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Tactics immigrants can use to obtain legal status in America

According to Pew Research, about 36 percent of immigrants living in Florida and throughout the United States have a college degree. That translates to about 14.7 million foreigners who have a college degree or other type of advanced degree. In a 2018 survey, 78 percent of American adults said they supported highly skilled immigrants coming to the United States. The U.S. offers four pathways for these immigrants to obtain legal status.

One pathway is through the H1-B visa. The government offers up to 65,000 visas per year that are given to foreign nationals who have a bachelor's degree or higher. Another 20,000 visas are available to those who obtain a graduate degree from an American college. An F-1 visa allows a student to enter the U.S. for the purposes of obtaining a college degree. Almost half of new students are attempting to get some sort of graduate degree.

The two other common pathways to get into the country legally include getting a green card or participating in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. Those in the OPT program can stay in America for up to 36 months to get work experience after they graduate. Unlike the H-1B visa, there is no need for employee sponsorship and there is no cap to how many can participate at a given time.

Individuals who are looking to work or study in the United States may have many options available. An attorney could help an immigrant learn more about different visas and if he or she qualifies for them. Legal counsel may also help an immigrant learn more about establishing their legal status after graduating or after their visa expires for any reason. This may prevent a person from being forcibly removed from the country.

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