The combination of laws, rules, and regulations are called immigration law that regimes who can come in a country. There are differences between immigration and naturalization. A person who can come and go from a country is governed by immigration. Naturalization controls who can become a citizen and who can’t. These are interrelated topics. Solicitors who practice immigration law usually have a practice that covers both immigration law and naturalization.
Applying for a U.S. immigration visa, green card or naturalized citizenship can seem very complicated process but this U.S. Immigration Law Guide will get you started with the information you’ll need to start. Also, immigration solicitor knows how to solve your issues in a better way.
Immigration Law Is an Important Part of The U.S. Policy
World’s 19 percent of the immigrants living in the United States. About 47 million immigrants living in the United States and they are representing nearly 14 percent of the U.S. population. In recent years, U.S. immigration law
World’s 19 percent of the immigrants living in the United States. About 47 million immigrants living in the United States and they are representing nearly 14 percent of the U.S. population. In recent years, U.S. immigration law has changed.
In favor of limits per country – The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 closed a system of ethnic quotas. The legal immigration was increased 40 percent by George H.W. Bush’s Immigration Act of 1990. Approximately 3 million illegal immigrants were forgiven by Ronald Reagan. Every year about 1 million people become U.S. citizens.
The Story of Concerning Immigration and Naturalization in The United States Laws History
Immigration is separate from naturalization. Immigration to the U.S. was unrestricted for the first century of the United States’ history. Anyone from other countries could come into the United States, start a new life, join in military service, run business and pay taxes. However, from the very beginning, the United States had very clear naturalization laws. It also means that anyone could immigrate into the country without any restrictions as it had an ‘‘open-borders’’ policy for the first century of its existence. Everyone had to be naturalized who wanted to vote or hold elective office. It means that anyone could immigrate in but only those could vote or hold elective office who went through the naturalization process and become a citizen.
In this set of policies – where naturalization was tightly controlled but open immigration was permitted. It was persisted until the 1870s and 1880s, the U.S. government was driven to adopt immigration laws while growing support for eugenics. These immigration laws were made to end the open immigration policy. To prevent “racial taint” from other unexpected immigrants, these laws have been permitted.
U.S. Visa Categories
The state department provides temporary visas constantly for business, work or study, and also for many other reasons, but some U.S. immigration visas are intended to permanent residency and citizenship.
Most of the time, a U.S. immigration visa is given on family relationships or employment-related causes. In both of these situations, the foreign citizen must have a close relative or prospective employer sponsor them and start the application process.
There are variety of visa categories including immigrant and non-immigrant types.
Non-immigrant Visas to Visit The United States
These types of visas are basically reserved for study or temporary work including categories such as:
- Cultural exchange visitors
- Temporary agricultural workers
- Transitional workers
- Business visitors
- Foreign military personnel
- Participating athletes, artists or entertainers
- Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability
There are various types of nonimmigrant visas people can use to come into the United States for a period of time. However, in this case, your immigration solicitor can help you find out what best applies to your situation.
Immigrant Visas For Becoming A U.S. Citizen
Generally, these types of visas are related to family relationships and employment opportunities. Here are some common immigrant visas that people use such as:
- Employer-sponsored visas
- Returning resident visas
- Religious workers
- Diversity immigrant visas
- Urgent relative visas including spouses, fiancés, children and also, adopted children of U.S. citizens.
Sponsor Requirements For Family Based U.S. Immigration Visa
There are two groups of family-based immigration visas that the United States Department of state offers.
- First one is immediate relative visas. IR or immediate relative visas are unlimited and are intended to reunite immediate family members such as a spouse, unmarried children under 21 years old, adopted children by U.S. citizens.
- The second one is family preference U.S immigration visas. These types of visas are limited. Therefore, granting a visa for immigration is not automatic as every year, numerical limits are added on these categories.
- Again, this category is prioritized into degrees to decide who has priority. These are:
- 1st partiality or F1 goes to unmarried children of U.S. citizens.
- 2nd partiality or F2 is for spouses and children of lawful permanent residents.
- 3rd partiality or F3 reserved for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and their children.
- 4th partiality or F4 is conserved for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their minor children, given that the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old.
But some relatives are not allowed to sponsor a family-based immigration visa such as cousins, in-laws, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
5 Steps To Apply For U.S. Immigration Visa
- The sponsor could be a relative or employer, must apply to the USCIS or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, which is a department of Homeland Security. He completes an application for Alien Relative Form I-130.
To complete and sign the form, the sponsor must be 21 years old and a resident of the United States. By the way, to file an Affidavit of Support I-864, the U.S. citizen can be at least 18 years old.
The sponsor should consult with an experienced U.S. immigration visa solicitor to advise and assist with various technicalities to ensure accuracy and adequate documentation. While properly completed forms have a better chance of success, errors cause delays and even refusal sometimes. When the sponsor submitted for a U.S. immigration visa as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), but at the same time became a U.S. citizen then the status of that application is upgraded from Preference to Immediate Relative status.
More detailed information regarding exceptional immigration visa situations is given by the State Department. However, for helping you understand and navigate the complicated requirements, consultation with a skilled immigration solicitor can be a better resource.
- When the USCIS verifies the primary Petition for Alien Relative, the required documents are sent to the NVC or National Visa Center. Here a number is assigned for the applicant. Then, he will have to complete a form DS-261, choice of agent and address. Again, to ensure that all the documents are appropriately collected and submitted, an experienced U.S. immigration visa solicitor can be helpful for sure. At this point, the applicant has to pay visa application fees.
- At the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the applicant must undergo a visa interview. Here, the person will be notified for the interview in advance and for the discussion with the individual, he will be asked to bring the required documentation. Trying to misguide interviewers may result in rejection for the immigration.
- Physical examination and inoculations must be done.
- When the applicant gets the U.S. immigration visa and is allowed to come to the United States on permanent status.
Permanent Habitat With A Green Card
Everyone is not suitable to apply for permanent dwelling in the United States. However, a person can get a green card through many sources such as family connections, employment, and refugee status as well. Also, a person may be considered as a special immigrant and there are some categories like crime victim or human trafficking, a victim of abuse or by other types of categories.
Green Cards For Family Members Of U.S. Citizens
In general, a person may be able to apply for a green card sponsorship depending on his family connections with a U.S. citizen. Basically, the person must be a:
- Child of a U.S. citizen
- The fiancé of a U.S. citizen
- Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen who is minimum 21 years old
- Parent of a U.S. citizen who is minimum 21 years old.
- Widow or widower of a U.S. citizen
Applying for Green Card Through Employment
If you are working in the United States, you may apply for a green card permanently, or if you are a physician or an immigration investor by the way. Through a preference system, the immigration workers are categorized. It works like:
- 1st partiality is given to those people who are recognized as outstanding professors or researchers or those who have extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business or athletics. This preference is also given to multinational executives or managers who meet particular criteria.
- 2nd partiality is given to those who have exceptional ability in the science, arts or business or to the people who are members of professions that require advanced degrees. The people who are seeking a national interest waiver, this is also given to them.
- 3rd partiality is given to those people who are experienced and skilled workers in fields that require at least of 2 years. Also, jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree for professionals, or its foreign equivalent or an inexperienced worker.
Other Types Of Green Card Eligibility
In this category, those refugees and asylees are eligible to apply for making a green card who were admitted into the U.S. at least one year earlier making green card application.
- Those crime victims who are currently possessing a U nonimmigrant visa.
- Those victims of human trafficking who are currently possessing a T nonimmigrant visa.
- When you are parent of U.S. citizen, child or a spouse or lawful permanent resident, and victim of battery or extreme cruelty.
- People who are in very specific categories, other types of green cards are available for them including:
- Those were born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat.
- Those were selected for a diversity visa.
- Those are American Indians born in Canada.
- Those are considered dependents under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, or HRIFA.
- Fall under the Cuban Adjustment Act.
- Those were paroled into the U.S. as Lautenberg parolees.
- Those were stationed in the U.S. as a foreign diplomat or other upper ranking officials but are unable to return home.
- Those are part of the Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000.
Exceptional Immigrant Green Cards
A person can be considered for a green card as a special immigrant if you are:
- A special immigrant juvenile who has been neglected, abandoned or abused by your parent and you have SIJ status.
- A religious worker wants to come to the United States to work for a nonprofit religious organization.
- An international broadcaster wants to come to the United States as a member of the media.
- A translator from Iraq or Afghanistan national. If you were an Iraqi employed by or an Afghan employed by the International Security Assistance Force then you may also apply for the green card.
Naturalized Citizenship In The United States
You may be eligible for naturalized citizenship in the U.S. if you have a green card. Generally, you must follow a very inflexible procedure and here, your lawyer can help you in every step of the way.
6 Steps To Becoming A Naturalized Citizen Of The United States:
The moment you are eligible to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. you must follow these steps such as:
- To apply for naturalization, prepare a form N-400. Also, you can get it online.
- Before you submit your form, get all the required documentation gathered that prove you are eligible for naturalization. Don’t submit your originals – make a copy of everything.
- Make sure if you need to go to a biometrics appointment. Not everyone does, but if you need to do so, ensure you arrive on time to have your biometrics taken.
- You must do an interview with USCIS. You will have to answer questions about your background in the interview. Also, you will have to take an English and civics test. Here, you must answer 6 questions correctly out of 10 questions on your civics test.
- You have to wait for your result from USCIS. You will be considered eligible for naturalization if your application is granted. You may need to retake the English or civics test or to supply additional documentation. But if your application is canceled, your record will show USCIS that you are not eligible for naturalization.
- If your application was approved, you will get a notice of the time and date. Take the oath of obedience to the United States. After taking the oath of obedience at a naturalization ceremony, you become a U.S. citizen officially.
Conclusion Of How To Get The U.S. Citizenship
It is not an easy task to become a US citizen. This is a long-time process and even a common mistake can increase your wait time by years.So, it’s better to contact with a immigration solicitor and ensure how can immigration solicitor help you? Also, you must still meet all naturalization requirements to become a US citizen while the US does offer special visa options for persons with a particular talent and for high-value investors.
However, the basic steps to becoming a US citizen includes:
- Achieve your green card.
- Apply for naturalization.
- Apply for permanent residency.
- Pass your English language and Civics tests.
- Stay in the US continuously for 5 years.
- Join to a citizenship ceremony and take an Oath of Obedience to the United States.
- Apply for the US passport.
Now you may think, becoming a US citizen is a lengthy process and its requirements are strict. Also, you will need to commit spending most of the time in the US for five years of permanent residency and pay taxes for life. So, if you want to become a US citizen, you have to consider the consequences carefully and opportunity costs included in your decision.
Author: Alamin Howlader.