Immigration law refers to the rules established by the federal government for determining who can enter the country, and for how long.

Immigration law refers to the rules established by the federal government for determining who can enter the country, and for how long. It also governs the naturalization process for those who desire to become U.S. citizens. Finally, when foreign nationals enter without permission, overstay their visit, or otherwise lose their legal status, immigration law controls how the detention and removal proceedings are carried out. The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the exclusive right to legislate in the area of immigration. Most of the relevant laws, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), are found in Title 8 of the United States Code. State governments are prohibited from enacting immigration laws. Despite this, a handful of states recently passed laws requiring local police to investigate the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens, creating some controversy. Three federal agencies are charged with administering and enforcing immigration laws. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigates those who break the law and prosecutes offenders. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles applications for legal immigration. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for keeping the borders secure. All three agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Generally speaking, people from foreign countries obtain permission to come to the United States through a visa approval process. Visas are available for two purposes. Immigrant visas are for those who want to stay in this country and become employed here. These visas are limited by country-specific quotas. Non-immigrant visas are for tourists, students, and businesspeople who are here temporarily. Citizens of certain developed countries deemed politically and economically stable by the U.S. government can visit for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Known as the visa waiver program, this expedited system is primarily used by people coming here on vacation. It does not allow foreign citizens to work, go to school, or apply for permanent status. The visa waiver program is currently available to citizens of 37 countries.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship Immigrating to the United States requires individuals to submit a number of detailed applications to the federal government. Further complicating matters, immigration regulations change often, making it difficult for anyone without formal training to stay current on the law. Even among attorneys, immigration is considered a specialized practice area not suited for general practitioners. Self-representation is not recommended. With the help of an experienced attorney, those who qualify can successfully obtain permanent residency (a green card), and eventual citizenship. While the law provides a path to citizenship for workers and investors, the most common grounds for granting legal status is family-based immigration. This process begins when a permanent resident or U.S. citizen files a petition on behalf of a family member in a foreign country. U.S. citizens can sponsor family members who qualify as "immediate relatives." These include spouses, parents of a citizen 21 years or older, unmarried children under age 21, and children adopted before turning 16. The government does not limit the number of immediate relative visas approved each year. This means there is no waiting period, other than the time required to process the visa petition. By contrast, petitions filed by citizens or permanent residents on behalf of more distant relatives are subject to annual quotas. The amount of time these family members must wait to come to the United States will depend on their preference category. Unmarried children age 21 or older are given the most preference. Brothers and sisters of adult citizens are given the least. For those in the lower preference categories, it can take years to obtain a visa. Immigration is a diverse area of the law, and attorneys tend to specialize in particular types of cases. For example, an immigration attorney may limit his or her practice to employment-based petitions, foreign adoptions, or deportation defense. Immigrants and their families should take it upon themselves to gain a preliminary understanding of the nature of their case, before going about the important task of finding an attorney.

Immigration - Know Your Rights • Immigration Fraud - How It Can Happen and Who Can Commit It Some individuals are able to commit immigration fraud through working with securing visas, providing false information and even giving information of a different person to the immigration authorities. However, even businesses and other individuals in the United States can commit immigration fraud through the solicitation of various services.
• Important Factors Affecting Immigration U.S. immigration law is very complex and can be very confusing. In order to understand the process, you need to understand the factors related to the law and policies of immigration. • Important Factors Affecting Immigration U.S. immigration law is very complex and can be very confusing. To understand the process, you need to understand the factors related to the law and policies of immigration. • Is There a Difference between a Visa and a Green Card You must learn about the differences between a green card and a visa before you apply for any of the two. A lot of people seem to believe that a visa and a green card refer to the same thing. However, a visa and a green card are indeed different from each other. Each has its own purpose and eligibility requirements. • Understanding American Extradition Laws Extradition refers to the transfer of an accused criminal by one state or nation to another. • What Is the Known Employer Program? The Known Employer program is a pilot program that is meant to help make travel between the United States and Canada more efficient for business travelers. At the time of publication, this program is only at the consideration level and has not yet been implemented. Immigration Law Articles • DHS Will Reject Initial DACA and Advance Parole Applications, Limit DACA Renewals to 1 Year On July 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will reject all pending and future initial DACA and DACA-based Advance Parole applications, and limit all future grants of DACA renewals to just one-year instead of the established two-year period the program has administered since its creation by the Obama Administration in June 2012. • Green Card Abandonment & U.S. Tax Traps: How to Prepare Green Card Abandonment & U.S. Tax Traps: How to Prepare - When a Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) is ready to abandon their Permanent Resident Status, there are various Tax Traps to be aware of. A person may abandon their Green Card and inadvertently become a covered expatriate subject to Exit Tax. This may be avoided with proper tax planning. • Civil Rights Violations Every citizen in the United States is granted certain rights and freedoms that cannot be violated under any circumstances. • President Trump Signs Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Certain Work Visas On June 22, 2020 President Trump signed an executive order temporarily suspending the issuance of employment-based visas, including H-1B for highly skilled workers through the end of the year. The restrictions will take effect June 24 and impact hundreds of thousands of visa holders who work in industries ranging from technology and manufacturing to landscaping and summer seasonal jobs. The executive order was justified to protect the U.S. work force from the pandemic-induced economic slump. • The Winn Correctional Center: A Microcosm of DHS's Expanded Removal Operations Ever since the present administration took office, DHS has greatly expanded its removal operations in the United States. A look into the Winn Correctional Center gives us some insight into how they are going about doing this. • Choosing The Right Immigration Attorney Before hiring an immigration attorney for your case, be careful - there are a lot of bad attorneys out there looking to take advantage of you. Do your research! • What to Expect in Immigration Court Proceedings Appearing before an immigration judge can be stressful. Before going to court, research what to expect ahead of time so that you aren't caught off guard. • To Close or Not to Close: Detained Removal Proceedings in The Era of COVID-19 Determining whether to shut down detained removal proceedings during the era of COVID-19 requires a lot of difficult issues: protecting the rights of the immigrant population versus assuring that each detainee has swift access to have their day in court. Balancing these factors is the challenge facing the United States government. • Can You Get a Green card If You Are Convicted of An Aggravated Felony? Determining whether you can obtain a green card with an aggravated felony conviction requires a lot of considerations. First, is your conviction even a conviction for immigration purposes? Second, is your conviction even an aggravated felony for immigration purposes? Finally, are you eligible for a waiver? • Why Louisiana Has Become the Hub of DHS's Removal Operations Ever since President Trump's election, Louisiana has become the epicenter of DHS's removal operations - here is the reason why. • All Immigration Law Articles Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Immigration including extradition, green cards, naturalization and citizenship, visas, work permits and visas. Immigration Law - US • 1990 Immigration and Nationality Act This legislation introduced the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. A short summary of the law and related links are available on this web page. • Immigration and Naturalization Law - Overview The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University presents this discussion of immigration law. The article describes the evolution of the law from colonial times through the post-9/11 era. • National Immigration Law Center This website contains information and advice for low-income immigrants and their families. Visit the site's multimedia page for audio clips and videos about immigration. • The White House - Immigration Policy Immigration reform legislation is currently being debated in the Congress. This website describes the Administration's views on the reform bill and other immigration matters. • United States Immigration - Wikipedia This comprehensive article discusses issues ranging from the environmental impacts of immigration, to immigration references in contemporary pop culture. • US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) USCIS is the federal agency in charge of processing applications for legal status. Their website provides a great deal of useful content for anyone looking to file an application for immigration benefits. • US Department of Labor - Immigration Regulations Immigration and employment law often intersect. This page contains links to opinions issued by administrative law judges in labor cases that raise immigration issues. • US Immigration Forms USCIS provides immigration forms to the public free of charge. Forms can be ordered by mail, phone, or downloaded in PDF format from this web page. Filing fee information is also provided. Immigration Law - International • Australia Immigration Welcome to the Department of Home Affairs • Canada Citizenship and Immigration Apply to travel, study, work or immigrate to Canada, apply for citizenship, a permanent resident card or refugee protection, check the status of your application or find a form. • Germany Immigration Law The laws regarding immigration in Germany change often, and recent changes in the 2010s have sparked controversy among citizens and those that want to either immigrate into or leave the country. Understanding how these laws affect other citizens that want to immigrate to Germany is crucial in preventing violations of immigration laws in this country.

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