top What is required to obtain these visas? The United States updates its visa policies on a regular basis to increase security of the nation. Therefore, you will find more stringent security measures in place. It is recommended that you contact your nearest US consulate or embassy or an immigration attorney to find out specific details for your country. This is a very detailed process and you will want to be very sure that it is done correctly and legally so that you do not have problems at a later time. ↑ Top Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work? Typically, a spouse is not entitled to work in the United States, but there are certain visa classes that do allow spouses to work. Please consult the local US embassy or consulate or an immigration attorney for further information. ↑ Top What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them? Upon arrival, you should apply for your Social Security card, which is obtained at your local Social Security office. Your Social Security number is used to keep a record of your earnings for tax purposes and to distinguish you from others bearing the same or similar name. It will also be needed for things such as opening bank accounts, obtaining a drivers licence, etc. We recommended that you apply for a picture ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - either a driver's license or simple ID. Of course you will be traveling with your passport, which is also a valid form of identification. ↑ Top Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away? If you plan to work, the most important thing to apply for is a Social Security card. This can only be applied for after you arrive in the United States. Please contact the local Social Security office on your arrival or consult its Web site below. ↑ Top What items should I avoid bringing into the country? Please contact Crown Washington DC for complete assistance and ease of importing personal effects. Basic prohibited items include lottery tickets, narcotics and illegal drugs, obscene articles and publications, seditious and treasonable materials, pirated copies of articles, endangered animals and items made from them, unprocessed plant or livestock products, firearms (unless permitted), hazardous materials (fireworks, etc.), products made by forced labor, and switchblade knives. Motor vehicles also have specific restrictions. Imported motor vehicles are subject to lengthy standards ranging from safety to air pollution control. Foreign-made vehicles imported into the U.S. are generally dutiable. The U.S. customs service has recently made changes to the requirements for alcohol entry. Please contact your Crown Washington DC representative to discuss this in advance. ↑ Top Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally? As long as your visa is valid and you remain in good standing with the law, you will have no problem staying in the United States as an immigrant. However, please be mindful of the expiration date on your visa because people who overstay the time allowed are dealt with harshly, and can be deported and barred from making future visits. Make arrangements to have it extended well in advance of its expiration date if you plan to stay beyond its initial term. ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.