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Immigration between any two countries may be a complicated process. Even people trying to carefully follow all legal procedures may find themselves caught up in a web of complicated laws. Understanding some of the most common immigration problems can help travelers avoid immigration issues and move through the immigration process as smoothly as possible.
Visa restrictions can be a source of many different immigration problems. Most temporary visas have very clear rules about length of stay permitted or activities allowed. A person on a three month visa might get offered the job opportunity of a lifetime and be denied the chance because his or her visa expires or doesn't permit working within the country. Some countries have a process called “sponsorship” that allows an immigrant to extend or alter their visas if a company within the country of immigration will sponsor his or her stay. Countries may also have skilled-worker visas for people with unusual abilities that are needed in workforce.
With the global community growing closer everyday, international marriages are becoming quite common. One of the most common immigration problems for married couples with different nationalities is being accused of marriage fraud. Many regions make it technically illegal for people to marry for the sole purpose of gaining citizenship; immigration officials may want to interview international couples and review proof of their relationship before granting the non-resident spouse a permanent visa or citizenship.
International couples can also run into immigration problems if they possess dual citizenship but have children in one country. If the family decides to move to the other spouse's home country, the immigration status of the children may come into question. Some countries do grant automatic citizenship to children of citizens, even if they are born and raised elsewhere. As with most of these issues, an immigration lawyer may be the best resource to understand available options.
People who have a criminal history, those who entered the country as illegal immigrants, or those previously deported for immigration issues may have the most trouble with immigration problems. In some cases, people are illegally brought across the border as small children and never seek legal status for fear of discovery and deportation. Some countries do have amnesty programs for certain immigrants who originally entered illegally, but in many regions there is little recourse. Consulting an immigration lawyer may be the best chance to find a path to citizenship in these cases.
@pastanaga - It's not only racism, although I'll allow for some people it is. It's not a simple matter at all.
Illegal immigration allows in people who don't have the language or the skills the country in question is looking for.
I think that countries should absolutely share the wealth around and that you do have to consider that most people in developed nations come from immigrant ancestors.
But, letting in everyone who comes along and wants to enter the country isn't a great idea either.
A balance has to be struck. Unfortunately, it's become such a contentious issue, talked about in such simplistic terms that there is no real debate on what the best way of dealing with it is.
@indigomoth - At least your friend was trying to do it legally. I know all too many people who have simply walked into the country, and just outstayed their visa. There are plenty of ways to make money under the table.
People tend to think about illegal immigration problems as being something that only applies to people from developing countries. But, for example, people from England often try to overstay in the United States (and vice versa for that matter) all the time.
Frankly, I think it's pure racism that causes people to focus on one kind of over stayer and not care so much about the other kind.
Feel free to call up the immigration office that you are applying to and ask them exactly what format they want you to put your application papers in.
I had a friend who was applying to become a Canadian resident and he showed me a lovely portfolio he had created, filled with all the papers he needed to hand in. He thought it would be a plus that he had provided it in a plastic folder, so that it would be easy for them to look at.
I told him he'd be better off sending the papers loose or bound with rubber bands or paperclips.
I only knew that because it's the preferred format for publishers and I have sent
in manuscripts before.
He didn't believe me though, so he called them up. They told him they really do prefer the papers loose since they have to send them to different departments and photocopy them and so forth.
Of course, that's just that particular office, another one might prefer a bound folio. You really can't know unless they tell you, or it's written on the website.
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