Immigration Law in the United States 2019

Written by on July 3, 2019 in Government, Policies with 0 Comments

More than 30 million legal immigrants live in the United States of America. Many people live and work in the country subsequent to the receiving of lawful permanent residence often regarded as a green card, and other categories receive temporary visas available to students and workers. Obviously, an estimate of 1 million unauthorized immigrants have temporary license to live and work in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status Program.

Legally, a U.S. citizen as the case maybe can sponsor for immigration a spouse, parent, minor or a sibling. Lawful permanent residents mostly green card holders can sponsor a spouse, minor child or adult child. On the other hand, Employers can sponsor individual employees for immigration, often after undergoing labor certification. In some cases, many employer usually sponsored immigrants who are already working in the country in H-1B temporary status.

Immigration law contains the fundamental rules established by the federal government for the consideration and permission of who is permitted to enter the country for a stipulated time. It regulates the naturalization process for those who intend to become U.S. citizens. It further standardize and controls how the detention and removal proceedings are executed. The Sacrosanct Constitution of U.S empowers the Congress the exclusive power to legislate and make laws in the aspect of immigration. Virtually all the relevant laws with respect to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), are well encapsulated in Title 8 of the United States Code. State governments are prohibited from enacting immigration laws. In addition, it is important to note that Immigration to the United States is premised upon the following principles: the reunification of families, admission of immigrants with requisite skills that are beneficial to the U.S. economy, protecting and safeness of refugees, and enhancing diversity.

Flowing from the above, many federal agencies are saddled with administering and enforcing immigration laws. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) thoroughly investigates law flouters, and prosecutes while the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the applications and request for legal immigration. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ensure that the borders is well secured for immigrants. All these agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Moreover, a foreigner intending to immigrate specifically must be sponsored by a bonafide citizen and perhaps lawful permanent resident immediate relatives, or prospective U.S. employer, with an approved petition prior to the application for an immigrant visa. He or she whether a lawful permanent resident, or prospective U.S. employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services prior to your immigration.

Notwithstanding, a foreigner who seeks to enter the United States must obtain or possess a U.S. visa, which is directly placed in the traveler’s passport being a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship. It is not mandatory for U.S citizens to possess U.S. visa for travel except when planning travel to abroad he or she needs a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit. The Department of State issues and authorize visas to foreigners traveling to the United States either through its embassies or consulates . However, visa is not mandatory for your business meeting or for vacation if you are a bonafide citizen of the 38 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, and your rationale to travel will be based on the type of visa you need to enter the U.S which includes the following :

  1. Visitor visas for tourism or business as the case maybe
  2. Visas for students
  3. Immigrant visa for permanent residency
  4. Transit visa for traveling through the U.S. on your way to visit another country.

Upon your arrival to the United States, you must present your valid travel documents as part of the required condition for entry process. The documents needed is based on the country you are arriving from with your citizenship or status. In addition, legally permanent residents of the U.S are required to show a Permanent Resident Card (Green card) excluding passport, which is not compulsory. The bonafide American citizens entering the country are required to show the following: Passport, U.S. passport card, Trusted Traveler Program card, and driver's license

Upon obtaining your immigrant visa coupled with the payment of USCIS immigrant fee, thereafter you’ll receive your Green Card. The advisable time to make your payment for the fee is subsequent to picking up of your immigrant visa from the Department of State embassy or consulate prior to your departure for the United States. After getting your immigrant visa, you’ll definitely get a sealed immigrant visa packet of documents to be given to officials at the U.S. port of entry. After fulfilling all the condition attached to the inspection, your admission will be granted as a permanent resident, together with your Green Card.

Electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA) is available under the US visa waiver program for those traveling via visa waiver countries to the country. ESTA decides the eligibility of visitors to travel particularly under the visa waiver application. It is however, under the control of the American program for homeland security and it must be gotten online before the departure at least 72hrs. The US customs and border protection officer approves whether or not a traveller is admitted to the country and the immigration officer takes the final decision at the port of entry. If you have previously submitted an ESTA application through an online form, subsequently you can check ESTA status online by providing in details: your full name, passport and issuance date, expiration date, date of birth and email address.

It is indisputable that not all travellers are from VWP countries are qualified to use the program except with the application for the authorization through (ESTA).  Visa waiver countries include Belgium, Chile, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Spain among others. Citizens of these member nations can travel without a visa for a period of 90 days or less subject to the requirements of possessing a passport and the re-examination of VWP quick reference handout.

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