Useful information about US Immigration Law
Each country has its own version of immigration law. While the rules may differ, they all cover the same basic premise – how people may legally enter the country to live, study, work, and travel. All these come under the umbrella of US Immigration law.
US immigration law can be quite strict depending on your native country and reason for entering the country. This is particularly true since 2001, as successive governments have made numerous additions, if not banning some forms of immigration altogether.
As such, it’s worth learning a bit about US immigration law if you plan to move to the USA for work, study, visiting family, or you simply just plan on traveling there for a holiday.
What is US Immigration Law?
US immigration law is dictated by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1965. It removed the discriminatory preference groups from its predecessor, the National Origins Formula, and set up a new tiered preference system that we still use today.
While previous policies focused almost solely on a person’s country of origin, the new US immigration law focuses on a person’s ties to family in the USA and/or their skillset.
Of course, these don’t matter as much for temporary travel reasons, such as tourism and business, although there are sections of the law that impact them. For example, some countries are exempt from needing a visa for short-term travel.
There’s no need to go into all the specifics of US immigration law here, as it’s long and quite boring (as is the case with all laws). Instead, we’ll cover the most important aspects concerning immigrants. But, if you want more detailed and specific information on a particular area, please search our website or get in contact.
Temporary or Permanent Immigration?
The first step in understanding how US immigration law applies to you is knowing how long you’ll be in the country. Technically, temporary trips are considered nonimmigrant, as you’re legally obligated to return to your home country.
This even includes visas that last up to 6 years because at, some point, you’ll always return to your native country. Even so, US immigration law does determine the type of visa you need for your purpose of travel, but we won’t go into too much detail here.
In short, it comes down to whether it’s for business, work, or pleasure. These categories are quite broad, though, so it’s worth digging into them in more detail before you apply.
The only type we’ll discuss here is worker visas, as they have specific rules under US immigration law. These laws mostly apply to wages relating to the role, but these wages should be similar to current prevailing wages for the job. As a visa applicant, this isn’t something you’d need to worry about (unless you’re concerned about how much you’ll be paid, of course!).
Typically, most immigration concerns relate to permanent immigration. Under US immigration law, this is usually for work- or family-related purposes, although there are some exceptions. For example, refugees and asylees can apply for permanent status despite not moving to the country under “standard” immigration rules.
What is the 10-year immigration law?
In the US, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are commonly known as Green Card holders. A Green Card is a legal document that proves you’ve immigrated lawfully and should be carried with you at all times. While the card needs to be renewed every 10 years, your immigrant status remains valid.
However, there are some conditions set out under US immigration law that specify why you might lose your lawful status. Typically, it relates to committing federal crimes, such as murder, manslaughter, fraud, etc. If you’re found guilty of a federal crime, you might be deported back to your native country regardless of how long you’ve lived in the US.
As such, it’s worth staying on the right side of the law and doing everything possible to live a “good moral” life. Along with generally being the right thing to do, it’s a condition when applying for naturalization, which you can do after 5 years of LPR status.
Applying for Immigration
Getting a Green Card isn’t always the easiest thing to do. 99% of the time, you need a US-based sponsor to petition your application. They add their name to your application, confirming you either have a job lined up or have family ties in the USA. Again, there are exceptions, but these are the 2 most common reasons for applying for LPR status.
When filing for a Green Card application, it makes sense to work with a qualified US immigration attorney. They can take care of all the legal formalities and complete the paperwork in accordance with US immigration laws.
It might sound like tedious work, but it’s vital that your paperwork is correct regarding the law. If not, your application will be rejected, and that means wasted time if nothing else.
Consulting an immigration expert can help you in these ways:
- They can analyze all the facts of your case and go through them properly and thoroughly to see if anything has been missed or skipped.
- They can explain to you the advantages of the scheme you are eligible for in detail.
- They will recommend the best way for you to obtain legal status.
- They will explain how to complete and submit your application in the correct way without any delays.
- You will also be briefed about any new laws that may affect you and your family in future.
However, it’s worth noting that most immigration lawyers don’t come cheap. While you can apply on your own, it’s worth the expense of getting expert advice regarding US immigration law because it’s fairly complex.
Plus, further down the line, you might want to apply for full citizenship. Part of the process involves reviewing your previous applications, and any mistakes made could be held against you.
We like to mention that there are also solutions to do it all by yourself and save a lot of money on immigration lawyers. One of those solutions is the step-by-step immigration guides from
US immigration Advice. For a fraction of the cost of an immigration lawyer, you can get access to 41 step-by-step visa guides for the United States.
Final Thoughts on US Immigration Law
To live, work, or study in the United States of America is a dream of many ambitious professionals. Follow your dreams and get a Green Card by following the US immigration law ethically.
US immigration law can be confusing, so why not try applying for the US Green Card Lottery as well? It can be a much easier route to LPR status, as the form is much easier and eligibility is more relaxed.
Let us handle your Green Card Lottery Application. US Green Card Office recommends you apply for the Green Card Lottery along with any other visa application you may file to get the best chance of getting a US Visa or Green Card to the United States, please apply online today.