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Common Myths and Facts About Immigration to the US

3.25 minute read
"Millions of people from all over the world chose to immigrate to the United States in the search of a better life and job opportunities. Immigrating to a new country is a huge decision that involves completing uprooting your life and starting over in a new place."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 23, 2021
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Millions of people from all over the world choose to immigrate to the United States in the search of a better life and job opportunities. Immigrating to a new country is a huge decision that involves completing uprooting your life and starting over in a new place. 

Immigration comes with its challenges but the most difficult part is trying to understand the new laws and regulations of your new country and complying with the legal and immigration system. It can be quite an overwhelming experience for immigrants, especially when there are so many myths and misconceptions about the US immigration system. 

What Are the Most Common Myths About US Immigration?

A One-Size-Fits-All Approach: 

Many people believe that one type of path will benefit them all. However, this can not be further from the truth. Based on your situation and specific circumstances, your available immigration solutions will differ. Therefore, it is best to seek legal advice if you wish to find the best option to stay in the United States.

Immigration Consultants Are the Same As Lawyers:

It is quite a common myth that an immigration consultant can help you on the same level as an immigration lawyer. When in reality, consultants do not have any official legal training or degree and are the least helpful in keeping up with the changes and updates of the complex and ever changing US immigration system. Immigration lawyers, on the other hand, can single-handedly make sure that you find the best possible way to immigrate legally and eventually gain citizenship in the United States as they are trained in law and well versed in the changes of US immigration. 

Lawyers Are Too Expensive: 

This is another common myth that prevents people from hiring good legal help. Many people believe that immigration lawyers are expensive to hire and the cost of hiring lawyers might not justify the results. That is not the case. Hiring an experienced lawyer will save you time and money and a lot of effort. It is better than trying to navigate the immigration system alone and wasting your time and efforts by applying to the wrong type of visa program. Hiring a professional may be a larger investment, but you would have a higher chance of success.

What Are the Most Common Myths About Immigrants?

Similar to the many myths about the immigration system, there are many myths regarding immigrants or foreign nationals themselves as well:

Most Immigrants Enter Illegally: 

Studies* have shown that around 75% of the immigrant population has permanent status through immigrant visas, 40% are on an overstayed nonimmigrant visas or temporary status and 25% are undocumented. *These percentages are from the INS Statistical Yearbook

Immigrants Come Here for Social Benefits: 

This is another myth about immigrants- that they come to the US to take advantage of the social benefits. However, studies show that immigrants mostly come for work and to reunite with their families. Their participation in the labor force is higher than native-born citizens as they make up 12.4% compared to 11.5% of the US population. It has also been demonstrated that the ratio between public benefits obtained by immigrants and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently in favor of the US. It is estimated that immigrants earn up to $240 billion a year and pay around $90 billion in taxes while only using $5 billion in public benefits. 

Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes: 

This is false. All immigrants pay taxes whether it might be income, sales or property taxes. A range of studies claims that immigrants pay between $90 to $140 billion in federal and local taxes every year. Even undocumented immigrants pay taxes according to the Social Security Administration’s “suspense file” which includes taxes that can not be matched to a worker’s name and social security numbers. According to them, taxes filed by undocumented immigrants grew to $20 billion between 1990 and 1998.

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