How to legally move from mexico to the United States

The United States, often referred to as the land of opportunity, has been a popular destination for immigrants from around the world, including those from its southern neighbor, Mexico. However, the process of legally moving from Mexico to the United States can be complex and time-consuming. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to help navigate this process.

Understanding the Basics of U.S. Immigration

The United States offers several paths for legal immigration, including family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, diversity visas, and refugee or asylum status. Each of these paths has its own set of requirements and procedures.

Family-Based Immigration

Family-based immigration is one of the most common ways to immigrate to the United States. U.S. citizens can sponsor their spouses, parents (if the sponsor is at least 21 years old), children, and siblings. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), often referred to as green card holders, can sponsor their spouses and unmarried children.

Employment-Based Immigration

Employment-based immigration is another common path. This category includes visas for workers with extraordinary abilities, professionals with advanced degrees, skilled workers, and more.

Diversity Visa Program

The Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, is a program that provides up to 50,000 immigrant visas annually to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Refugee or Asylum Status

Individuals who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution may be eligible for refugee or asylum status.

The Immigration Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

While the specific steps can vary depending on the path to immigration, the general process typically involves the following steps:

Step 1: Petition

The first step in the immigration process is typically filing a petition. For family-based immigration, this would be a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. For employment-based immigration, this could be a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, depending on the type of visa.

Step 2: Wait for a Decision

After the petition is filed, you’ll need to wait for a decision from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The length of time this takes can vary widely.

Step 3: Visa Availability

If the petition is approved, you’ll need to wait until a visa is available. For some categories, there are more applicants than there are visas available, resulting in a waiting period.

Step 4: Visa Application

Once a visa is available, you can apply for an immigrant visa. This typically involves submitting a Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, and attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Step 5: Move to the United States

If the visa application is approved, you can then move to the United States. Upon arrival, you’ll be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer. If you’re admitted, you’ll become a Lawful Permanent Resident and will receive your green card.


Moving from Mexico to the United States is a significant decision that involves navigating a complex legal process. However, with patience, preparation, and the right information, it’s certainly achievable. Whether you’re reuniting with family, pursuing career opportunities, or seeking a new life, the journey to becoming a U.S. immigrant can be a rewarding experience.

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