Immigration status is extremely complex and fluid
Status can be lost or gained
There are many ways to gain lawful status. The most common paths to status include:
A person can lose their immigration status.
- All non U.S. citizens, even long-time LPR card holders, can lose status. Once a person loses status, they can be deported or barred from reentering the U.S.
What does it mean to be undocumented?
- A person is commonly referred to as “undocumented” if they were not inspected and authorized by U.S. immigration authorities to be lawfully admitted to the U.S.
- But an undocumented person may be eligible to change their immigration status.
What is lawful permanent residence?
- A lawful permanent resident (LPR card holder) can live and work in the U.S. permanently.
- Lawful permanent residents are eligible to become citizens. However, they are still vulnerable to deportation.
The role of families
- The most common way to gain immigration status is through a family member.
- Most children derive their status from their parents.
- And many individuals gain status through marriage.