Everything You Need to Know About US Immigration Law

Coming to America isn’t just an Eddie Murphy film! More than 40 million people living in the United States were born in a different country. 

This may make US immigration law seem flexible. In reality, many people struggle with it, including legal professionals. Before you prepare your application to immigrate to America, you need to know a few different things. 

What are the most important institutions in the immigration system? How can you apply for a visa, refugee status, or green card? What rights do you have as an immigrant? 

Answer these questions and you can find your pathway to the United States in no time. Here is your quick guide.

Immigration Agencies

There are a few institutions in the American immigration system. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) oversees immigration policies on behalf of the United States. Agents prosecute people who violate immigration laws. 

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes the applications of people who want to immigrate to the US. Officers grant visas and approve people for permanent residency or citizenship. 

Customs and Border Protection monitors the borders and ports of the United States. Agents may check documents and detain people for violating offenses.

Police departments are also allowed to make arrests for violations of immigration law. After arresting someone, they may give them over to ICE.

You can find immigration law firms all throughout the United States. A lawyer can represent you at hearings, help you prepare your application, and advise you of your rights. Visit websites like https://lawfirmmarketing360.com/immigration-attorney-ppc-management/ to find out more information about immigration firms.

Application Processes

There are a few ways you can apply to immigrate to America. Talk to an immigration attorney and assess your options before you start an application.

Visas

An immigrant visa lets you live and work permanently in the United States. USCIS only offers a limited number of immigrant visas every year. 

You can apply for one through an immediate family member. If your spouse, parent, or child lives in the country, they can fill out an application on your behalf. You may need to visit an American consulate for an interview and submit documents about your life.

E5 visas let you invest in businesses in the United States while E2 visas let you start new businesses. E2 visas are reserved for people who have treaties of commerce with the United States.

You should talk to an immigration lawyer to see if you qualify for one. There is no competition to receive one, so you should pursue it if you can. 

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

A refugee is someone who is fleeing their home country out of fear of persecution. You may be admitted to the United States if you face a substantial degree of risk in your home country. You also can be admitted if you have family members living in America. 

An asylum seeker is someone currently living in America who is afraid of going home. You may face political persecution or discrimination if you go back to your country. 

To become a refugee, you should contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). You should bring evidence that supports your refugee claim, including official documents like passports.

You cannot ask the UNHCR to send you to the United States. An officer may refer you to an American official, and they will then process your application. You must submit to an interview and fill out documents. 

To seek asylum, you must file a Form I-589 and provide all of your personal details. You must do so within one year of your arrival in the United States. 

Green Cards

A green card lets you become a permanent resident in the United States. You can apply for one through a family member or an employer.

You can also apply if you have a special status, like a religious worker or a crime victim. If you receive refugee or asylee status, you can apply for a green card. 

To begin your application, you must adjust your immigration status. You, your relative, or your employer must file an immigrant petition to USCIS. You then must file a Form I-485, giving your personal information to the government. 

If USCIS approves your form, you must go to an Application Support Center. You will provide your fingerprints, photograph, and signature to verify your identity. You may need to participate in an interview with a USCIS officer if they need more information from you.

The USCIS will then process your information and determine if you receive a green card. If you qualify, you will receive a notice in the mail and get your card later.

Immigrant Rights

Immigrants do not have as many rights as citizens. People with green cards cannot receive American passports, vote in elections, or qualify for certain government benefits. 

However, immigrants do have most of the rights in the Constitution. You have the right to remain silent if an ICE agent or a Border Patrol agent asks you questions. You can decline requests to search your body or belongings. 

If you are arrested, you have the right to ask for a government-appointed lawyer, even if you cannot afford one. You also have the right to know what you are being detained for. 

If you receive a deportation order, you have the right to ask for a hearing about it. Do not sign any documents, as they may have stipulations that waive your right to hearings. 

The Essentials of US Immigration Law

US immigration law is complicated. ICE prosecutes immigration cases, but you send your documents to USCIS for visas and green cards. 

There are many kinds of visas, and some are reserved for specific groups of people. Try to get a visa the easiest way you can and start working in America. Once you have settled in, you can apply for a green card. 

You have Constitutional rights, including the right to an attorney. You are in a stronger position to use those rights when you have the facts about immigration. Read more immigration law guides by following our coverage.

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