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United States Immigration and visa applicants should be aware that dishonest people have made websites that look like government websites to confuse you and take advantage of you. Visit and confirm all USA immigration information with the Official Website of U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa. Currently, 26 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, SLOVENIA, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Visitors entering on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program cannot work or study while in the U.S. and cannot stay longer than 90 days or change their status to another category.

Find current Passport, Visa and International Travel information from the United State Government.

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. Visit our Embassy section for American and Foreign Embassy listings.

The United States admits approximately 900,000 legal immigrants every year, and annual immigration is swelled by another 300,000 people who illegally cross the borders of the United States.

USA Immigration Summary:

U.S. Immigration law is complex. Currently, traditional immigrants are allowed entry to the United States under three major categories, each with its own set of "preferences." Annually, these three categories include:
I Family-Sponsored Immigrants. Up to 480,000 visas in four preference categories:

• unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
• spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents
• married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
• brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens

II. Employment-Based Immigrants. Up to 140,000 visas in five preference categories, including:

• "Priority workers," including professors and researchers; executives and managers of multinational corporations; etc.
• Professionals with advanced degrees
• Skilled workers, other professionals, and "other workers"
• "Special immigrants," such as ministers of religion, foreign medical graduates, etc.
• Investors - Learn more about USA immigration as an investor.

III. Diversity Immigrants. Up to 55,000 visas to promote immigration from those countries that are not currently the principal sources of immigration to the United States. Visas are distributed in six geographic regions:

• Africa
• Asia
• Europe
• North America
• South America, Central America, and the Caribbean
• Oceania

Refugees and Asylees:

Refugees and asylees are persons who are outside their country and are unable or unwilling to return to that country because of a well-founded fear that they will be persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

The president, in consultation with Congress, annually sets the number of refugees that can be admitted into the United States. Frequently Asked Questions About A USA Green Card.

For fiscal year (FY) 1997, the president authorized the admission of up to 78,000 people, while the actual number of admitted refugees was 70,085. For FY 1998, the authorization has been set at 83,000 refugees.