United States Citizenship
Citizens of The United States are able to enjoy every benefit that the U.S. has to offer to the fullest. But if you are not a citizen then it is a different story.
A person can become a U.S. citizen through birth or through a process called naturalization.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national citizen. You have to fulfill requirements established by the Nationality Act.
The Nationality Act or INA was created in 1952.
The Visa System
A visa is a stamp in a person's passport that gives them conditional approval to enter the U.S. to apply for a Immigrant visa you most be sponsored by a U.S. citizen that is your relative.
Non-immigrant Visa, this is for people with goal to only visit the U.S. for a short period of time. Reasons could be Tourism or medical treatment, business purpose, Students, Participants in exchange programs, Temporary workers, Performing artists, Professional journalists, and Government representatives, etc.
Temporary Worker Visas, this visa explains itself it is for working in the U.S. for a short period of time.
A green card means that you have U.S. permanent residence, that being the right to live and work in the U.S. for an unlimited amount of time. A permanent resident can apply to become a naturalized citizen after five years or after three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. The INS will have to do an investigation in your marriage because they need to ensure you do not become a permanent resident out of a sham marriage.
Deportation is the expulsion of a foreigner who entered illegally. This is usually caused by the person doing something to become deportable. After deported you are forbidden to enter the U.S. for five years. It can also delay the status of your permanent by putting it on hold or removing it for the system. There are many ways to avoid deportation such as providing evidence that you have lived in the U.S. for a long time and has built a life that demonstrates good moral character. Even if you have not lived here for long you can always ask for a voluntary departure, which allows you to depart the U.S. on their own.
Unknown. "California Immigration Law". Guide to California Law. Accessed 25 January 2012.