Should I Change My Non-Immigrant Status In The USA? Pros And Cons.

What is the difference between an Immigrant visa and a Non-Immigrant visa?

An immigrant visa is issued to a person who wish to live permanently in the U.S. A non-immigrant visa is issued to a person with permanent residence outside the United States but wishes to be in the U.S. temporarily for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study, as examples. As per the terms of the non-immigrant visa, the visa holder has to depart from the U.S.A within a certain time frame. The non-immigrant visa holders are bound by the purpose and objective of their visit. If the purpose of the visit is employment, he/she cannot change the purpose to business. For the issuance of some non-immigrant visas, the intention to return to the home country is very important.

Pros or advantages of being an immigrant

An immigrant visa holder enjoys many rights and freedoms as compared to a non-immigrant. Many benefits are enjoyed by a person after becoming an immigrant.

  • After you get a green card, the person becomes an immigrant. The person can apply for U.S. citizenship after 3 or 5 years as per the conditions fulfilled.
  • After one becomes an immigrant, the person cannot be deported to their country of origin. A Green card cannot be revoked with changes in the immigration laws.
  • A person does not have to renounce the citizenship of the country of origin after getting an immigrant status.
  • The immigrant is protected by the laws of the United States, the state of residence, and local jurisdiction.
  • The other family members like spouses, children, parents, and siblings of the immigrant becomes eligible for sponsorship.
  • The immigrant can travel to and from the United States without any hurdle.
  • The holder of an immigrant visa can travel or live anywhere within the United States.
  • The person is eligible to get federal benefits such as social security, financial aid for education, government-sponsored aid.
  • The immigrant can apply for a wide variety of jobs.
  • After becoming a U.S. citizen, the citizenship passes over to the children, provided they reside in the U.S. and are in the legal and physical custody of the naturalizing parent.
  • U.S. citizens have the right to obtain a U.S. passport and can take assistance from the U.S. embassy or consulate when traveling to other countries.

Disadvantages of becoming a U.S. citizen

  • The U.S. citizen must file income tax returns for life no matter where the person lives.
  • The criminal history is scrutinized before applying for citizenship.
  • The person may be summoned to serve on a jury. If selected by the judge and attorneys after being summoned, the person will have to serve the jury.


Thus, we see that it is always advantageous and beneficial to become an immigrant and change status from a non-immigrant to an immigrant.
A non-immigrant is not entitled to any rights or freedoms which an immigrant is. A non-immigrant is like a guest and can only be for the purpose for which he/she came. After the purpose is fulfilled, he/she has to go back to the origin country. The non-immigrant has many restrictions. He/she cannot move or stay anywhere in the U.S., the spouse or children cannot come or the non-immigrant cannot sponsor them. The spouse or children have to apply for a different visa as per the laws and rules. The non-immigrant cannot go and come outside the U.S. Before leaving the U.S. and coming back again the person has to take a permit.
The immigrant enjoys almost every benefit which a citizen enjoys. The immigrant comprises permanent residents, green card holders, citizens. All of them are entitled to almost the same benefits of moving freely anywhere in the country, working anywhere, going and coming back to the country without any hurdle or restriction.