Entering a country other than your home country, for the purpose of settling there or working there, is known as immigration. In some countries, such as the United States of America, immigration covers entry of foreign nationals for any purpose, for an extended period of time other than temporary stay. Their immigration laws govern such entry.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
This is the most important and relevant federal law that governs US immigration. This immigration law covers all the federal rules and regulations related to the rights and duties of foreign nationals in America. This law determines whether or not a person is eligible for immigrant status as well as deportation status of illegal aliens.
The INA was first enacted in 1952, and since then has been modified a number of times. Some changes have been regulatory changes, whereas some have come about as a result of changing governments.
Under the US immigration laws, a person is eligible to receive immigration status, under the following circumstances:
- Work opportunity: If a person has certain skills that are in demand in the US and a firm or company wishes to hire such a person, then he can be granted immigration status. US law provides for five categories of permanent employment based immigration, and a person wishing to receive work-based immigration should be eligible under one of the five categories. The employer is required to submit a labor certification request and a visa petition so that the employee can receive immigration.
- Capital Investment: If a person makes a sizeable capital investment in the United States, then he may be granted immigrant status. But this investment has to be beneficial to the US economy and should create a lot of job opportunities for the citizens. Although it must be noted that immigration under this circumstance is very rare and may or may not be granted.
- Family Reunification: A person can also be granted immigrant status if he has family members who are American citizens. But not all relatives are eligible under this rule, which mostly applies to immediate family members such as parents, spouses, and children. A petition has to be filed by the relative and proof of relation has to be submitted. This petition then needs to be approved by the Immigration services Bureau before immigrant status can be granted.
- Refugees: US immigration laws also provide for granting immigrant status to refugees. A person has to have faced persecution on the basis of caste, religion, nationality, or political view in his home country to qualify as a refugee. He then has to undergo medical and legal scrutiny, after which he may or may not be granted US asylum.
- Lottery System: USA has a diversity lottery process whereby it grants immigrant status to people from countries that have a low immigration rate to the US. It chooses 110,000 applications but grants only 50,000 visas in a fiscal year. Any country that has 50,000 or more immigrants to the US in the last five years is not eligible under this system.
Any person who wishes to apply for US immigration needs to complete a lot of formalities. They have to apply for visas and start the neutralization process. In the event of any application being turned down, the petitioners may want to challenge and overturn such decisions. For all these and more issues relating to immigration, an immigration lawyer can be very helpful. If you need legal help in facing immigration challenges, the services of an attorney can assist in protecting your rights under US immigration laws. Take advantage of immigration law firms that are there to help you realize your American dream!
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