Many people desire to move to the US for different reasons. However, it’s not enough to want to move there. Immigrating to the US requires application, interview, approval, and moving there. But it doesn’t end there. You must know US immigration laws before moving, so you can act accordingly.
Like many countries, the United States has immigration laws that their immigration processes follow. Knowing them will help you identify what parts apply to you. If you’re currently in the middle of an immigration process, working with an immigration lawyer makes it easier for you.
However, in the meantime, you can acquaint yourself with the laws. What are they?
Things to know about immigration law
Immigration laws define your residency and citizenship status, including your rights and obligations. Furthermore, it regulates how non-residents get residency visitation rights or citizenship. It also covers deportation.
Immigration law is governed by certain ideals, including increasing diversity, unifying families, protecting refugees and people at risk, and growing the US economy by bringing in skilled foreign nationals.
With these governing ideals, the following are things to know about immigration law:
1. Immigration labels
One of the things to know about immigration law is how it labels individuals in the country. The labels include citizens, whether by birth or nationals by status; aliens or noncitizens; nonimmigrants who come into the country for temporary purposes like vacation, work, or study; immigrants sponsored by employer or family; and refugees and asylees.
You can only seek asylum when you’re already in the country, while refugee status is processed outside the country. When seeking asylum, you must provide a well-founded fear of why you can’t stay in your homeland. If you’re not a US citizen, you need a visa or passport to enter the country, and anyone without proper status can be deported.
2. Immigration processes
In the United States, Congress can manage and oversee immigration concerns. Furthermore, the federal government manages stipulations regarding immigration, and the state cannot interfere unless in a few states where the police can investigate suspected aliens.
The federal government monitors immigration through the Department of Homeland Security, which branches into:
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which monitors and manages individual migration applications to the country.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees matters and prosecutes offenders.
- Customs and Border Protection, which monitors the country’s borders to ensure the eligibility of individuals visiting and exiting the country.
3. Visa application
Visa applications to the US are more than one means. First, you can apply via a family member. If you have a family member in the US with permanent residency can file a petition on your behalf so you can join them in the country.
One of the immigration law ideals is to unite families, and it doesn’t put any limit on the number of immediate families that you can bring to the country in a year.
Furthermore, you can apply for an E5 visa as a business investor, which can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investment remains profitable. E2 visa applies to treaty investors who want to become entrepreneurs and business owners in the country.
Other visa applications include refugee status, employment, visa lottery, H-1B foreign specialist, TN Visa for Specialist Workers, L-1 Intra-Company Transfer, and J-1 visa.
4. Deportation laws
You should also familiarize yourself with deportation laws when moving to the US. There are many grounds for deportation, including illegal entry into the country, not reporting a change of address, if you commit a felony, or helping illegal immigrants enter the country.
Furthermore, you’re also at risk of deportation if you entered the US through fraudulent means, and the government must prove with evidence that occurrence. Other factors include:
- Entering the country through a fraudulent marriage
- Illegal voting
- Being a threat to the US security
- Not updating your address with the government every three months, regardless of whether it has changed.
5. Deferred action
Immigrants faced with deportation may be offered temporary relief during which they may apply for employment. However, they cannot claim residency or citizenship but stay in the country based on the law. You can only obtain deferred action on an individual basis.
Furthermore, The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents programs help parents apply for deferred action.
6. Visa waiver program
A Visa waiver program is available for citizens of other countries. It allows them to visit the United States for 90 days, mostly for tourist reasons. During the 90 days, such individuals cannot work, attend a school or apply for residency. However, this isn’t available for all countries.
Only economically and politically stable countries can apply for this program, and there are only thirty-five. Therefore, this only applies to you if you’re only visiting. If you intend to pursue other purposes, you must exit the country and apply for the appropriate visa type based on your goal.
7. Temporary protected status
Another part of immigration law to know is the temporary protected status. This applies to individuals already in the United States and whose countries are affected by war, natural disasters, and other temporary and dangerous situations.
This law allows them to stay for six, twelve, or eighteen more months, which is liable for an extension. However, this status cannot lead to permanent residency. Furthermore, these individuals can come to the United States through parole, but not as refugees.
8. Violence against women act
Immigration law also protects men or women suffering spousal violence. This Act makes immigration accessible to them and their children. They’re eligible for this status if the abuser was a US citizen or permanent resident, and if the spouse loses the status due to the abuse, they can file a petition within two years.
An individual is also eligible if they’re the ex-spouse, spouse, or child of the abuser or parent of children at least 21 years old. You must be able to present official documents and statements to back your claims to apply for and receive this legal status in the US.
You should familiarize yourself with different aspects of immigration law when moving to the US. Furthermore, you should stay updated with immigration laws to be aware of changes. Working with an immigration lawyer makes moving to the US and living there easier and in accordance with the law.