US Immigration from Pakistan: Trends and Statistics

If you are interested in learning about US immigration from Pakistan, you have come to the right place. According to recent statistics, Pakistanis are one of the largest immigrant groups in the United States, with a population of over 500,000. The majority of Pakistani immigrants have settled in large urban centers such as New York, Chicago, and Houston.

The history of Pakistani immigration to the United States dates back to the 1950s, when a small number of students and professionals came to study or work in the country. However, it was not until the 1970s that Pakistani immigration began to increase significantly. This was due to changes in US immigration laws that favored family reunification and skilled workers. As a result, many Pakistanis were able to sponsor their relatives to come to the United States, and many skilled professionals were able to obtain work visas.

Despite facing challenges such as discrimination and cultural differences, Pakistani immigrants have made significant contributions to American society. They have excelled in fields such as medicine, technology, and entrepreneurship, and have also enriched the country’s cultural diversity. Stay tuned to learn more about the experiences and achievements of Pakistani immigrants in the United States.

Historical Overview of US Immigration from Pakistan

The United States of America has been a popular destination for immigrants from all over the world, including Pakistan. The first wave of Pakistani immigrants arrived in the US in the late 19th century, but the majority of immigration from Pakistan occurred after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. This act abolished the national origins quota system and allowed for more diverse immigration to the US.

The number of Pakistani immigrants in the US has steadily increased over the years. According to the Migration Policy Institute, there were approximately 363,000 Pakistani immigrants in the US in 2017. Pakistani immigrants are one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the US.

Most Pakistani immigrants come to the US through family-based immigration or employment-based immigration. Family-based immigration allows US citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their family members for an immigrant visa. Employment-based immigration allows US employers to sponsor foreign workers for an immigrant visa.

Pakistani immigrants have made significant contributions to the US economy and society. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, Pakistani immigrants are highly educated and have a high labor force participation rate. They have also started many businesses and created jobs in the US.

In conclusion, Pakistani immigrants have been an important part of the US immigrant population for many years. They have contributed to the US economy and society in many ways. The US immigration system has provided opportunities for Pakistani immigrants to come to the US and make a better life for themselves and their families.

The Process of Immigrating from Pakistan to the US

If you are a Pakistani citizen and wish to immigrate to the United States, you will need to follow a specific process to obtain an immigrant visa. Here is an overview of the process:

Applying for an Immigrant Visa

The first step in the immigrant visa process is to submit a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must be filed by a relative who is a US citizen or legal permanent resident, or by a US employer who wishes to hire you. Once the petition is approved, you will receive an instruction packet from the National Visa Center (NVC).

Role of the National Visa Center

The NVC is responsible for collecting the required documentation and fees from you, as well as scheduling your appointment for an interview at the US Embassy in Islamabad. The NVC will also conduct a background check on you to ensure that you are admissible to the United States.

Appointment and Interview Process

Once the NVC has completed its processing, you will be scheduled for an appointment at the US Embassy in Islamabad. At the interview, you will need to provide documentation to support your visa application, including your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and police clearance certificate. You will also need to pay the visa application fee.

After the Interview

After the interview, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa has been approved or denied. If your visa is approved, you will receive your passport with the visa stamp within a few days. You can then travel to the United States and become a legal permanent resident.

It is important to note that the immigrant visa process can be lengthy, and there may be additional steps or requirements depending on your specific situation. For more information about the immigrant visa process, you can contact the US Embassy in Islamabad or the Kentucky Consular Center.

Role of US Consulates and Embassies in Pakistan

When it comes to US immigration from Pakistan, the role of US consulates and embassies in Pakistan is crucial. These institutions are responsible for processing visa applications and providing assistance to US citizens living or traveling in Pakistan.

U.S. Embassy in Islamabad

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is the main diplomatic mission of the United States in Pakistan. It is located in the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad and is responsible for representing the interests of the United States in Pakistan. The embassy provides a range of services to US citizens, including passport services, notary services, and emergency assistance.

Consulate in Karachi

The US Consulate in Karachi is one of the four US consulates in Pakistan. It is located in the Clifton area of Karachi and is responsible for providing consular services to US citizens in the southern region of Pakistan. The consulate also processes visa applications for Pakistani citizens who wish to travel to the United States.

Consulate in Lahore

The US Consulate in Lahore is located in the Gulberg area of Lahore and is responsible for providing consular services to US citizens in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The consulate also processes visa applications for Pakistani citizens who wish to travel to the United States.

Consulate in Peshawar

The US Consulate in Peshawar is located in the University Town area of Peshawar and is responsible for providing consular services to US citizens in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The consulate also processes visa applications for Pakistani citizens who wish to travel to the United States.

In conclusion, the US consulates and embassies in Pakistan play a crucial role in facilitating US immigration from Pakistan. These institutions provide a range of services to US citizens and Pakistani citizens alike, and they are essential in maintaining the strong relationship between the United States and Pakistan.

Types of Immigrant Visas

If you are a citizen or resident of Pakistan and wish to immigrate to the United States, you will need to obtain an immigrant visa. The type of visa you will need depends on your purpose of travel. There are three main types of immigrant visas available for Pakistanis seeking to immigrate to the United States: Immediate Relative and Family-Based Immigration, Employment-Based Immigration, and Diversity Visa.

Immediate Relative and Family-Based Immigration

Immediate Relative and Family-Based Immigration visas are available to individuals who have close family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. These visas are intended for spouses, parents, children, and siblings of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If you are a close family member of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for an Immediate Relative or Family-Based Immigration visa.

Employment-Based Immigration

Employment-Based Immigration visas are available to individuals who have a job offer from a U.S. employer. These visas are intended for individuals who possess certain skills or qualifications that are in demand in the United States. If you are a skilled worker or have a specialized skill set, you may be eligible for an Employment-Based Immigration visa.

Diversity Visa

The Diversity Visa program is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States to apply for a visa. The program is also known as the Green Card Lottery. The program is open to individuals from Pakistan who meet certain eligibility criteria.

In summary, if you are a citizen or resident of Pakistan and wish to immigrate to the United States, you will need to obtain an immigrant visa. The type of visa you will need depends on your purpose of travel. The three main types of immigrant visas available for Pakistanis seeking to immigrate to the United States are Immediate Relative and Family-Based Immigration, Employment-Based Immigration, and Diversity Visa.

USCIS and Its Role in Immigration

When it comes to US immigration from Pakistan, USCIS plays a crucial role. USCIS, or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, is a government agency responsible for processing immigration applications and petitions. In this section, we will discuss some of the key aspects of USCIS and its role in the immigration process.

Filing Petitions

If you are a Pakistani citizen looking to immigrate to the US, you will likely need to file a petition with USCIS. This petition will serve as your application for immigration benefits and will need to be approved before you can move forward with the immigration process. The type of petition you need to file will depend on your specific situation and the reason for your immigration.

For example, if you are married to a US citizen, you may need to file an I-130 petition for alien relative. If you are an employer looking to hire a Pakistani worker, you may need to file an I-129 petition for nonimmigrant worker. It is important to carefully review the USCIS website and consult with an immigration attorney to determine which petition you need to file and what supporting documentation you will need to include.

USCIS Immigrant Fee

Once your petition is approved, you will need to pay a USCIS immigrant fee before you can receive your green card. This fee is currently $220 and must be paid online through the USCIS website. The fee covers the cost of producing and delivering your green card.

It is important to note that you cannot pay the immigrant fee until after you have received your visa and entered the US. USCIS will provide you with instructions on how to pay the fee and when it is due.

USCIS Processing Times

One of the biggest concerns for many people going through the immigration process is how long it will take to receive a decision on their application or petition. USCIS processing times can vary depending on the type of application or petition, the USCIS office handling the case, and other factors.

To check the current processing times for your specific application or petition, you can visit the USCIS website and enter your receipt number. USCIS updates processing times regularly, so it is important to check back frequently for updates.

Overall, USCIS plays a critical role in the US immigration process for Pakistani citizens. By understanding the role of USCIS and the various requirements and fees associated with immigration, you can better prepare for your own immigration journey.

Required Documentation for Immigration

When immigrating to the United States from Pakistan, there are several documents that you will need to provide in order to obtain a visa. It is important to ensure that all of your documents are accurate, up-to-date, and in the correct format. In this section, we will discuss the most important documents that you will need to provide.

Passport Requirements

One of the most important documents that you will need when immigrating to the United States is a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States. If your passport is set to expire soon, you will need to renew it before applying for a visa. Make sure that your passport has at least two blank pages for the visa stamp.

Civil Documents

You will also need to provide several civil documents when applying for a visa. These documents include your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and any divorce or death certificates (if applicable). These documents must be original or certified copies, and must be translated into English if they are in a foreign language.

Medical Requirements

When applying for a visa, you will also need to undergo a medical examination. This examination must be conducted by a doctor approved by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan. The doctor will perform a physical examination, take a chest X-ray, and provide a report of your medical history. You will need to bring your immunization records to the medical examination.

In addition to the above documents, you may also be required to provide police certificates from any country where you have lived for more than six months. It is important to check the specific requirements for your visa category to ensure that you have all of the necessary documents.

Overall, obtaining a visa to immigrate to the United States from Pakistan requires a significant amount of documentation. It is important to ensure that all of your documents are accurate and up-to-date, and that you have all of the necessary documents for your specific visa category.

Understanding the Visa Bulletin and Priority Dates

If you are a Pakistani citizen looking to immigrate to the United States, you will need to understand the Visa Bulletin and Priority Dates. The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication by the U.S. Department of State that provides information on the availability of immigrant visa numbers.

Immigrant visas are divided into family-sponsored and employment-based categories. Each category has a limited number of visas available per year, and there is a cap on the number of visas that can be issued to citizens of any one country. This means that there may be a wait time for a visa to become available, especially for citizens of countries with high demand, such as Pakistan.

Priority Dates are used to determine when an applicant can apply for a visa. When a visa becomes available, applicants with earlier Priority Dates are given priority. Priority Dates are assigned when a petition is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Priority Date is the date the petition was filed, and it is used to determine the applicant’s place in line for a visa.

The Visa Bulletin provides information on the current Priority Dates for each category and country. The Bulletin is updated monthly and can be found on the Department of State’s website.

It is important to note that Priority Dates can change from month to month, and they can also retrogress, meaning they go back in time. This can happen if there is high demand for visas in a particular category or country. When a Priority Date retrogresses, it means that applicants with earlier Priority Dates may have to wait longer for a visa to become available.

In conclusion, understanding the Visa Bulletin and Priority Dates is crucial for anyone looking to immigrate to the United States from Pakistan. By keeping track of the Visa Bulletin and your Priority Date, you can better plan and prepare for your immigration journey.

Fees and Reciprocity Schedule

When applying for a US visa, there are various fees that you need to pay. These fees are non-refundable and must be paid in advance of your visa interview. The fees for US immigration from Pakistan are as follows:

  • MRV Fee: This is the visa application fee that you need to pay before your visa interview. The MRV fee for nonimmigrant visas is $160, while the fee for immigrant visas is $325.

  • Reciprocity Fee: This is an additional fee that certain visa applicants from Pakistan may need to pay. The reciprocity fee is based on the principle of reciprocity, which means that the US charges the same fee that Pakistan charges US citizens for similar visas. The reciprocity fee varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for and can range from $5 to $400.

It’s important to note that the reciprocity fee is not applicable to all visa categories. For example, if you are applying for an F or M student visa, you do not need to pay a reciprocity fee.

To determine if you need to pay a reciprocity fee, you can check the reciprocity schedule for Pakistan. The reciprocity schedule lists the fees that Pakistani citizens need to pay for various visa categories when applying for a visa to the US. The reciprocity schedule is updated regularly and can be found on the US embassy website.

In addition to the above fees, you may also need to pay other fees depending on your specific circumstances. For example, if you need to expedite your visa application, you may need to pay an additional fee.

In summary, when applying for a US visa from Pakistan, you need to pay the MRV fee and may also need to pay a reciprocity fee. To determine if you need to pay a reciprocity fee, you can check the reciprocity schedule for Pakistan.

Nonimmigrant Visas for Temporary Stay

If you are a Pakistani citizen planning to visit the United States for a temporary stay, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. The U.S. government offers several types of nonimmigrant visas, each with its own set of requirements and restrictions. In this section, we will explore some of the most common nonimmigrant visas available to Pakistani citizens.

TN Visa

The TN visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who work in certain professional occupations. If you are a Pakistani citizen, you are not eligible for a TN visa. However, if you have dual citizenship with Canada or Mexico, you may be able to apply for a TN visa.

F Visa

The F visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to students who wish to study in the United States. If you are a Pakistani citizen planning to study in the U.S., you will need to apply for an F visa. To be eligible for an F visa, you must have been accepted to a U.S. school, college, or university, and you must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses.

Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee

When you apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you will need to pay a nonimmigrant visa application fee. The fee varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. As of September 2023, the nonimmigrant visa application fee for most types of visas is $160. However, certain types of visas, such as the K visa and the E visa, have different application fees.

In conclusion, if you are a Pakistani citizen planning to visit the United States for a temporary stay, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. The U.S. government offers several types of nonimmigrant visas, including the TN visa and the F visa. When you apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you will need to pay a nonimmigrant visa application fee, which varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for.

Green Cards and Lawful Permanent Residency

If you are a citizen of Pakistan and want to live and work permanently in the United States, you may be able to apply for a Green Card. A Green Card is a document that allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. It is also known as a Permanent Resident Card.

Applying for a Green Card

To apply for a Green Card, you need to be eligible under one of the categories set out by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Some of the most common categories include:

  • Family-based Green Cards: If you have a family member who is a US citizen or a Green Card holder, they may be able to sponsor you for a Green Card.
  • Employment-based Green Cards: If you have a job offer from a US employer, they may be able to sponsor you for a Green Card.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery: If you are from a country with low rates of immigration to the United States, you may be able to apply for a Green Card through the Diversity Visa Lottery.

To apply for a Green Card, you will need to file an application with USCIS. The process can be complex and time-consuming, so it is recommended that you seek the advice of an immigration lawyer to guide you through the process.

Green Card Processing Times

The processing time for a Green Card application can vary depending on a number of factors, including the category under which you are applying and the volume of applications being processed by USCIS. In some cases, it can take several years for a Green Card application to be processed.

To check the current processing times for Green Card applications, you can visit the USCIS website and navigate to the Processing Times page. You will need to select the category under which you are applying and the USCIS office that is processing your application.

It is worth noting that USCIS may request additional information or documentation during the processing of your Green Card application. This can further delay the processing time, so it is important to ensure that you have provided all the necessary information and documentation at the time of filing your application.

In conclusion, obtaining a Green Card and lawful permanent residency in the United States can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is important to ensure that you are eligible under one of the categories set out by USCIS and to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer to guide you through the process.

Returning Residents

If you are a Pakistani citizen who has previously lived in the United States and you wish to return, there are several things you should consider.

Firstly, you will need to obtain a visa. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose of your visit. If you are returning to the US to live permanently, you will need to apply for an immigrant visa. If you are returning for a temporary visit, such as for business or pleasure, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.

To apply for a visa, you will need to complete an application form and attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate in Pakistan. You will also need to provide supporting documents, such as proof of your previous residence in the US and evidence of your ties to Pakistan.

Once you have obtained your visa, you will need to make arrangements for your return to the US. This may involve booking flights, arranging accommodation, and making arrangements for any belongings you wish to bring with you.

It is also important to be aware of any changes to US immigration laws and policies that may affect your ability to return. For example, if you have a criminal record or have previously overstayed your visa, you may face additional scrutiny or be denied entry.

Returning to the US can be a complex process, but with careful planning and preparation, you can make the transition as smooth as possible.

Additional Resources for US Immigration from Pakistan

If you are planning to immigrate to the United States from Pakistan, there are several resources available to help you navigate the process. Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Legal Services

Immigration law can be complex, and it is important to have the right legal representation to help you through the process. There are many law firms and attorneys that specialize in immigration law and can provide you with the guidance and support you need. Some of the most popular law firms in the United States that specialize in immigration law include:

  • Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
  • Foster LLP
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP

Government Agencies

The United States government has several agencies that are responsible for processing immigration applications. These agencies include:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Each of these agencies has a specific role in the immigration process, and it is important to understand how they work and what their requirements are. You can find more information about each agency on their respective websites.

Education and Training

If you are planning to immigrate to the United States for work or education purposes, it is important to have the right education and training to help you succeed. There are many universities and colleges in the United States that offer programs specifically designed for international students. Some of the most popular universities for international students include:

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Yale University

In addition to universities, there are also many vocational schools and training programs that can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in your chosen field.

Financial Resources

Immigrating to the United States can be expensive, and it is important to have the financial resources to support yourself and your family. There are several financial resources available to help you with this, including:

  • Loans and grants from the U.S. government
  • Private loans from banks and other financial institutions
  • Scholarships and grants from universities and other organizations

It is important to research your options carefully and choose the financial resources that best meet your needs and circumstances.

Conclusion

Immigrating to the United States from Pakistan can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right resources and support, it is possible to achieve your goals. By working with legal professionals, government agencies, educational institutions, and financial resources, you can navigate the immigration process with confidence and success.

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