What is an Immigration Petition?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 15 February 2020
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An immigration petition is basically an application a person files to request that another party be granted legal, permanent residence in a particular country. For example, a spouse may file an immigration petition in an effort to secure legal permanent residency for his loved one. Likewise, an employer may file an immigration petition on behalf of a valued employee. The laws regarding immigration petitions and permanent residency may vary from country to country. In most places, however, immigration petitions are carefully reviewed through a process that may last for months.

Most countries have unique laws that govern when and how they will grant foreigners permanent residency. In many countries, this process includes the filing of immigrant petitions. An immigration petition is often filed on behalf of an immigrant rather than by him. For example, an employer may file an immigrant petition in the hopes of helping his employee gain permanent residency. Likewise, a family member may file a petition to help a loved one secure legal permanent resident status.

There are some cases in which a person may file an immigration petition on his own behalf. For example, an entrepreneur may petition for permanent residency status without a family member or employer as a sponsor. Likewise, an individual with in-demand skills and talents may file a petition on his own as well. Other situations in which a person may petition on his own behalf may exist, depending on the country in question.


In many cases, immigration petitions are considered based on an immigrant’s value to those petitioning on his behalf or the contribution he can make to the country. For example, an immigrant may prove valuable and important to an employer who files the immigration petition on his behalf. An entrepreneur who petitions for permanent residency may help the economy by running a business. An immigration candidate may also prove important to family members who are already residents or citizens of a country and need him.

If a petition for immigration is granted, an immigrant is typically granted residency for a set period of time rather than indefinitely. In most jurisdictions, an accepted petition does not usually translate into citizenship for the immigrant. A country’s government usually grants citizenship through a separate process. For instance, in some countries, a permanent resident may apply for citizenship after he has been a legal resident for about five years.


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Post 3

I have a friend from England who always dreamed of living in Asia. Considering he did not earn an advanced degree or have any job skills that set him apart, I thought his dream was a pipe dream. That's why, after not hearing from him for a couple years, I was surprised when he called me and told me he had immigrated to an Asian country.

As it turned out, he does have at least one skill that makes him valuable. He speaks English. He was able to get a job teaching English and petition for immigration through the company he worked for. He is now married and a full time residence of his new country.

Post 2

I think countries as a whole need to regulate immigration more closely than they do. I saw a TV show in which it was mentioned that a lot of criminals attempt to immigrate to other countries to escape legal actions in their countries. No one should be able to enter and reside in another country without a considerable waiting period and a thorough background check.

Post 1

Without some kind of useful trade, skill or profession, immigrating to most countries is virtually impossible. When the economy is sputtering, moving to a new country can be even more difficult. When unemployment is high, the last thing a government wants is more immigrants coming in and competing with citizens for the few jobs that are available.

Immigration is easiest when immigrants are capable of doing jobs that citizens of a country are not interested in doing. A good example would be the immigrants who provide farm labor in the United States. There is simply no way farmers in the U.S. could stay in business without the help of immigrants.

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