Immigration In The U.S & What You Need To Know

Moving to a new country can be an exciting and life-changing experience, whether it’s for a temporary stay or a permanent relocation. The United States has established laws and regulations to govern the process of immigration, with various government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of State overseeing the process. With proper guidance and support, the journey of immigration can lead to new opportunities and a brighter future.

The following talks about the various aspects of immigration and Immigration Law in the U.S.

Learn More About Immigration Law And How An Immigration Lawyer Can Legally Assist You In Your U.S. Case

Family Immigration Citizenship & Naturalization

Becoming a citizen of the U.S. not only represents a dream for many immigrants but also provides them with rights and privileges unique to U.S. citizens. The process of acquiring citizenship through naturalization is detailed, and it’s essential to understand the steps and requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Age and Residency: An applicant must be at least 18 years old. They should also have been a lawful permanent resident (i.e., have a Green Card) for at least five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen.
  2. Continuous Residence: It’s crucial that applicants maintain a continuous residence in the U.S. This doesn’t mean they can’t travel outside of the country, but long absences can disrupt the continuous residence requirement.
  3. Physical Presence: Over the five-year period (or three years for those married to a U.S. citizen), applicants must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of that time.
  4. Good Moral Character: Applicants should have a history of good moral character, meaning no serious criminal issues. Some criminal activities can make an individual permanently ineligible.
  5. Language Proficiency: They must be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
  6. Knowledge of U.S. Government and History: Applicants should have a basic understanding of the U.S. government’s workings, its history, and the Constitution. This is tested in a civics exam during the naturalization interview.

Naturalization Process

  1. Application: The process starts with filing Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization. This form collects information about the applicant’s background, residence, and moral character.
  2. Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the application, applicants will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment. Here, they’ll provide fingerprints, photos, and possibly a signature. This information is used for background checks.
  3. Interview: Once the background checks are complete, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview. During this session, a USCIS officer will review the N-400, test the applicant’s English and knowledge of U.S. civics.
  4. Decision: After the interview, USCIS will issue a decision. This can be: a) granted – the application is approved; b) continued – the applicant needs to provide additional documents or failed the tests but can retake them; or c) denied – the application is rejected.
  5. Oath of Allegiance: If granted citizenship, the applicant will attend a naturalization ceremony. They will take the Oath of Allegiance, pledging loyalty to the U.S., and then receive a Certificate of Naturalization.

Achieving U.S. citizenship is a significant milestone for immigrants, and while the process is detailed and sometimes lengthy, it culminates in being part of the American fabric with all its rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

Green Card

A Green Card, or Permanent Resident Card, grants an individual the right to live and work permanently in the United States. Obtaining a Green Card is often a critical step before naturalization and involves a multi-step process. The most common routes to obtaining a Green Card are through family sponsorship, employment, or asylum status. Applicants typically must undergo a background check, medical examination, and an interview process. It’s essential to maintain a valid, unexpired Green Card or face potential difficulties in employment, re-entry to the U.S., and even legal status. Given the complex nature of the application process and its importance in the immigration journey, consulting an immigration attorney is often recommended to navigate the intricate requirements effectively.

Family-Based Visas

The reunification of families is a crucial aspect of the United States’ immigration policy. It allows certain U.S. citizens or Green Card holders to act as sponsors for their close family members who wish to immigrate to the country. The eligible family members may include spouses, children, parents, and siblings, with some exceptions. This process of family sponsorship can be a complex and lengthy one, as it requires the completion of various legal and administrative procedures. However, it can ultimately result in the reunification of families who have been separated by geographical boundaries. 

The U.S. government recognizes the importance of keeping families together and has established policies to facilitate this process. The family reunification program is a testament to the country’s commitment to family values and its belief in the importance of strong family ties.

Adjustment Of Status

The process of adjustment of status allows immigrants who are already in the United States to apply for lawful permanent residency without having to depart the country. This process is often utilized by individuals who have married a U.S. citizen or received an employment offer. It is important to note that adjustment of status is a legal process that requires specific documentation and eligibility criteria. By following the appropriate procedures, eligible immigrants can obtain permanent residency and continue to live and work in the United States.

Military Parole In Place

Under this provision, close family members of military personnel who entered the country unlawfully are given the opportunity to remain in the United States. This provision is in place to recognize the sacrifices that service members make for their country and to alleviate any concerns about the separation of military families during their time of service. This measure ensures that military personnel can focus on their duties without worrying about the status of their loved ones. Moreover, this provision is a testament to the country’s commitment to honoring the service of its military personnel and recognizing the difficulties they face when they are deployed. 

It is important to recognize that military service can be an incredibly difficult and trying experience, not only for the service members themselves, but also for their families. Deployments can last for months or even years, and during that time, families are left behind to worry and wonder about the safety of their loved ones. This provision helps to alleviate some of that worry and stress by allowing family members to remain in the country, even if they entered unlawfully. 

It is also important to note that this provision is a reflection of the country’s values and principles. By recognizing the sacrifices that military personnel make for their country, the United States is reaffirming its commitment to supporting its service members and their families. This provision is a way of saying thank you to those who put their lives on the line to protect the country and its citizens. 

In conclusion, the provision allowing close family members of military personnel who entered the country unlawfully to remain in the United States is an important measure that reflects the country’s commitment to honoring and supporting its service members. It is a testament to the sacrifices that military personnel and their families make for their country and helps to alleviate some of the stress and worry that families experience during times of deployment.

Business Immigration

In today’s globalized economy, the United States has come to recognize the immense value and talent that foreign workers can bring to its workforce. As such, the country has established various programs and policies that enable employers to hire foreign professionals based on preference categories that meet specific employment needs.

Business immigration, for instance, is one such program that allows employers to sponsor foreign workers for temporary or permanent employment in the United States. This program is designed to attract individuals with specialized skills, knowledge, and experience to fill positions that cannot be adequately filled by American workers.

Through work-based immigration, employers can hire foreign professionals in various fields, including technology, healthcare, finance, and engineering, among others. The program helps to address the skills gap in the United States and contributes to the growth of the economy.

Overall, employment immigration is a vital component of the U.S. immigration system and helps to ensure that the country remains competitive in the global economy. It is a fair and just system that enables employers to hire the best and brightest talent from around the world while also contributing to the country’s economic growth and prosperity. 

The following are some of the more common types of Work Visas:

H-1B Visa

The H-1B Visa is for professionals in specialty occupations, such as IT, engineering, and finance. To qualify, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or higher and an employment offer from a U.S. company.

EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 Visa program is for foreign investors willing to invest a significant amount in a new commercial enterprise, leading to job creation. In return, they and their families can become Green Card holders.

E-2 Investor Visa

The E-2 Visa is a type of Visa designed for individuals from countries that have a treaty with the United States. This Visa allows them to invest a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business. To be eligible for this Visa, the investment should be significant and the business must not be speculative but operational instead. This means that the business must have already started operating.

PERM Labor Certifications

When an employer in the U.S. wants to hire a foreign worker for a permanent position, they must first obtain a PERM labor certification. This certification requires the employer to provide detailed evidence that there are no qualified American workers available to fill the position. The evidence must include the job requirements, recruitment methods, and the results of those recruitment efforts. The employer must also provide a detailed explanation of why any American workers who applied for the job were found to be unqualified. This process ensures that American workers are given priority for job opportunities before foreign workers are considered for permanent positions.

TN Visa

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) permits citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States under the TN Visa program, which is designed for individuals who specialize in specific professions. This allows Canadian and Mexican professionals to obtain Work Visas and contribute their expertise in various industries across the country.

Deportation Defense

Being faced with the possibility of deportation can be one of the most overwhelming experiences for individuals. It’s important to know that they do have rights and resources available to them in order to challenge their removal from the United States. From seeking legal counsel to exploring alternative pathways to citizenship, there are numerous avenues that individuals can pursue to potentially avoid deportation. It’s crucial for those facing this situation to educate themselves on their options and take action to defend their right to stay in the country. The best way to go about handling deportation defense is to hire a reliable deportation attorney.

Court Representation During Removal Process

When facing deportation, an individual has the right to be represented by an immigration attorney in court. The attorney can argue against removal, presenting evidence and legal arguments on the immigrant’s behalf. It is important to remember that deportation proceedings can be complex and stressful, and having the support of a knowledgeable attorney can make all the difference. Additionally, it is crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible in order to increase the chances of a successful outcome. Immigration law is constantly changing, and an experienced attorney can navigate these changes and provide the most up-to-date advice and support.

Bond HearingsStart Your Immigration Case With Legal Professionals Who Handle These Cases

When an individual is detained by immigration authorities, one of the first legal steps often taken is a bond hearing. This is a crucial step where an immigration judge assesses whether the detainee should be released on bond while awaiting subsequent court proceedings. Factors considered during a bond hearing include the individual’s ties to the community, family connections, employment history, and any previous criminal records. A strong case at a bond hearing can result in the detainee’s release under certain financial and legal conditions. Due to the significance of this event and the complexities involved, having an immigration lawyer for representation at a bond hearing is often advised to improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Petition For Review

The Petition for Review is a legal recourse that allows individuals to appeal a deportation order from an immigration judge. Typically, there is a 30-day window to file this petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit where the issuing immigration court is located. The petition must clearly articulate the errors or oversight in the immigration judge’s decision and is often accompanied by a filing fee. Timely filing and a well-prepared petition, often best managed with the help of an immigratigon attorney, are critical for a successful appeal.

Once filed, both parties generally submit legal briefs to support their arguments, and in some cases, oral arguments may be scheduled. The Court of Appeals reviews all submitted materials before issuing a decision, which could either affirm the deportation order remand the case back to the immigration court for further proceedings, or reverse the deportation order altogether. Given the complexity and high stakes involved, understanding this process is crucial for those facing deportation.

Immigration Appeals

When an immigration judge issues a decision that an individual disagrees with, the next step is often to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA is a higher administrative body that reviews the decisions of immigration judges. To initiate an appeal, a Notice of Appeal must be filed, usually within 30 days of the immigration judge’s decision. The appeal process involves submitting a written brief that outlines the legal and factual reasons why the initial decision should be overturned. Decisions by the BIA can also be further appealed to federal courts. Navigating the appeals process is complex and often necessitates the involvement of an immigration attorney for the best chance of success.

Conclusion

Navigating the intricate landscape of U.S. immigration laws and processes can be overwhelming for many individuals and families. Whether it’s understanding eligibility criteria, fulfilling application requirements, or defending against deportation, each step has its unique complexities. Green Cards, naturalization, family and business-based Visas, bond hearings, and appeals are just a few of the aspects where having knowledgeable guidance can make a significant difference. 

Given the life-changing stakes involved in these processes, hiring an immigration attorney experienced in citizenship cases is not just advisable, but often crucial for a successful outcome. Lozano Law Firm is committed to helping you through each stage of your immigration journey, providing the essential legal services tailored to your specific needs. With experience in a wide range of immigration issues, from family immigration to business immigration and deportation defense, Lozano Law Firm aims to guide you with clarity and confidence. Don’t leave your future to chance; reach out to Lozano Law Firm today for dedicated, one-on-one counsel to help you navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system effectively.

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